Teach young baseball players how to get the baserunners out
Controlling baserunners is an important part of a baseball team’s defensive strategy.
If done right, one team can get extra strikeouts and can seriously disrupt the other team’s basic running strategies, potentially reducing the number of runs the other team can score. Done poorly, it can blow up the game and lead to many undeserved races. It is important to master this skill.
With that in mind, this article will discuss the role receivers, pitchers, and infielders play in controlling the running game.
The catcher has two important roles in controlling the opponent’s basic stroke. First, he can try to throw the runners himself. Second, since his point of view allows him to see the entire field, he can convey information to infielders or the pitcher to help guide them in their actions (such as telling the pitcher when to attempt a selection pitch. , for example).
The top priority for any catcher is to understand what is going on in the game. How many runners are on? How many exits are there? What is the score and the situation? Knowing these factors will help the receiver to choose the best action for the given scenario. For example, if there are runners on the first and third and there is no takedown and the first man breaks for the second, we may not want to try to take him out because the runner third would then probably score.
Receivers also need to have confidence in their infield. I’ve seen a lot of receivers who are afraid to throw to different bases to get base runners because they didn’t think their infield could catch it. Gaining that confidence takes time and repetition.
Catchers should also practice their “pop time”. Pop time measures the time it takes between when the ball hits the catcher’s glove and when it hits an infielder’s glove after the catcher hits the ground. Most often, a catcher’s pop time is measured at second base. Elite MLB receivers have times to pop up to the second in under 1.95 seconds. Getting up and making an accurate throw at each base is a skill that must be practiced. Every receiver should practice it at every base and with every infielder covering that base.
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Receivers must also contact the pitcher. Since the catcher sees the whole field, I let them call the pitchers to the pitchers (as a coach I sometimes signal the catcher to call them too). This means that there must be signs telling the thrower to execute an out move, and to what base.
The pitcher executes backstroke movements to expel the base runners or at least to disrupt their base run. This means that the pitcher has a very important role in controlling the opponent’s running game.
The pitcher must trust his receiver. Your receiver sees the whole field. If they tell you to pull out, it’s because they see an opportunity.
They should also practice their pick-up movements. Pickup moves are a skill and an important part of pitching. Throwers should practice regularly and during scrums.
The more comfortable the pitchers are with their pickaxes, the better. I’ve seen pickoffs completely disrupt a pitcher’s ability to throw accurate shots. This is why it is important to practice the combination of throwing and throwing movements during training. This should be done during practice and scrum to help the pitcher mentally prepare for the game.
The infield can make or break a team’s basic defense.
The infield should know their responsibilities when a runner is on base. They need to understand where to position themselves, how to be ready for a pitcher’s or catcher’s pitch, what to do, etc. near the base.
The infield should also watch for the receiver’s signs. The infield should watch for signs the catcher sends to the pitcher. Not only does this help them anticipate what kind of blow might be coming, but it lets them know that a pullback move is coming.
Infielders should also practice applying beacons. It doesn’t matter how good the pitcher’s selection move or the catcher’s throw if the infielder does not apply the tag. Sweeping your tag low and close to the ground is a great strategy, as it gives you the best chance of getting a base runner part. Javy Baez of the Chicago Cubs is a master of the application of beacons, and that’s because it’s something he’s practiced thousands of times.
In the early age groups of baseball that allow basic stealing, the defense against the running game is often an eyesore. Players don’t know which bases to cover, pickup moves are sloppy and poorly practiced, receivers are not confident in their throws and the defense ends up throwing the ball all over the court as a carousel of base runners advance . With a little extra practice in these areas, players can gain confidence and feel comfortable in these situations.
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