The official Major League Baseball Twitter account recently asked an off-the-cuff question: Who is the fastest player in baseball? Of course Byron Buxton and Billy Hamilton were there — they’re arguably the two players most fans associate with speed in baseball right now.
If you’re a Cleveland Indians fan, however, you may have noticed a certain White Lightning snubbed from the potential choices.
Any other offseason this might not be very important, but we’re over halfway through January and MLB executives still refuse to do anything worthwhile. With that said, what the hell, MLB?
This is an open-and-shut case of a big middle finger to the Indians and Bradley Zimmer, in particular. Yeah, sure, Trea Turner and Dee Gordon are fast, but you know who’s faster by a metric that you literally invented, MLB? Bradley. Zimmer.
In 2017, Zimmer had the third-highest Sprint Speed — a Statcast metric that measures a runner at their fastest point around the bases — behind only Hamilton and Buxton. Zimmer’s 29.9 ft/s was 0.2 higher than Dee Gordon’s and 0.7 higher than Trea Turner’s. That doesn’t sound like much, but when there is so little separating the fastest runners from the second tier speedsters, it’s clear who should really be included on this Twitter poll that someone probably took five minutes to put together and didn’t think some loser with a blog would over-analyze to death.
So here’s a better visual representation of it courtesy of Baseball Savant. See those three pink dots ahead of every one else on the list? You can probably guess who they are, including our boy Zimmer.
The dude can flat out run, and it resulted in several dramatic plays in the outfield and a team-high 18 stolen bases — all while being needlessly platooned against left-handed pitchers.
You can’t justify someone who does something like this:
Just how do you ignore a guy who has the confidence to beat The Freeze is a foot race, the guy sprints like a gazelle with his 20-foot legs? Maybe if this was a poll about the best headfirst sliders you could omit Zimmer — but not a competition of speed.
Thankfully, Indians fans didn’t let this transgression go unpunished as multiple people called them out.
I took a more whimsical approach to my clap backkery.
Zim Zimmery— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) January 21, 2018
Zim Zim Zimmer!
Your list is bullshit
As bullshit can be https://t.co/p8EcSb69Qx
Bottom line: Do the right thing, MLB, put Bradley Zimmer on the list. This is very important.