The Chicago Cubs have completed plenty of incredible plays this year. Let’s just get that out of the way up front.
They’ve also made a number of incredible plays that didn’t actually result in an out, and it’s rare that a play is so good that I want to share it with you, even though no out was recorded. The king of those plays, of course, was Javy Baez’s insane play from his backside against the Marlins – among the non-out plays, that’s probably one of the best you’ll ever see.
Another, though, was an outfield throw by Jason Heyward against the Pirates, deep from the right field corner, on a sac fly where he had no business even making the play close. But he did with a tremendous throw.
In the same vein, we have a bit of a mirror image play, this time from left field, with Willson Contreras nearly cutting down the Brewers’ second run last night, again on a play he had absolutely no business making close. You can see the full play at that link, and here’s an isolation on just the throw:
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) July 23, 2016
That’s a ball hit so far from Contreras and rattling off the wall that the runner from first is already well past third base by the time Contreras even grabs the ball (as the ball is moving away from him, mind you). And then Contreras is able to grab it and throw a freaking bullet-like strike to the most perfect spot at home plate to turn it into a play. I wish we had some Statcast data on that throw, which was evocative of the likes of Yasiel Puig or Yoenis Cespedes or, heck, Contreras’s outfield-mate, Jason Heyward.
I guarantee the baserunner was like, “Holy smokes, what the? A tag? Is this catcher serious?”
Yes, he was, and so was the catcher playing left field. We’ve seen Contreras show off that cannon behind the plate before, and it appears to be a weapon in the outfield, too.
Which, by the way, makes this all the more impressive: until he started playing in the outfield a bit this year with the big league team, Contreras hadn’t played in the outfield in the minors since 2012.