Andrew Velazquez is a ninja over at shortstop for the LA Angels. His offense may be terrible (.141/.233/.188 slash line), but it's hard to find anyone better on defense than him at one of the toughest positions in the game.
Velazquez has played 23 games for the Angels in a platoon role and has been the best defensive shortstop they've had this season. That's particularly impressive when considering that he's contending for that title with other defensive juggernauts such as David Fletcher and Tyler Wade on the Halos.
He doesn't just rank well on the Angels, though. He has four defensive runs saved right now, which is tied for second in baseball behind only Jeremy Pena. The best part about it is that the eye test backs up the numbers completely. He seemingly makes highlights like the one he made on Monday at LEAST once a night:
Andrew Velazquez has even found a way to make behind-the-back plays for the LA Angels.
Andrew Velazquez apparently thinks he's playing basketball when he's out there playing short for the LA Angels. He literally passed the ball to Tyler Wade behind his back on Sunday to get a force out at second. He continues to find the most absolutely absurd ways to get outs in the infield dirt:
Velazquez also seems to find absolutely ridiculous ways to make plays NOT on the infield dirt as well, but also on the outfield grass:
It's worth wondering if Velazquez even knows that he's the shortstop. He seems to play some sort of new position where he makes plays literally anywhere. He stretches the boundaries of where a shortstop is supposed to play and have range on a game-by-game basis.
The glove's there, the arm's there, the range is there, the acrobatics are there, and so is the speed. Velazquez has struggled at the plate, notching together just three extra-base hits so far this year, but his defense has been truly elite. He will continue to earn plenty of playing time as long as he keeps it up and continues to take extra bases on the base paths (four steals in 23 games this season).