Infante's defense among game's best

KC second baseman also turning it around at plate

Infante's defense among game's best

KANSAS CITY -- For all the Twitter jabs at the possibility of Royals second baseman Omar Infante being an All-Star, the truth is that Infante is playing about as well defensively as anyone in the league at his position right now.

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Royals fans saw that again Saturday night when Infante made several tough plays up the middle look relatively easy.

"Oh, yeah. He looks great out there," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's healthy. Last year he was battling through shoulder injuries, leg injuries, back injuries. But he's healthy now. He's moving good.

"He's playing as well as anyone right now defensively."

Infante's barehanded play

The defensive metrics, although often a flawed measurement, suggest Infante is better than last year when he was a plus-one in runs saved, according to fangraphs.com. This year he is a plus-five.

And Infante's arm strength -- a major issue during Spring Training -- has been evident in the past month.

"He looks great out there," Yost said. "He's really snapping his throws. Like I said, he's healthy."

Infante also turns the double play as quickly as any Royals second baseman in recent memory.

"You go around the league and [Robinson] Cano is pretty quick," Yost said. "But Omar is right there, too."

Infante's RBI single

Offensively, Infante has finally snapped out of his slump. He has 11 hits in his last 27 at-bats with three doubles and eight runs scored.

"He's swinging the bat better," Yost said. "His pitch selection is better. He wasn't picking up the ball before. They went back to the simplest thing. [Hitting coach] Dale [Sveum] asked him, 'Are you really focusing in on the release point?' And for Omar it was kind of 'Whoa. That's it.'

"It's hard to focus on a dead spot and then look for the arm and the hand. It's fundamental that all players have to do. And he's doing it better right now."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.