Speed Kills!

Thursday May 21, 2009

Speed Kills!

It kills the concentration of the opposing pitcher when a speedy guy gets on base.
It kills the possibility of a double play. It kills in so many ways on the diamond.

We heard so much in spring training about the speed of Everth Cabrera who stole 73 bases in the minors last season and how his speed could be a game changer for the Padres. Cabrera has been timed at 6.70 in the 60 yard dash. That is quick.

Do you want to know what REAL speed is?

The 6.22 Luis Durango has reportedly ran in the 60 yard dash. That is BLAZING!
60 yards is 54.864 meters. Durango’s time in the 60 YARD dash translates to a 6.73 60 meter dash. I am pretty sure that would get him a spot on Panama’s Olympic team.

Uber High School Athlete Donovan Tate is expected to go in the top ten in the June MLB draft based on his athleticism and has been widely been reported to be the fastest athlete projected to be drafted. He runs a 6.40 60 yard dash.

That means Luis Durango has amazing speed. And he can both hit and be selective at the plate. Last season he hit .328/.415 and this season he made the jump to AA and is hitting .351/.425.

Think about a 2010 or 2011 Padres team that has Cabrera at short and Durango platooning in the outfield? WOW!

So why do I say platooning in the outfield?

#1 – Durango is 5’9″ and 140 lbs soaking wet and has NO power. None. He occasionaly turns a single into a double, but he has so little power that he had only 15 doubles and 4 triples in 406 abs last season because the ball reached the wall off his bat just once and he turned that into an inside the park home run. His slugging percentage last season was .392 and this year it is just .383.

Can you say Juan Pierre?

#2 – This is the first season Durango has used that speed to consistently steal bases. Right now he has 20 SB vs 7 CS in 38 games played.

Last season he had just 15 stolen bases vs 8 cs at Low A Ft Wayne and High A Lake Elsinore.

The speed is just starting to translate into stolen bases and he hasn’t quite learned how to read pitchers well enough to be good at it.

When he does get it, watch out. He should be a fixture as a #4 outfieler/utility player for years to come at the major league level.

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