I can’t promise that this post will always have a theme, but having a theme seems to be the theme of the week. So today, let’s take a look at some incredible plays from some of the best defensive center fielders in baseball.
1. Kevin Kiermaier will never stop. Kevin Kiermaier is easily one of (if not the) best defensive center fielder in all of baseball. For example, after just 480.2 innings in center field, Kiermaier has the second most defensive runs saved (13) in all of baseball. The guy in first place, Kevin Pillar, has 17 runs saved in almost exactly twice as many innings (958.2). That’s not an easy feat to accomplish. The sort of defense he displays in the video below, is what allows a guy batting .218 to have a positive impact in the field and on the game as a whole.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 5, 2016
2. De Aza’s dash and dive. The theme of today’s article is center fielders, so let’s check in on another brilliant play in center, but this time from an unlikely source. Unlike Kiermaier, the Mets’ Alejandro De Aza is not particularly known for his center field defense. Through his 97.1 innings played out in center this year, he’s saved just 1 run defensively and has been a negative overall. However, on Thursday evening, De Aza ran 19.6 MPH, covering nearly 70 feet, before diving and making a spectacular catch.
3. Pillar Dodges. Now I may have been a little (purposefully) misleading, up to this point. Because, while the following highlight is performed by the best defensive center fielder in baseball, Kevin Pillar, it happens while he’s on offense. When a loose ball kicks away from Houston catcher Evan Gattis, Pillar takes off from second and heads for third. The only problem is that the ball didn’t kick too far away from Gattis, as he picked it up and fired it to third in time. But, despite arriving after the ball, Pillar managed to slide safely into third thanks to some fancy hand-magic (‘Fancy Hand Magic’ #NewBandName). It’s pretty impressive, especially considering he wound up scoring immediately after.
Oh, and also from Last Night:
- Denard Span hit a 10th inning home run to lift the Giants over the Phillies
- Ji-Man Choi hits a pair of home runs against the A’s
- Carlos Santana hits a home run onto the streets
What you may have missed:
- Extremely Extreme Defensive Shift for Dan Vogelbach
- Jose Abreu Gets a Second Chance, Completes Double Play at the Plate
- Joc Pedereson Tries to Rob a Home Run, Loses His Glove Over the Wall
- The Seattle Mariners Sent David Ortiz 34 Pounds of Salmon For Retirement
- J.D. Martinez Hits Pinch-Hit HR Off Chris Sale On First Pitch Since June and Other Highlights