Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 6/21/13

The San Diego Padres are clearly one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 Major League Baseball season so far. After a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday night, the Friars are just 2.5 games out of first place in the National League West. During Thursday night’s win the Padres did what they’ve done all season and made some spectacular defensive plays. Three catches in particular were simply mind-boggling. What made the plays even more impressive was that they were all made by guys who weren’t expected to be starters at the beginning of the season. The first play was made by second baseman Logan Forsythe as he tracked a shallow fly ball into center field. Forsythe ranged back and made a great over-the-shoulder grab to record the first out in the top of the seventh in a 2-2 game. On the very next play, left fielder Chris Denorfia reached into the stands to snag a fly ball in foul territory before falling into the seats himself. How he managed to catch the ball and hang onto it, I’ll never know. Then with two outs and a runner on first in the top of the eighth, Juan Uribe hit a sharp liner to the gap in right center field. The ball was destined to be at least a double and maybe more. With a runner already on first, it meant the Dodgers would have cut into the Padres’ 4-2 lead. But center fielder Alexi Amarista somehow managed to sprint over, make a full-extension dive and catch the ball, robbing Uribe of a hit. Amarista (who is generously listed at 5’8″) is nicknamed “Little Ninja” and he used every inch of his pint-sized frame to catch that ball. Enjoy a video montage of all three spectacular snags below:

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