A speedster can have a huge impact on a baseball game. However, mobile players are more than just guys that can swipe bases without a problem. They also have great range in the field, which gives them the ability to make plays that others cannot.
These players can serve as table setters for their team's lineup, and they can get a team out of a tough inning when they are in the field by tracking down a ball.
Mobile players are rare, and there is a reason why they are highly valued. They can contribute so much over the course of a season.
Michael Bourn has demonstrated blazing speed throughout his career. He has led the National League in stolen bases three times in his career, and he already has 25 stolen bases at the 2012 All-Star break.
Bourn's mobility also helps him on the defensive side of the game. He is able to get outstanding jumps on balls hit to center field. He has a range factor of 2.48 per game, according to Baseball-Reference, which is much higher than the league average of 2.08. Bourn's mobility enables him to cover an impressive amount of ground.
Ichiro Suzuki and Fred Lynn are the only two players that have won a Rookie of the Year award and an MVP award in the same season. Mike Trout is looking like he has a chance to become the third player to have those honors.
Trout has shown off his mobility both on the basepaths and in the outfield this season. He has stolen 26 bases in 29 attempts this year, and he absolutely flies when he is running the bases. Trout is also responsible for what may be the play of the year defensively.
While playing in center field, Trout chased down a deep fly ball and made a tremendous jumping catch at the wall to rob J.J. Hardy of a home run.
It seems as if Emilio Bonifacio has been able to do everything that the Miami Marlins have asked of him over the past few seasons. He has played all three outfield positions as well as shortstop, second base and third base during his time with the Marlins. Bonifacio has shown good range in the outfield, as he has a 2.21 range factor per nine, according to Baseball-Reference, versus a league average 2.15 range factor per nine for his career.
This season, Bonifacio has been a terror on the basepaths for opposing teams. He has attempted to steal 21 bases this year, and he has only been caught once.
Injuries have not really had much of an impact on Jose Reyes' mobility over the years. He glides around the basepaths and he has an incredibly fluid running style.
Reyes swiped 20 bases this season before the All-Star break, and he has the potential to steal at least 30 more in the second half of the season. Throughout his career, Reyes has demonstrated the ability to get deep in the hole and make plays that many other shortstops could only dream of making.
Ichiro Suzuki may not have the speed that he once had, but he is still incredibly mobile. He has already racked up 19 infield hits by the All-Star break this season, according to Baseball-Reference.
Suzuki has never stolen less than 26 bases in a season during his career. One thing that makes Suzuki's talents on the basepaths so impressive is that he steals bases safely over 81 percent of the time.
When he is patrolling right field, Suzuki is able to use his mobility to help him cover a lot of ground. He has a range factor of 2.17 per nine innings this year, which is above the league average of a 1.98 range factor per nine innings.
There is no denying that Dee Gordon is one of the fastest players in the major leagues right now. Although he has struggled this season, Gordon's speed is one of the reasons why he plays day in and day out for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He has already stolen 30 bases on the year, and Gordon will continue to improve at stealing bases the longer he is in the majors.
Gordon is also no slouch defensively. He has a range factor of 4.34 per nine innings this season, according to Baseball-Reference, which is above the league average range factor per nine for shortstops.
Jason Kipnis has quickly developed into one of the best second basemen in the American League in his second season. He hits for both power and average, but he is also very mobile.
Kipnis leads all second basemen with 20 stolen bases, and he has only been caught once on the year. He looks very light on his feet, and Kipnis shows off his speed when he rounds the bases.
When he is in the field, Kipnis also has great range. He has a range factor of 4.73 per nine innings, according to Baseball-Reference, which is higher than the league average for second basemen.