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Fastest players in MLB 2023: Fastest players in baseball, MLB steals leaders

Who is the fastest MLB player right now? As Major League Baseball introduces new rules to increase the number of runs scored and stolen bases, the fastest players in MLB have an opportunity to shine in 2023.

By expanding the bases and reducing the number of pickoff attempts, we should see a dramatic increase in stolen bases this season. While there was an average of 0.51 steals per game last season, that average hasn’t eclipsed 0.6 since 2012. Furthermore, the last 50-steal season happened in 2017.

That figures to change this season. Larger bases and more opportunities to steal will unleash the fastest players in baseball. For the likes of Trea Turner, Bobby Witt Jr. and so many others, this season will be their time to shine in what could become the start of a new era for baseball.

Below, we’ll look at the current data from Baseball Savant’s Sprint Speed for the fastest MLB players in 2023, with a more in-depth look at the fastest players in baseball.

Who is the fastest MLB player right now?

Cincinnati Reds infielder Elly De La Cruz is the fastest MLB player right now. In his rookie season, Cruz leads MLB in Sprint Speed (30.5 ft/sec) and has the fastest home-to-third time in MLB. As a result, Elly De La Cruz is the fastest player in baseball in 2023.

Fastest MLB players in 2023

Here are the fastest players in baseball based on Baseball Savant’s Sprint Speed data.

  1. Elly De La Cruz, Cincinnati Reds – 30.5 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  2. Dairon Blanco, Kansas City Royals – 30.4 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  3. Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals – 30.4 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  4. Bubba Thompson, Texas Rangers – 30.3 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  5. Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies – 30.3 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  6. Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks – 30.1 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  7. Jorge Mateo, Baltimore Orioles – 30.1 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  8. José Azocar, San Diego Padres – 30.1 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  9. Jake McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks –30.0 ft/sec Sprint Speed
  10. Blake Perkins, Milwaukee Brewers – 30.0 ft/sec Sprint Speed

MLB stolen base leaders – Who is leading MLB in stolen bases?

While stolen bases are not the best measure for the fastest player in MLB, it does offer some perspective for who the fastest players on the basepaths are. Here are the MLB leaders in steals.

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr, Atlanta Braves – 73 steals
  2. Esteury Ruiz, Oakland Athletics – 67 steals
  3. Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks – 54 steals
  4. Bobby Witt Jr, Kansas City Royals – 49 steals
  5. CJ Abrams, Washington Nationals – 47 steals
  6. Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs – 43 steals
  7. Ha-seong Kim, San Diego Padres – 38 steals
  8. Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners – 37 steals
  9. Elly De La Cruz, Cincinnati Reds – 35 steals
  10. Willi Castro, Minnesota Twins – 33 steals

Who led MLB in stolen bases?

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. led MLB with 73 steals in 2023. It was the first time since 2009 that a player stole 70-plus bases in a season.

When is the last time someone stole 60 bases in a season?

Atlanta Braves outfield Ronald Acuna stole 70 bases in the 2023 MLB season. Acuna is the first MLB player to steal 70 bases in a season since Jacoby Ellsbury in 2009.

MLB steals leaders last 20 years

  1. Jose Reyes (2007) – 78 steals
  2. Ronald Acuña Jr (2023) – 73 steals
  3. Scott Podsednik (2004) – 70 steals
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury (2009) – 70 steals
  5. Willy Taveras (2008) – 68 steals
  6. Juan Pierre (2010) – 68 steals
  7. Esteury Ruiz (2023) – 67 steals
  8. Juan Pierre (2003) – 65 steals
  9. Jose Reyes (2006) – 64 steals
  10. Juan Pierre (2006) – 64 steals
  1. Dee Gordon (2014) – 64 steals
  2. Chone Figgins (2005) – 62 steals
  3. Jonathan Villar (2016) – 62 steals
  4. Michael Bourn (2009) 61 steals
  5. Michael Bourn (2011) – 61 steals
  6. Jose Reyes (2005) – 60 steals
  7. Carl Crawford (2009) – 60 steals
  8. Dee Gordon (2017) – 60 steals
  9. Carl Crawford (2004) – 59 steals
  10. Scott Podsednik (2005) – 59 steals

Elly De La Cruz proving he’s one of fastest MLB players

Syndication: The Enquirer
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz is one of the fastest players in MLB. On June 7, after hitting one of the longest home runs 2023, he recorded a triple against the Los Angeles Dodgers. De La Cruz ran the fastest home-to-third time in MLB this season, per Sarah Langs, clocking in at 10.83 seconds and it’s the second-fastest time since 2020.

Fastest players in baseball: Speeding into a new era

Here are the fastest MLB players right now, based on data from the 2022 MLB season and overall analysis tying in scouting reports and production.

1. Bobby Witt Jr., shortstop, Kansas City Royals

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
  • Bobby Witt Jr. stats (2022): 30 stolen bases, 81% steal rate, 31 doubles, six triples

Bobby Witt Jr. is the fastest player in baseball and speed has been a calling card of his game for years. Entering the 2019 MLB Draft, Witt Jr. recorded an elite 6.40 60-yard dash time and a 1.54-second 10-yard split. FanGraphs and MLB.com both graded his speed at a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale, but his numbers made him the fastest MLB player in 2022.

He led all qualified players in Sprint Speed and his home-to-first base time (4.13) ranked ahead of Trea Turner (4.14) and ranked second among all players with 100-plus competitive runs (Shohei Ohtani, 4.09 seconds). Turning 23 years old in June, Witt should remain one of the fastest players in MLB for a few years.

2. Corbin Carroll, outfielder, Arizona Diamondbacks

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants
Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
  • Corbin Carroll stats 2022 (MLB & MiLB): 33 stolen bases, 31 doubles, 10 triples

Related: MLB MVP race 2023

Corbin Carroll might be the fastest baseball player in 2023. He didn’t qualify for the title last season because he only played in 32 games. However, his limited time in the majors still delivered numbers that put him in the conversation for the fastest player in baseball right now.

Carroll, who earned 80-grades for his speed, posted the second fastest home-to-first time (4.05) seconds among all MLB players in 2022. In addition, the 22-year-old outfielder recorded the highest Sprint Speed (30.7 mph) in the majors. Paired with his 6.33 60-yard dash and 1.49 10-yard split times, it’s easy to see why he is one of the fastest players in MLB.

Fastest players in MLB 2022 (StatCast)

Baseball Savant’s StatCast uses Sprint Speed as its measure for foot speed, defining it as the “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window” on a single play. It also uses a stat called ‘Bolt’, which measures any run above 30 ft. per second. Here’s a breakdown of the fastest players in MLB last season by Sprint Speed.

  1. Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks – 30.7 mph Sprint Speed
  2. Bobby Witt Jr, Kansas City Royals – 30.4 mph Sprint Speed
  3. Jose Siri, Tampa Bay Rays – 30.4 mph Sprint Speed
  4. Bubba Thompson, Texas Rangers – 30.4 mph Sprint Speed
  5. Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies – 30.3 mph Sprint Speed
  6. Garrett Mitchell, Milwaukee Brewers – 30.2 mph Sprint Speed
  7. Jake McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks – 30.1 mph Sprint Speed
  8. Jorge Mateo, Baltimore Orioles – 30.1 mph Sprint Speed
  9. Eli White, Atlanta Braves – 30.1 mph Sprint Speed
  10. Wynton Bernard, Colorado Rockies – 30.1 mph Sprint Speed

Related: Longest home run in MLB history

3. Trea Turner, shortstop, Philadelphia Phillies

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Trea Turner career stats: 230 stolen bases, 36 triples, 84.559% stolen base rate

The fastest player in baseball for the majority of his career, Trea Turner is still among the quickest on the bases entering his age-30 season. While Turner hasn’t reached the 30-steal marker since 2021 and his last 40-steal campaign occurred in 2018. Even with those milestones no longer occurring, Turner holds the highest Sprint Speed (30.5 mph) and the fifth-fastest HP to first base time (4.14) since 2021.

