2014 TigsTools: Best Infield Arm

Infielders often have to make challenging throws from deep in the hole or in short order to nab a speedy base runner, and the best arms make it look very easy at times. Shortstop Dixon Machado rises to the top of this list again, showing an arm that can do it all and will earn occasional elite grades. Check inside to see who else made the list!

Best Infield Arm
1. Dixon Machado (SS)
2. Steven Fuentes (IF)
3. Joey Pankake (3B)
4. Brett Harrison (3B)
5. Jose Zambrano (IF)

Machado hangs on to the top spot in these rankings thanks to a near elite arm that earns ample praise from the scouting community. From a skinny frame, Machado releases the ball quickly, with tremendous velocity and excellent accuracy. He has the best arm in the system, and one of the better shortstop arms in the minor leagues.

Fuentes and Pankake both had chances to show off their plus or better arms during the NYPL season, and both impressed. Fuentes has to muscle up to get the most out of his arm, costing him some accuracy at times, but he can really zing it when he needs to. Pankake has an easier throwing motion, but his poor footwork and variable arm angle cause his throws to fly off target frequently.

While Brett Harrison’s prospect stock has tumbled quickly, his arm strength is still very impressive. Showing a plus arm from third base, Harrison can let it rip and fire ropes across the infield. Similarly, Jose Zambrano offers a plus arm that plays well at all three infield positions, giving him a chance to help on the left side in a utility role.

Honorable Mention
Hernan Perez (IF)
James Robbins (1B)

Perez has always been nosing around this list but never seems to crack the top spots because of stronger arms more fitting for the left side. He doesn’t have the flashy arm strength of Machado or Fuentes, but he has enough for the left side and frequently earns above-average grades from scouts. Robbins was recruited as a first baseman and pitcher by most colleges interested in him, and his arm strength is still evident on the diamond at times.

Projection Kings
Moises Bello (3B)
Jorge Ynirio (SS)

Both Bello and Ynirio can flash above-average to plus arm strength at times, though neither has the ability to show it off consistently. As the two infielders begin to gain strength and refine their footwork and throwing motion, both have the potential for improved arm strength down the line.

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