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MLB Los Angeles Dodgers

2013 NL 3B Gold Glove Candidate Juan Uribe’s Top 10 Defensive Plays of Season

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2013 NL 3B Gold Glove Candidate Juan Uribe’s Top 10 Defensive Plays of Season

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Uribe has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2013 season. Amidst all of the huge contracts for Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig that all paid off for the Dodgers, Uribe has risen above expectations.

Entering his 33-year-old season, Uribe’s offensive statistics had been getting worse each of the previous three seasons. After hitting .289 with 16 home runs in 2009 for the San Francisco Giants, Uribe had slumped badly and bottomed out at .191 last season while earning only 66 games worth of playing time. When former teammate and surprise performer Luis Cruz stole Uribe’s starting spot, it seemed as if Uribe’s time with the Dodgers might be finished.

Then Cruz slumped and slumped hard. He was sent to the minors before being picked up by the New York Yankees as Uribe won his starting spot and never looked back. I will admit that I was skeptical about Uribe being the starting third baseman for the Dodgers, but I was wrong. When I wrote in July about Uribe’s seven-RBI game and how it would not be the turning point for his season nor his career, I was mistaken.

Uribe is now hitting .276 with 11 home runs and 46 RBI in 122 games played. Even more surprising than Uribe’s revitalized bat is his outstanding glove work. Uribe has never been known for having an amazing glove, but he has more than just held down the fort at third in 2013. The Dominican has only 5 errors in 267 defensive chances on the year (assists + putouts) and ranks fifth in the NL for double plays turned by third basemen.

If you watch Uribe on a daily basis, you will start to slowly notice how solid a defender he is and that he can even throw in a flashy play from time to time. Unfortunately for Uribe, he is often overshadowed by 2013 Gold Glove candidate third basemen like Nolan Arenado, Chase Headley and David Wright. Dodgers writer Chad Moriyama believes, and I agree, that Uribe will not beat out all of these guys for the Gold Glove despite the fact that he is a deserving candidate.

With that being said, in case you have not seen some of Uribe’s fantastic plays in 2013 or just need a reminder, the next ten slides are a breakdown of what I believe are his top ten defensive plays of the season. Enjoy!

Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or follow him on Google.

Related:

Oakland Athletics: Josh Donaldson is a Gold Glove Frontrunner

New York Mets’ Juan Lagares Should Win A Gold Glove This Year

Chicago Cubs’ Darwin Barney Deserves Gold Glove Award

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10. Barehanded Play To Get Pujols

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

During an interleague game against the Los Angeles Angels in May, Uribe ran a long way and got down to bare hand a slow dribbler. His great throw made it seem like gunning down Albert Pujols on this play was effortless.

Note: Before moving on to each slide, make sure to pause the previous video, else it will keep running.

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9. Diving Snare Robs A Hit

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Uribe got down and dirty to rob a hit from this batter. He certainly showed quick reaction time and feet as he dove into the left side hole. Also, his play kept the runner at second, a subtle bonus to an all-around outstanding play.

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8. Force Out At Home

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

With the Dodgers leading 2-1, Uribe dashed in to pick up Ian Desmond’s half swing grounder and saves a run by throwing the runner out at home in a tough play.

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7. Beautiful Throw To Get Prado

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Running into foul ground is no problem for Uribe. He made this play with a laser throw across the diamond to tell Martin Prado to grab some pine.

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6. Almost Turns A Great Double Play

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Uribe made another great grab along the line and makes a quick turn and throw, giving the Dodgers a chance to turn two on a ball that could have been an RBI down the line against the Yankees.

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5. Long Run And Barehanded Play

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John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Even though he was playing deep, Uribe managed to run a long way, bare hand a weak ground ball and fire across to Adrian Gonzalez for a pretty play.

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4. Diving Snare

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about reaction time! Uribe goes up and steals a double down the line and an RBI from Brandon Crawford.

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3. Another Beautiful Barehanded Grab

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Uribe got the quick Adam Eaton this time with a beautiful barehander to end the third inning of a recent game.

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2. Slide, Spin and Fire

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Uribe ran toward the gap, got down with a sliding grab, spun around and fired over to first for a fantastic out. Another great play and this time in a clutch moment with the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

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1. Laser From Foul Territory Against Giants

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Uribe’s top play of the year comes from just this past weekend’s series against the Giants. Uribe fielded a tough ground ball while running into foul territory and still managed to fire a laser across his body and the diamond to get the speedy Hunter Pence at first.