Could Jose Iglesias be the next Ozzie Smith?

Credit: CNNSI
Credit: CNNSI

Ozzie Smith is without question one of the greatest defensive players ever to play the game of baseball. He won 13 Gold Gloves and played in 15 All-Star Games in 19 seasons. Oh, one more thing, he is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

After reading that you may think I am a bit crazy when you read the next question, but bare with me.

Do the Detroit Tigers have the next Ozzie Smith on their team right now? If you have been watching Jose Iglesias play the shortstop position this year you may think so.

Credit: ESPN
Credit: ESPN

Iglesias has been playing shortstop for the Tigers and has been nothing short of amazing defensively. He seems to make an almost impossible play every other day and has even been very solid at the plate.

Let’s take a look at some comparisons between the two players. In 19 seasons, Smith had a career fielding percentage of .978. Iglesias on the other hand has played in four seasons and has a fielding percentage of .985. Obviously, Iglesias has a long way to go before he reaches the status of Smith, but he is off to a good start defensively.

Offensively, to make things fair we will look at the 162 game averages of each player.

Ozzie Smith .262 2 50 79 37
Jose Iglesias .285 5 33 52 11

Jose Iglesias is only 25-years-old and is already considered one of the best defensive players in the game. I have been watching baseball for a long time and have never seen a better defensive player, with the exception of Smith. If Iglesias can continue along at the pace he is on, he will someday join “The Wizard of Oz” in the Hall of Fame.

What do you think Nation? Does Jose Iglesias have a chance to equal the career of Ozzie Smith or have I lost my mind? Don’t forget, Smith did not win his first Gold Glove until he was 25-years-old.

Maybe I am on to something here.

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