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Articles Tagged Speed 

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07-08

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7

Baseball Therapy: What is a Fast Runner Worth?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-16

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25

Overthinking It: Does Baseball Have a Pace Problem?
by
Ben Lindbergh

03-07

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23

Pebble Hunting: Billy Hamilton, Usain Bolt, and Whether 90 Feet is Still Enough
by
Sam Miller

02-20

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63

Top Tools: Best Speed/Makeup
by
Mark Anderson and BP Prospect Staff

04-08

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10

Minor League Update: Games of April 5-April 7
by
Zach Mortimer

03-08

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22

Raising Aces: Under the Gun
by
Doug Thorburn

02-06

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13

Pebble Hunting: How Bad Can Clogging the Bases Be?
by
Sam Miller

08-07

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19

BP Unfiltered: Billy Hamilton is Not Impressed by Usain Bolt
by
Hudson Belinsky

05-11

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1

The Stats Go Marching In: All About Velocity
by
Max Marchi

11-22

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30

Spinning Yarn: How Does Quality of Contact Relate to BABIP?
by
Mike Fast

11-16

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41

Spinning Yarn: Who Controls How Hard the Ball is Hit?
by
Mike Fast

08-26

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4

Baseball ProGUESTus: Do Pitchers Really Trade Speed for Command?
by
Graham Goldbeck

08-11

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45

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Positional Primacy: Center Field
by
Jason Parks

07-19

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29

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Caught Up in the Complex League
by
Jason Parks

06-02

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28

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: U Got the Look: Speed, Makeup, and the Power of Words
by
Jason Parks

05-11

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15

Spinning Yarn: Speed Traps
by
Mike Fast

04-27

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9

Spinning Yarn: A Soria Subject
by
Mike Fast

03-30

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15

Spinning Yarn: Do Spring Speeds Matter?
by
Mike Fast

02-16

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38

Future Shock: Minnesota Twins Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

02-07

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21

Future Shock: Cincinnati Reds Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

01-04

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43

Future Shock: Los Angeles Dodgers Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

12-22

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57

Future Shock: New York Mets Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

12-21

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33

Future Shock: Milwaukee Brewers Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

12-14

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26

Future Shock: Houston Astros Top 11 Prospects
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-26

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8

Spinning Yarn: Interpreting Pitch Classifications
by
Mike Fast

11-22

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23

Prospectus Today: Infield Free Agents Review
by
Joe Sheehan

09-22

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35

Checking the Numbers: Perceived Velocity
by
Eric Seidman

06-06

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31

Future Shock: Draft Class '09 Top 50
by
Kevin Goldstein

03-25

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15

Speed and Power
by
Christina Kahrl

10-26

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23

Prospectus Today: Speedy Endings?
by
Joe Sheehan

03-03

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0

Prospectus Today: Lineupology
by
Joe Sheehan

10-28

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Curt Young
by
David Laurila

08-29

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0

Future Shock: Positional Rankings--Center Field
by
Kevin Goldstein

08-15

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0

Future Shock: Teaching Tools
by
Kevin Goldstein

04-10

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0

Who Will Rid Me of This Pestilent McCovey?
by
Brandon Isleib

10-14

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0

Future Shock: Where Did the Tigers and the Athletics Come From?
by
Kevin Goldstein

01-04

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0

Blocking the Uppercut
by
Seth Samuels

06-17

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0

Another Look at OBP
by
James Click

08-27

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: The Value of Speed
by
Nate Silver

08-25

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0

The Week in Quotes: August 18-24
by
Ryan Wilkins

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A rare breed of player can stay at an up-the-middle position, and many of these center fielders have loaded toolboxes.

The minor leagues are stacked with quality center-field prospects, and some might even end up being quality center fielders at the major-league level. But the truth is most minor-league center fielders lack the necessary skill set to play the position in the majors, making the value of said skill set even more, um, valuable.

This was a difficult list to compile, as I use a mixture of industry opinion and my own eyes to sketch the report, and opinions were extremely varied. I’m incredibly fortunate to have a national platform that encourages industry correspondence and reciprocation [read: people actually return my e-mail] more than discourages it, and I’m thankful because most industry types aren’t influenced by my 70-grade smile. For this article, I polled 10 people employed by major-league teams; some were scouting directors, some were scouts, some were even higher on the food chain. I asked them a simple question: Who are the top 10 center-field prospects currently in the minor leagues?

