Last season MLB’s Statcast started publishing data on player speed. So I thought it would be fun to take a look at the 2018 Indians and see how they stacked up compared to others at their position.
If you visit the MLB Statcast page you can see all the data, as well as the league average. But to provide more context I calculated the average rate at each position and then found each player’s percentile rank.
The chart below shows the Indians roster ordered by their positional percentile rank. For example, despite being one of the slowest player on the Indians roster, Yan Gomes ranks in the 81st percentile among catchers. So compared to others at his position, he’s actually an asset to the Indians team speed:
You’re probably not surprised by anyone’s placement on that list, but it is interesting to see exactly how everyone stacks up.
Obviously we knew Bradley Zimmer could fly—he ranks as the third fastest player in all of baseball behind Byron Buxton and Billy Hamilton—but there isn’t much overall speed on the roster.
The Indians typical lineup only features four players with above-average speed for their position: Zimmer, Jose Ramirez, Yan Gomes and Francisco Lindor.
The lack of overall speed on the roster could be incentive to find a spot for Greg Allen on the roster out of spring training. It could also be a motivating factor for a possible midseason trade of Jason Kipnis, which would allow Ramirez to shift to second base and open up room for Yandy Diaz at third.