Don’t Get Picked by the Pitcher or Catcher
Too many runners start with a big lead at 3rd, then have a short secondary. We want a shorter lead in foul territory and we are going to go right, left right and stay on the balls of our feet and have a good body lean forward once the ball crosses home plate. You need to be able to bounce back into the baseline and head back in case the catcher tries to back pick here. Make sure we’re not getting our secondary until the pitcher starts towards home plate. No getting picked off here.
Know Where the Outfielders Are
This is basic. You should always know where the outfielders are when you are on the bases. It doesn’t matter if you’re on first base, second base or third base. Once you’re on base, have an idea how the outfielders are setup. It’s going to help you make better decisions on reading balls in the outfield if you know where they are.
Freeze on Line Drives
Whether you are on first, second or third base, you need to freeze and see that line drive through so we don’t get doubled up. Freeze, see it through and then go once you read that ball through the infield.
Read Play, See Where the Infield Is Playing & Read the Play
The first thing you do here is see where the infield is playing. You will usually see the corners in and the middle infield back. This means that the 1st and 3rd baseman are in and the second baseman and shortstop will be playing regular depth. On a read play, you will be running on a ground ball to the shortstop and 2nd baseman, but you will stay on a ground ball to the pitcher, 3rd baseman or 1st baseman. However, a slow roller hit to the 1st or 3rd baseman may be hit slow enough to score the run as well. This will be up to your coach.
When the infield is back, base running is easy here. Ground ball anywhere but the pitcher and you can score.
When the infield is in, you are reading the ground ball through the infield. If the ground ball doesn’t get through the infield, you are staying.
Running on Contact
If we are running on contact, we are going as soon as the ball is hit and are hoping it’s not a hard ground ball hit right at the infielders who are playing in. Even if it is hit at them, we are hoping that the runner gets a great jump because he is going on contact. This works sometimes with fast runners and it can totally bite you in the butt other times. Coaches have to be smart when they choose to use this play because you can ruin an inning in a hurry by being overaggressive in this situation.
On balls hit into the outfield, you will put yourself in a position to tag up. Coach may not send you, but you need to be ready to go. The footwork is a little different with a ball hit down the left field line compared to anywhere else. We will go over it in the video.