They may or may not play every day, but every time they step on the field you’re ensured that they’re giving it their all.
Whether it’s diving for out of reach grounders, running hard to first every time they make contact, or fearlessly tracking down flies headed straight toward the fence, these players make the most out of their time on the field.
Although grinders usually go somewhat unnoticed not being as flashy and naturally talented as some of their teammates, these guys will always have a place in my heart. I love seeing players who maybe weren’t given the best physical attributes and natural talent (hey we weren’t all born with Mauer’s swing) who make the roster due to their sheer guts, determination, and effort.
So, here’s a list honoring the scrappiest players in the game.
Byrnes can be found diving all around Chase Field, making spectacular plays. He's fearless in the outfield, runs whenever he can, and slides hard every time there's a close play.
McLouth is always giving it his all. Even when he was on the Pirate’s he never seemed to care too much about the standings, he only cared about making the most of every at bat.
Listed at 5’8’’ 165, this little guy knows how to play the game. The scrappy shortstop can be seen hustling down the line on every ball he makes contact with. You gotta respect a player like that.
His face first catch into the fence was enough to get him on this list. Always putting the game first, and his body second, he’s as scrappy as outfielders come.
Reed is one of my favorite players because he’s such a grinder. He struggles to find an outfield spot on the Cubs, but he really gives maximum effort when he’s on the field. He bunts, runs, and dives for balls. This all out effort has taken a toll on his body, and he’s had a few stints on the DL this season, but hopefully he’ll be healthy next year, and the Cubs can use him next season to bring a spark into their line up.
Back in his prime, the 2006 Wold Series MVP was the epitome of a scrappy player. The 5’7’’ second baseman-shortstop continues to make the most of his limited ability and physic. He’ll do anything to get on base, and he’s not afraid to lean into a pitch if necessary.
The 5’8’’ utility man will play whenever and where ever he can. He’s extremely scrappy and truly makes the most out of his limited physique.
It’s got to be tough when you’re on arguably the most talented team in baseball, full of sluggers, and you’ve got to prove yourself with your wheels and defense. That is just what Gardner is doing. Every day he’s playing he’s legging out hits, laying down bunts, and improving the team.
This guy is amazing. He was an integral player on last year’s World Championship Phillies team. This guy does it all; he sprints down the line, he takes great routes, hustles in the outfield, and can lay down a bunt. If you want a championship team, you need at least one player like Victorino on the roster.
Dustin Pedroia is the definition of a grinder. The little second baseman does whatever he can to improve the team, and he’s the reason for much of the Sox’s success over the last few years. He certainly brings a fire to the lineup, and invigorates his teammates.