Dustin Pedroia is one of the best defensive second basemen in baseball, but we usually recognize this fact by seeing him make play after play on the ground. He's got plenty to show off on balls in the air, too, as the principle is the same: position yourself well, and react.
He did just that to Rockies' second baseman DJ LeMahieu, leaping and robbing him of a sure hit in the top of the third inning on Tuesday:
What you don't get to see from this angle is how quickly Pedroia gets into position -- this isn't a ball hit directly at him that he just happens to time a jump correctly for. He shifts from where he was when the ball was first struck, then leaps to snag it out of midair, robbing the Rockies of a baserunner.
See? He's positioned well, adjusts to where the pitch is going, and reacts when it's put in play. Just like on the ground, only with way more ups.
Read more Red Sox:
- Farrell: Red Sox "better team" with Jose Iglesias at third base
- The Kevin Youkilis trade, one year later
- Shane Victorino providing value in multiple ways
- Ryan Dempster: The model of stability
- Solving the Red Sox closer problem