Tool Time: Top Defensive Outfielders

A combination of tools is necessary to be competent in the outfield. To be a true fielding maven from beyond the infield grass, the tools have to be used in conjunction. These San Diego Padres prospects are the best of a growing young stable of quality outfielders.

Brad Chalk

Combine good routes, an ability to track balls hit over his head, a solid arm and great positioning and you have the defensive exploits of Brad Chalk.

Chalk has a terrific feel for reading the ball off the bat and his first-step is rarely the wrong one. He attacks balls to be in position to make a throw, if necessary.

Dan Robertson

No player saved as many runs with diving catches than Robertson. Playing a variety of outfield positions, Robertson showed he could play them all – and play them well.

Robertson plays the game hard – the only way he knows. He has the ability to read balls off the bat, plays the carom off the wall and has a quality, accurate arm.

Drew Macias

Always among the finest defenders in the outfield, Macias understands the game better than most. He knows the base to throw to, doesn't miss his cutoff man and is always in position to make a play.

Macias is graceful in his movements and no play is outside his range. Add a plus arm into the equation with his ability to take solid routes, Macias is an outfielder that continually saves runs.

Blake Tekotte

Blessed with a plethora of talent, Tekotte roams the outfield with an ease that says he was born to do it. Reading the ball off the bat and reacting with a quick first-step, few balls can skirt past his mitt.

Tekotte has terrific baseball instincts from center field. He combines smarts and athleticism to be in position to make a play or cut a ball off headed for the gaps. Tekotte also has a solid arm.

Danny Payne

Closing speed allows Payne to make plays on the ball even if it seems out of range. He can move around to different positions and adjust accordingly – making proper reads and snaring balls out of the air.

Payne hasn't been healthy, but positions himself well and comes in on the ball to cut down on runners trying to take an extra base.

Honorable Mention:

Robert Perry

A smart defender that breaks on the ball as it is hit, Perry makes all the plays necessary and some that would surprise.

Cedric Hunter

Each year, Hunter gets better and better in the outfield. He doesn't have a great arm but uses knowledge and tenacity to get the job done.

Craig Cooper

An excellent arm with an ability to position himself in the proper place before the pitch gives him a decided advantage.

Will Venable

Venable doesn't have the range of others above him but has the smarts to make up for it. He makes good reads and impeccable routes to get the most out of his ability.

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