Single-Issue All-Star Voting Guide: Diving catches made by third basemen
When filling out your 2015 All-Star Game ballot, it is important to take everything in consideration -- even the nittiest, grittiest details. You only get 35 votes, after all, and maybe there is one issue that you hold above all others. A single issue that separates one candidate from the rest. An issue that will sway your hand in the (metaphoric) voting booth. An issue, like … diving catches made by third basemen.
So, you want to vote a third baseman into the ASG based solely on his most spectacular diving catch this season? Well, first of all: Good choice, diving catches are awesome. Second, in the interest of informed voters everywhere, we're here to help.
Below are diving catches made by a few of this year's third baseman candidates. You may vote for whoever made the most impressive -- or you can simply enjoy the smorgasbord of defensive flair on display.
Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays
There is no doubt that Donaldson can make diving grabs that cause potential hits to evaporate into thin air. But did you know that he can also dive to his left to make plays like this? No ball is safe once it enters Donaldson's vicinity.
Vote Donaldson: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Brett Lawrie, A's
Look at Lawrie's extension. Before you vote, please look at his extension.
Vote Lawrie: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Manny Machado, Orioles
Machado caught this off of a bounce, but we're counting it because a) he got the out at first anyway and b) LOOK AT THAT CATCH.
If that ball was a nanometer closer to the edge of his mitt, it would have slipped right out.
Vote Machado: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Mike Moustakas, Royals
Note how Moustakas casually dives across the foul line and climbs to his feet after hauling in this particular catch. Yeah, it was in foul territory, but that didn't mean the starting third baseman on the reigning AL champs was gonna give up on it or let C.J. Cron swing the bat again.
Vote Moustakas: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Pablo Sandoval, Red Sox
Belly flop: Check. Putting your body on the line for your team: Check. Got the out: Check.
Sandoval knows exactly what goes into a great diving catch.
Vote Sandoval: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Kyle Seager, Mariners
That blur you see is every molecule in Seager's body dispersing and then reforming around the ball. So it's not technically a dive, but close enough.
Vote Seager: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Nolan Arenado, Rockies
OK, so this wasn't an actual catch. But Arenado has made plenty of those this year, and you're welcome to peruse them at your leisure. Instead, this is Arenado turning a diving stop into a double play and being downright magical.
He also made this catch, which definitely counts as dive-ish -- just so you know.
Vote Arenado: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Kris Bryant, Cubs
Bryant made the below hit-robbing catch at the age of 23 during his first MLB game, if your voting sympathies lie with blistering phenom debuts.
Vote Bryant: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
Carpenter can make game-ending diving catches. Just FYI.
Vote Carpenter: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Todd Frazier, Reds
Like a fish leaping out of a river, Frazier dives for hard-hit balls headed to third.
Vote Frazier: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
Martin Prado, Marlins
You can't see it, but there's a giant invisible slingshot that launches Prado forward like that.
Vote Prado: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot