Maximum Speed represents the top speed of a defender at any point while he is tracking a ball in play or the top speed of a baserunner as he rounds the bases.
Obviously, speed is a pivotal part of a defender's arsenal -- especially for outfielders. But there is so much more to playing outfield defense than speed. An outfielder's First Step is pivotal, as is his Route Efficiency.
But once a ball is in the air, no asset is more important to an outfielder in pursuit of the catch than foot speed.
As for baserunners, Acceleration, Lead Distance and decision-making skills are very important. But once a runner is in motion, his speed is generally the most pivotal factor.
Watch: Statcast tracks Jose Altuve's Maximum Speed on the bases.
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