June 30, 2014

Outfield play is a very important part of defensive baseball, especially in youth ball. It requires full concentration, “sprint-hustle”, good hands, and quick reactions. Getting the ball back into the infield will stop runs, advancing runners, and get an occasional “hustle out”. The key is to anticipate with each play and get to the ball immediately!!

The Essentials:
1. Get a good jump on every ball! Go on contact and charge it!
2. Anticipate the play: Know the situation and what YOU need to do.
3. Watch the ball into the glove on each play, fly or grounder(head down).
4. Catch the ball on the throwing arm side so that you can “unload” quickly.
5. Quick release of the ball: NEVER hold it! Get it in NOW!
6. Throw with a four seam and take a crow-hop to get more power.
7. Throw the ball down(not up) and hit the cutoff in the chest..keep it low.
8. Block all groundballs with your body. Take them on the full run and throw and follow.
9. First step BACK on a fly ball. NO drifting to it..sprint!
10. Ball over head: “Open” to the ball side and sprint. Do not put glove out til last three(3) steps or so.
11. HIT the CUTOFF MAN!!!!!!!
12. Call ALL balls you can get to: Be sure it is yours!
13. Backup the other outfielders and bases.
14. Center field goes in front on ALL balls and the ball is his if he calls it.
15. Communicate with others: Call off the infielder if you can get to it!
16. Lay out only on “arcing” balls that you CAN catch. Block line drives.
17. Always try to catch a ball moving forward.
18. If a fence: Go to the fence first and then to the ball!
19. If a ball is headed by you, take an angle to it..do not chase it!
20. Use TWO hands to catch all balls!!!
1. Throw to bases: hit the infielder inside left knee(knee high)
2. Work on foot work: Open to the ball side. Sprint back.
3. Hit the CUTOFF: Cap high is a good rule/through the cut.
4. Play log toss and build arm strength. RUN, RUN!!!!!!!!
5. Take flyballs and work on technique: Catch and release, moving forward.