Today we switch gears a little bit. Instead of voting on a purely statistical category like best hitter or pitcher, we're voting for the best defensive play by a Brewers player. The previous two polls were MLB wide but today is specifically about the Brewers.
It was a lot harder to come up with options for this poll--and the next three to be honest. It's not as simple as transcribing some key statistics. A good defensive play isn't exactly something that one can easily describe with words. Something gets lost in the transcription. It's best to be able to show a video but that limits my ability to choose the options.
Thankfully MLB is getting better at posting videos. So with the helps of some of the community as well as from Travis, Kyle, and J.P. I've found a few defensive gems. The Brewers season didn't go well. But that's the nice thing about a sweet defensive save. The context isn't all that important. It's just fun to see.
1. Martin Maldonado completes double play
This one happens quickly. The strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play is one of my favorite defensive plays in baseball and few are better at it than Martin Maldonado. Maldy gets him by a mile on this one. (Bonus Braun interview)
2. Rivera's spectacular play
It's unfortunate that Yadiel Rivera doesn't have a better bat. Because his defense at shortstop is absolutely exceptional. Here we get to see him show off both his range and strong throwing arm.
3. Gennett's tough catch
It was a rough season for the Brewers young second baseman. He struggle early on and was even sent back to AAA for a time. He's not exactly known for his defense but here he makes a pretty excellent stab in shallow center.
4. Santana's leaping catch
Domingo Santana wowed Brewers fans with his impressive home run power. But he's also a pretty good defender. The route he takes on this play isn't exactly pretty but it results in a flourish to secure the out.
5. Parra makes amazing grab
Gerardo Parra wasn't a Brewer for very long but he sure won a lot of fans. This play is similar to Gennett's in that it's an over the shoulder catch and similar to Santana's in that he didn't take a perfect route. But it looks like the wind might have taken it a bit. Either way it ends in spectacular fashion.
6. Braun's diving catch
Who doesn't love a diving catch? There's something about a fielder going full out and throwing caution to the wind as lays out to make a catch on a ball that might otherwise be just out of reach. The start of the video shows the play but it's followed by some home runs of his. Don't let that cloud your judgment when voting though. This isn't the Gold Glove awards or anything.
7. Smith's four-strikeout 9th
Okay so I might be stretching the definition of "defensive play" here. For one thing it's technically four plays. And actually it wouldn't have been possible without a poor defensive play by the catcher to allow the ball to get past him and the batter who struck out to reach base. But the best defense is to never let a batter put the ball in play right? And a four strikeout inning is pretty darned impressive so I thought it warranted inclusion. If you feel differently I think that's okay. Just vote for something else.
Make sure to log your votes in early. We're closing the poll at midnight on Sunday. When you're done voting leave a comment letting us know which play you voted for and why.