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Slugging percentage is, of course, a "power" stat. It's got the word slug right there in the middle of it, and also the word lug, and the word gin, all powerful things. But then Mike Trout comes around and slugs .564, and of course Trout has a ton of power but have you ever wondered just how much of Mike Trout's slugging percentage comes specifically from his speed? There's the doubles he turns to triples, of course. And the singles he turns into doubles. The infield hits he beats out. But there's also what defenders have to do to defend him; third baseman have to play closer than they want to, middle infielders have to bunch in a little, it's even possible (somebody should check!) that pitchers are more likely to work him up in the zone than a similar power hitter, knowing that inducing a groundball doesn't have quite the rate of return that it would have against an Adam Dunn-type .564 slugger. There's also the bigger gaps he gets because outfielders squeeze in just a little bit on him, knowing that otherwise he hits a routine single and turns it into a double. The full extent of it is impossible to measure. But if I had to guess, I'd guess that Mike Trout gains 35 extra bases a year based on his speed. That, if he ran like Josh Willingham runs, he'd have slugged .501 last year. What do you think, Shin-Soo Choo?  

 

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eddiewinslow
4/05
Emilio Bonifacio did a similar thing in the Blue Jays game today, turning a single into a double. Bonifacio however, only has a .343 career slugging percentage, so perhaps he's less good at such things than Trout. Or something. I'm not sure if I can post a link here, but here's a gif of the Bonifacio play: http://twoseamstats.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/bonifacio.gif?w=480
mbodell
4/05
The Bonifacio play was crazy. A totally normal single up the middle that was fielded cleanly yet somehow Bonifacio ended up safe on second with no throw. I think likely Bonifacio is just as good at that, he's just much worse at that getting the single part.
kmbart
4/05
He did that on turf and he stumbled coming out of the box? Somebody nonchalanted that play for certain.
Michael
4/05
I look forward to the sequel about a former BP writer who swims well: "Mike Fast Trout"
rileybreck
4/05
Wondered the exact same thing after seeing this yesterday.