Wander Franco’s barehanded catch Monday was so good, MLB.com called it “one of the early candidates for catch of the year.” (Watch the video below.)
Sure, it’s only April, but Major Leaguers will have a tough time topping this one.
The Tampa Bay Rays shortstop raced after a fly ball hit by the Houston Astros’ Martín Maldonado down the left field line. Unable to make the grab with his glove, Franco snatched the ball with his other hand over his shoulder in foul territory.
Rays pitcher Taj Bradley, who benefited from the out, called the play “sick.”
Franco said it was just the result of having no choice.
“I tried all I could with my glove, and my hand just happened to be there and it fell right into it,” he told MLB.com. “I couldn’t believe it myself, but I caught it.”
The Rays won 8-3 to set a modern-era major league record of 14 straight victories at home to begin a season.
The team’s starting record of 20-3 has been surpassed only by the 1911 Detroit Tigers (21-2) and the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers (21-2) since 1901, The Associated Press noted.
And now the Rays have a guy making a nearly impossible defensive play.