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Margot's defensive gem impresses Padres

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- It was one of those superlative five-star catches on Tuesday night and Statcast™ noted that Padres center fielder Manuel Margot had only an 18 percent chance of making it. But make it he did.

"It looked like less than that to me, but Statcast™ is smarter than me," Padres manager Andy Green said after his club lost to the D-backs, 9-3.

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PHOENIX -- It was one of those superlative five-star catches on Tuesday night and Statcast™ noted that Padres center fielder Manuel Margot had only an 18 percent chance of making it. But make it he did.

"It looked like less than that to me, but Statcast™ is smarter than me," Padres manager Andy Green said after his club lost to the D-backs, 9-3.

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"That was really, really special. I thought that ball was in the gap for sure."

Yasmany Tomas torched a liner toward left-center at Chase Field with two out in the three-run D-backs' second inning off Padres left-hander Clayton Richard. Margot left his feet and laid flat out as he snared it with Paul Goldschmidt on second to avoid an even bigger inning.

"Oh, it was a great catch and a big play and, at that time, kept us in it," said Richard, who didn't make it out of the fourth inning. "Did I think he was going to be able to catch it? Off the bat, not a chance. It was a terrific jump and closing on it. You want to tip your cap."

Margot, at 22, is a member of the rookie kiddie corps the Padres are attempting to build around. Tuesday night's game was only his 32nd in the Major Leagues, all for San Diego. Margot was obtained from the Red Sox on Nov. 15, 2015, in the four-player trade that sent closer Craig Kimbrel to Boston.

He added a hit in the game and is batting .276.

"Without a doubt, Manny's going to be a part of what we're going to do in the future here," Green said. "We love the way he's defending the field. He's had a lot of success in the lead-off spot. He's already done a really good job as a rookie, but there's more out there for him."

The acrobatic play saw Margot cover 51 feet in 3.4 seconds of opportunity time. It was the Padres' first five-star catch of the season and, by far their best catch, coming in their 22nd game.

"I was really just trying to focus on the ball, judge the distance [and] where it might land," Margot said through interpreter David Longley. "I got there soon enough and was able to make the play. I just think you have to know that there are some things you can do defensively, believe in that and continue to build on it."

Margot was then told that the metrics had given him just an 18 percent chance of catching the ball. He broke into a big smile and said that the relatively recent technology of Statcast™ was something new to him.

"Honestly this is the first time I'm really hearing about that stuff," he said. "But if it's a system that's able to measure that well and it's doing a good job, then I'll take it."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Manuel Margot