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THE 5 TOOLS: #5 FIELDING

By February 15, 2017 Blog

The 5th tool in a baseball player’s tool set, fielding ability, has to be broken up by what position a person plays. Each position requires different abilities.

The “Fielding” Tool is much more valuable and important to a Shortstop or Second Baseman than it is to a right fielder. Being a right fielder requires good defense, but outfield is a much easier skill to pick up than being a middle infielder…

Here are the Characteristics of a great infielder:

  • Hands: Every infielder has to have above average hands. “Quiet” and “soft” are two labels most people talk about when infielders have good hands. A good infielder will have the ability to read a hop, have his hands beat the balls to the spot, and then absorb and transfer the ball to his throwing hand. Here is a great article we wrote about hands.
  • Footwork: Having great footwork is more than just being quick and able to get to balls. This is more about being able to put your body in the best position to receive the ball.
  • Route: Being a great infielder is also about being able to take great angles to the baseball. Having a great route to the baseball will allow you to cut off balls at a shorter point in order to get runners, get you better hops, and can allow you to get to and knock down balls to save a run. Here is an article we wrote about routes.

The most important part of being an outfielder is being able to get great reads off of the bat and be able to take the best route possible to the baseball. Executing those two items will allow you to get to a lot of baseballs, and when combined with speed, will allow you to cover a lot of ground!

Just like all of the other tools in baseball, repetition is the ONLY way to become a great defender. Taking ground balls or taking balls live off of the bat during batting practice will allow you to get all of the reps you need!