Infielders let the ball get deep on tag plays in baseball.


In this video we will be highlighting the
importance of infielders allowing a throw on a tag play to get as deep as possible before
catching and applying the tag. During the MLB Tigers vs Marlins 4/6/2016
game, the second game of the season, Jarrod Saltalamacchia throws out Dee Gordon, but
HE doesn’t get all of the credit. Throwing out a runner stealing is a team effort.
Gordon takes about 3.35 seconds from his first movement to hitting the base. The catcher
needs about 2.0 seconds. That leaves 1.35 seconds to complete the pitch as well as the
tag by the second baseman. First, the pitcher needs to deliver a fastball quickly and high
enough. If the pitcher takes too much time, the catcher can have the quickest pop time
in Major League Baseball and still not have a prayer. Second, the catcher needs a good
glove to hand transfer. Often coaches focus on the foot work, but the feet can only move
as fast as the hands and the transfer. Jarrod makes a spectacular transition and an on target
throw. Finally, the fielder, either shortstop or second baseman needs to receive the ball
at the last possible moment and apply the tag. In this case everything worked perfectly for
the defence, a higher pitch would have helped some, but everything else was flawless and
they still barely caught him. In this video we are focusing only on the
fielder receiving the throw. In youth baseball, often the player will catch
the ball out in front and then make a tag, but the ball will always travel faster than
the arm will on a tag. If the throw is on target, the key is to catch it at the last
possible moment, letting the ball get as close as possible before the catch and tag. You see clearly in this video that Ian Kinsler
gets himself to the catcher side of the bag. This is important when the second baseman
is covering on the steal. If he stays on the outer side of the bag or straddles the bag,
it’s going to be nearly impossible to receive the ball with the runner in the way. Next, Ian, seeing the throw is right on target,
waits until the ball is within inches of Gordon before catching it and finishing the tag.
THIS is how you receive a throw to any base when you are making a tag play. Always allow
the ball to travel as deep as possible before catching and applying the tag. Youth coaches should practice this with their
players that are more advanced. This isn’t a skill we teach new players or players still
working on the basics, but if you have higher level players on your team, this is one skill
they need to begin to master as inches can mean outs vs runs and wins vs losses.

10 thoughts on “Infielders let the ball get deep on tag plays in baseball.

  1. This is good advice. But it's also completely dependent on the throw being perfectly on target which almost never happens.

  2. My MLB the show player always brings up his glove to get the throw before bringing it back down. This angers me so much. Ig he let the ball travel I would get 90% more outside for my catcher

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