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Lefties Do Not Play Shortstop in Baseball
Turning Two: No Lefties at Shortstop
I was practically born
on a baseball field, my Dad was an amazing coach but I am having an issue with my son’s minor league coach.
My son is only 9 years old but he is big for his age and is athletic but he is left handed and the coach for some reason thinks that he and another left
handed child on the team should play shortstop and 3rd base.
It drives me nuts.
It takes at least several extra seconds for kids at this level to realize they have to turn around in order to throw the ball to first and the coaches will blame the kids if they don't get the out at first when it is not their fault.
The Baseball Shortstop
The baseball shortstop is one of most difficult baseball positions on the baseball field to play.
Normally on most baseball teams there will be very few players who will have what it takes to play shortstop in some kind of consistent manor. The skill set and athleticism required to play shortstop position is rarely found in youth baseball kids.
You are right on that lefties should not play baseball shortstop or 3rd base.
The only positions lefty baseball players should play are pitcher, firstbase and outfield positions. The problem is that so few players can play shortstop and third base there is a supply and demand problem.
Youth baseball coaches often do not know that lefties should play only lefty positions. If a youth baseball coach has a good athletic player who happens to be lefthanded throwing the coaches are commonly inclined to place the kids in the infield positions like baseball shortstop because there may not be any righthanded throwers that can play shortstop adequately.
Therefore, when we combine the lack of knowledge from the youth baseball coaches with the lack of talented righthanded players we get lefthanded shortstops and thirdbasemen.
You will often see lefthanded catchers in youth baseball, too, because
of the same reasons.
Player Development vs. Lefties Playing Shortstop
The youth baseball argument that I fight so hard for on my website and baseball consulting is simply what this is about.
1. We have youth baseball coaches that do not understand what positions lefties should be playing.
2. The reasons lefties play pitcher, 1st base and outfield are because we are trying to develop baseball players to play for the local high school teams. In higher baseball levels these are the only positions lefties will play.
3. We have youth baseball coaches and youth baseball leagues that do not have the mindset to develop baseball players to someday play in high school baseball.
4. Youth baseball coaches also put winning over player development. Coaches will play lefties out of position and take away the opportunity to get experience at the positions they should be playing.
In addition, the righthanded players do not get the opportunity to get playing time and experience at shortstop and 3rdbase in order to develop their own skills at righthanded positions.
Perfect Storm is a Red Flag
When you see lefties playing shortstop, thirdbase and catcher in youth baseball leagues you know you have the perfect storm coming together and it is not good.
• Ignorant baseball coaches
• Win-at-all-Costs baseball coaches.
• Lack of a Player Development system.
• Poor coaching training or none at all.
• No local player development system to prepare players for the high school team.
• Not allowing baseball players of essential playing time at baseball positions they will need to play in higher levels of baseball.
• Coaches putting winning ahead of player development.
Lefty Baseball Shortstops is a Lose-Lose
There is not one good reason or argument for lefthanded baseball players playing out of position.
It is a lose-lose for everyone involved. Baseball coaches are going to have to find and develop a righthanded player to play baseball shortstop and leave the lefthanded players in the usual positions on the ball field.