In Awe of Jose Iglesias

I’m a big fan of games that summarize entire skillsets. To pick one example, on May 25, 2012, Adam Dunn DH’d and went 1-for-4 with a homer, a walk, and three strikeouts. To pick another example, on July 16, 2004, Wily Mo Pena went 1-for-4 with a homer, no walks, and three strikeouts. I like a game in which a player puts everything about himself on display, and Jose Iglesias had just such a game Monday night. Against the White Sox, Iglesias made two easy outs. In his third at-bat, he picked up an infield single. And though the White Sox emerged victorious by four, the game was of little consequence to either team; what most people are talking about is what Iglesias did to Josh Phegley in the bottom of the sixth.

It wasn’t anything mean, except that it kind of was. The Gameday play-by-play offers, understatedly:

Josh Phegley grounds out softly, shortstop Jose Iglesias to first baseman Prince Fielder. Jordan Danks to 2nd.

That doesn’t exactly do the play justice. Iglesias drew oohs and ahhs from the other team’s audience, and Phegley didn’t think to stage a protest. The out recorded, Iglesias got back on his feet and returned to his position. Ever the professional, at no point did Iglesias crack a smile. Most of the observers were simply too stunned. At the plate Monday night, Jose Iglesias was quiet. In the field Monday night, Jose Iglesias was an afterburner.

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Iglesias was 19 years old when the Red Sox signed him as an international free agent out of Cuba. Like all Cubans, Iglesias had to defect before he could sign with a team, but the Red Sox gave him a four-year major-league deal, suggesting how much they believed in his promise. A quick word from the Herald:

Iglesias is universally considered to be a defensive wizard with reports being split between good and bad on his offensive potential.

Ian Browne went into more detail in early December. The general message was the same: Iglesias had big-league defense and a potentially big-league bat. That hasn’t changed as the years have gone by. But Browne got some quotes that now appear prescient. My favorite:

“He’ll improvise out there. His hands are so quick,” DiSarcina said. “He’ll get to a ball and you don’t think he’ll be able to throw the kid out, but he uses his feet and his hands really well. His arm strength is good. He doesn’t have a plus-plus arm, but he has good enough arm strength where if he makes the play in the hole, he’s going to be capable of throwing a kid out.”

Yasiel Puig drew early comparisons to Vladimir Guerrero. Yoenis Cespedes drew early comparisons to Mike Trout, Adam Jones, Torii Hunter, and Jimmy Wynn. Jose Iglesias drew early comparisons to Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel.

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At this writing, Iglesias is batting .324, over exactly 250 at-bats. Among players with at least as much playing time, only eight guys have higher averages, from Puig and Miguel Cabrera to David Ortiz. This for a player in Iglesias who was always glove-first, who nearly embarrassed himself trying to hit in Triple-A. I don’t know which is more remarkable: that Iglesias is batting .324, or that no one expects Iglesias to keep it up and still they don’t mind. No one believes that Iglesias is a .300 hitter. Plenty of people believe Iglesias isn’t a .250 hitter. It takes a long time to convince people you’re not bad, and the burden of proof, offensively, is still with Iglesias. But there’s significance in the fact that people don’t think Iglesias is going to hit, and they still like him as a regular shortstop. Jose Iglesias is evidence that, on some level, everyone thinks in terms of WAR.

iglesias3

You already know that Iglesias got the out at first. Here we see him having bare-handed the ball. His body is nearly parallel to the ground, and he has one foot on the grass, barely. His momentum is perpendicular to his intended throwing line. He is in the very act of falling. A successful defensive play passed through this intermediate.

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From contact to the time Phegley set foot on first base, the whole play took 4.53 seconds. Iglesias had the ball in his right hand for three-tenths of one second. Looking at the video, Iglesias grabs the ball, and, nine frames later, the ball is gone again, soaring in another direction. Iglesias had no room to pull the ball back behind his body. His throw involved a little forearm and a lot of a flick of the wrist. Iglesias threw with Chad Bradford‘s arm slot and a falling, dying man’s body position.

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This is just for fun. I need to assure you this is just for fun, because I know all about small sample sizes. I’m not an idiot. Please don’t read too much into this, because I’m not trying to say too much with this. But, Iglesias has started ten games now in the Tigers infield. In games without Iglesias, Tigers pitchers have allowed a .305 BABIP. In games with Iglesias, Tigers pitchers have allowed a .285 BABIP. A BABIP of .305 would be baseball’s fifth-worst. A BABIP of .285 would be baseball’s fourth-best.

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Torii Hunter has seen some plays. Hunter’s been around since the late 1990s, and the man himself has won a bunch of Gold Gloves. In May 2010, Hunter got absolutely robbed by Elvis Andrus on a grounder deep in the hole. Said Hunter later on:

“That’s the best play that’s been made on me. Ever,” Hunter said. “That guy can really play. He was in left field and made a heck of a throw. That was a sweet play the more I think about it.”

Hunter, now, is Iglesias’ teammate, and he spoke up once more:

“Iglesias, man, since he’s been here, he’s been making some plays,” said Hunter, who added it was the best play he’s seen live. “You’re talking about plays that I haven’t seen in a long time.”

The best play Torii Hunter has seen live. Yelp reviews tell us everything we need to know about how liberally people throw around terms like “best” and “worst”, and I don’t know a whole lot about Hunter’s personal memory. Now that he plays with Iglesias, he might easily be biased. But Hunter doesn’t have a reputation of over-reactions and exaggerations. He’s always been thoughtful, a careful selector of his own words. According to Torii Hunter, he’s never seen a better play at a ballgame. In Hunter’s big-league debut, he pinch-ran for Terry Steinbach.

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If I really wanted to start a battle in the comments, I’d pick the better defensive shortstop between Iglesias and Andrelton Simmons. I’m not actually going to do that, but I will point out a fact. We have UZR data going back to 2002, and since then, 142 shortstops have played at least 500 innings at the position. By UZR/150, it’s Simmons and Iglesias, then everyone else. Only Simmons and Iglesias come in over 20, standing as the best defensive shortstops by this measurement. Of course, they’re young, and young players make the best defenders. Eventually, both players will be worse. But right now, one has to wonder just how good a shortstop can really be. Both Simmons and Iglesias make us wonder if there’s such thing as a shortstop who’s 20 runs better than average. Both Simmons and Iglesias make us believe.

Given the big error bars around any defensive measurement, it’s impossible, between Simmons and Iglesias, to pick who’s better with a high degree of confidence. We don’t know and can’t know, and that’s part of what makes it such an enjoyable conversation, because there are no firm conclusions. Either one could be correct, meaning both has an argument. All we know for sure is the best defensive shortstop in baseball is one of these two. They can feel free to battle it out over the next several years. Monday, it was Iglesias who squeezed an out from the impossible. Now the ball’s in Simmons’ court, and he’s the only other guy capable of upping the ante. Not that Iglesias couldn’t up it right back. I don’t know how Jose Iglesias might ever top what he did, but there’s a lot I don’t get about wizards.

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

127 Responses to “In Awe of Jose Iglesias”

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  1. Mike Green says:

    It’s the traditional third baseman throw after charging a good bunt, but the arm angle is much less favourable due to an apparent funny bounce. It sure looks like you could do serious damage to the arm doing that.

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    • Slats says:

      Thanks Doc.

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    • Balthazar says:

      So Mike, yes to both parts of that. What I find most amazing about the play is the throw. Iglesias’ forward momentum is at complete right angles to the throw trajectory, yet the throw itself is _perfectly_ accurate. Really outstanding body control, there. Yet falling flat on his arm stretched out across his body underneath is a great way for Jose to dislocate his shoulder. Iglesias isn’t just good: he’s lucky.

      I like the deal for the Tiges from moment one. It doesn’t matter if Iglesias hits much, they need a good glove in the middle of the diamond. And got one to keep for several years. If Jose beats the Mendoza line, he’s a major plus. Good luck to him.

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    • sgnthlr85 says:

      It wasn’t a funny bounce; it was actually him getting setting up his body and arm angle right so he could make the diving, short-arm throw he somehow made

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  2. my jays are red says:

    makes me sadder and sadder every day that the Red Sox got rid of him

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Yeah, it’s gonna be tough when you only have Xander Bogaerts at SS instead of a guy with a .636 OPS in his last 50 games.

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      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        (That’s with a .313 BABIP, too.)

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      • my jays are red says:

        yeah, the Sox obviously sold high on him. but i don’t know if Bogaerts will ever turn into a defensive star. and for a high-budget team like the Red Sox, i feel like it’ll be harder to obtain defensive talent rather than offensive. clearly they’re no match offensively but i did feel like Iglesias/Pedroia would have been the double play combo for the next half decade

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Personally, I will take the guy who put up better numbers in AA at 19/20 than Troy Tulowitzki or Hanley Ramirez did at 21 over a defensive whiz who might be able to OPS .700 if everything breaks right 13 times out of 10.

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        • Nick says:

          ” and for a high-budget team like the Red Sox, i feel like it’ll be harder to obtain defensive talent rather than offensive. clearly t”

          I have no idea what the hell this means, but the only way it makes remotely any sense is if you’re saying that it’s harder for them to put guys like Iglesias in their lineup every day, thus it’s hard for them to justify holding on to them (which was clearly the case with Iglesias)

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        • Joebrady says:

          It’ll likely be Marrero.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          @joe, as a Yankees fan, I hope you’re right.

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        • my jays are red says:

          @Nick, what i’m saying is, it’s easier to build an offensive team with a defensive core (pedey + Iglesias) if you have a higher budget, as owners / GMs are pressured into buying into more offensive players and thus they end up overpaying for strictly offense, and end up with fewer defensive whiz’s such as Iggy. maybe not the most correct judgment but that’s what i’m getting at

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          The reason people pay for offense is because offense is more important.

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        • Drew says:

          @CLS

          A run saved is a run created, no?

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Ask the #6 org how that works out if you can’t score.

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        • Drew says:

          But that’s not what I asked. :)

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        • It’s unwise to prioritize defense, because while a player is guaranteed 3 plate appearances a game, he won’t necessarily have even one defensive chance.

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        • Drew says:

          Fair point. With the explosion of strikeouts in recent years, there may be an even more pronounced effect.

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      • Steve says:

        Couldn’t Bogaerts play 3B while Iglesias plays SS?

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Middlebrooks or Drew+Bogaerts>>>>>>Iglesias+Bogaerts.

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        • Frank says:

          @CLS For all your commentary about valuing offensive play you pencil in Middlebrooks or Drew in your line up? Something here is amiss.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          I don’t think they’ll be good, but Drew is usually average-ish offensively when he’s healthy and Middlebrooks should hit for some pop.

          Also, being miles above Iglesias is a far, far different thing from being good offensively.

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  3. P. Hapley says:

    As a Tiger diehard, it’s surreal to watch a defensive wizard on the infield. AJax routinely runs down the deep fly and is both smooth and fun to watch, but Iglesias just takes it to a whole new level in a place Tigers fans aren’t used to seeing great defense. Not sure how I’ll feel if his offense sinks to Ingean levels.

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      If? It sank to Inge-ian levels 6 weeks ago. He had a .213 wOBA (23 wRC+) in July and has a .288 wOBA (77 wRC+) so far in August.

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      • Colin says:

        6 weeks, totally appropriate sample size. I know Iglesias isn’t exactly projected to light it up with the bat but come on, don’t be ridiculous.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Well, for some reason I think that 6 weeks with a .313 BABiP (about .020 higher than his AAA BABiP) is more representative of his talent than 3 weeks with a .504 BABiP.

