Tag Archives: Gold Gloves

Scout Diary: Jan. 30, 2020 – American League’s best outfield tools

Who has the best outfield defensive tools in the world?

To find out, I’m looking at the leaders in award fielding honors in center field in four of the world’s top pro leagues. Today is a quick look at the three finalists for the American League’s 2019 Gold Glove in center field.

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  • Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
  • Mike Trout, Angels
  • Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox

First up is Keven Kiermaier. In addition to the good hands, great jumps, speed and strong arm, his throwing mechanics are incredibly fluid. His feet are extremely quick, so even though he is ready to release the ball very quickly, his feet are set, allowing him to make hard accurate throws. Although he is fearless at the wall, he lacks the grace there Lorenzo Cain possesses, which puts Kiermaier in the same group with every other outfielder in the world.

Kevin Kiermaier

Mike Trout has the physical strength to leap at the wall and athleticism to make diving and tumbling catches look effortless. He may be a little faster than Kiermaier, but is not as fluid with his throws as the Rays’ glove wizard.

Mike Trout

Jackie Bradley Jr., however, is my pick for No. 1 in the AL. He can cover ground with the best of them and has the speed to recover when his aggressive jumps send him the wrong way. While his throwing mechanics are not as quite as smooth as Kiermaier’s — nobody’s are, he has the strength and flexibility to make any catch at any angle.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

Next we’ll start our look at Japan with the top three in the voting for the Central League’s 2019 Golden Glove.

Scout Diary: Jan. 21, 2020

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.

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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
Nick Ahmed

Other considerations:

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.