Tool Time: Top Defensive Infielders

Gliding across the infield like Luis Aparicio or making the spectacular play of an Ozzie Smith can save runs and make pitchers extremely happy. These San Diego Padres prospects get a passing grade from their pitchers for their defensive prowess.

Beamer Weems

Drafted solely on his defensive prowess, Weems didn't disappoint in his professional debut. Agile feet, quick reactions, and extended range make him a complete package from shortstop.

Weems' success begins with footwork. He is exceptional moving laterally and makes solid reads off the bat to get a good jump. Setting his balance for the throw, Weems is accurate with a strong arm.

Jesus Lopez

A pitcher's best friend, Lopez glides across the field and snares everything within range. While his lateral movement is average, cutting his range, Lopez sweeps up everything within his limits.

Lopez has quick feet and makes the move from glove to hand faster than a blink of the eye. His strong base and accurate throws allow him to snare the fastest of runners.

Sean Kazmar

Able to play two positions and play them well, Kazmar is capable of making highlight reel plays. He is smooth moving side to side and very adept at turning the double play.

Kazmar is an instinctual player that feels where the ball is headed before contact. He moves quickly and can make throws from his knees that others would toss off-line.

Andrew Parrino

There were some who were unsure of his ability to man the shortstop position, but Parrino has proven he can handle the load for extended time.

Parrino has solid fundamentals and a great foundation for making all the plays at three infield spots. He does whatever it takes to keep the ball in the infield, giving him a chance to make a play.

Cole Figueroa

Staying under control and showing plenty of arm from the shortstop position, Figueroa has the athleticism and knowledge to man multiple spots.

Intensely focused, Figueroa does not let a fast runner change his habits. He is quick with his glove to hand exchange and has the accuracy to make plays.

Honorable Mention:

Brett Dowdy

Sacrificing his body for the play, Dowdy does what it takes to keep the ball from hitting outfield grass. Solid in all facets, Dowdy is a valuable asset.

Lance Zawadzki

Blessed with a big arm, Zawadzki is working on the other fundamentals in his game. Solid footwork, balance, and slowing down his movements will make him a far better fielder.

James Darnell

Great understanding of the game and its intricacies, Darnell positions himself well to make a play. With a solid arm and quick glove, he makes the hot corner seem cold.

Matt Antonelli

Making steady progress since moving from third base, Antonelli still has some work to do with turning the double play and making reads. Still new to the position, he continues to impress.

Kyle Blanks

Most people wouldn't consider a first baseman as a solid defender but being able to pick balls and offer a big target means outs. Blanks does both. Work on lateral movement is the only knock.

Keoni Ruth

Able to play all four infield spots, Ruth is best suited for second base. But he can play all in a pinch and do them well.

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