Thick in the middle of awards week, there are no White Sox to speak of.
Fortunately, the SB Nation MLB Awards bail us out. For the next two days, we'll be voting on the best White Sox candidate for two categories -- Best Defensive Play, and Best Celebration. The winner of this category will then proceed to the SB Nation MLB league offices for consideration for the overall vote.
When it comes to the first of these categories, the good news for me is I that kinda did half the work with the post about outfield catches. So let's take the top four, and then mix in some infield work to round out a field of 10.
The slickest double play of the year
This one features highlight-reel stuff from both sides of the White Sox' double-play combo -- a diving stop and glove-flip by Alexei Ramirez, and a nifty turn by Carlos Sanchez with Chris Denorfia at his feet.
Happy Independence Day
Just when it looked like David Robertson might give up a game-tying homer to Chris Davis on July 4, Avisail Garcia shocked everybody with a leaping catch at the wall to preserve the lead for America.
The perfect relay
With the White Sox leading 7-6 and two outs in the ninth inning, Zach Duke gives up a blistered double off the left-center wall. Oakland third-base coach Mike Gallego first thinks to send Stephen Vogt home, trying to force a botched exchange. When that doesn't work, Vogt tries to hold up, but here comes Jose Abreu across the mound to redirect the throw to third, and Vogt is a gone goose to end the game.
It's worth it for the iso cam on Gallego:
"You can actually pin-point the second when Gallego's heart rips in half." pic.twitter.com/89qAAQ9ICb— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) May 16, 2015
Trayce Thompson lays out
While Thompson's contributions at the plate caught a lot of people by surprise, his defense was supposed to be an asset, and he proved it multiple times at all three outfield positions. Here's his best.
The longest relay
This play is only possible because Adam Eaton took forever to read Jonathan Villar's line drive, and it nearly turned an out into a home run. But credit to Eaton for staying composed and starting a 436-foot relay with Alexei Ramirez to get Villar at the plate.
Good Eaton in Kansas City
Earlier in this opening-series game in Kansas City, Lorenzo Cain took runs off the board by flagging down Adam LaRoche's deep drive and crashing into the wall. Eaton then one-upped him with this Jim Edmonds-like grab to save one run in the fifth.
Alexei Ramirez's athletic 6-4
With the Royals putting on one of their patented late-game rallies, Alexei Ramirez quiets Kauffman Stadium by turning a hot Mike Moustakas grounder up the middle into a 6-4 double play.
The toughest turn
Eighth inning, tie game, bases loaded and one out in Texas. Hanser Alberto hits a bouncer to short, and Sanchez is able to convert the double play despite taking one helluva (clean) shot from Leonys Martin.
The horizonal Dewayne Wise
On Chris Sale's record-breaking night, J.B. Shuck helped turn it into a victory by running back on Dixon Machado's drive, catching it with a diving effort, then hanging onto it after the impact with the ground jarred the ball loose.
Saladino full-extension dive
It's hard to believe that Tyler Saladino hadn't played much third in his life before joining the White Sox, because it didn't take him long to become one of the league's better third basemen. Small samples of exuberant defensive metrics say he's among the best, and plays like this don't hurt.