Throwing the ball from the outfield is a decision that needs to be made in a split second, especially when the game is on the line. However, that’s not the reason to out-run the ball. Here are some factors that outfielders need to consider at times like that.
Sprint to the ball
Taking time won’t enable you to throw a runner out, so remember to always sprint. However, just round and sprint to where the ball is headed, instead of running directly at the ball. This will enable you to crow hop and throw more efficiently. You can field the ball while still running forward toward your target.
- Round and field the baseball as you come forward.
- Always time your step and stutter-step if needed.
- When scooping the ball up, transfer it to your throwing hand immediately and crow hop. Make sure to keep your eyes on the ball as you transition into your crow hop to field it.
- Throw the ball as your front foot lands. A wild throw in the air won’t be as efficient as a throw that bounces to your target.
A very important tip when throwing the ball from the outfield is to stay low and bend your knees as you approach the ball. Straightening your legs or standing up will allow the ball to roll under your glove and you wouldn’t want that.
Where to throw the baseball
Outfielders must know where to throw the baseball. Don’t try to throw a runner out at the next bag unless you field the ball close to the infield.
As a rule of thumb, throw 2 bases ahead of where the runner starts and base hit to any outfield spot
- No one on: The throw should go to second base.
- Runner at first: The throw should go to third base.
- Runner at second: The throw should go to home plate.
- Runner at third: Throw the infielder out at home if she’s close enough. Throw the ball the second base to keep the hitter to the least amount of bases.
Keep the double plays in order
This is very important. Therefore, keep your throws low enough, allowing the cut off man to make a play and redirect the ball to another base if needed.
Know hitter tendencies
This is key for outfielders. When you keep your throws down, the runner will most likely not try to advance and stay at his base since he’s not sure if the cut off man will cut the ball or not. In that case, the cut off man will cut the ball and take an easy out.
Know your runners
Knowing your runners will help you to make your decision a lot easier and faster. You must know if the runner is fast or slow, is he aggressive or not? You can keep the double plays in order by doing this.
Those are some tips on throwing the ball from the outfield. Following these tips will help you field the ball on the run confidently to quickly make the play,