Brewers minor leaguer patiently pulls off hidden ball trick

Carolina Mudcats third baseman Lucas Erceg tags out unsuspecting baserunner Kyle Tucker to complete the hidden ball trick. (Mudcats on Twitter)

It’s rare anymore to see the hidden ball trick even attempted at the professional level of baseball. Perhaps that’s why the Carolina Mudcats, the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, were able to execute it so effectively against the Buies Creek Astros on Wednesday.

The Astros had just completed a double-steal against Carolina when the wheels started turning. After runner Kyle Tucker slid safely into third, Mudcats third baseman Lucas Erceg mimicked throwing the ball back to the pitcher but held on and then waited very patiently for Tucker to lead off.

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It’s perhaps the slowest developing hidden ball trick you’ll ever see. Forty seconds pass between the time Erceg mimics his throw and applies the tag. But the bottom line is it worked. It really worked.

Thanks to the excellent camera work we’re able to see the entire process of the play, which in and of itself is pretty rare. Typically the television and production crews are oblivious to such things, but this crew was on it.

Apparently the same couldn’t be said for the umpires, who initially ruled the runner safe. However, after a huddle and a step-by-step review of the play without the aid of replay, they were able to determine that all of the proper steps were followed.

The only step we missed out on was the positioning of pitcher Wuilder Rodriguez. He wasn’t allowed to step on the rubber without the baseball and he never did, so the call was changed to out.

If that wasn’t crazy enough, Erceg and shortstop Luis Aviles immediately followed that trick play with another trick play of sorts, teaming up to complete a rare 5-6-3 putout off a crazy deflection.

It was clearly the Mudcats day. Not only did they escape that wild inning, they went on to win the game, 3-0.

BLS: Cut 4

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!