MIAMI -- Adeiny Hechavarria has a knack for making the difficult plays seem routine.
On Saturday night, the 24-year-old shortstop showed why the Marlins feel he has the makings of being a future Gold Glove Award winner.
Hechavarria made a sensational diving catch in the seventh inning, robbing Gaby Sanchez. And to cap the night, the shortstop completed a nifty, sliding play on Jose Tabata's sharp grounder for an out in the ninth.
"For me, I think he's the best defensive shortstop I've seen this year," Marlins third-base coach Joe Espada said. "His first step is so good. He makes hard plays seem routine. We're getting a look of what a shortstop is supposed to look like."
After Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Pirates, Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he wished Hechavarria would receive more recognition.
"I just wish more people knew about him," Redmond said. "He deserves a lot more credit than he gets."
The industry has taken notice.
A National League scout who has closely followed the Marlins noted: "Hechavarria is the best defensive player I've seen this year, hands down. At any position."
Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler says Hechavarria's defense allows pitchers to attack more with confidence the defense will make plays behind them.
"It's incredible," Koehler said. "You almost become shocked now when a ball goes through. He's that good over there, that it allows you to just attack and say, 'Hey, hit one to the middle of the field.'
"You feel confident that anything hit up the middle or on the ground, he's going to come up with. That guy is playing better defense than probably anybody in the National League. It's tremendous."