4. Garrett Mitchell, outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Garrett Mitchell will be in the running for the fastest player in baseball this season. He clocked a 6.35-second 60-yard dash time and a 1.54-second 10-yard split in 2027, earning 70-grades for his speed. Making his MLB debut in 2022, Mitchell stole eight bases in 28 games and registered a 30.2 mph Sprint Speed with an MLB-best 4.01-second home-to -first time. If Mitchell gets everyday playing time this year, he’s a strong bet for 30 steals.

Related: World Series odds 2023

5. Bubba Thompson, outfielder, Texas Rangers

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
  • Bubba THompson stats (2022): 18 steals, five doubles, 30.4 mph Sprint Speed

Selected with the 26th pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Bubba Thompson starred at quarterback for McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Alabama and held scholarship offers from SEC schools. Instead of pursuing a career on the gridiron, Thompson remained on the diamond and became one of the fastest MLB players today.

The 24-year-old received 60-grades for his speed as a prospect, stealing 32 bases in A-ball during the 2018 season. Starring for the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate this past season, Thompson swiped 49 bags with 12 doubles and four triples. He’s a lock for 25-plus steals this upcoming season and that 4.16 home-to-first time will help him snag a few infield hits, too.

6. Jose Siri, outfielder, Tampa Bay Rays

MLB: Wild Card-Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Guardians
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
  • Jose Siri stats (2022): 14 steals, 13 doubles in 301 at-bats

Acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 1, 2022, Jose Siri posted a stellar 87.5% conversion rate on stolen base attempts last season. The 27-year-old isn’t a dependable MLB hitter, but his speed makes him an absolute force on the base paths. It also makes him outstanding defensively, allowing Siri to finish in the 99th percentile for Outs ABove Average and the 95th percentile for Outfielder Jump last year.

Related: Highest-paid MLB players 2023

7. Eli White, outfielder, Atlanta Braves

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers fielded two of the fastest baseball players in 2022, but that likely won’t happen again this year. Texas traded Eli White to the Atlanta Braves, providing the speedster to the World Series contender in exchange for cash. Carrying a 30.1 mph Sprint Speed with a 4.11 home-to-first time and 20 runs exceeding 30 ft. per second, White provides Atlanta with excellent speed off the bench and that could prove especially useful in October.

Related: MLB revenue 2022

8. Jorge Mateo, shortstop, Baltimore Orioles

MLB: Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Jorge Mateo stats (2022): 35 stolen bases, 25 doubles, seven triples

Jorge Mateo finished second in stolen bases (35) last season, turning consistent playing time into a career-best season. What’s remarkable about Mateo’s 35-swiped bags is that he achieved it with a .221 batting average and .267 OBP. Credit that to 80-grade speed and a 30.1 mph Sprint Speed.

Just Missed: Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins; Jake McCarthy, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks; Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels, Tyler O’Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals; CJ Abrams, SS, Washington Nationals

How fast is Mike Trout?

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout ran a 6.5-second time in the 60-yard dash, a testament to him being one of the fastest players in MLB during his peek years. While Trout is no longer quite as fast as he used to be, the three-time AL MVP posted a 29.4 Sprint Speed in 2022, which ranked 32nd in the majors. For comparison, Trout’s 29.7 Sprint Speed in 2015 ranked 11th in the majors.

Who is the fastest baseball player in MLB history?

Syndication: Cincinnati
The Enquirer/Michael E. Keating, Cincinnati Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Rickey Henderson is the fastest baseball player ever. During his Hall of Fame career, Henderson set MLB records for stolen bases in a career (1,406) and the single-season stolen base record (130) in the Modern Era. In terms of his raw speed, Henderson reportedly clocked a 9.6-second time in the 100-yard dash. If you’re looking for unbreakable records, Henderson’s stolen base numbers will never be broken.

Related: Best batting average in MLB history

What is Shohei Ohtani sprint speed?

Shohei Ohtani’s sprint speed is 27.5 ft/sec, which ranks 78th among MLB with at least 50 opporunities.

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