Yankees Prospect Turns Unbelievable Double Play With Diving Catch

An unreal sequence from shortstop Roc Riggio.
In this story:

Anyone who braved chilly temperatures in New York on Thursday night to catch the game between the Hudson Valley Renegades and Aberdeen IronBirds (the High-A affiliates of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, respectively) got to enjoy one of the most impressive baseball plays you’ll see all season.

The IronBirds were threatening in the top of the seventh with two runners on and one out, trailing by one. But the Renegades got out of the inning without any further damage thanks to an incredible play by shortstop Roc Riggio.

Aberdeen’s Creed Willems hit a weak popup into shallow center. Riggio caught it just before colliding with center fielder Nelson Medina, tumbled to the ground and somehow had the presence of mind to flip the ball back toward the infield while laying on his back. First baseman Josh Moylan was covering second and stepped on the bag to double up the runner.

“My first instinct—my only instinct, really—was to go catch the ball,” Riggio said, according to MiLB.com. “I was going back—waiting for someone to call me off, someone to say they got it. Infielders are taught to go up for the ball and outfielders are taught to go down. So in my head, I was just hoping [Medina] was going to go down, and if he did, I knew I was going to make the play.

“I was just thinking, ‘Go make the damn play’ and leave it all out there.”

Riggio, 21, is ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the Yankees’ system by MLB.com. He was taken in the fourth round of last year’s draft out of Oklahoma State.

The Renegades went on to win the game on a walk-off wild pitch.

Dan Gartland


Dan Gartland is the writer and editor of Sports Illustrated’s flagship daily newsletter, SI:AM, covering everything an educated sports fan needs to know. Previously published on Deadspin and Slate, Dan also is a former Sports Jeopardy! champion (Season 1, Episode 5).