The Omaha Storm Chasers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. With a 50-55 record, the Storm Chasers sit seventh in the International League West, and on Tuesday night they lost to the Iowa Cubs 8-2.
But prospect John Rave managed to give us the catch of the year in baseball, despite the Storm Chasers going down in defeat.
In the top of the third inning Iowa’s Matt Mervis came to the plate with a pair of runners on base, and two outs. Facing a 1-2 count, Mervis laced a pitch low in the zone deep to right-center field. Rave, patrolling center field for the Storm Chasers, tracked the ball down at the wall and got his glove to it, but the ball popped out of his glove.
Yet he managed to reel in the ball anyway, using his bare hand to complete the juggling catch:
The replay angle of the catch gives a clearer view, and you’ll see how Rave initially gets his glove on the ball, only to have it pop out and bounce off his shoulder. Somehow, Rave’s glove keeps the ball from touching the wall — or even going over it — and the outfielder has the presence of mind to snare the ball with his bare hand while tumbling back to the warning track.
Rave went 0-for-4 at the plate Tuesday night, but no one will remember that. Instead, they’ll remember this bare-handed catch, which may very well be baseball’s catch of the year.
At any level.