(With no runners on first base)
After you get your 5 second chat done with the shortstop and the second baseman – as a base runner you must first pick where your outfielders are playing and then where your middle infielders are playing. Are they playing up the middle? Or maybe to the pull or opposite field of the hitter?
Another helpful hint is to see the ball down at contact off the bat. This of course happening after you track the trajectory of the pitch from the pitcher’s release point. Knowing these player positions will help you read ground balls at second base.
The art and skill of stealing third base no matter who you are is very much truly an art in itself and ALL players need to gain knowledge and be given great practice on how to perform this skill!
The three common rules when reading ground balls
- Ball hit to the right side of the infield you HAVE to advance to 3rd base. This is the easy one!
- The classic slow roller up the third base line is the next batted ball you have to advance to third base on. Who fields this ball? THE THIRD BASEMAN! This means that third base will now be vacant and lots of room for you to advance, especially when the third baseman’s momentum will be going towards first base to make a throw.
- A ball hit at you or slightly to your left towards second base is another ground ball that you have to advance to third base on, as a base runner at second base.
In saying this, the ball hit at you happens as you take your secondary lead (taken as the pitcher delivers to home plate) as a base runner-NOT on your primary lead. This is the hardest ball to read but if you do a good job as a base runner seeing the ball down at contact then it shouldn’t be a problem.
This base running technique can really be introduced at any age above 9yrs old but if you’re a PeeWee or U13 player you should definitely be learning this base running technique.
Coaches you will find your base runners will have less confusion on the base paths if this drill is performed regularly.