Although there are all different kinds of fast, in terms of speed around the bases, most players fall somewhere between the 1982 version of Rickey Henderson and the 2016 version of Bartolo Colon.
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) December 25, 2015
— TN Baseball Network™ (@TN_Ballplayers) December 18, 2016
You know, it’s a spectrum.
But one such (current) Major Leaguer who falls closer to Henderson than Colon, is 25-year-old Brewers shortstop Jonathan Villar. In 2016, his first full MLB season, Villar stole 62 bases, which was four more than second place Billy Hamilton, and fifteen more than the anyone else in baseball. In fact, even though he doesn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify, he has the fourth most stolen bases in baseball over the past two seasons.
This winter, Villar was keeping fresh with some reps in the Dominican Winter League, and he recently pulled off something that is always special to watch: the straight steal of home.
Is there anything better?
— LIDOM (@LIDOMRD) December 28, 2016
That is a legitimate, good-ole-fashioned, straight steal of home. And look at that leadoff! He gets his usual walking lead, and then takes off while the pitcher is still getting set. I mean, check out how far down the line he was, before anyone moves an inch:
And even with a pretty solid throw to the plate, he gets in under the tag. I’m not sure there’s a more exciting, more difficult play in all of baseball, and Villar almost makes it look easy. Almost.