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The Red Sox just picked up one of the fastest players in baseball

Boston
Boston
 2021-11-05

Maybe the fastest.

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New York Yankees outfielder Tim Locastro looks on from the dugout before a game against the New York Mets this past summer. Adam Hunger / AP

One of MLB’s fastest players — if not the fastest — is coming to Boston.

The Red Sox announced Friday afternoon that they had claimed speedster outfielder Tim Locastro off waivers from the New York Yankees.

Locastro, a 29-year-old who has played with Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Yankees, is perhaps best known breaking Tim Raines’s record for the most consecutive stolen bases to begin a career — at 28.

He extended the streak to 29 before he was caught for the first time this past April.

According to Statcast, Locastro led the MLB in 2019 and 2020 with a sprint speed of 30.8 feet per second and 30.7 feet per second in 2020. And he didn’t exactly slow down this past season; again with a speed of 30.7 feet per second, he tied for the lead in 2021.

Locastro tore his ACL in July during a game against the Red Sox while catching an Alex Verdugo foul ball, though ESPN reported last month that he should be ready for opening day.

If the previous seasons are any indication, Red Sox fans should be in for a number of beat-out ground balls and extended base hits in 2022.

Less known for his hitting, Locastro has a career batting average of .231 (100-for-432) with five home runs, and a .662 OPS. All of his 97 starts have come in the outfield, including 41 in center, 39 in left, and 17 in right.

The Auburn, New York native was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 13th round of the 2013 June Draft out of Ithaca College, becoming the first DIII baseball player taken that year.

He has since played in a total of 209 games over the five seasons in the MLB.

Locastro’s addition to the Red Sox brings the team’s 40-man roster to 35 players, with a number having recently become free agents and several options pending.

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