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Aaron Hicks robs Donnie Murphy of home run with tremendous catch (Video)

aaron-hicks-robs-hrMinnesota Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks recently decided to stop switch-hitting due to a lack of confidence from the left side of the plate.

Defense is an area Hicks can generally be counted on to help in, as the 24-year has made a few highlight worthy plays since becoming a regular in the Twins’ lineup, like this one yesterday against the Texas Rangers.

Hicks was at it again on Tuesday, this time racing away from home plate instead of coming toward it.

In the second inning, Hicks tracked down a drive to straight away center off the bat of Donnie Murphy and timed his leap to rob the Rangers designated hitter of a three-run home run.

As ESPN Stats & Info points out, Hicks is no stranger to bringing would-be home runs back into the ballpark.

Lorenzo Cain robs David Freese of 3-run home run (Video)

David Freese was already struggling enough this season. He’s batting .198 with only two home runs. He needs every bit of help he can get. But the poor guy just can’t catch a break.

During the bottom of the seventh inning of the Angels-Royals game on Friday night, Freese punished a ball to deep center field that looked like it would leave the yard for a 3-run home run to put the Angels up 8-1. Instead, center fielder Lorenzo Cain went back and perfectly timed his jump to record the second out of the inning.

Just that kind of season for Frees …

Lorenzo Cain robs HR

Yasiel Puig defies physics with amazing diving catch (Video)

Yasiel Puig made one of the best catches you will see this year on Thursday to rob New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores of an extra-base hit. The Los Angeles Dodgers star got a great jump on a line drive to right field and went full extension to make an incredible play.

Puig practically defied physics, as it appeared the ball was by him when he made the grab. It looked like he had absolutely no chance of catching it when he went and did this.

Yasiel-Puig-diving-catch

After making the catch, the 23-year-old showed off his cannon for an arm by nearly doubling off Mets first baseman Lucas Duda at first base. That would have been too good to be true.

Despite some of the boneheaded mistakes Puig has made on and off the field, there’s no denying his incredible talent. He’s hitting .329 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI this season. Puig has been doing it all for the Dodgers.

Brandon Phillips, Billy Hamilton make game-saving catches in extra innings (Videos)

The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Washington Nationals in 15 innings on Monday night thanks to some tremendous defense late in the game. The first — and perhaps the better — of two outstanding plays came in the bottom of the 12th inning when Brandon Phillips robbed Wilson Ramos of a base hit up the middle.

Phillips made a diving catch with two outs and runners on the corners. Had the ball gotten through, a run would have scored and the game would have been over.

Brandon-Phillips-catch

A similar situation arose in the bottom of the 14th with a runner on third. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton got a great jump on a sinking line drive from Anthony Rendon and was able to make the play. That sent the game into the 15th, where the Reds took the lead and held on for a 4-3 victory.

We all love walk-off home runs and the drama they bring. But the way the Reds won on Monday is almost more impressive.

Josh Harrison makes spectacular diving catch, hits go-ahead homer (Video)

The Pittsburgh Pirates took two out of three from the New York Yankees over the weekend, and the stellar play of Josh Harrison on Sunday was a big reason why. The 26-year-old Pirates outfielder hit a go-ahead solo home run and later made a spectacular catch to preserve the lead.

Harrison’s solo shot came in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. His diving catch came an inning later when he robbed Yangervis Solarte of extra bases with a man on first. Had the ball gotten by Harrison, the runner may have been able to score all the way from first to tie the game. Actually, the runner was Derek Jeter — but you get the point.

Josh-Harrison-diving-catch

Not a bad afternoon for a kid with nine career home runs and a career batting average of .255.

H/T Big League Stew

Oh nothing, just Andrelton Simmons making a play on a grounder from the outfield grass (Video)

Is it just me, or does Andrelton Simmons’ defense seem to be getting more ridiculous by the day?

During Friday’s Atlanta Braves-St. Louis Cardinals, Simmons went deep into the 5-6 hole to rob Matt Holliday of what should have been a single in the third. I mean Simmons was so deep he was on the outfield grass making that play. And he used textbook form to slide, get up and zip the ball across the diamond for the putout. The guy has such a good arm he probably could have been a relief pitcher if he wanted.

Look at the range he had on the play – he’s at the edge of where the third baseman’s cutout is:

Andrelton Simmons play

If that play looked familiar, it’s because Simmons gave us a similar stellar highlight last month. This guy is awesome.

Arkansas SS Michael Bernal makes incredible no-look, barehanded catch (Video)

Michael Bernal catchLooks like this was the weekend for incredible catches in SEC baseball.

On Friday night, we saw LSU left fielder Jared Foster make a crazy Superman catch to preserve a tie in the bottom of the 9th inning. Then on Saturday, Arkansas shortstop Michael Bernal made a catch to rival Foster’s.

Bernal’s catch didn’t come in quite as much of a game-saving situation, but it was no less difficult. Ole Miss was up 7-4 in the bottom of the 8th and had a man on first. Preston Overbey popped a ball up to shallow center and Bernal went out for the ball. He had a little trouble judging it and had to reach out to snag it at the last second using his bare hand. It was Kevin Mitchell to the max.

Does it matter that they lost 7-4? Heck no. Not after a grab like that.