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Who are the Slowest Players in Baseball?

September 12, 2013

We have a pretty good idea who the fastest players in baseball are, in part because they rack up gaudy stolen base totals. However, the slowest players in baseball are less statistically conspicuous. For example, neither Colby Rasmus nor Joe Mauer has a steal this season, but it's clear in watching them that one is faster than the other.

This is another area where Baseball Info Solutions is now collecting information. Beginning this season BIS is recording times on various baserunning events, including from home to first on potential double plays and bunt-for-hit attempts, from first to third on singles, from second to home on singles, from first to home on doubles, and on stolen base attempts. In particular, home to first times on potential GDPs are a great way to measure the speed of players giving their maximum effort, especially ones like Joe Mauer who rarely attempt to steal a base.

Based on average home to first times on potential GDPs, these players are the slowest in baseball:

Average Times from Home to 1st
GDP Situations
(Minimum 3 Times)
Player Average Time (seconds)
Welington Castillo 4.84
Billy Butler 4.81
Paul Konerko 4.77
Edwin Encarnacion 4.67
Yorvit Torrealba 4.67

We were on the right track with Mauer who is quite slow at 4.40 seconds from home to first, but it is actually another catcher who tops this dubious list. Welington Castillo is having a tremendous season. He actually leads all catchers with 17 Defensive Runs Saved. However, he is certainly not fast. Neither are Billy Butler and Paul Konerko, who generate all of their value with their bats. Edwin Encarnacion, another powerful first baseman, and Yorvit Torrealba, another catcher, round out the list of the slowest players in baseball.

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