The story of the 2012 Brewers in home run trots was, in no small way, the story of Carlos Gomez. Not only did the speedy center fielder teach the league what he could do with the bat by hitting a career high 19 home runs, he also showed them what kind of fun a player could have on the bases by racing home at nearly full-speed each and every one of those 19 times. Of the ten quickest trots across the major leagues in 2012, Carlos Gomez was responsible for five of them.
Things have changed a bit in 2013. Gomez has continued to improve as a power hitter -- his 14 home runs at the break certainly point to a second consecutive career-best total -- but his tater trots have suffered ever so slightly. He still races around the bases faster than 95% of the league, but he takes his time doing it (if that makes any sense). Gomez pauses for just a moment coming out of the box and seems to ease up rounding first or third on occasion. His quickest trot of 2013 is 17.57 seconds. That would have been good enough for only seventh in 2012.
Luckily for us fans, Jean Segura has picked up some of that slack. Though the Brewers shortstop has only three home runs since Memorial Day, he is still third on the club at the All-Star break -- and first in trot times. So far this season, Segura has averaged 18.52 seconds on his trots times, barely edging out Gomez's 18.58 second trot time. And only Segura appears on the league's ten quickest trots of the year, coming in eighth for his 16.83 second trot on June 21.
Segura's tater trot energy has been infectious, especially among the other Brewers' players who hit their first career home run in 2013. Scooter Gennett, Logan Schafer, and Sean Halton have all joined Segura in the annals of home run history this season, with Schafer and Halton earning their membership on back-to-back nights. The smiles as these players crossed home plate for the first time have been one of the few bright spots on the season so far.
On the slow side of things, we find only a few Brewers players. Aramis Ramirez owns two of the three slowest trots for a Brewer and the slowest average trot at 24.95 seconds. Slugging pitcher Yovani Gallardo also finds himself near the top of this list. His April 18 four-bagger took 26.27 seconds to complete, a hair behind Ramirez's 26.43 second trot on May 17. Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun are the only other Brewers with even a 25-second trot this year.
Things haven't gone well for the Brewers all season, but there is some hope among the club's younger players. This goes doubly so for the team's tater trots, those glorious few moments where a player gets to enjoy himself in front of tens of thousands of fans. With Segura, Gomez, and the crop of rookies that have tasted the big leagues this season, Brewers fans have a reason to watch the club beyond their play in the field -- just remember not to take your eyes off the screen after their home runs!