Statcast tracks Springer's mad dash home
Astros outfielder George Springer put on a baserunning clinic in scoring his club's first run in the opening inning of Tuesday's 8-5 win over the Rockies.
Although scoring from second base on a single isn't exactly a rare feat, Springer managed to do so despite the fact that teammate Jose Altuve hit the ball directly at Rockies left fielder Brandon Barnes, who fielded it before Springer had even reached third base. Statcast™, however, shows that Springer not only got a perfect jump but also managed to kick things into another gear over the final 90 feet, enabling him to dive in just ahead of the throw.
For starters, Statcast™ lists Springer's first-step time at -1.43 seconds, meaning he was already moving before the ball was even hit. Though taking a secondary lead is common, this indicates that Springer read the hit perfectly and broke directly out of that secondary lead into a mad dash for home.
As for the sprint itself, Springer logged a remarkable top speed of 21.43 mph. To put that into perspective, it's faster than the top speed reached by both Reds speedster Billy Hamilton during his last triple, as well as that reached by speedy Twins prospect Byron Buxton on his triple Monday night.
Subtracting Springer's secondary lead of 17.71 feet, he covered 162.3 feet -- equivalent to approximately 54 yards, with a 90-degree turn around third -- in just 6.89 seconds. Making it even more remarkable is that his acceleration to top speed checked in at 6.18 seconds, meaning he didn't hit his max speed until moments before lunging into his perfect headfirst dive across home plate.
Put it all together and it results in a run on a play that not many other players in the Majors would have even tried to score on, let alone succeeded in doing so.