The Month in Review: August

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista acknowledges cheers from the crowd after hitting his second home run of the night against the New York Yankees in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Sorry I missed the July Month in Review post at the start of last month. It coincided with my trip to Atlanta for SABR 40, and, with the internet situation over there, it just didn’t happen. By the time I got back home, it felt too late in the month to do it. So here we are now. Let’s get started.

As I’ve done three times already, I wanted to take a little time here to see how things are working out so far in the world of home run trots. As I said at the beginning:

I started this series because I thought it’d be a fun way to watch the season. It hasn’t disappointed yet. Watching every home run, and seeing how every player runs out their home runs, has given me a new way to enjoy the game. Is he running hard out of the box? Does he throttle it down halfway between first and second when he sees the ball clear the fence? Or does he put his head down and run hard for all 360 feet?

That is still definitely the case, even if I have watched nearly 3,800 home runs this year.

Let’s get to the data. All stats below are as of home runs hit through August 31. If a home run trot was deemed unmeasurable (like when Mike Stanton‘s home run was initially ruled a triple before being overturned on replay), it was not included in any of the calculations. I think there’s some interesting stuff in there.

This spreadsheet provides full player and team stats.

(Click “Read More” to continue reading.)

General Stats

There have been over 3,700 measurable home runs since the start of the season by 484 different players. The nine fastest home runs are still inside-the-park home runs, while Oakland’s Adam Rosales holds the fivefastest non-inside-the-park trot times. Cincinnati’ Chris Heisey holds three of the remaining spots in the top ten, with Matt Tolbert and Marlon Byrd in the last two spots.

The top ten slowest trots are unchanged since June 30, when Luke Scott‘s hamstrung home run gave him the top spot by five seconds over David Ortiz‘s 30-second trot. Ortiz still owns seven of the ten slowest trots, with Alex Gonzalez and Orlando Cabrera being the only other names to show up.

In the chart below, you can find data about the home runs hit since the start of the season, broken into various categories. As has been the case all year, solo shots tend to have quicker trot times, with the more runners on base leading to more trot time. Grand slams have sped up some, but they are still the slowest. I’ve also given data for walkoff and “late inning, go-ahead” home runs (defined as home runs in the seventh inning or later that give the batting team the lead). These categories, in theory, would be prime “showboating” opportunities.

# HRs Average
Trot Time
Fastest
Trot Time
Slowest
Trot Time
Standard
Deviation
All Home Runs 3737 21.98 14.48 35.76 2.09
Solo Home Runs 2157 21.71 14.48 35.76 2.04
2-Run Home Runs 1075 22.29 14.61 29.28 2.10
3-Run Home Runs 406 22.42 16.48 29.31 2.07
Grand Slams 99 22.66 17.76 27.73
Walkoff Home Runs 59 22.78 18.57 28.9
Late-Inning, Go-Ahead 234 22.30 16.06 35.76

The Fastest Trotters

To determine the fastest and slowest trotters in baseball, I took all players with three or more measurable home runs and averaged their trot times. That list gets bigger and bigger as we play more games, but I don’t want to raise the threshold. I want this to be a list of the fastest trotters, not just the fastest trotters who also have 10 home runs.

Adam Rosales continues to amaze at the top of the list, though the three-home-run threshold has allowed Tony Gwynn, Jr., to usurp the top spot. Gwynn’s three home run trots average out to 16.41 seconds, but that is heavily influenced by his 15.02 second inside-the-park trot in July. Rosales’s average trot is 16.69 seconds. Chris Heisey has seven home runs on the year, the same number as Rosales, and sits a bit back in third place with a 17.72 second average. We’re now four months into the season and Scott Rolen is still in fourth place with a basically identical time as the last time we did this, despite 19 home runs on the season (though, sadly, it should be more). You have to figure that, with every additional home run, a runner has that much more opportunity to slow down. Rolen is among the home run leaders in the game and still has the third quickest trot in baseball. That’s no fluke. Eric Patterson‘s four home runs remain enough to keep him in the top five. Texas’ Michael Young sits just barely outside the top five, with a 18.38 second average trot through twenty home runs. Marlon Byrd and his eleven home runs sits at number eight with an 18.5 sec. average trot, while San Francisco’s Andres Torres is a notch below him with an 18.64 second average trot across 14 homers.

