How To Play Shortstop

Shortstop The No. 6 Position
The Infield Focal Point

A Sure Handed Glove Man
Exceptional Strong Arm

How To Play Shortstop requires the capability to cover much of the infield territory from deep in the hole toward third base to the ground balls hit headed up the middle of second base.

The how to play shortstop by virtue of his position in the infield and by the nature of the game puts him in the path of or proximity of more ground balls than any of the other infield players.

Your shortstop is normally your best golden glove performer what we call a real "glove man."

Saddled with the resposibility of having to handle many more chances for fielding hit ball dictates he should have a sense of wanting to assume this role.

The shortstop cannot be effective without foot speed to range swiftly either to his left toward second base or to his right toward third. His value to the team manifests itself in his ability to get positioned in front of grounders and sure handed glove work to scoop and shoot.

Since his fielding chances generally will exceed as a rule any of the other infielders fielding chances this by the numbers thing requires his ability with glove and handling grounders be excellent. Otherwise bobbled fielding or errors will devastate the defensive work of a team.

Shortstop works from deep in the dirt portion of the infield and many times out near the grass or start of the outfield. This allows him the capability to range quickly left and right to head off grounders coming near his position.

How to play shortstop and how deep back into the infield he plays is a factor on the ability to throw out the hitter.

The deft sure handed use of his glove coralling ground balls leaves him with a huge throw to first base to nip the runner.

A shortstop must have arm strength to go deep in the hole toward third stop and throw a strike to his first base man. Shortstops capable of these throws getting runners out we say, "He has a cannon for an arm."

A shortstop worth his salt knows how to play shortstop is capable and has the responsibility to cover all pop fly balls from up the middle behind second base which are to short for the center fielder to reach.

The pop fly ball behind the third base over on the foul line and too short for the leftfielder to reach is the shotstops play. This how to play shortstop by virtue of his field position has a better angle and better field of vision to track the ball than the third base man.

Shortstops have generally the requirement to act as the captain of the infield making sure every infielder is alert and ready each play. One thing is to call the high pop flys of the infield where it is in question whose area is best to handle the pop up.

This is simply because the shortstop is in the best position to see all the infield action.

How To Play Shortstop trivia question,"Have you seen a game with a left handed throwing shortstop?"

If so it is a rarity.

How To Play Shortstop And Steal Situations

The second baseman is responsible and will cover second on a steal attempt with a right-handed batter at the plate and the shortstop will cover second when a left-handed batter is up.

Take your position so you can still cover your area of fielding resposibility, but not so far away from second that you have to sprint to second to get there ahead of the stealing runner.

Covering Your Fielding Responsibility

Position yourself for the hitter and the situation.

You might need to shift a shade closer to second base for a left-handed hitter.

In a close game with a runner on third base play closer to home plate to cut off a runner trying to score on a routine grounder.

With a runner on first base less than two outs set yourself up alert and ready to field a grounder with a quick release for the possible double play.

Always know the sign given by the catcher to know what pitch is being offered the hitter and make appropriate adjustments. For example, you can expect certain right-handed batters to hit an outside fastball to right field.

Get into your ready position as the pitcher begins the windup. Spread your feet slightly, crouch down and let your hands drop down at or below your knees.

Lean forward slightly as the pitcher is ready to pitch, and extend your glove in front of you with the glove's pocket-side or open glove facing up. Keep your glove at or below knee level.

Keep your eye on the ball as the pitch is delivered. Stay close to the ground, which will help you move quickly in any direction.

Always move your feet and place your body squared up staying in front of the sharply hit ground balls with your feet spread and with the glove touching the ground cradle the ball into the glove and into your lap.

Charge a slowly hit grounder by running toward the ball with your eyes firmly fixed on the hop of the ball.

Turning the Double Play

When covering second on a double play, the most natural way to make the out and position yourself to throw to first is to approach the bag and straddle it.

As the ball is being received, give way with the catch preparing to grab the ball and drag your right foot across the bag making the out.

The smooth catch and release with a prepared release motion while dragging your foot to the bag then performing a hop move to position yourself out of the path of the runner and squaring your body up for the throw.

Contrary to popular belief it is not how hard you throw the ball to first base which completes the double play. Write this in the dirt put it on paper but most of all put in inside your head.

It Is The Quick Releases Getting Rid Of The Ball Quickly Is What Turns The Double Plays

Knowing how to play shortstop and performing skillfully is considered, with the exception of hitting, the most fun action for all of baseball.

Innitiating or starting of the double play short to second to first.

Fair is fair just as you want your second sacker to give you timely and well placed throws for you to handle easily in relaying the throw for the twin killing give him the same courtesy.

A soft lazy throw is not timely so do not be guilty of this mistake it does two things it kills the double play odds plus it sets your second sacker up for the hurt locker by having to wait and get pummeled into left field by big boy coming full steam to second base.

The rifle shot throw, unmanageable by reflective reaction time for your keystone teammate is folly, and self defeating for execution of the twin killing to be successful.

Practice and more practice with your second baseman is what makes the double play duo of shortstop and second baseman a choreography of poetry in motion for turning those double plays routinely and beautifully.

Was it Tinker To Evers To Chance which made the double play and how to play shortstop as a vital part of the middle infield action a thing of legendary talk to be remembered?

Batter Up----Let's Play Ball....

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