It’s no secret that protection was a weak spot for the Yankees in 2020. Loads of video games featured sloppy fielding. However for all of the bobbled balls and errors, infielders akin to Gio Urshela and DJ LeMahieu contributed Gold Glove-caliber protection, Luke Voit improved his fielding at first base, and Clint Frazier confirmed he’s an above-average outfielder (sufficient so to be named a Gold Glove finalist). The Yankees made quite a few jaw-dropping performs in 2020 which are worthy of a spotlight reel. These 5 impressed me most:
5) DJ LeMahieu takes a base hit away from Rays catcher Kevan Smith
LeMahieu may win a Gold Glove taking part in at any base, however he reveals off his extra-long vary at second with this diving snag. If that ball glided by LeMahieu, one other run would have scored on Smith’s base hit. LeMahieu’s instantaneous response and glove work are actually stunning as he robs an RBI from Smith. Within the video, take a look at DJ’s learn on ball and the way lengthy it takes for Tyler Wade to enter the body.
4) Aaron Judge does his finest Willie Mays impression, robs Ji-Man Choi of a success
Ji-Man Choi’s bat gave the Yankees loads of grief in the course of the division collection in opposition to the Rays and evidently, ALDS Recreation Three would have began off on a horrible word for the Yankees had Choi homered on the primary pitch he noticed off Masahiro Tanaka within the first inning. Luckily, Aaron Judge was proper on high of it.
With the late-afternoon solar visibly impeding his capability to trace the ball, Aaron Choose chased down Choi’s fly ball to the warning observe and made a snow cone catch on the run.
3) Kyle Higashioka limits the harm on a cross-up with the bases loaded
The 2020 season offered Kyle Higashioka with an opportunity to showcase his elite blocking and pitch framing abilities. All through the ALDS in opposition to the Rays, and particularly in Recreation 4 whereas catching Jordan Montgomery, Higgy made quite a few extraordinary blocks behind the plate.
This catch in Recreation One, which Higgy made following a cross-up with Gerrit Cole, stopped a messy catastrophe from unfolding with the bases loaded in a one-run playoff sport. That Higgy really caught this pitch and was capable of maintain the runners is a testomony to his reflexes and receiving abilities.
2) Clint Frazier robs Rays infielder Joey Wendle of an extra-base hit
With the rating tied at two within the high of the sixth, Frazier stretched out to make a sensational diving catch to rob Joey Wendle of a double. Since his outfield troubles in 2019, Frazier actually improved his capability to get a speedy bounce on the ball and it reveals. It was good to see Frazier trying assured and making sharp performs close to the wall this yr. After witnessing him wrestle with the lingering results of a concussion he sustained in 2018, Frazier ought to take pleasure in his defensive efficiency within the outfield this yr. His superman dives and spectacular catches have been definitely seen across the American League, seeing as he was lately named as a 2020 Gold Glove finalist.
1) Gio Urshela initiates a double play from his butt in Recreation Two of the AL Wild Card Collection
Performs made by Urshela may have populated all 5 spots on this checklist, and it pains me to decide on only one. As a result of high-leverage circumstances and the influence the play had on the Yankees’ momentum, I ultimately settled on Urshela turning Carlos Santana’s potential run-scoring base hit right into a double play in Recreation Two of the AL Wild Card Collection in Cleveland. Extra impressively, Urshela turned the play whereas seated on his butt.
Cleveland had runners on first and second with one out when Urshela dove to his left to cease Santana’s grounder. After making the diving cease, Urshela rolled onto his again and barely sat up earlier than firing the ball to second to provoke a 5-4-3 double play to get out of the inning. Because of his defensive wizardry, the Yankees have been capable of maintain the Indians to a one-run lead going into the ninth inning, as a substitute of trailing by extra.