The days of the bat-first infielders with little-to-no athleticism has passed, at least for the Rockies.
The leaders of sports networks around the country owe a debt to both Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. Any station covering baseball has been gift-wrapped highlight reels on an annual basis by each.
I mean, come on:
Both players possess range ahead of their peers; an uncanny ability to pirouette across the infield on a ball to their left side and throw a dagger to first base and even the unique ability to launch over tarps and not suffering injuries.
Making a pick between the two is like choosing between ice cream and pizza. Both, please?
Nevertheless, there are differences between the two fielders.
This year, Arenado leads in both defensive runs saved and defensive wins above replacement. His reign as the Gold Glove recipient in the NL, as well as a run on Platinum Gloves seems to be off to a good start.
Last year, Story actually led the way for the team in defensive WAR. His speed and range have also enabled him to lead the way in outs above average (OAA) this year. He finished only one out behind Arenado last season.
A glance at Statcast’s catch difficulty scale also shows Arenado has made more difficult catches, compared to his peers, than Story.
Overall, the ease Arenado plays with at the hot corner is one-of-a-kind. There are several light-hitting shortstops in the league who are forced to lead with their glove. The number of third baseman who can’t hit and lead with their glove is miniscule.
A player hitting like Arenado, all while flashing the best glove in the league for his position, is too much to pass up.