There is no better defensive third baseman in baseball than Nolan Arenado. Some may come close, but no one provides the same range, ability and throwing power as Arenado.
This isn’t really a surprise. The Colorado Rockies third baseman has won a Gold Glove award every year he’s been in the league. After making this unbelievable play during Wednesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants, he’s probably going to win another one this season.
Arenado turned in what may wind up being the defensive play of the year in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Giants pitcher Ty Blach tried to sneak a grounder through the gap between third and short.
Arenado, as he’s done hundreds of times before, ranges to his left and dives to stop the ball in no man’s land. It deflects off his glove, but he’s able to grab it with his bare hand as it lays on the dirt.
At this point, we could see skeptics shrug off the play. Arenado does this type of thing all the time. Why was this any more special than all those other instances where he dove to his left and made a diving play?
Well, it’s what happened next that truly elevated this to one of the best defensive plays of the year. With the ball in his glove, and his belly flat on the ground, Arenado had no way to immediately make the throw to first base for the out.
Using the left side of his body, Arenado pushed himself off the ground and began to spin himself around. With his back facing home plate, he starts to cock his right arm. He’s actually going to try and throw out Blach.
As his body spins to face first, and with only his right leg touching the ground, Arenado fires the ball to first base as he falls backward. The throw narrowly beats out Blach to the bag for the out. You could make the case Arenado threw the ball while on his back. You could also say he did so on one leg. Eithe way, that’s pretty dang impressive.
Look, one play doesn’t mean a Gold Glove is coming, but let’s be real. Arenado has a history of excellence in the field. He just made one of the best plays of career. When he wins his fifth straight Gold Glove this winter, this will be the highlight that gets replayed over and over again.
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