Trea Turner is the fastest free agent in MLB 2022-23

It’s the right offseason for Trea Turner to be a free agent, because her game-changing speed is about to be more valuable than ever.

Turner’s true elite speed already gives him a skill set that separates him from all the other top free agents in this year’s class, and especially the other top free agent shortstops. And with rule changes coming to MLB in 2023 that should encourage more steals — larger bases that will reduce the distance between them, limits on the number of pick pitches — the team that gets Turner will get a competitive edge. even bigger at the top. from the range.

Notable free agents by 2022 sprint speed
Trea Turner – 30.3 ft/s
— Elite Speed ​​Threshold: 30+ ft/sec —
Brandon Nimmo – 28.7 ft/s
Dansby Swanson – 28.4 ft/s
Xander Bogaerts – 27.9 fps
Jean Segura — 27.7 ft/sec
Willson Contreras – 27.6 fps
Judge Aaron – 27.3 fps
Carlos Correa – 27.1 ft/s
— MLB Average Speed: 27 ft/sec —

The 29-year-old is by far the fastest free agent, and he’s in the best position of any free agent to take advantage of these rule changes next season. So let’s see how Turner’s velocity changes the game.

Turner, a two-time league leader in stolen bases, is an extremely successful base stealer. This season he was 27 for 30 steal attempts, a 90% success rate.

Turner’s ability to accelerate to elite top speed even when going base to base makes him extremely hard to catch. On nearly a third of his bases stolen in 2022, he hit the elite speed threshold of over 30 feet/sec. He had twice as many elite speed flights as anyone else.

Most SBs with a sprint speed over 30 ft/s, 2022
1. Treasure Turner: 8
2. Julio Rodríguez: 4
3. (tie) Bubba Thompson / Terrance Gore: 3
5. (tie) Byron Buxton / Tim Locastro / Jorge Mateo: 2

Now pitchers are going to be limited in how they hold him, and he’s going to have 4 1/2 inches less to run in, which seems small, but with stolen bases decided by split seconds, maybe those 4 1/2 inches is the difference for one of baseball’s fastest players. Turner might be even harder to catch than he was before.

Let’s look at plays where Turner had to rely on his speed to steal the sack – say, the top half of his stolen bases, so we’re not including those where he took a huge jump, or the catcher didn’t get a run, and he didn’t need to run full blast.

His average sprint speed on these “maximum effort” flights was even 30.0 ft/s. He was the only base stealer to reach average elite speed in the top half of his runs.

Avg. fastest SB sprint speed “maximum effort”, 2022
Min. 5 SB
1. Treasure Turner: 30.0 fps
2. (tie) Bubba Thompson / Tim Locastro: 29.9 fps
4. Julio Rodriguez: 29.8 fps
5. Garrett Mitchell: 29.7 fps
“Max effort”: Player’s top 50% SB

Turner is a top free agent because he’s established himself as an elite power-speed threat and one of the most consistent hitters around right now, with a career batting average of .302 and a batting title in 2021.

That batting average is really a product of his speed, not just his bat.

Turner uses his speed to get a lot more punches. The stat sheet doesn’t tell you that, but the Statcast data does. This season alone, Turner had 34 hits where he hit an elite sprint speed of over 30 fps, more than 1 1/2 times more than any other hitter.

Most shots with a sprint speed over 30 ft/s, 2022
1. Treasure Turner: 34
2. (tie) Bobby Witt Jr. / Jake McCarthy: 21
4. Amed Rosario: 20
5. (tie) Bubba Thompson / Jorge Mateo: 18

And Turner does it every year. Let’s look at the past three seasons, in which Turner leads the Majors with 467 hits. On 77 of those shots, he had a sprint speed of 30 feet/sec or faster. That’s more than double the number of hits at elite speed of any other player since the start of the 2020 season.

These shots can either be downfield shots where a player slower than Turner might get sent off, or a double or triple that a player slower than Turner might not be able to stretch – 13 of his shots with a sprint of more than 30 feet/sec speed are extra-basic strokes.

Most shots with a sprint speed over 30 fps, last 3 seasons
1. Trea Turner: 77 (13 XBH)
2. Amed Rosario: 35 (2XBH)
3. Jose Altuve: 31 (0 XBH)
4. Jorge Mateo: 30 (12 XBH)
5. Starling Marte: 29 (3XBH)

Either the hit comes from its speed, or the hit becomes a better hit because of its speed. The team that signs Turner doesn’t just sign a fast base stealer, they sign a fast hitter. It is important.

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