Minor league baseball is the best for so many reasons that don’t involve player salaries. In what other sport can you travel to a tiny midwest town, drink college-priced alcohol while watching some of baseball’s best prospects launch balls into orbit and make unreal web gems? Exactly. There are none.
Fans in Utah were gifted with the latter over the weekend. The Salt Lake Bees, the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, were taking on the Tacoma Rainiers on Saturday in Salt Lake City when two infielders paired up to make the play of the year. It’s why you can never take your eye off the game, even if you spill ketchup from your hotdog on your pants.
Jake Palomaki & David Fletcher’s Unreal Play
Oh yeah, this is the good stuff.
Bees infielders Jake Palomaki and David Fletcher took a page out of the Harlem Globetrotters’ handbook on this one. When Rainiers hitter Trey Amburgey bounced a ball their way, it was circus time. Palomaki made a diving stop, flipped the ball behind his back while on his knees to Fletcher, who bare-handed it, spun and fired to first for the out. Exactly how they practiced it, right?
Palomaki’s quick thinking was just incredible here. He knew he had no shot at getting himself upright to make the throw, so why not toss it to his buddy? I’ve got a feeling Ozzie Smith would’ve appreciated this one.
Unsurprisingly, the play has been making the rounds on social media. The original video posted to the Bees’ Twitter account has almost four million views. It was also, for good reason, the No. 1 play on “SportsCenter” the next morning. Yeah, I doubt there was anything better than this 4-6-3 putout.
The 27-year-old Palomaki is hitting .319 this season in the Pacific Coast League, while the 28-year-old Fletcher — who has already spent time in the big leagues in his career — is hitting .205 at the plate for the Bees. Fletcher is also in his second year of a 5-year, $26,000,000 extension offered to him by Los Angeles. Sure, it’s not the monstrosity they signed Anthony Rendon to in recent years, but that’s a lot of money for a minor leaguer trying to right his ship.
Hopefully, this play can propel one or both of them to the big league club because the Angels aren’t exactly killing it this year.