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Reminder: Steven Duggar has elite speed

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There’s a new Statcast speed split that ranks Steven Duggar among baseball’s elite.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The computer geniuses over at MLB.com’s Baseball Savant have released a new baserunning split utilizing Statcast data that measures 90ft running speed. Specifically, how fast a player accelerates and decelerates while running the bases.

Steven Duggar is the 15th-fastest player in Major League Baseball according to this new split. Here’s a hazy screen cap of the rankings (which you can find here to see in full):

This measure means Duggar’s in the 97th percentile or higher while accelerating and in the 96th percentile while decelerating. He’s right up there with Mike Trout?? Billy Hamilton?? When sorted for just center field, he’s ranked 10th out of 47 eligible players. Still in the upper tier. He’s very fast.

Duggar’s 28.9 ft/sec sprint speed was 65th best in MLB for the season. And, in case you forgot, here’s how Statcast measures Sprint Speed:

Sprint Speed is Statcast’s foot speed metric, defined as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window” on individual plays. For a player’s seasonal average, the following two types of plays currently qualify for inclusion in Sprint Speed. The best of these runs, approximately two-thirds, are averaged for a player’s seasonal average.

* Runs of two bases or more on non-homers, excluding being a runner on second base when an extra base hit happens

* Home to first on “topped” or “weakly hit” balls.

The Major League average on a “competitive” play is 27 ft/sec, and the competitive range is roughly from 23 ft/sec (poor) to 30 ft/sec (elite). A player must have at least 10 competitive runs to qualify for this leaderboard. Read more about how Sprint Speed works here.

Steven Duggar has options and he’s recovering from shoulder surgery, so there’s a chance we’ll be watching him only in bursts for most of the season. Farhan Zaidi will want the flexibility to explore other options, but it’ll be up to Duggar to force the team’s hand to play him more — he can’t rest on the laurels provided by his swing and general game reminding Bruce Bochy and the older scouts of Steve Finley.

I’d say the publicly available advanced data makes that a lot easier than sabr skeptics might presume. I am, of course, assuming that sabr skeptics presume that everything about the Giants that’s B.Z. (Before Zaidi) is bad and must be purged with extreme prejudice and with all possible haste. On that note, Steven Duggar compares favorably to the spate of outfielders added to the organization this winter.

2019 OF adds

Player 2019 Age MiLB At Bats MiLB steals MiLB slash
Player 2019 Age MiLB At Bats MiLB steals MiLB slash
Drew Ferguson 26 1278 65 .297 / .393 / .455
John Andreoli 29 2763 247 .270 / .373 / .388
Mike Gerber 26 1937 45 .279 / .346 / .468
Anthony Garcia 27 2992 39 .259 / .347 / .450
Jeffrey Baez 25 2204 203 .261 / .331 / .408
Steven Duggar 25 1216 42 .287 / .377 / .425

As Kenny mentioned earlier today, the Giants’ projected Opening Day outfield doesn’t figure to provide a whole lot of value, but almost half of it would be coming from Duggar’s speed and defense. Again, we don’t know what condition he’ll be in to start Spring Training or if he’ll even be 100% come Opening Day, but the Giants do seem to have — if not totally raw, then not totally spoiled — players already on the board who could give the team some life this season.

The Giants have spent the offseason convincing fans that the house still has good bones and doesn’t need to be bulldozed. Farhan Zaidi has put on his gloves and tool belt and gone to pulling the weeds and putting on a fresh coat of paint, and as much as we’d all like to see the team add another story or wing to the property (talking about Bryce Harper or Manny Machado here), the Giants seem content with what they have.

In this strained metaphor, the Giants might not have the nicest house on the block anymore, and they’re gonna let the Raiders barbecue in the backyard and park their black holes right there on the front yard, but with Steven Duggar, they have the fastest... ummm... something in a house that can go very fast and be compared to the same thing in other households — oh! The fastest home wifi network in the neighborhood?