Best Ways to Improve Fielding for Middle Infielders
Playing shortstop and second base can be a lot of fun. The thrill of making a diving play and turning two has most baseball players wishing they could play the middle infield. What we all know, however, is that there is a ton of pressure playing those positions.
You better be focused at all times, fundamentally sound and have the right equipment. Start off by getting one of the best baseball gloves for middle infielders. There are many to choose from but look for the best brands when searching for a solid mitt.
Your glove will be Mr. Reliable (or at least it should be). You’ll need him during the most pressure situations throughout a game. The last thing you and your teammates want is for it to break down when the game is on the line.
#1: Fielding Ground Balls
Your nickname should be the human vacuum after you read this article! Having sound fundamentals is the key to being a great middle infielder.
#2: Position Your Glove
The fundamentals of fielding are quite simple, but in order to master them, you’ll need to practice hard and smart. Your glove should always be ready to take a ground ball before the pitcher releases the ball.
A good position to be ready is to have it right in between your knees. It should be pointing out so the webbing of the glove is facing out, ready to scoop up whatever comes your way.
Your throwing hand should be relaxed, as should your glove hand. However, you should get your cat-like reflexes cranked up.
#3: Move Your Feet
If you watch the best infielders in the Majors, you will start to notice that they constantly move their feet. When you do this the right way, you should never have a “bad bounce.” The key to mastering this fundamental is to position yourself to where you’re throwing in relation to the angle at which the ground ball is coming from.
When you practice this more, you should start to notice the rhythm that you can get yourself in. Professional middle infielders will always be in the perfect position to throw on routine ground balls.
#4: Throwing Hand Ready
Your throwing hand should be ready to help with your glove hand. The best middle infielders have the quickest releases. Sometimes you have to be fast and get that ball up and out, or a fast runner will be safe.
The perfect place to keep your throwing hand is right on top of your glove with your palm facing in. Your fingertips should be ready to pluck the ball out of the glove, then get into throwing phase.
#5: The Glove to Hand Exchange
A common mistake we see a lot is players exchanging the ball from their glove to their hand by flipping it. This is a really bad habit and one you should work really hard to break. The proper way to get the ball from your glove to your throwing hand is by reaching and “plucking” it from the glove. This way, you will have less room for error if you’re flipping it out.
Now, it’s time to make a choice. If you really want to become a better middle infielder, you will take these tips and work on them like your life depends on it. Become the human vacuum and improve your performance!