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        • Savin Hillbilly says:

          Look at his wOBA for his entire professional career before this year. The small sample artifact is not the past 6 weeks–that’s totally in line with his career norms–it’s the preceding three months. There’s a reason why the Red Sox traded him for a year and a half of an oft-injured frontline pitcher, and it’s not because they didn’t know he could make plays like this.

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    • Andrew says:

      If he can make up the difference with the glove, I’ll be fine with Ingean levels of offense. So long as it’s c2006 (granted, without the power).

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  4. theroundsquare says:

    Think of how many plays the Tigers would make if they had a first baseman who wasn’t a 5’6″ bowling ball (who doesn’t hit for power anymore) . . .

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    • SKob says:

      I’m trying to figure out why you would exaggerate how ‘not tall’ he is, or why you would mention an exact figure if you either didn’t know, or were embellishing (5’11″ for all those like me who feel compelled to know exactly).

      Everything else I agree with, but then you have Casey Kotchman, so good luck with that

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  5. Shawn says:

    So this begs the questions, who is better: Andrelton Simmons or Jose Iglesias? The fluidity of Iglesias is unbelievable, the instincts of simmons is undeniable. I think Simmons has a better arm, but iglesias has more range, and iglesias also has shown position versitility. I think all else is a wash. Being a braves fan and seeing Andrelton play everyday I am biased, but it seems too close to call

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    • Jonathan says:

      Everything I’ve heard is that Simmons is overall better but Iglesias will give you more highlight reel stuff.

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    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      I’d take Simmons just because he has so much more pop. I think it’s more likely that the guy with a .118 ISO and 11 HRs on the season will be a non-zero offensively, despite his current struggles fueled by a .241 BABiP, than the guy with less walks, more strikeouts and a .080 ISO, even though his .371 BABIP has led to better results this year.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Dude, you’re junking up this thread with a lot of offensive stuff, but it’s kind of clear that the topic du jour is defense. Everyone wants to speculate about who is the better fielder.

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        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          I just read “who is better,” so I answered with my opinion.

          They’re both great defensively, I’d probably go with Iglesias because he gets to stuff pretty far to the other side of second base before Pedroia does.

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        • RobM says:

          Dude, you’re raining of Anon21′s parade!

          Beyond that, you are right.

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        • matt says:

          Now beating Pedroia to a ball all the way from Detroit is truly amazing.

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    • Anon21 says:

      Actually, if anything it raises the question. It doesn’t beg it, because Jeff squarely confronts the question (and then refuses to answer it).

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Simmons isn’t flashy. His throwing motion is super short and he gobbles balls up and it explodes out. Iglesias makes the flashy jumping twisting stuff.

        I think something to consider is cut off throws. I think it was Cuddyer, but Heyward misplayed a ball off the wall and it seemed like Cuddyer would score, but Simmons’ ridiculous arm gunned him out.

        So as far as grounders go, it’s a wash. Simmons will throw out guys Iglesias won’t and Iglesias might get to a few more balls. So when you look at what else a shortstop doesn’t I’d give the nod to Simmons. I’m bias though.

        It’d be sweet to see a World Series with these two involved. Wizardry galore.

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        • Dan Ugglas Forearm says:

          Very true. Simmons threw out two guys at the plate over a span of three games, and both looked like they were sure to score at some point in the relay. I think the other was in that first Philadelphia game just after the Rockies series, don’t remember who the runner was, though.

          I think it’s worth noting that these two guys are capable of turning awful–not below-average–AWFUL infield defenses into some of the best in the majors. It blows my mind that an infield with Chris “Rocks for Hands” Johnson, Dan Uggla, and Freddie Freeman ranks in the top 10 for DRS and UZR. I would expect the Tigers to start shooting up those lists as well. Before Simmons, I would never have believed one player could transform an entire defense.

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        • Fastpiece says:

          “He gobbles up balls and it explodes out.” Lol

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        • TKDC says:

          It was the Nats game last Monday. The second one wasn’t quite as good, but I wouldn’t bet on any other SS making the play.

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        • Dan Ugglas Forearm says:

          http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=29449465&c_id=mlb

          Here’s the play. It was against Washington – Wilson Ramos. So two slow guys, but Ramos was at least halfway home when he started the throw.

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      • Ron says:

        You are right it does raise the question. However, the reason it does not “beg the question” is because Sullivan’s conclusion is Iglesias made an really awesome play and is good defensively. He gives us plenty of evidence.There doesn’t seem to be any problems in logic in this article.

        If you are interested in learning how to properly use the phrase “begs the question” a quick google search will provide a far better explanation they I can. Sure common usage is that it is acceptable to use in place of “raise the question” or “brings up the question” but anyone who has taken a class in logic will be laughing at you on the inside.

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        • Anon21 says:

          Yes, and… that’s what I explained in the comment you’re replying to. How do you differ, exactly?

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        • Shawn says:

          To be honest, the folks who I cause to laugh on the inside due to my usage of a simple phrase should logically find a more beneficial use of their time.

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      • cavebird says:

        I don’t think there’s much doubt that Simmons’s arm is better. Not sure about the rest. I love it when Simmons’s arm helps the Braves because it is his arm that let us draft him in the second round—he would have gone sooner except everyone else wanted to draft him as a pitcher (mid-90′s FB) and he didn’t want to sign as a pitcher.

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      • Shawn says:

        Regardless of how you may word it, the content of the point I bring up is quite a fun comparison to debate about.

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        • Shawn says:

          This was in response to ANON’s first comment….however, if my grammar needs an improvment, duely noted

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    • Dan Ugglas Forearm says:

      I wouldn’t necessarily say that Iglesias has more range. It’s not exactly clear. I don’t doubt that Iglesias may be better with his feet than Simmons, but the fact that Simmons has a rocket arm allows him to play so deep in the hole, that he can get to virtually anything hit to the left side. It’s range by positioning. He can make up the time spent getting to the ball with an amazing arm and a really quick transfer and release. Scout-wise, I’d have to think Simmons possesses an 80 glove and 80 arm, while Iglesias may have an 80 glove and 70 arm. But the disparity is so small that they make nearly all the same plays. Either way, you’re getting a fantastic SS.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Mmmm… I think many scouts are actually lower on Simmons’s glove qua glove (call it a 70), while acknowledging that his 80 arm does allow him to make up for being only an elite pure fielder rather than one of the best ever.

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        • Kevin says:

          seems about right. I’ll bet their overall numbers end up being quite similar(and quite a bit better than the rest of the league)

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        • Derek says:

          Keith Law agreed in a chat maybe last week that he was 80 defense 80 arm.

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      • JiminNC says:

        Simmons may have the stronger arm on conventional throws, but the kind of apparently physics-defying throws that Iglesias makes on plays like this one is unparalleled, and of tremendous value for a shortstop. To be able to flip ball sideways 100-120 feet with zip perfect accuracy, which he does again and again, is something I’ve never seen. Top point guards and Larry Bird come closest, but they are only tossing a big ball a few feet.

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        • Dan Ugglas Forearm says:

          Again and again? He made this play once. Not to take away from his ability, but let’s not overstate it.

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        • NS says:

          It’s pretty clear, Dan Uggla’s Forearm, that you are very familiar with Simmons and not very familiar with Iglesias. “Again and again” is not an overstatement. This play was obviously exceptional in its construct, but the *type* of play he made is not unusual for Iglesias at all really. Everyone familiar with him – from scouts to fans – is impressed but not surprised.

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    • TKDC says:

      Statistically, Simmons has the higher UZR/150 and has played about 3 times as many innings, which would mean his number should be regressed less. So statistically he is better. I think baseball reference has him as being the best defender ever (6.8 dWAR in a little over a full season’s worth of innings).

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    • Phantom Stranger says:

      Simmons is in another league defensively. The best SS I’ve seen since the days of Ozzie’s prime. He’s Ozzie Smith with a much better arm.

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    • Phantom Stranger says:

      Jose might have slightly better hands, but Simmons is in a class by himself as an athlete at SS. I’m pretty confident that Simmons would be a Gold Glover at any position on the field outside of catching.

      Simmons is so quick he doesn’t have to leave his feet nearly as much to get far-ranging balls, which is why you don’t see highlight reels plays from him outside of his quick release and cannon arm.

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  6. Angelsjunky says:

    Love the Jimmy Wynn reference – that seems kind of random. I love players like Wynn who end up being forgotten and under-rated historically because they don’t bear that all-so-important “Hall of Fame” badge and didn’t necessarily have something notorious to bring them out more, like Dick Allen and Albert Belle. Think Reggie Smith and Bobby Grich and probably eventually, Bobby Abreu and Lance Berkman.

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  7. David says:

    Entertaining throw, yes. However, look where Danks holds up to see if Fister is going to make the catch and see where Danks is as the throw goes to first. Iglesias should have had an easier play at second.

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    • SKob says:

      Yes, throwing through your crotch is always fun! Seeing through it is more challenging though!

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    • Daneeka says:

      …how exactly are you proposing Iglesias throws that ball to second with so much momentum towards the plate?

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    • Joebrady says:

      I thought the same thing as soon as I saw it. I’ve seen 100 comments and threads and blogs, but no one mentions that he went to the wrong base. Of course, Iglesias can have no way to tell where the runner behind is, but had the catcher called out the play soon enough, he could’ve taken an extra hop and gotten the lead runner.

      But the Tiger fans are still gonna love this guy.

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      • the fume says:

        Yeah the runner froze between 1st and 2nd when it looked like Fister might have caught it. No way Iglesias could see that, and it didn’t look like anybody called it out to him.

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  8. senorpogo says:

    Favorite Torii Hunter quote: “It’s not normal,” Torii Hunter said of Carmona’s go-to pitch. “He’s not even human. It was so scary, I thought I was hung over.”

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  9. Dan says:

    So we’re saying here that Elvis Andrus isn’t even in the conversation?

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    • Anon21 says:

      The conversation about best defensive shortstop in baseball? Why would he be? Andrus’s defensive metrics suggest a solidly above-average fielder for his position, while Simmons’s and Iglesias’s suggest historically great fielding. Scouts are unanimous that Simmons is better (haven’t heard what scouts think of Iglesias). Andrus is a very good player, but he’s not half the defender Simmons is right now.

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    • t ball says:

      It’s not slight on Elvis to say he’s not in the same league as these guys. No one is.

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    • NS says:

      Actually, if anything he declines to answer it. He doesn’t refuse. Yes, we are saying that. He isn’t.

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  10. I’m a Tigers fan who has now watched this thing something like 25-30 times. I still can’t wrap my head around the physics of it. How did he get that much on the throw and do so that accurately? I’m impressed by range, arm strength, good hands, and instincts, but at least I understand them. I don’t understand how this is possible.

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  11. GSon says:

    Iglesias’ was a good play, no doubt about it.. A barehand grab and throw in one motion is a standard do or die type play as mentioned above, however, to be honest, it wasn’t even the best play by a SS last night.. Asdrubal Cabrera’s diving half tumble to the seat of his pants and throw from the second base side of the infield to nip Oswaldo Arcia (even though Adam Hamari, first base umpire missed the call on Swisher’s stretch) was better..

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  12. Westside guy says:

    Watching the linked MLB.com video, I found it funny that one of the broadcasters, having seen the play, said “no way” – followed by a brief pause, and then the other broadcaster said “Jose”.

