The hidden-ball trick is an art form. It takes a perfect mixture of subtlety, craftiness and serendipitous timing. They occur every so often in MLB, when the planets align and the universe graces us with pure moments of joy.
On Friday, we were bestowed a hidden-ball trick not in the Majors, but in a Triple-A game between the Columbus Clippers and Indianapolis Indians.
Indians shortstop Gustav Nunez reached base on an error and seemed to be safe at first. However, while Nunez was bending down to remove a shin guard, the ball was secretly fed to Clippers first baseman and Cleveland Indians' No. 13-ranked prospect Jesus Aguilar.
So, Nunez figured there was no harm in shifting his stance, momentarily taking a foot off of the bag. He was mistaken.
You can judge the quality of a hidden-ball trick by the number of seconds of dead air it produces from the broadcast booth while everyone is trying to figure out what just happened. In this case: 16 seconds.