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Here are the top plays by position so far

Stubbs, Baker, Williams made the most of their spot on the field
Donta' Williams, C.J. Stubbs and Darren Baker made some of the most incredible plays of the early part of the season. (
July 13, 2023

As we come out on the other side of the All-Star break, it's a good time to take a look back at some of the astonishing, high-flying and awe-inspiring defensive plays from the early part of the season. Throughout the season, gets the fans involved in voting for the

As we come out on the other side of the All-Star break, it's a good time to take a look back at some of the astonishing, high-flying and awe-inspiring defensive plays from the early part of the season.

Throughout the season, gets the fans involved in voting for the Premier Plays of the Week and Premier Plays of the Month, presented by Capital One. From home-run robberies, leaping catches and the plays that get the fans out of their seats, here are the best from each position on the diamond.

Catcher: Jhonny Pereda, Triple-A Louisville, April 6

There's a reason it's widely agreed that the catcher plays the hardest position on the diamond. Credit where it's due to center fielder Michael Siani for making the strong throw to the plate, but the pick and the tag -- swiping through in one motion -- by Jhonny Pereda make this play stand out. This play was voted by fans as the Premier Play of the Week for April 6-12.

Honorable mentions: Single-A Visalia's Christian Cerda tags out two runners at the plate ... Shane McGuire's sliding catch on a popped up bunt attempt for Double-A Midland.

First baseman: C.J. Stubbs, Double-A Corpus Christi, May 21

A catcher by trade, C.J. Stubbs hadn't played a lot of first base prior to this play. But the fearlessness that comes with being a backstop clearly followed him to the other hot corner. Hooks' second baseman Joey Loperfido helped Stubbs land back on his feet, but this play is reminiscent of the 2022 Premier Play of the Year by Midland's Brett Harris. The snag won Stubbs the Premier Play of the Week for May 18-24 and Premier Play of the Month for May.

Honorable mentions: High-A Wisconsin's Ernesto Martinez makes a sliding, over-the-shoulder catch on a pop-up ... Thomas Francisco avoids the tarp to make the play for High-A Peoria.

Second baseman: Darren Baker, Triple-A Rochester, May 11

Darren Baker will always be known as the young bat boy that was rescued at the plate by J.T. Snow during the 2002 World Series. But the 24-year-old has made a name for himself as a terrific defender in three seasons since being drafted. This slow grounder was deflected by veteran first baseman Matt Adams and Baker made a behind-the-back snag that not many have ever seen on a baseball diamond.

Honorable mentions: Luis Guillorme charges a grounder and flips behind his back for Triple-A Syracuse ... Double-A Montgomery's Gionti Turner and Single-A Carolina's Jadher Areinamo both make behind-the-back flips to second just days apart ... Esteban Quiroz flies through the air to snag a liner for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Third baseman: José Devers, Double-A Pensacola, May 26

José Devers follows in the footsteps of fellow Blue Wahoos' third baseman Cobie Fletcher-Vance, who claimed this same honor last year. Every day in the Minors, some quick-footed defender of the hot corner makes a diving stop on a hard grounder up the line. But Devers shows off the speed by getting to the bag, and his arm strength to get the throw across the diamond and complete the double play.

Honorable mentions: Triple-A Rochester's Jack Dunn (March 31-April 5) and High-A Quad Cities' Cayden Wallace (June 15-21) earn Premier Play of the Week after making a diving stop and throwing from their knees ... Fletcher-Vance -- yes, that Fletcher-Vance -- makes a diving grab on a rope in the hole for Pensacola.

Shortstop: Weston Wilson, Triple-A Lehigh Valley, May 28

The shortstop and center field positions often provide the most entertaining highlights. This play on a hot shot in the hole is much more difficult that Weston Wilson makes it seem. The ball is scorched off the bat and gets past the IronPigs' shortstop before it reaches his glove. Wilson also follows the ball as it takes a wicked hop in the middle of his dive.

Honorable mentions: Elly De La Cruz unleashes a 99.1 mph throw to first ... Mason McCoy ranges deep into the outfield to make an over-the-shoulder catch on a pop-up ... Luisangel Acuña makes a diving stop to start a double play.

Left field: Hayden Cantrelle, Double-A Richmond, July 9

This grab is a current Premier Plays of the Week nominee, and it's even more impressive with the full context. This was just Hayden Cantrelle's second game in the outfield and the sixth ball hit in his direction. The 24-year-old doesn't look out of sorts, however. He puts his head down and goes into a full sprint in the gap before making a full-extension diving catch.

Honorable mentions: High-A Jersey Shore's Jared Carr makes a leaping catch up against the wall ... Skye Bolt makes a long throw to the plate for Triple-A Nashville ... Double-A New Hampshire's Zach Britton makes a leaping catch and crashes into the fence.

Center field: Donta' Williams, Double-A Bowie, April 23

There were plenty of incredible plays to choose from for center field. But Donta' Williams takes the spot as he looks like he's actually levitating in the middle of this diving catch. The 24-year-old even got the chance to go on MLB Network and chat with Harold Reynolds about this spectacular grab. Reynolds likened the effort here to Jim Edmonds' catch for the Angels in 1997. And it's difficult to disagree.

Honorable mentions: DaShawn Keirsey Jr.'s home-run robbery for Double-A Wichita, which beat out Williams' in Premier Plays voting for April 20-26 ... Marcus Lee Sang's flailing catch on the track for Jersey Shore, which was the Premier Play of the Month winner for April ... Justin Dean scales the wall for Double-A Mississippi.

Right field: Sal Frelick, Triple-A Nashville, April 15

Fresh off his World Baseball Classic appearance with Team Italy, Sal Frelick headed to Nashville looking to book an early ticket to The Show. A thumb injury sidelined MLB Pipeline's No. 18 overall prospect for a stretch and put a temporary hold on those plans. But in the early part of the season, he quickly showed off his plus speed, athleticism and fielding ability.

Honor mentions: Double-A Tennessee's Pete Crow-Armstrong makes a sliding catch on a fly ball ... Alexander Ovalles makes a diving catch in foul ground for Montgomery ... Ben Gamel lays out to snare a liner for Triple-A Durham.

Pitcher: William Cuevas, Triple-A Oklahoma City, April 27

Following his WBC appearance with Team Colombia, William Cuevas signed with the Dodgers and returned to the Minors for the first time since 2018. His stint with Oklahoma City was short-lived, as he was released after 11 appearances on June 8. But in that short time, Cuevas pulled off one of the most athletic defensive plays a pitcher could make.

Honorable mentions: Rio Gomez stabs a comeback liner for Triple-A Worcester ... Single-A Fredericksburg's Mason Denaburg tracks down his own wild pitch to tag runner at home ... IronPigs' T.J. Zeuch deflects comebacker to himself, slides to flip for the out.

Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for