Shane Victorino has quietly become of the best outfielders in the majors.
And it’s not just that he hits for average, rips some timely home runs, steals bases and makes so many things happen.
He’s also an incredible defensive player in center field. How good?
Victorino entered the final two games (last night’s Phillies-Braves game ended too late) of the regular season with no errors.
The Flyin’ Hawaiian handles every ball hit in his direction with relative ease. For those shots that seem uncatchable, well, he gets to those as well.
“I don’t think about stats or numbers,” Victorino said recently. “I just try to field my position the way I know I can.”
Victorino can make a difficult play look incredibly easy, which is the mark of a great defensive outfielder.
“Shane sees the ball off the bat as well as anyone I’ve ever seen,” said left fielder Raul Ibanez. “He gets a huge jump because he reads it right. That’s not easy to do, especially when some guys hit it off the end of the bat at times. He’s just a staple in center field and is so consistent out there.”
Victorino has 50 career assists in the outfield.
“If you’re struggling at the plate, defense can help a club,” Victorino said. “It can carry over to the next inning. We’ve all seen it. It’s a part of the game I take very seriously.”