© GameChanger Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

U.S. Patent No. 8,731,458

PRESEASONGAME DAY PREPOPENING DAYPLAYER SAFETY

Pitchers' Fielding Practice

Matt Whiteside is the owner of All-Star Performance Baseball Camps and Clinics, and director, pitching instructor, and coach of the St. Louis Gamers. He previously played in the MLB for six years over the course of a seventeen year professional baseball career. Additional educational resources for players, coaches and parents are available at gamersacademy.net.

As a pitcher, fielding is your secondary responsibility, but you still need to be confident in your ability to consistently make error free plays from the field, especially in situations where the hitter is bunting in order to advance another runner. This guide is designed to help ensure that that bunt is always a sacrifice.

Fielding Bunts

• Attack/ Sprint off the mound to the ball

• Chop steps as you approach the ball

• Take an angle that allows you to field the ball in the center of your body

• If the Ball is rolling use your glove!

• If the Ball is stopped use your bare hand

• Keep your knees bent as you shuffle towards the base you are throwing to

* For Bunts at 3B, for a RHP, and 1B, for a LHP, attack the ball and create an angle as you approach it, so that you can begin to clear your hips towards the base you are throwing to

Bunt down 1B line RHP

When a ball is bunted down the first base line, you must immediately attack the ball, slowing or breaking down those last three steps, so that when you’re fielding the ball, it will be in the center of your body. It’s crucial that you field the ball between your feet. Errors are made when players run to the outside, peek up at the runner, and lose sight of the ball.

Recommended Articles

Love Coaching Content? Subscribe for the latest from GameChanger

3 Things Successful Coaches Do

READ MORE

5 Team Snacks That Aren’t Orange Slices

READ MORE

Keeping Players Safe

READ MORE

Bunt down 3B line RHP

The key to fielding a bunt down the third base line is to attack the ball at an angle, allowing you to take one step that opens the hips and lines your feet up with the third baseman—your target. When the ball is attacked at the improper angle, fielders tend to throw across their bodies, producing a wild throw down the left field line.

Covering First Base

• On ALL balls to the right side the pitcher should break in that direction

• Take a path that gets your body in line with the home plate side of 1B

• Chop steps as you get within 10 ft of 1B

• Get your hands up as a target for the first baseman as you start to chop your steps

• Tag the inside of 1B with your right foot

• Stay in fair territory after you touch the base

* If a runner is on 2B, as the play starts, turn and look at 3B, after the out at 1st

** When covering 1B when the First Baseman has fielded the ball and he's throwing it to the SS, Find 1B early, stride to the throw as it’s being made

Groundball to Right Side

Any ball hit to the right side of the infield requires the pitcher to break in that direction. Here, the first baseman attacks the ball as the pitcher moves toward first base. Get your hands up early, and give the first baseman a target. Catch the ball, find the bag, and tag it with your right foot. Make sure if there’s a runner on second that you quickly turn around and check home plate, ensuring that runner doesn’t advance.

Cover first on 3-6-1 DP

Just like the first base flip, you start out with a dead sprint to the base, aiming to arrive early, find the base, look up, and then look for the path of baseball. Just like a first baseman, you stride late and toward the throw.

Feeding the SS/2B

• Catch the ball cleanly

• Keep your feet moving toward 2B

• Keep your knees bent as you throw

• Give the SS/2B a throw he can handle easily

• Get the lead runner out!

Force at 2B

Your top priority is to get the lead runner out. Get your feet set and shuffle towards the base, following your throw after release. Focus on making a good throw, and the fielder covering second make the transfer.

Coaches' Toolkit is brought to you by GameChanger. Learn More Here.
Please correct the following errors: