The Shortstop is considered to be among the most demanding defensive positions. Unlike the pitcher and catcher, who must start every play in a designated area, the shortstop and the other fielders can vary their positioning in response to what they anticipate will be the actions of the batter and runner(s) once the play begins. In today’s video blog post, we are discussing the mechanics of the shortstop when playing 2nd base, whether they are holding runners or covering 2nd base on a steal.
Holding Runners on 2nd Base
When holding runners on base, the object is to keep the runner as close to the bag as possible, while keeping him from getting a good jump, and still being able to get back to your field position to be able to cover what you need.
Shortstop in Primary coverage
- The shortstop will creep closer to the runner and pop the glove to force a move back to the bag.
- When the man leading off 2nd base hears the footsteps, his natural reaction is to move back to the bag.
2nd Baseman in Primary coverage
- If the primary coverage fielder is the 2nd baseman, he must make a hard break to the bag so that the shortstop can maintain coverage of his position.
- It’s important that the 2nd baseman and the shortstop know who needs to cover 2nd base under certain hitting conditions.
Covering 2nd base on a steal
- It’s very important to use correct technique when covering 2nd base in a steal situation
- The player should have the bag straddled and he is going to receive the throw from the catcher in this position. The reason is that you can then use the bag as protection and a shield from the baserunner.
- You don’t want to step forward in front on the bag, because you will then be more likely to run out to the ball and then bring it back, which is a slow way of getting the baseball.
- Either the shortstop or the 2nd baseman must break hard to the bag to receive the throw from the catcher.
- The player not receiving the throw must be in the backup position behind the primary receiver.
- Always back up the player receiving the ball from the catcher in case of a wild throw or the occasional fielding error.