Check out Trevor talking about his great defensive plays on The Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast
BY MARK SIMON
Who has the most impressive-looking defensive ledger from the first month of the 2020 season?
We’ll take Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who has quite the fielding tale to tell. He leads all non-first basemen with 11 Good Fielding Plays this season.
A Good Fielding Play can be
– Your typical “Web Gem” – an extraordinary play on a ground ball, line drive, or fly ball by a fielder, the kind you would typically denote with a “*” on your scorecard.
– Something a fielder does specific to his position that requires beyond a normal level of effort, with his team getting a positive consequence as a result. The positive consequence could be an out or denying a baserunner the opportunity to gain an extra base.
Examples of these kinds of plays are cutting off a ball to either keep it in front of you in the infield or outfield, making a nifty tag or throw or making a quick turn on a double play.
Why did we say “among non-first basemen?”
First basemen tend to accumulate the most Good Fielding Plays because they touch the ball the most often and garner large numbers of scooped throws.
So we’ll tell you that Mariners first baseman Evan White is the leader with 14 Good Fielding Plays, but that comes with the knowledge that 9 of those have come from handling throws. He merits praise for this, but he isn’t at the top of the list of players we want to salute.
If you take first basemen out of the mix, Story comes out on top.
Story’s ledger includes six ground ball outs, which includes throws to third, second, and first base:
He’s also got a phenomenal catch of a line drive:
There’s also a quickly-started double play, a play in which he kept the ball in the infield to save a potential run, and two instances in which he made like Javier Báez and recorded a terrific tag play.
Normally when we talk about the defense of a Rockies player, the focus is on the player to Story’s right, third baseman Nolan Arenado. But through the first month of 2020, Story has penned a great first chapter of defensive play.