Looking for baseball fielding drills? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’ll cover two of my favorite drills for developing throwing and catching skills for your infielders and outfielders.
Fielding Drill #1: Around The World
The main purpose of this drill is to work on the throws that infielders will be required to make during a game. The catcher will be able to work on throws down to second and third, the middle infielders will work on turning two, and the corner infielders will be able to work on throws home and across the diamond.
How it Works:
This drill is performed with every infield position manned. When the drill is first run it can be done without base runners. Once the drill is practiced a few times then outfielders can be used for base runners. The ball should go “around the world” and back home before the runner makes it all the way around the bases. A game could even be run with a point being awarded to the runners or the infielders depending on who wins.
The ball starts out with the catcher. The catcher throws down to second base where the shortstop catches it, touches the base and throws down to first. The first baseman catches the ball while touching first and then throws down to third base.
The third baseman catches the ball and then throws to second where the second baseman will catch the ball, touch second, and pivot and throw down to first. This time the first baseman will catch the ball and throw home. The catcher will catch the ball and throw down to third base. The third baseman will catch the ball and return the throw back to home.
If a base runner is used, the catcher should hold onto the ball until the base runner clears past him and then begin the throwing drill by going to second base.
The coach should be looking to make sure players are catching the ball with two hands and transitioning smoothly from catching the ball to throwing the ball. Players should make sure they touch the base with each and every catch. It’s important that players keep their feet under them and make strong throws.
The coach should also pay attention to the way the base runner circles the bases. The player should run in a straight line to each base and only curve out to circle each bag about 10-15 fifteen before the bag. This is the shortest distance. (Runners should not make a huge circle around the bases.)
Fielding Drill #2: Hit the Cutoff
The main purpose of this fielding drill is to work on getting the ball from the outfield into the infield.
How it Works:
This drill requires a fielder at second, at third, a catcher, a cutoff man, and outfielders.
The coach will begin the drill by hitting the ball (in the air or on the ground) to the outfielder. The outfielder will field the ball and throw the ball on a line to the cutoff man (the ball should be aimed at the cutoff’s head). The cutoff should go out to the outfield grass and line-up between home and the outfielder.
Once the ball is hit, the coach should tell the catcher where the ball should be thrown. First base is 1, second is 2, third is 3, and home is 4. As the outfielder throws the ball to the cutoff, the catcher recognizes if the cutoff man needs to catch the throw or not.
If the throw doesn’t need to be caught then the catcher doesn’t yell anything. If the ball needs to be caught or “cut” then the catcher needs to be yell “cut” and then the number of the base.
For example, if the coach wants the ball thrown to third (because that’s where the runner might be thrown out) then the catcher should yell “cut 3!”
If the cutoff doesn’t hear anything then he should just let the ball go. If the catcher does yell “cut” and then a number then the cutoff needs to catch the ball and then throw to the correct base.
Too often outfielders try to throw the ball all the way home or to a base and the ball takes too long to get there. Outfielders should always aim to hit the cutoff man. In fact, the outfield should throw right at the cutoff man’s head. The ball should be on a line.
Coaches should look to make sure the outfielder is receiving the ball with two hands. Then the outfielder should use a crow-hop to throw to the cutoff man. The cutoff should line-up directly between the ball and home (or the base where the leading runner will be going for). The coach should make sure the cutoff man catches with two hands. Preferably the cutoff should already be turning as he catches the ball. Then the cutoff should use the crow-hop and throw to the base that the catcher called. The catcher needs to make the call loudly and in plenty of time so the cutoff man knows.