Baseball Defensive Strategy

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Baseball Defensive Strategy  


Much of the pub in baseball training advice focused on how to improve your team’s hitting or pitching.  Rarely is much time spent on how to improve your defense.  This is unfortunate as a good baseball defensive strategy can help your team win games.  Not only can it help you get more easy outs and reduce the fatigue on your players, it is also more enjoyable for your players to be involved in these types of strategies.  Here, are a few baseball defensive strategy tips that can help make your team defense stronger: 


1.  The left-handed batter shift is normally a waste of time.  It is funny how much is made out of this.  Why would you move your entire outfield based on the arbitrary stance of the hitter.  Shifts in the outfield should only be done if you know the hitter is likely to hit the ball in that area.  Therefore, if you do not know if the left-hander can pull the ball, don’t make the shift.  Instead, spend your time teaching your outfield what pitch the pitcher will be throwing so they can plan for their defensive stop.  The shortstop can read the signal from the catcher and rely this to the outfield.  The outfields can use this information to position themselves and get a jump on the ball. 


2.  Adjust your defensive strategy to move the second basemen to the shallow outfield behind shortstop and third base.  This helps prevent provide more defensive support for right hand batters who normally pull the ball to left field.  It is very hard for right handed batters in high school to hit the ball the other way in high school.  Exploit this to your advantage.  You do not even have to do it the whole game.  You could do it for certain situations or batters.  The only times when you may not want to do this is when there is a runner on first as this will limit your double play opportunities without a second basemen or when there is a left handed batter.  However, with left handed batters, you could consider moving the shortstop over behind the second baseman as a rover in those situations.  This change would depend on how likely you believe the left-handed batter is a pull hitter. 


3.  Recognize the sun can be a disadvantage for your team.  If your team plays most of their games while the sun is going down, recognize if the twilight sun will be shining in the eyes of your outfielders.  In this type of situation, be sure to adjust your pitching lineup so pitchers who force a lot of ground balls are pitching during this time.  Also, take a little extra time talking to the umpire or opposing coaches to buy time for the sun to go down, this will result in your outfielders having a better chance of seeing the ball come off the bat.   


4.  Use tricks to get easy outs to help your team.  Allow for your team to use unique pick-off moves.  If you have left-handed pitchers, have them use the pickoff move to first where they throw over to first in their windup.  Have the catchers call for pitch outs when you believe a runner will be stealing.  Bottom line is be willing to be creative in this area.  High school players tend to also have difficult remembering pitch counts and the number of outs.  Use this knowledge to setup situations where you fool the base runner into thinking a third out was made or the ball was thrown into the outfield.  More often than you would think these strategies work in getting a badly needed easy out.


Armed with these tips, your baseball defense should get much stronger and more enjoyable.  Remember a solid baseball defensive strategy also helps your hitting and pitching by putting less of strain on them to always perform by giving your team more easy outs.


These tips are designed to help you adjust your defensive scheme to get better results.  After a little experimentation, you will find the right balance of adjustments that works best for your team.


*To get some tips and strategies on how to get more easy outs, check out Aggressive Defensive Strategies  

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