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While you will burn your neck and suffer heat stroke watching prospects develop in the Arizona League, there is a small oasis of potential stars that makes the pilgrimage worth it.

It’s hard to sell complex league baseball to the masses: The talent is immature, the names are merely names, the jerseys are often vague and free of personal identification, the environment is isolated and empty, and the theater of the event is off-off-off-off Broadway. But I’m going to give it a try.

What will it take to get you to walk away with a piece of Arizona League baseball in your hand? Financing is available for those who qualify, and if you wilt under the weight of my smile, I might be able to throw in a refrigerator magnet, or a flavored lolly for the little ones. Let me know if I can be of any assistance. I think you would look great with some AZL action in your life. It makes you attractive to the sex of your choosing. Don’t be shy. Here at Baseball Prospectus, we offer the best package. Don’t be fooled. You can’t match our guarantees. Look around, and let me know if you have any questions. My door is as open as my saccharine smile. Let’s make a deal.

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In the final installment of the series, there's a look at rating the speed tool, a player's makeup, and the misuse of scouting jargon.

This article is a hodgepodge, a collection of sediments left at the bottom of the wine glass (or coffee cup, if you so desire). I’ll jump from the on-the-field identification and evaluation of the speed tool, discuss my definition of makeup and how it influences the developmental process, and I’ll put a bow on the baby with a brief criticism of those that misuse scouting terminology. It’s a pastiche of subordinate thoughts, but I would be remiss to let them float in the ether. Potpourri Prospectus!

The Need for Speed
Speed is the preferred tool of the baseball pest: a player that uses a specific physical attribute to affect the chemistry of the on-field action. Speed can propel a player into professional baseball, and can disguise the overall effectiveness of that player while in the throes of the developmental process. Speed is not required for major-league success, but that isn’t to say speed is detrimental to a skill set; obviously, speed is a tool that is beneficial to possess. But speed is a secondary tool, a catalytic tool, and the evaluation of that tool, while tangible and painless to scout, often clouds the painting of the prospect in question. Speed is a tool with psychotropic properties.


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How can we distinguish between benign fluctuations in fastball speed and those that indicate injury or ineffectiveness ahead?

A pitcher’s fastball speed is probably the most macho attribute of his ability. Guile, command, deception, a good breaking ball, and the ability to change speeds are all very important parts of the pitching craft. Only one number, however, routinely makes the scoreboard and the television screen on every pitch—the speed. As Jeff Francoeur can tell you, if it’s on the scoreboard, it’s important.

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Do his early-season struggles suggest that Royals closer Joakim Soria's best days lie behind him, or can he succeed with a different style?

Joakim Soria has been one of the best relief pitchers in baseball over the past four years. From 2007 to 2010, he put up a 2.01 ERA with 281 strikeouts against only 70 walks and 182 hits in 255 innings. Over that period, he held the opposition scoreless in 82 percent of the games he entered, and he allowed multiple runs only five percent of the time. For comparison, Mariano Rivera had a 2.05 ERA over those four years, held the opposition scoreless 83 percent of the time, and allowed multiple runs five percent of the time. Even while fighting (and usually failing) to avoid the basement in the AL Central, the Royals could claim a truly elite closer in Soria, the rare All-Star on a perennial cellar dweller.

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Mike examines whether velocity changes in March and April can reveal whether the radar gun will be a pitcher's friend or foe throughout the season.

Fastball speed in the major leagues is an important and oft-researched topic. As the 2011 season begins, the trickle of reports on pitchers’ fastball speeds that came out of spring training will turn into a flood of data. Some pitchers will be throwing a little faster than they were last year, while others will have lost a notch on their hard stuff.

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February 16, 2011 9:46 am

Future Shock: Minnesota Twins Top 11 Prospects

38

Kevin Goldstein

The Twins know how to scout, so they keep churning out talent.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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Taking it from the top, it's a system with plenty of star power up front, but depth falls away quickly.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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January 4, 2011 9:00 am

Future Shock: Los Angeles Dodgers Top 11 Prospects

43

Kevin Goldstein

Despite some prospects falling short in 2010, a surprise draft signing helps give the system a boost.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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While the No. 1 prospect should be up again soon, most of the talent in the system needs considerable development time.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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December 21, 2010 9:00 am

Future Shock: Milwaukee Brewers Top 11 Prospects

33

Kevin Goldstein

A look at what is left in the Brewers system after they traded for Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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The Astros' system is better than last year, though that's not saying much.

Previous Rankings: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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