New Braves infielder Jose Bautista flashed the leather back when he was a full-time third baseman
They say time moves in one direction. They say you can never go home again. They say that once you are moved from third base to the outfield and become a perennial All-Star home run-basher, you can never play third again. (It's a less popular phrase.)
Turns out they were wrong, as the Braves inked Jose Bautista to a Minor League deal on Wednesday. Only caveat: They're moving him back to third base.
Now, it would be OK if you have no recollection of Bautista playing the hot corner. After all, he almost completely transitioned to right field during his 54-homer season in 2010 and hasn't topped 200 innings at the position since 2011. So, we figured we'd give you a little refresher.
He once robbed current Yankees manager Aaron Boone with a slick diving stop:
He displayed excellent spatial awareness and ballet skills as he reached over the barre:
He's an apt pupil at the art of baseball billiards:
His arm -- good enough to fire laser beams from right field -- is also good enough to nail runners trying to score on infield bouncers:
Not convinced? Worried that the dusty age of these videos tells you nothing about what the 38-year-old slugger can do? Fine, enjoy a more recent vintage:
Nolan Arenado isn't losing any sleep that Bautista's third-base prowess will cut into his own highlight-reel time. But if you assume that the bat that's topped 20 home runs in each of the last eight seasons still has its power, the Braves should be happy enough with Bautista's defense.