The Smooth Operator: Q&A On Grant Plumley

Some call him smooth. Others call him a slick fielder or a defensive wiz. Whichever one you choose, it still describes the same guy. Grant Plumley. No matter who you talk to, all you hear about is the amazing defensive abilities of the Staten Island shortstop. And, by the way, he can hit too. Plumley was drafted out of Oral Roberts University and who would know him better than the college's play-by-play announcer, Cris Belvin. He took out questions on Grant Plumley.

PinstripesPlus: How would you describe Grant Plumley as a hitter?

Cris Belvin: His style of hitting is a bit impatient. He's very aggressive early in the count. he doesn't take many walks but always seems to put the ball in play. He's a gap-to-gap guy who can hit the ball out on occasion.

PinstripesPlus: What was the greatest game you saw him play?

Cris Belvin: I'm not sure about a best game (he had many good ones), but he had a stretch in mid-March of '04 where he hit .654 (17-26) with two homers and 12 RBI in seven games. It was during that run that we first entered the Top 25. We never left it.

PinstripesPlus: What MLB player would you best compare him too?

Cris Belvin: That's a tough one. Defensively, I'd say he's a lot like Mike Bordick. He makes all the routine plays, sometimes the flashy ones, but is so steady you sometimes just assume he'll make the play if it's hit anywhere near him. He excels at throwing on the run and is better at the play in the hole than up the middle. A very accurate arm.

PinstripesPlus: What can you tell us about the defense of Grant Plumley that we have heard so much about?

Cris Belvin: I can tell you that I have been covering Division I college baseball for 11 years and I have never seen a better defensive SS than Grant. He made 17 errors in two years and once went 24 consecutive games without an error, then after making an error he went another 22 games without one (one error in 46 games).

PinstripesPlus: What are some of Grant's most impressive accomplishments at Oral Roberts University?

Cris Belvin: He was a two-time all-conference pick and helped ORU to consecutive NCAA Regional appearances. We were ranked as high as No. 13 during the 2004 season. We had the nation's best winning percentage in '04 and were 50-11.

PinstripesPlus: Is there anything else we should know about him?

Cris Belvin: He's a great kid we wish him well. On a side note, he and teammate OF Matt VanDerBosch were both drafted in the 9th round this year--VanDerBosch by the Red Sox (and he's good!).

So, we have heard plenty about what a tremendous defender Grant Plumley actually is. The roaming infielding coach of the Yankee organization, Andy Stankiewicz has been working very hard with Plumley so far this season. The potential is seen in him and despite the fact that he has made ten errors this season, there is still a lot to get excited about as far as defense with Grant Plumley.

One thing to also consider is how the New York Yankee organization has handled the positioning of Plumley. All of the other infielders on the roster have been moved around a bit. Some have moved to third base and second base while Plumley sticks right at shortstop. The future is bright for Mr. Plumley, no doubt about that. But, one thing he is already is one smooth operator. would like to thank Oral Roberts University Play-by-Play announcer, Cris Belvin for his time and effort in answering our questions.

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