With big names like Aaron Judge and Nolan Arrenado gracing the inaugural list, today’s top five MLB plays was not short on star power. Despite the big names that made the list, a relatively unknown player would wind up stealing the top spot and making his claim to the best MLB Play of the day.
Without further adieu, here are today’s five best MLB plays.
5. Nolan Arenado Shows Off Slick Handles at Third
One of the leagues best, and most criminally underrated players, Nolan Arenado showed off the defensive side of his well-rounded skill set on Thursday night. Arenado was playing close to the third base line and backhanded a scalding one-hopper from Rhys Hoskins. With Hoskins hustling up the line, Arenado was able to whip a rocket across his body to nab the Philly left fielder by a hair.
Speaking of being criminally underrated, don’t let the fact that Arenado plays half his game at Coors fool you, the man is one of the best hitters on the planet – regardless of the ballpark. Also, as you can see from above, the man isn’t too shabby with the leather at third base.
4. Avisail Garcia Crushes Moonshot Off The Catwalk in Tampa Bay
One of the most clutch plays of the day, Avisail Garcia decided to take matters into his own hands late and launched a game-tying moonshot off the catwalk in Tampa Bay. Down 5-4 to the Orioles in the ninth inning, Garcia caught a two-seamer high in the zone that tailed back over the middle of the plate and absolutely barrelled the ball.
Although the Rays would go on to lose in extra innings, Garcia’s clutch nuke undoubtedly finds him a spot on today’s list.
3. Aaron Judge Makes Diving Catch Against Royals
Despite being a hulking 280 pounds, Aaron Judge is one of the most dangerous defensive outfielders in baseball. Possessing deceptive speed and a cannon for an arm, Judge is no stranger to highlight-reel defensive plays. Although the Yankees would wind up falling apart down the stretch, Judge covered some serious ground and laid out for an extremely impressive play in the outfield.
Expect Judge to find himself on this list much more often as this web gem was just a taste of the magic he can produce on both sides of the plate.
2. Matt Kemp Makes Tumbling Shoestring Catch
Despite being 34 years old and on the latter half of his career, Matt Kemp showed off the defense that once made him an impressive five-tool prospect for the Dodgers. Although injuries have repeatedly slowed down the Kemp’s promising career, he has carved out a comfortable role as a serviceable big league ballplayer and is still capable of showing off flashes of the player he was before the injuries piled up.
On this one, Kemp somehow catches up to a ball that is dying incredibly fast. Not only does Kemp need to lay out for this one but has to make a shoestring grab in order to secure the out.
1. Alex Verdugo Hoses Hernan Perez With A Filthy Outfield Assist
Late in a tightly contested game between the Dodgers and Brewers with a chance to cut the lead to two, Alex Verdugo showed off his cannon of an arm as he threw a blistering 98 MPH laser to home plate to beat Hernan Perez by a mile. The Dodgers would end up holding on to win the game 3-1 and Verdugo’s late assist would prove to be crucial in helping to hang onto a comfortable lead heading into the ninth inning.
Verdugo, despite his small sample size, has been hitting the cover off the ball for the Dodgers and is slashing an impressive .372/.386/.698. Contributing early on both offense and defense, Verdugo looks to be carving himself out a very useful utility player for the Dodgers moving into the 2019 season.