This strength will be the Chicago Cubs' secret weapon in 2024

The Cubs may not be as fast as Max Verstappen when he takes his place on the grid in Bahrain, but as a team they're as fast as anyone in MLB.

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With Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing looking to defend their title in the 2024 Formula One Season starting in Bahrain on Saturday, we thought it was as good of a time as any to look at the fastest players the Cubs will be deploying regularly.

According to Statcast sprint speeds from Baseball Savant the Cubs were pretty quick compared to the league average in 2023. 

One positive aspect is that the Cubs had four players last season who made it from Home Plate to First Base in under 4.3 seconds (Cody Bellinger, Nick Madrigal, Dansby Swanson, and Miles Mastrobuoni). 

The other positive is that the Cubs had four players last season that made it from Home Plate to First Base in under 4.3 seconds (Cody Bellinger, Nick Madrigal, Dansby Swanson, and Miles Mastrobuoni). 

Obviously some things have changed:

Subtractions:

Jeimer Candelario, who was barely better than league average, signed with the Reds in free agency.

Jared Young, who was shockingly tied for third as the fastest sprint speed for a Cubs player at an average of 28.5 ft/sec, is now a part of the Cardinals organization. 

Additions By Playing Time Increase

The two wildcards here are going to be Christopher Morel who tied for first place in fastest sprint speed on the team last season at 28.6 ft/sec and the player without any data: Pete Crow-Armstrong. 

Additions By Subtraction:

On the bright side, three of the four slowest players the Cubs deployed last season are no longer in the organization.

Tucker Barnhart, Eric Hosmer, and Trey Mancini were three of only six Cubs’ players last season to come in below league average. Two of the other three are catchers (Miguel Amaya and Yan Gomes) so their lack of speed can be forgiven and the third is Matt Mervis who has been rendered all but obsolete with the trade for Michael Busch and the re-signing of Cody Bellinger.

Conclusion

We already knew the Cubs were going to have a solid offense going into the 2024 season and a potentially historic defense, but there is a very real chance that every player up the bench (outside of catcher) could be a legitimate plus to have on the bases and that matters.

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