The Month in Review: April

Atlanta Braves vs St. Louis Cardinals

One month down, five more to go.

Now that April is officially in the books, I thought it’d be a good time to go back and look at the month in home run trots. 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?

As for the blog, I’ve tried not to let the daily Tater Trot Tracker posts keep me from doing my regular blog posts. I don’t think I’ve completely succeeded in that regard – some of the backend stuff has bled over into my nights and kept me from doing other things. But all of that is basically done with now, so I should be better able to keep to my daily routine. Anyhow, I hope the recent focus on the Tater Trot Tracker hasn’t bothered too many people.

Let’s get to the data. All stats below are as of home runs hit on April 30. If a home run trot was deemed unmeasurable (like Josh Willingham’s reviewed grand slam or Paul Konerko’s pause at first base while the umpires decide if the ball was over the fence or not), 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 were nearly 650 measurable home runs hit in the month of April by 257 different players. As we know, the two fastest home runs were inside-the-park home runs hit by David DeJesus and Stephen Drew. Oakland’s Adam Rosales had the two fastest non-inside-the-park trot times, even beating out Aubrey Huff’s inside-the-park time. The slowest trot of the month belonged to Toronto’s Alex Gonzalez, when he forgot to touch first base and was forced to go back. Jose Guillen, Bengie Molina, and Miguel Cabrera round out the top five slowest trots of April, consistently finding themselves in the “Slowest Trot of the Day”.

In the chart below, you can find data about the home runs hit in the month of April, broken into various categories. As you can see, solo shots tend to have quicker trot times, with the more runners on base leading to more trot time. Grand slams are, of course, the slowest, but is that a function of the runners on base or a function of the guys who tend to hit grand slams? 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 646 21.87 15.71 29.28 1.99
Solo Home Runs 363 21.60 15.71 27.48 1.91
2-Run Home Runs 187 21.97 15.84 29.28 2.03
3-Run Home Runs 78 22.54 18.31 28.36
Grand Slams 18 23.12 19.93 27.73
Walkoff Home Runs 8 22.01 19.92 25.66
Late-Inning, Go-Ahead 48 22.08 17.64 27.89

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. Sadly, this means that Adam Rosales – he of the 15-second trot – doesn’t qualify for the title, but I didn’t think it was right to use a one- or two-sample average. Once he hits that third homer, though, he’ll rocket to the top of the list (I assume). As it is now, the top three names shouldn’t be all that surprising. Scott Rolen and Marlon Byrd are consistently legging out 18-second trots, and Joey Votto is never far behind. My favorite name on the list, though, is Jason Heyward. Up until last week, when he put up the 21.43 second trot, Heyward was actually at the top of the list. Shows how one slow trot can skew the whole average. DeJesus makes the list with his kind-of/sort-of inside-the-parker from last weekend.

Player # Hrs Average
Trot Time
Fastest
Trot Time
Slowest
Trot Time
1. Scott Rolen, CIN 5 18.43 sec. 18.00 18.86
2. Marlon Byrd, CHC 4 18.65 sec. 18.17 19.20
3. Joey Votto, CIN 4 18.79 sec. 18.03 19.64
4. Jason Heyward, ATL 6 18.88 sec. 17.18 21.43
5. David Dejesus, KC 3 18.89 sec. 15.71 21.50

The Slowest Trotters

Like I said above, this list finds the average trot time of players with three or more measurable home runs. The list might surprise some, with no David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, or any of the Molinas making the top five, but that’s only because none of them hit enough home runs to qualify. Jose Guillen and Miguel Cabrera shouldn’t surprise anybody at the top of the list (though Cabrera’s average is a bit optimistic, considering how his April 7 home run had to be estimated). It is interesting to see a pair of Angels – Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu – take up the next two spots. Last week, I mentioned how the Diamondbacks seemed to be full of slow trotters – looks like the Angels are an even better example of that.

Player # Hrs Average
Trot Time
Fastest
Trot Time
Slowest
Trot Time
1. Jose Guillen, KC 7 26.23 sec. 24.46 28.36
2. Miguel Cabrera, DET 5 26.03 sec. 24.0* 27.89
3. Juan Rivera, LAA 3 25.42 sec. 23.84 26.67
4. Bobby Abreu, LAA 4 25.42 sec. 24.03 26.78
5. Aramis Ramirez, CHC 3 25.18 sec. 24.48 25.54

The Quickest Teams

For the quickest teams, I averaged the trot times of all home runs hit by a team’s players. Adam Rosales’ two trots, then, are counted in Oakland’s average. It should come as no surprise, then, to see the A’s at the top of the list. The Reds and Braves are also no brainers, considering how high Rolen, Votto, and Heyward appeared on the individual list. The Astros have only nine home runs in the month of April, which might explain their high placement (fewer home runs to drag down the average). The Red Sox appear to be a very even team, with their fastest player (Dustin Pedroia) averaging 19.99 seconds and their slowest (JD Drew) averaging 21.61 seconds.

Team # Hrs Average
Trot Time
Fastest
w/3+ HRs
Slowest
w/3+ HRs
1. Oakland Athletics 15 20.58 sec. Single Trot: 15.86 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Cliff Pennington (21.14)

Single Trot: 22.7 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Kurt Suzuki (21.95)
2. Cincinnati Reds 22 20.6 sec. Single Trot: 18.0 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Scott Rolen (18.43)

Single Trot: 25.17 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Jay Bruce (21.79)
3. Atlanta Braves 15 20.91 sec. Single Trot: 17.18 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Jason Heyward (18.88)

Single Trot: 23.4 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
none
4. Houston Astros 9 20.99 sec. Single Trot: 19.63 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
none

Single Trot: 23.43 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
none
5. Boston Red Sox 27 21.09 sec. Single Trot: 19.25 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Dustin Pedroia (19.99)

Single Trot: 25.79 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
JD Drew (21.61)

* 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, like we said above, are the slowest team in the majors. The D-backs are third. The Royals sneak in to number two, even with David DeJesus on the team. The Tigers and Miguel Cabrera show up as number four, and Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, and the rest of the Marlins round out the top five.

Team # Hrs Average
Trot Time
Fastest Slowest
1. Los Angeles
Angels
24 22.98 sec. Single Trot: 19.04 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Kendry Morales (20.99)

Single Trot: 26.78 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Juan Rivera &
Bobby Abreu (25.42)
2. Kansas City
Royals
22 22.89 sec. Single Trot: 15.71 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
David DeJesus (18.89)

Single Trot: 28.36 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Jose Guillen (26.23)
3. Arizona
Diamondbacks
34 22.78 sec. Single Trot: 15.84 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Kelly Johnson (21.4)

Single Trot: 26.65 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Mark Reynolds (24.55)
4. Detroit Tigers 18 22.71 sec. Single Trot: 19.2 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Brandon Inge (21.99)

Single Trot: 27.89 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Miguel Cabrera (26.03)
5. Florida Marlins 18 22.59 sec. Single Trot: 19.54 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Dan Uggla (21.43)

Single Trot: 26.52 sec.
Player* (Avg Trot):
Jorge Cantu (24.35)

* 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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