Player # Hrs Average
Trot Time
Fastest
Trot Time
Slowest
Trot Time
1. Tony Gwynn, Jr., SD 3 16.41 sec. 15.02 18.86
2. Adam Rosales, OAK 7 16.69 sec. 15.47 19.4
3. Chris Heisey, CIN 7 17.72 sec. 15.14 22.23
4. Scott Rolen, CIN 19 18.25 sec. 17.59 18.86
5. Eric Patterson, OAK 4 18.29 sec. 17.57 18.78

The Slowest Trotters

Like I said above, this list finds the average trot time of players with three or more measurable home runs. It’s been two months since I did a list like this, and the top five has only barely moved. I guess these guys really are slow. David Ortiz at first remains as no surprise. Bengie Molina dropped back below Juan Rivera to move into the three hole. Carlos Lee and Vladimir Guerrero maintain their spots at fourth and fifth.

Player # Hrs Average
Trot Time
Fastest
Trot Time
Slowest
Trot Time
1. David Ortiz, BOS 26 27.06 sec. 24.0* 30.59
2. Juan Rivera, LAA 12 26.20 sec. 23.84 27.34
3. Bengie Molina, SF/TEX 5 26.11 sec. 25.18 27.95
4. Carlos Lee, HOU 19 26.07 sec. 24.09 28.31
5. Vladimir Guerrero, TEX 25 25.97 sec. 22.65 27.36

The Quickest Teams

For the quickest teams, I averaged the trot times of all home runs hit by a team’s players. Trots by players with only one or two total home runs are counted in this average. If a player was traded from one team to another, like Bengie Molina or Russell Branyan, the home runs he hit as a member of one team are only counted in that team’s average. As I’ve said all year, it should come as little surprise to see the Reds at the top of the list. With Rolen, Heisey, Votto, and everybody else, that team is admirably quick. The top five teams haven’t changed since June, though the numbers 2 & 3 teams and numbers 4 & 5 teams switched places.

Team # Hrs Average
Trot Time
Fastest
w/3+ HRs
Slowest
w/3+ HRs
1. Cincinnati Reds 152 20.53 sec. Single Trot: 15.14 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Chris Heisey (17.72)

Single Trot: 28.9 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Ramon Hernandez (25.41)
2. New York Mets 96 21.22 sec. Single Trot: 14.48 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Angel Pagan (19.46)

Single Trot: 26.4 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Rod Barajas (23.76)
3. Oakland Athletics 81 21.25 sec. Single Trot: 15.47 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Adam Rosales (16.69)

Single Trot: 26.28 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Jack Cust (25.24)
4. Tampa Bay Rays 122 21.37 sec. Single Trot: 18.15 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Ben Zobrist (19.34)

Single Trot: 26.28 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Willy Aybar (23.6)
5. Atlanta Braves 121 21.53 sec. Single Trot: 17.18 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Jason Heyward (19.54)

Single Trot: 26.92 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Nate McLouth (23.11)

* Fastest/Slowest individual trot times for players with 3 or more home runs

The Slowest Teams

And here we have the slowest teams. The Angels have been the slowest team all year, while it took until now for the Red Sox to leap from fifth to second. The Astros fell out of the top five while the Royals and Tigers fell to the middle. The Dbacks joined the top five in these last two months. The Astros, Nationals, and Dodgers are all sitting a bit on the outside.

Team # Hrs Average
Trot Time
Fastest Slowest
1. Los Angeles
Angels
126 23.16 sec. Single Trot: 18.11 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Jeff Mathis (19.65)

Single Trot: 27.34 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Juan Rivera (26.20)
2. Boston Red Sox 170 22.71 sec. Single Trot: 17.88 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Dustin Pedroia (20.10)

Single Trot: 30.59 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
David Ortiz (27.06)
3. Kansas City
Royals
90 22.63 sec. Single Trot: 15.71 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
David DeJesus (19.48)

Single Trot: 28.36 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Billy Butler (25.59)
4. Detroit Tigers 117 22.58 sec. Single Trot: 19.2 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Don Kelly (20.32)

Single Trot: 28.7 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Miguel Cabrera (25.53)
5. Arizona Diamondbacks 152 22.56 sec. Single Trot: 15.84 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Gerardo Parra (18.4)

Single Trot: 26.65 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Adam LaRoche (24.23)

* Fastest/Slowest individual trot times for players with 3 or more home runs

Larry Granillo

About Larry Granillo

Larry Granillo has been writing Wezen Ball since 2008 and has dealt with such touchy topics as Charlie Brown's baseball stats and Ferris Bueller's day off. In 2010, he got the bright idea to time every home run trot in baseball; he has been missing ever since.

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