Infield Skills

Posted on July 16, 2013

FIRST BASE
1. Must be able to handle all types of throws
2. Covers a wide territory
3. Tossing ball to pitcher covering first
4. Throwing to second base on double play
a. Back point of second, if throwing from behind baseline
b. Front point of second if throwing from in front of baseline
5. Holding runners on base
6. Advantages of left-hander over right-hander
a. Glove always on inside
b. Hold on situation-better and quicker tag
c. Quicker throw to second
d. Fast inside play to third base
7. Playing the bag
a. Throw to left-touch front edge of bag with right foot
b. Throw to right-touch front edge with left foot
8. Always touch bag with ball of foot
9. Has to get thrown ball wherever it goes
10. Plays first baseman has to make
a. Short throws
b. Throws to second
c. Must line up feet with throw
11. Man on first and second, will not hold runner
12. Cut-off man-take throw on glove side
13. Charge all ground balls
14. Keep eyes on balls
15. Field all balls within the width of your body
16. Keep glove down-easier to come up than to go down

SECOND BASE
1. Territory he must cover-from behind second to almost behind first
2. Shift position according to pitch-must be good actor
3. Characteristics
a. Field and throw from almost any position
b. Key man on double play
c. Moves well
d. Good size
e. Quick hands-good arm
4. Relays
a. Good arm in big ballpark
b. Poorer arm in a small ballpark
5. Key man in first-third situation
6. Three basic plays
a. Be set when catching ball on double play
b. Throw off to right, move back of bag and make sidearm throw
c. Throw to left, slide to ball to the inside of bag
7. Throws from catcher
a. In front of bag
b. Straddle
8. Fielding ground balls to make double plays
a. Ball coming as high or higher than your knee, rotate body
b. Ball stays down, you pivot with feet
c. Ball hit behind first base, make outside pivot
d. Ball on infield grass, make inside pivot
9. Ball under 15′ of second on double play, make underhand throw
10. Always charge ball-try to field ball within width of body
11. Cheat towards first in bunting situation
12. Must be taught on double play
a. Crossover-takes throw and drags foot across base and goes to infield to throw to first
b. Staying back of bag
c. Being able to go either way to make throw
d. Circling second when taking throw

SHORTSTOP
1. Best all-around ability on the infield
2. Strong arm, agile, speed, quickness
3. Throw overhand
4. Circle ball that is hit to right
5. Double play-throw ball from where you field it; may have to throw underhand
6. May relay signals to outfielders
7. Sees front of outfielders, shortstop becomes cut-off man on throws to second and third
8. See back of outfielders, shortstop becomes relay man
9. Throws to second from catcher
a. Left-handed hitter-shortstop covers
b. Right-handed hitter-second baseman covers
10. First and third situations
a. Right-handed hitter-second baseman cuts
b. Left-handed hitter-shortstop cuts
11. Picks at second base
12. Pop-ups behind third base
13. Goes out toward outfield on pop-ups until called off by outfielder
14. Must know speed of hitter-plays different position on field
15. Must position “on his toes,” not flat-footed
16. Consider fielding over hitting
17. Tagging runner-swipe and get out

THIRD BASE
1. Quickness-accurate arm-most important
2. Takes everything to his left he can get to
3. Uses bare hand only when ball has stopped rolling
4. Throw to second on double play from where he fields ball 5. Use crossover step when going for balls hit to his left or right
6. Hard hit ball-angle 45 degree back when moving toward ball
7. When fielding bunts, get body in best possible throwing position
8. Field ball with left foot slightly ahead of right foot
9. Score and inning determines how close you play to bag; late inning, close game, play close to bag and guard line to prevent extra base hit
10. Runner on first, throw to second when play can be made there
11. Throws from catcher-straddles base with feet and turns body toward catcher; swipes at runner
12. Change position with each hitter
a. Play deeper with two strikes
b. Guard against extra base hits
c. Bunt situation
d. Left-handed hitter
INFIELDER DRILLS

FIRST BASE
1. Reach and sweep
2. 3 – 1
3. Wide throws
4. Bouncing throws, fungo
5. Fielding bunts
6. Double plays
7. Four-corner variations
8. Inside drill
9. Tag plays
10. Rundowns
11. Fungo pickups
12. Big pickups
13. Relay
14. Hockey
15. Range
16. Home to first-double play
17. 3 – 6 – 3 double play

SHORTSTOP – SECOND BASE
1. Flick drill
2. Both knees
3. Angles
4. Stationary
5. One hop
6. Short toss
7. Long toss
8. Quick hands
9. Box drills
10. Center the ball
11. Crossover backhand
12. Hop drill
13. Point game
14. Two first basemen
15. Pepper
16. Indoor double play work
17. Relay drill
18. Ball, bag communication
19. Pre-game throwing
20. Hockey
21. Fly balls overhead
22. Line drive
23. Four square roller
24. Pickups
25. Big pickups
26. Wall drill
27. Pivots
28. Feeds
29. Shadow
30. Four-corner (variations)
31. Diving drill
32. Rundown
33. Flip
34. Short hops
35. Circle catch
36. Fake throw
37. Check

THIRD BASE
1. Bare hand play
2. Four-corner slow rollers
3. Four-corner
4. Inside drill
5. Fielding bunts
6. Force play
7. Tag
8. Relay
9. Double play
10. Fly ball
11. Blocks
12. Check


Joe Ketchum was an assistant coach on the 2000 USA Baseball Junior National Team that won the silver medal in Edmonton, Canada. Among the current Major Leaguers on that team were J.J. Hardy and Joe Mauer.


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