In my search for amazing defensive plays I watched a lot of videos and gifs. Sadly, some of the best gifs (like Oswaldo Arcia getting hit in the face with a foul ball) were from last year. Still: we did see the Twins flash some leather, as the kids say, from time to time in 2014.
Before you start, remember you can also cast your vote for two other existing categories. Want to know more? Here's our introduction to the SB Nation MLB award season. Our two categories already ready for your vote are:
Funniest moment of 2014
Most regrettable/Twinsiest moment of 2014
Here we go - onto the nominations for the Twins' best defensive play of the year.
Fuld against the wall in right-center field
Sam Fuld made a handful of great defensive plays in the short time he wore a Twins uniform. This is just one example.
Brian Dozier glove tags second to start double play
Dozier is going to show up a lot on this list. He doesn't necessarily have outstanding range or an outstanding arm, but his awareness and athletic ability make him more than a solid second baseman. This was a slick play.
Dozier robs Miller
I think that's what you call "full extension." Good reaction, great glove.
Dozier & Escobar turn two
Dozier backhands with his glove and flips to Eduardo Escobar, who is right on time to fire the relay to first. We actually saw quite a bit of this.
Trevor Plouffe bare-hands the bunt
Plouffe had a great year as a defender, and it helped him to be one of the ten best all-around third basemen in baseball in 2014. Here's just one example of his work.
Plouffe gets Jeter
Plouffe gets to the ball and has a better angle than the shortstop, firing across the diamond to get Jeter by a step. Joe Mauer lays out to secure the throw.
Dozier and Gibson work around Colabello
GET OUT OF THE WAY, CHRIS. Look at poor Chris Colabello here. He's not sure where he's supposed to be or even how he's supposed to get out of the way. To be fair he's caught in a really awkward situation: not quick enough to get to the ball, can't run back to the bag without running into Gibson, and can't stay where he is because he'll get in the way of a relay from Dozier to Gibson. By looking as awkward as he could possibly look, Colabello did exactly what he should do on this play: nothing, and not get in the way.
Hicks robs Murphy
The Rangers still got one, but it could have been three. One of a number of great plays made by Aaron Hicks in 2014. Here's hoping his offense can start to catch up in 2015.
Hicks' dive locks it up
It wasn't a close game, but that didn't stop Hicks from going all-out. He dives to make the final catch of the afternoon. Beautiful.
One more from Dozier
Our last submission is another one from Dozier. This one rebounds off Mauer on a funny hop, but Dozier is there to pick up the pieces.