Middle infielders work on first and third reads when trying to catch a baserunner stealing.

Drill Setup

  • Pitcher, Catcher, 2B and SS in regular positions

first and third cutoff play baseball fielding drill

How it Works

  1. Pitcher delivers ball to home plate.
  2. Catcher throws toward second base to simulate first and third steal play.
  3. SS and 2B work on first and third reads.
  4. SS covers the bag.
  5. 2B is the cutoff man 10 feet in front of the base.
  6. Return ball to Pitcher

Coaching Tips

  • In the first-and-third defense the shortstop covers the bag and the second baseman becomes the cutoff man (10 feet in front of the base).
  • The second baseman must read the runner at third base. If the runner breaks, he could cut the ball and throw home; if the runner hasn’t broken for home by the time the ball is in the cutoff position, the second baseman should fake a cut by slamming his fist into his glove to freeze the runner at third base. The shortstop covers second base and prepares to tag the runner if the ball goes through to the base. If the runner at third base breaks late, the shortstop can relay the ball home.
  • The pitcher can also fake a cut on the catcher’s throw to second base in an attempt to confuse the runner at third base. After a fake cut the pitcher breaks to back up home plate via the first-base line.