We’ve seen a mixed bag out of Niko Goodrum’s defense this season. While he grades out below average as a second baseman, his overall athleticism shows up to dazzle from time to time. When a pop-up is lobbed into shallow left field, one expects shortstop Jose Iglesias to be the one hauling it in with his patented over the shoulder grab. This one went a little differently.
Buck Farmer got Avisail Garcia with a fastball riding in on his hands. Garcia fought it off, and looked to have dumped a cheap single onto the outfield grass. But then Niko Goodrum happened. With Goodrum playing near second base, he had the most direct path to this blooper, and made one heck of a diving catch as he streaked past Iglesias into left field.
It hasn’t all been great defensively, but it’s those tantalizing tools of speed, power and overall athletic ability (combined with charitable efforts and a winning personality) that is quickly making Goodrum into a fan favorite.