Emilio Bonifacio: The Fastest Player You've Never Heard Of

KyleCorrespondent IApril 20, 2009

MIAMI - APRIL 06:  Emilio Bonifacio #1 of the Florida Marlins steals third base in the thrid inning against the Washington Nationals on opening day at Dolphin Stadium on April 6, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Speed kills. 

And for Emilio Bonifacio, the Marlins' young speedster at the hot corner, it's his main tool. 

Born in the Dominican Republic, Bonifacio is 23-years-young, and has already been traded twice. 

Brought up in the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization, he made his MLB debut on September 1st, 2007.  Bonifacio was traded to the Washington Nationals on July 22th, 2008 for pitcher Jon Rauch, and immediately optioned to the Nationals' Triple A affiliate in Columbus.

With the Nationals, Bonifacio made his team debut on August 1st, 2008.  Bonifacio went 1-for-4, with a run, RBI, and a stolen base.

On November 11th, 2008, Bonifacio was traded yet again. 

This time, he went to the Marlins' organization for left fielder Josh Willingham, and pitcher Scott Olsen.  One of the Nationals' top prospects, Bonifacio would start opening day for the Marlins.  On Opening Day 2009, Bonifacio did something that hasn't been done since 1968, by Hall of Fame member Carl Yastrzemski: He hit an Opening Day inside-the-park home run. 

Bonifacio, who was playing in his first Opening Day game, rounded the bases in under 14.5 seconds. That's an average of 24.82 feet per second!  That's not even counting the extra time it takes to actually round the bases.  If Bonifacio ran 360 feet in a straight line, there's no telling how fast his time would be.

Emilio Bonifacio has five RBI, and has an on-base percentage of .345.  He also has a triple, and four stolen bases on the year, which is tied for the best in the NL with Orlando Hudson and Matt Kemp.

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Even though Bonifacio has a problem limiting his strikeouts (13 in 11) games, he has, in no way, limited the Marlins' winning ways.  The Marlins are 10-1 on the year, and pay a huge thanks to this young kid.  When on base, Bonifacio keeps pitchers on their toes, and can take off at any moment.