Best Glove Man in Valley Baseball (2011)

Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop

Stephen Drew went out for the season with a gruesome broken ankle (his toes were pointed backward) after sliding into home plate in a July 20 game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Drew's a good hitter for his position, with a lifetime .270 batting average, and a guy who can hit for power. He's slammed 70 home runs in six seasons (including the shortened season in 2006, when he came up from the minors, and this year) — 21 in 2008, 15 in 2010. For Babe Ruth's sake, manager Kirk Gibson had him batting cleanup some of the time. But where he has been hugely missed by the Arizona Diamondbacks is in the field. Drew, from Valdosta, Georgia, isn't the best shortstop in the major leagues — that would be Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins — but he's in the top 10, especially when it comes to fielding. He's up there with New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter as a defensive shortstop. Jeter, in the 3,000-hit club, surpasses Drew with a .312 lifetime average, but consider this: Jeter has averaged 13 errors over 17 seasons and Drew has averaged 11 over six. The impossible grabs he made this year, saving the D-Backs runs and ensuring wins, truly were phenomenal. Drew may not have ever turned backflips, like the Wizard of Oz (Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith) once did, but he is a magical glove man.


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