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  13. Jhonny Peralta says:

    I feel insecure.

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  14. Torii Hunter says:

    That was stupid. It was all stupid. Everybody was stupid.

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  15. M. Incandenza says:

    Whatever. There was plenty of time to pitch himself into a one-handed handstand while flipping the ball upside down and backwards to get the lead runner at 2nd.

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  16. Semperty says:

    Iglesias seems flexible with his positions. Maybe a Machado/Simmons/Iglesias infield? Kind of like the A’s OF, but around the horn.

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  17. Mike Flamer says:

    Great article. I love great defensive players. In Arizona, we have a SS who is equally as talented in the field: Didi Gregorius. I have witnesses magical plays from him. His hitting has tailed off, but his arm is like a cannon and his field range and speed is remarkable. Don’t forget him. He will be among the best defensively in the MLB.

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  18. DSC says:

    Funny to say a rookie is compared to another rookie.

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  19. anonynous says:

    Not that impressed. Dude, it was one play. I’ve seen Derek Jeter make countless similarly athletic plays over the years. Can you say ‘jump-throw’??

    -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Joel says:

    According to his player page, Iglesias has already been worth nearly +3 fielding runs over average in the 10 games he’s played for the Tigers. This may be one of those fabled “win-win” trades that people talk about from time to time. Except for Jhonny Peralta. No winning for him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. JuanPierreDoesSteroids says:

    Peralta would have done that.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bodl says:

      Jhonny would have seen that Danks froze, let the ball bounce one more time, fielded it in the proper position, and gotten the out at second. The rare advantage of being a
      step slower than Jose.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Uninterested Cat says:

    I make that play in my sleep. In my dreams, that is.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Robbie G. says:

    My god, I scrolled all the way down through the comments and not a single Derek Jeter-Gold Glove joke has been made! Have we already entered into the post-Derek Jeter-Gold Glove joke era?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Wobatus says:

    BTW, I thought the gif you showed in the article when Iglesias got traded may have been even more amazing.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. tysonvt says:

    I’ve seen so many better plays at SS than this. Overrated

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. The Party Bird says:

    The play drew considerably more “boo”s than “ooh”s, which isn’t that surprising when you consider that it was mostly White Sox fans in attendance.

    Maybe “Boo-urns” is finally catching on?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Hans Moleman says:

    I was saying Boo-Urns.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. JS7 says:

    Brendan Ryan.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. DoctorJ says:

    The comment section may have died but I must say I gave up on the play because I thought the White Sox had another single. Then he was out.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Tristan says:

    Where are we rating Manny in this Iglesias/Simmons comparison? Do we need to see him at SS to judge his performance, or can we assume from his incredible work at 3rd?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Machado isn’t in their league, whether you like scouting or you like UZR. Simmons is just as much better than the average SS as Machado is the average 3B.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Phantom Stranger says:

      Machado looks sweet at third, but we will have to see how he handles SS. If I were the Orioles, I’d keep him at third. Machado could be a historically great defensive 3B, while no one really projects him like that at SS.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. beejeez says:

    Ozzie Smith is my all-time favorite player, so I’m going to be the last one to anoint Iglesias as a true heir. But he’s slick, that young fella. Making an accurate throw with a sideways swipe and wrist-snap while falling down perpendicular to the play is a one in 100 shot that takes not only skill but imagination, a combination that was at the heart of Ozzie’s defensive prowess. if this is a normal part of Iggy’s repertoire, we may be on to something here. As to whether he’ll ever be a legit hitter, that’s a whole nother story, and we’re only at chapter one.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. em says:

    {Yoenis Cespedes drew early comparisons to Mike Trout}true Trout is awesome but hes not a vet yet like the others used as a measuring stick so why use him,and he and Cespedes basically started the same year,so why not say “Trout draws comparisons of Cespedes”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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