Nolan Arenado was the top defensive third baseman in baseball during his eight-year MLB career. And now he could take his glove east, as the Rockies and Cardinals are reportedly on the verge of a blockbuster deal that would send Arenado to St. Louis. While fans in the Midwest certainly do
Nolan Arenado was the top defensive third baseman in baseball during his eight-year MLB career. And now he could take his glove east, as the Rockies and Cardinals are reportedly on the verge of a blockbuster deal that would send Arenado to St. Louis. While fans in the Midwest certainly know about Arenado’s reputation as a hot corner wizard, they may not see many Rockies games. So hopefully the following will expand your mental cache on what Arenado is bringing to Gateway City.
Here’s a look at 10 (extremely hard to narrow this down to 10) of the best defensive games Arenado has made in its eight Gold Glove seasons:
San Francisco, Part 1: April 14, 2015 at Oracle (then AT&T) Park – This is in the early days when Arenado was still making its name in the game. This game announced to the baseball world that he would be one of the greats on third base for a long time. Gregor Blanco of the Giants threw a ball into the third baseline. It went straight to the tarpaulin on the wall. That didn’t stop Arenado from running over his shoulder at full speed and then jumping violently over the tarpaulin and almost into the stands. And to top it off, he had the presence of mind to fire a throw from his knees at the tarpaulin on the third base and almost got the runner to mark the third.
San Francisco, Part 2: June 28, 2017 at AT&T Park – You have to apologize to Giants fans if they were excited about the moment they heard that Arenado was likely out of the National League West. Arenado not only tormented San Francisco on the plate, he also seemed to save his most incredible defensive games for the Giants. First there was the tarpaulin game. Two seasons later, Ty Blach struck a sharp ground ball into the hole between the third and the short one, and Arenado somehow got a glove to knock it down on a full stretch dive to his left. But that wasn’t even the hardest element of the game – then he reached out his bare hand while lying flat on the floor, picked up the baseball, turned, and threw Blach out of a sitting position. Just wow.
Nolan Arenado, left field player? August 1, 2020 against Padres – Foul ball on the left field line. Yes, that left field Line. Let’s see where the left field player is, shall we? But wait, who is this man sprinting into the lazy ground to the left of the infield? Arenado, of course – according to the statcast, he ran 30 meters and made a sliding catch over his shoulder to steal the Padres’ Trent Grisham … well, an attack?
The glove is optional: practically always – There isn’t a single date or setting for this as there are just too many of them to count. Barhanding on a slow chopper is one of the most difficult for a third baseman. However, “difficult” is a relative term for Arenado. More like “routine” when he turns a surefire infield hit on the first base into an out. He did this so often that it spoiled us.
Is he a newbie? June 15, 2013 against Phillies – Less than two months into his major league career, a baby-faced arenado stunned the Phillies when he snatched a helicopter from opposing pitcher Jonathan Pettibone, who was approved for the left field line with such an acrobatic dive. to make sure it’s not an optical illusion.
The Brooksie: July 18, 2015 at Petco Park – You’ve seen it. You know it. The Brooks Robinson play. A backhand grip from Lee May’s sharp ground ball on the third baseline, sending Robinson far into lazy territory before somehow making an impossible throw to get May first in Game 1 of the 1970 World Series. Arenado has often been compared to Robinson, known as the Human Vacuum Cleaner, and this type of game is why.
The piece “I do it so well”: May 26th 2017 against Cardinals – Yadier Molina hit baseball as hard as possible. Its main sin hit it in third place. Arenado makes this piece look so simple it is silly.
Who said you need to be on your feet? May 18, 2018 at AT&T Park – Come on now, you didn’t think the defense wizarding against the giants was complete, did you? If there’s anything Arenado has shown, he doesn’t have to stand erect from a distance to kick a guy out from somewhere on the diamond.
Oh, you didn’t know that he also plays briefly? August 11, 2016 in Texas – No seriously. He can also play shortstop. Take, for example, this ridiculous piece in which he steals a hit in the middle from the Rangers’ Rougned Odor. Arenado goes behind the second base to collect the ball – which should be in midfield at this point – then spins in one motion as his swing leads him to right field, throwing scent out. But how?
Oh, you didn’t know he played first too? July 3, 2017 against Reds – When asked about it after the game, Arenado said he made it up long before the actual game. He fell so violently during a victim attempt that he actually shot the ball on the ground first base Line, then threw over his body on the second to get the front runner. Unreal.
And he’s not finished yet
What we’re witnessing with Arenado on third base is one of the greatest defensive players in baseball history. He makes everything look so simple that it’s easy to assume how spectacular Arenado’s defense is. Fortunately, there will be more in the years to come.
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