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Teaching baseball here in our guide to play baseball we will talk about the corner infield positions.
There is a proper way to position the first baseman and the third baseman.
If you have not spent time around the higher levels of the game like college baseball or pro ball then it will be difficult to know how to position the corners.
How you position your corner infielders is a dead give-away to how good of a baseball man (or baseball person) you are as a coach.
Experienced baseball coaches from the top levels of the game can tell immediately if quality coaching is happening or not by observing an inning or two of the corner infielders. There is a right way to teaching baseball and a wrong way to coach baseball.
It does not matter if you are a little league coach, Babe Ruth coaching, Ripken baseball, travel ball, high school baseball coach or any youth sports coaches follow this baseball coaches clinic on infield positioning.
In order to teach kids baseball let us start with the third baseman. Follow our guide to play baseball.
• With no runners on base…play back and cover ground with more range. Play 4-5 steps over from the bag and 4-5 steps back depending on speed of the runner, arm strength and agility.
• If the hitter is a drag bunt threat then be on the alert. Play some ‘cat & mouse’ with the batter. For example: show the hitter that you playing in at the infield grass.
As the pitcher goes into the windup and pitching delivery, scramble back several steps to re-gain your range. Often when the third baseman plays in and takes away the bunt the batter will not try to bunt.. So let them see you are in and then scramble back as the pitch is thrown.
• Reverse the ‘cat & mouse’ by playing back when you expect a bunt and scramble in several steps while the pitcher is throwing different pitches. It is like you are daring the batter to bunt.
• With two strikes: play back deep as the bunt threat is close to nil.
• Double Play depth: 4-5 steps over and 0-3 steps back. Have to concede some range.
• Play back deep with two outs. Also, play back with a runner on second base and two outs to take away the base hit.
• With a left-handed hitter up and two outs and a runner on 1B: Check with your second baseman to see if they will be at 2b for the force play or will you have to throw across the diamond to firstbase.
Do NOT have the third baseman ‘hold’ the runner on 3B. You might as well put a ‘dumb’ sign on your forehead.
Holding the runner on 3b is very poor percentage baseball coaching. Our player development products to play baseball says this is bad baseball tactic for any level…and says you are not a very smart youth baseball coach.
As a youth baseball coachyou will always have your eye out for the where your corner players are positioned. Even major league managers move their third baseman around from pitch to pitch and batter to batter.
Depending on the count, the batter, the score of the game and the runners you will have use this guide to play baseball. Players should glance to you just to get affirmation from the bench coach to see if any adjustments are needed.
After awhile you want the players to be able to critically think along with the game situation so they will more or less where they should be playing. Top coaches use communication and teach baseball between innings and pre-game and post-game about situations.
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