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April 8, 2012

Tater Trot Tracker

Opening Week Trot Times

by Larry Granillo

The 2012 baseball season is finally underway (after what seemed like an interminable string of Opening Days) and, with it, another season of the Tater Trot Tracker! For those who may be new, the Tater Trot Tracker is a daily record of how long it takes every major league player to run out his home runs. Each afternoon, I watch the highlights from the previous day's games and time each home run trot.

The 2011 Tater Trot Tracker Leaderboard can be found here. Readers can look forward to a more detailed look at the 2011 season in tater trots later this week.

In the meantime, we have four different Opening Days (and a couple of other days of baseball) to talk about here, so let's get to those trots!

Home Run of the Day: Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics - 23.39 seconds [video]
A number of home runs could go here. Prince Fielder's first home run as a Tiger (opposite field!), Troy Tulowitzki's bomb onto the train tracks in Houston, Adam Dunn's moonshot into Texas' upper deck, Carlos Pena's grand slam off CC Sabathia, Bill Murray's trot in Wrigley... it could go on. None of those, however, can match the excitement of Yoenis Cespedes' first stateside home run. It was Oakland's first game of the season that didn't take place in the Tokyo Dome and Cespedes' first chance to show off in front of hometown fans. He did just that, crushing a 462-foot shot nearly into the skyboxes of Oakland's Mt. Davis. He stopped to admire the blast for a moment before heading on his way around the bases.

Later, Cespedes would say that he didn't want to show up pitchers like that again. "I come from Cuba, where it's a little less quality games, so we do that. But here I don't want to do that." I appreciate his sentiment there, but, at the same time, some home runs demand to be admired. Cespedes' first Oakland home run was certainly one of those. (And there will be many more, I'm sure.)

Slowest Trot: Hanley Ramirez, Miami Marlins - 26.69 seconds [video]
As with most Hanley Ramirez tater trots, this one had the magical ability to be slow while not actually looking slow. Some might say he did a little bit of posturing out of the box, but that was more a function of him regaining his balance after a wild swing. Instead, Ramirez moved his feet at a much slower pace than it might look, especially from someone of his frame. It's what we should all expect from Ramirez by now.

Other slow trots from the first few days of the season come from Carlos Lee (25.44 seconds) and David Freese (25.05 seconds). Lee shouldn't be all that big of a surprise since his trots have been of the ultra-slow variety for a decade now. The Freese trot is a bit of a surprise, though it appears to have been slowed by a bit of watching out of the box and some confused footwork before touching home plate. Also, it was the Cardinals' third home run of the inning off Yovani Gallardo.

Quickest Trot: Brian Bogusevic, Houston Astros - 18.06 seconds [video]
It seems a bit funny to follow up the young season's second-slowest trot with its single-quickest trot, but that's what happened on Friday in Houston, when Brian Bogusevic was the tailend of a back-to-back home run barrage with Carlos Lee. The speed of the trot was fueled by the home run's uncertainty, but Bogusevic's long stride helped matters too.

The second quickest trot came from Baltimore's Adam Jones, who circled the bases Saturday in a prompt 18.19 seconds. More notably, the next quickest trot of the season came nearly two weeks ago in Japan. Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, in only his second big league game, mashed his first career home run. Many people familiar with Cespedes and his bravado might have expected a slow, triumphant trot from "La Potencia", but instead we were given a nice brisk race around the bases.

All of Today's Trots

Saturday's Trots

Hanley Ramirez.....26.69     Omar Infante.......20.63
Miguel Cabrera #1..25	     Aaron Hill #1......20.63
Nick Swisher.......24.61     Yoenis Cespedes....20.6*
Adam LaRoche.......23.23     Corey Hart #2......20.45
Rickie Weeks.......23.22     Danny Espinosa.....20.28
JD Martinez........22.99     Brett Pill.........20.25
Michael Saunders...22.55     Nick Markakis......20.24
Joey Votto.........22.36     Martin Prado.......20.18
John Buck..........22.28     Michael Cuddyer....20.07
Matt Joyce.........22.22     AJ Ellis...........20.06
Jemile Weeks.......22.14     Lucas Duda #2......19.99
Jason Kipnis.......21.99     David Wright.......19.93
Alex Avila.........21.95     Alex Rios..........19.63
Prince Fielder #2..21.68     Eric Hosmer........19.61
Zack Cozart........21.54     Aaron Hill #2......19.23
Pablo Sandoval.....21.41     Mike Moustakas.....19.13
Corey Hart #1......21.27     Lucas Duda #1......19.13
Matt Wieters.......21.21     Kelly Johnson......19
Prince Fielder #1..20.94     Adam Jones.........18.19
Asdrubal Cabrera...20.76     Miguel Cabrera #2..N/A
Jordan Schafer.....20.73

Friday's Trots

Carlos Lee.......25.44	  Ian Kinsler......22.09
David Freese.....25.05	  Paul Goldschmidt.21.51
Chris Young......24.78	  Evan Longoria....21.31
Josh Willingham..24.09	  Yadier Molina....21.27
Yoenis Cespedes..23.39	  Nick Markakis....21.15
Adam Dunn........23.09	  Melky Cabrera....20.4
Troy Tulowitzki..22.82	  Raul Ibanez......20.32
Matt Holliday....22.62	  George Kottaras..20.28
Carlos Beltran...22.32	  Brian Bogusevic..18.06
Carlos Pena......22.2

Thursday's Trots

JP Arencibia.....22.65
Cameron Maybin...21.84
Jack Hannahan....21.45
Matt Kemp........21.39
Jose Bautista....20.91
Jay Bruce........19.51

Japan Series

Justin Smoak.......21.28
Josh Reddick.......20.46
Dustin Ackley......20.31
Jonny Gomes........20.22 
Yoenis Cespedes....18.69

Click here for the ongoing 2012 Tater Trot Tracker Leaderboard.

Related Content:  Home Run,  Tater Trot,  Home Run Trots,  Home Run Trot

4 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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you,ve got to be kiddin me? i'm tryin to win a fbb championship and i get tator trot charts? wow!

Apr 08, 2012 08:44 AM
rating: -13

Had trouble reading the title of the post??

Apr 08, 2012 18:35 PM
rating: 1

Cespedes absolutely crushed all 3 of his HRs, but it's funny that he admired the one of Friday. I don't think Vargas appreciated it, because it looked like he started yelling at Cespedes. Which is even funnier when you realize that Cespedes doesn't speak any English

Apr 09, 2012 07:35 AM
rating: 0

Much like the smell of hot dogs and the taste of watered down american lagers, April brings the welcome start of another season of tater trot tracking. Sadly, my cubs are the only team not to notch a homer yet. Can we wager on the longest trot? Can I take David Ortiz in July at about 34 seconds?

Apr 09, 2012 09:40 AM
rating: 0
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