TigsTown.com - Bryan Green

2016 TigsTools Detroit Tigers Prospect Tools: Best Infield Arm

Arm strength is one of the most important aspects of infield defense, where a few extra miles-per-hour can give defenders more margin for error, and potentially save games for their team. Dixon Machado and his near-elite arm head the list yet again, but some new names have emerged in unexpected places.

Best Infield Arm
1. Dixon Machado (SS)
2. Dominic Ficociello (1B)
3. James Robbins (1B)
4. Steven Fuentes (3B)
5. Moises Bello (3B)

 

A veteran of this list, Dixon Machado is blessed with a double-plus cannon that flashes even stronger at times. He can unleash clotheslines from the hole, make double-play turns with lightning-quick efficiency, and adjust his arm angle to make strong, accurate throws from awkward positions.

Playing first base prevents Dominic Ficociello from regularly showing off his plus arm, but the gifted defender has a hose that in the past allowed him to moonlight at second and third base, and helps him fire the ball around the diamond when needed. James Robbins is another first sacker with an underutilized arm, but the 25-year-old was once committed to Washington State as a two-way player whose fastball could scrape 90 mph.

Rounding out the top five are two talented Venezuelan defenders who both currently man the hot corner. Steven Fuentes and Moises Bello both have above-average arms that work well at third base. Mild mechanical struggles sometimes cost Fuentes some accuracy and prevent him from truly unloading in game situations, but he has plenty of velocity in the tank, while Bello is still working to show his arm strength on a more consistent basis.

 

Honorable Mention

Jose Zambrano (IF)

Joey Pankake (IF)

 

Zambrano and Pankake are both veterans of this list who display solid arms but are still looking for a permanent home on defense. Zambrano is ideally suited for second base, but he has enough arm to capably play shortstop and third base. Pankake offers plenty of velocity and carry on his throws, but a slower release sometimes limits the utility of his arm strength.

 

Projection Kings

Adrian Alfaro (IF)

Anthony Pereira (IF)

 

Alfaro and Pereira are both promising young infielders who spent much of 2015 in rookie leagues. Alfaro primarily played shortstop, where his solid-average arm strength was adequate, but he also saw some time at second base, where he showcased an above-average arm. Pereira also possesses a solid-average throwing arm that works well at shortstop and second, but it was stretched a bit when he was asked to play third base. Both players are young enough to gain strength and climb this list in the near future.



 


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