Leapin' lizards! Add shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria of the Miami Marlins to the list of beings who are able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. It's him and Superman. As Marlins announcer Rich Waltz said, that's some hops. The only thing preventing him from coming down on his feet was the pull of the line drive taking him toward the outfield in mid air. But Hechavarria has time to work on his landings; he's only 24 years old, having come over from Cuba in 2010.
Aside from the ridiculous athletic ability Hechavarria showed off in robbing Philadelphia Phillies rookie Cody Asche of a base hit in the sixth inning Wednesday night, the collective reactions also were priceless:
From Asche looking back and appearing to wonder: "Did that just happen?"
To Hechavarria appearing to check out the replay on the video board and go, "Yep, that's what I do."
To the Philly fans at Citizens Bank Park, reputed to have a certain cynical worldview sometimes, who gave Hechavarria a rousing ovation. It's what baseball should be all about.
Even though the Phillies are out of the race and people are mad because of GM Ruben Amaro and the score was tied and losing to the Marlins would be extremely annoying, they saw the value of what Hechavarria did. See? Phillies fans know what time it is. And if a Marlins player can make Phillies fans applause, maybe we can have peace in the Middle East.
Back to reality: Hechavarria has not hit well this season. In fact, he's one of the least effective hitters in the league, with a line of .226/.265/.295. Defensive metrics — and we're not sure about the efficacy of those yet — peg him as average at short. However, making plays like that will make teams keep giving him at-bats, so his chances to improve there also will continue.
In the meantime, enjoy the leaping. Now here it is in Spanish: