David Bote might have turned from sailing vessel to a tank by gaining so much weight, but that hasn’t affected his speed. The utility slugger is actually still faster than most MLB players and among the fastest runners on the Cubs.
Bote ranked fourth fastest on the Cubs last season. Only Javy Báez, Kris Bryant, and Albert Almora Jr. (surprise!) were faster, the latter two by mere fractions, and the home run hero also displayed more speed than 68 percent of all runners in 2018. The dude is an athlete, folks.
And he hasn’t lost a step despite the added bulk, perhaps because roughly 62% of his weight is in his calves. Bote is still within a hair of his 27.8 ft/sec sprint speed from last season, is the 11th fastest second baseman in MLB, and is faster than 64 percent of runners.
Let’s compare Bote to Mike Moustakas, who is currently slotted in as the Brewers’ second baseman and is the exact same size as Bote (6 feet, 215 pounds). Bote absolutely torches Moustakas in a foot race by almost half a second, and the separation begins as early as 50 feet out of the batter’s box.
All of this is to say that Bote is an athlete who hits tanks while moving more like a tank destroyer. Let’s see: exit velocity; positional diversity; sprint speed; glove aesthetics; and clutchness. Bote’s got it all. I’m not trying to sail away on a sea of hyperbole, but Bote might be the Cubs’ best athlete not also blessed with magical powers.