Don’t turn your back
This quick tip is for middle infielders.
When there are runners on base, especially third base, it is common for one or both middle infielders to back up the throw coming back to the pitcher from the catcher after the pitch. However, very often
the middle infielder(s) will make a basic mistake when returning to their positions after the backup – they take their eyes off the runner at first base. Even worse, some (mostly shortstops) will turn around and walk back to their position. Doing so turns their back to the runner.
If the runners are on second and/or third it’s not a big deal but if there is only a runner on first, a sharp runner will take off after the middle infielders turn their eyes or back.
The correct method for both middle infielders in order to prevent this is to “back-peddel” back to their position. That keeps them facing second base in case they need to get back quickly and it also keeps their eyes on the runner at first base.
It’s another one of those little things that may only bite you once in your career but when it does, it could mean a game. If you are a middle infielder, make that adjustment and if you are a base runner, look for that mistake in others.
Tomorrow’s post: Defense for beginners – The Three B’s