Aggressive Defensive Strategies

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Aggressive Defensive Strategies  


 

An aggressive defense can help add extra strength to your existing team defense.  Although opinions may vary on what aggressive defensive strategies work best, most would agree that defenses work best when they are proactive rather than reactive.  Here, are our tips on how you can get your defense to be chomping at the bit with each pitch.

 

1.  Use a defensive shift of putting the second baseman behind the shortstop and 2nd base.  This helps take away a power alley allowing the defense to be stronger against right handed batters.  Since most high school baseball hitters will have trouble hitting the ball to the opposite field, this strategy works great for giving your defense an extra fielder in the most likely places where the ball will be hit.  One caveat: go back to a regular defensive setup when a runner reaches 1st base and with left handed batters.

 

2.  Bring in the left handed first baseman or outfielder to throw to left handed batters.  The rarity of left handed pitchers is challenging for most hitters, but is even more so to left-handed batters who are not used to seeing the ball come towards them from behind their head.  Left handers that have a three quarters or sidearm motion are especially effective in these situations.  For this strategy, you would have the former pitcher change positions with the left hander and he would return to the mound after the left handed hitter’s at-bat. 

 

3.  Gamble and bring the outfield up for weaker batters.  By doing a little scouting and knowing who are your opposing team’s weak hitters.  You can have your outfield cheat in.  This results in it making harder for those hitters to get a hit as the hitting lanes are made smaller.  Even if a hitter can occasionally hit the ball over an outfielder’s head, the odds over time will always be in your favor.  

 

4.  Catcher practices dropping the ball on purpose to entice base runners to steal second or third only to throw them out.  If you have a catcher with a very strong arm, this is a great way for him to use it more often.  This strategy is great for coaxing base runners into attempting to steal when they otherwise would not.  

 

5.  If the catcher has a strong arm you can practice the throw to second disguised as a throw back to the pitcher.  This trick can also work occasionally when you have baserunners at second base that are not aware. 

 

6.  Left Handed pitchers should master their pick-off move to first.  Practice in this area will lead to success at picking off base runners and will force base runners to stay closer to first base on their lead-offs.  This means less of a chance for them to steal second and also helps protect teams that have a catcher with a weaker arm. 

 

7.  Be willing to load the bases to get to weaker batters.  This nugget of baseball wisdom is often overlooked.  As a baseball team, it works to your advantage to pitch to the weakest hitters on the opposing team.  For this reason, do not be afraid to load the basis if it brings up a very weak batter who is likely to ground out or strikeout.  Also, loading up the bases provides another advantage in that it creates a force out at any base. 

 

8.  Use a pitchout if you believe the base runner is going to steal.  A pitcher and catcher should not be afraid to try these occasionally especially when they know the batter is stealing.  This works really well for right handed pitchers who are looking for a way to keep base runners from stealing on them.  

 

9.  Use dramatic changes in your use of pitchers in games.  Begin with a slower pitcher followed by a faster pitcher or use a regular pitcher followed by a pitcher that throws an odd pitch like a knuckleball.  Basically, keep the other team off-balance by giving them something else to deal with. 

 

10.  Have the infield play in if you believe the batter is going to bunt.  If you believe the bunt is on, setup your defense to account for it.   

 

By applying these strategies, you are teaching your defense to be more aggressive.  Over the course of the season, this personality will carry over into other areas which will help your team’s pitching and batting as well.  Aggressive play is a great asset to have especially in high school baseball. 

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