Figgins showing his skills at third
Versatile player finding his niche at the hot corner
ANAHEIM -- While the Angels' 5-foot-9 third baseman Chone Figgins may not be what many fans and critics consider a typical third baseman, he is letting his defense this season do the talking.
"Figgins is really starting to get comfortable at third," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He is making tough plays look easy."
None were more evident than on Thursday night, when against the Baltimore Orioles in the top of the fourth inning, Figgins backhanded a shot down the line and gunned out Orioles center fielder Adam Jones at first.
The play was so good, that even starting pitcher John Lackey thought the ball was foul, a testament as Lackey said after the game, to "just how great of a play" it was.
"We have all seen him evolve," Scioscia said. "He has been able to focus on one position and become comfortable."
Playing the majority of games at the hot corner for the third year in a row, Figgins has six errors in 73 games.
The third baseman has always been known throughout the league as a solid utility man, able to play all positions in the outfield, as well as second base and shortstop.
Only as far back as the 2006 season, Figgins played 112 games in the outfield, 34 games at third, nine games at second base and two at shortstop.
"How great he has played is really a statement of the type of talent he possesses," Scioscia said. "It doesn't matter what position he is playing -- second, shortstop or even the outfield."
While Scioscia said he will make no effort to jockey for Figgins to be put on this year's All-Star team, he does believe he is playing at a high enough caliber to be considered.
"If he continues to play they way he is right now, he is definitely a Gold Glove candidate," said Scioscia.
Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.