Baseball Positions & Roles : How to Play Left Field


Let’s take a look at the left fielder. The
outfield is divided into sections, left, center, and right. Standing at the third base, looking
into the outfield, the left fielder is the left most player in the outfield. The left
fielder’s responsibility is anything from the foul line to about mid-center field. He
has control of any ball hit in the air or on the ground in that specific area. He has
to watch the third baseman and the shortstop if they decide to come into the outfield to
make a play. If the left fielder has a better angle and can make a better play, he needs
to call them off. Or, if they want to make a play and he doesn’t have a play, he needs
to fall into a back up position. If the ball is hit on the ground in the infield toward
the third baseman, the left fielder needs to back him up. If the ball is hit on the
ground toward the short stop, he needs to back him up as well. His primary responsibility,
however, is fielding the fly ball. Sometimes, especially with a right handed batter or power
hitter, he wants to play a little deeper on the field. If a left hander batter is up,
he may play in a little shorter and put what’s called a shift on which means he will shift
a little further toward center. The reason for doing that is a left hander batter is
less likely, statistically, to hit the ball to left field. Of course, some hitters are
very good at spreading the ball all over the field. In general, left handed hitters are
more likely to hit the ball to right or center than to left. So, often times you’ll see a
left fielder making the shift towards center field. The left fielder can also make plays
in foul territory. If the ball is hit in the air in foul territory, and he can make a play
on it in foul territory, he’s recorded an out and helped his team. If the ball hits
the ground, there’s no out and the batter gets another chance to perhaps get a hit.
So, the left fielder has to control left field and also serve as a back up to the infield
on ground balls and serve as a little bit of a general, perhaps a lieutenant, if the
third baseman or the short stop come into the outfield. That wraps up the coverage of
the left fielder.

8 thoughts on “Baseball Positions & Roles : How to Play Left Field

  1. nope. you don't have control over any ball if the centerfielder calls it. Also, you are wrong at 1:17 when you say LH hitters are less likely to hit to right field.

  2. ok, yes some of these facts r wrong. but u guys all get the basic idea of the position. I play left, center and 1st base b/c im left handed and ive watched them and they basically give a general feel of how to play the position.

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