Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Willie Bloomquist had the longest-reigning Web Gem of the season so far, a from-his-stomach flip to second base to get a force play on a ground ball up the middle on April 28 against the Marlins.
That lasted six days as the "Best of the Best" Web Gem and was named the Sports Science Play of the Week. It also inspired us to look up something that we’ve asked to have video-tracked this season. There are many different ways to get an out in baseball. We’ve arranged with Baseball Info Solutions to track players who make three different types of plays. They are:
1. The barehand -- in which a fielder does not use his glove, but manages to get an out.
2. The glove flip -- in which a fielder flips the ball to a teammate using his glove, rather than his ungloved hand.
3. The throw-from-knees -- which we actually made sure covered any throw in which the fielder was not upright, a la Bloomquist.
Let’s take a snapshot look at the leaders for each, all entering Sunday's games.
Marlins catcher John Buck leads the majors in successful barehand plays with 10. Most of the players atop this leaderboard are catchers, who are apt to grab bunts in front of the plate without their glove.
The leader in barehands among non-catchers is Braves third baseman Chipper Jones with seven. No one else in baseball had more than four.
Lastly, the player with the most throws from his knees, stomach, or any other part of the body, is Phillies rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis with four.