Today was kind of a wuss-out day. I was thinking of going and watching the kids practice at Suginami H.S., but the chilly wind discouraged me too early. I did manage a few e-mails to help set up course interviews with a couple of Nippon Professional Baseball teams. Today is Part 2 of my “best infield tools” assignment. Tomorrow I’ll have three players from NPB’s Pacific League.
At then end, I’ve tagged on a scouting report of Roki Sasaki based on a video from the 2019 Iwate Prefectural tournament.
National League shortstops
In a search for the professional infielder with best tools, I’m trying to choose from between the three finalists for the NL’s Gold Glove at shortstops:
- Paul DeJong
- Trevor Story
- Nick Ahmed
Based on video I saw, all three have:
- quick feet
- lateral quickness on ground balls
- soft hands
- raw arm strength
- quick, smooth transfer
- can throw from all angles
Accuracy: Story, who might have the most powerful arm of the three is 60, the other two are 70s.
Footwork: Ahmed (80) and De Jong (70) are models in setting their feet even on the most hurried throws. Story looks like Andrelton Simmons because his arm is so powerful, he can whip the ball without getting set.
All three are graceful, quick to get rid of the ball, but Ahmed, like Simmons, has the grace and balance of a ballet dancer.