The Ole Ball Game

defensive question

by Ralphy99

Double play 5-4-3

Double play 5-4-3

Ralphy asked: Runner on first, hitter hits the ball to third base.

Who's responsibilty is it to cover second base?

Is it the shortstop and the second baseman backs him up or is it the second baseman and the shortstop backs him up?

Coaching little league and I am not sure of the answer to this?

Rick answered: Ralphy, thank you for your question.

The diagram above shows what each player's responsibility is in the situation you asked about.

An important thing to keep in mind with baseball situations is, every player has someplace they are supposed to be going, if they find themselves standing and watching it happen, they are wrong.

You will find this concept, that everyone should be moving somewhere, to be one of the most difficult to accomplish as a coach.

It is especially difficult for outfielders to grasp, as they are so far away from the initial action. Because of that distance, outfielders are susceptible to letting their mind drift from the present back to their last at bat, their next at bat, an airplane in the sky...most anything.

It helps when you explain where they are supposed to be, that you take the time to explain why. Once they understand the why, it becomes easier to get their buy in.

These will be movements they may make 200 times before the reason for that move actually happens; but when it does happen, it is essential that they be where they are supposed to be.

Team defense is a series of coordinated movements which provide your team with a way to help control the inevitable errors which will occur in the game. Errors will happen, it is how a defense reacts to those errors that determines how much damage is done.

In the situation you asked about, if the right fielder moves quickly when the ground ball is hit to 3B, should the 3B overthrow the 2B at second base, the right fielder can get to the ball and keep the runner at second.

If the RF doesn't start until he sees the ball overthrown, that runner from first base will be at third.

On my site, if you go to defensive situations, there are many defensive situations and information on what you are attempting to accomplish.

At the above link, you will also find a link game situation fungos, which is, what I consider the best defensive drill ever invented. It is a great tool for teaching all your team defense.

Your second baseman will cover second base on all ground balls hit to 3B and SS.

Your SS covers second base on all ground balls to 1B or 2B, and generally speaking balls hit back to the pitcher.

Give the game situation fungos a try, you will fall in love with it. You get more done, in less time, and it is always moving so kids won't get bored.

You can move players around, so that they learn additional positions and you get base running thrown in as well.

Good luck as you move forward!

Yours in baseball,


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