Baseball Magazine

3-6-3 Double Play

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

3-6-3 double play

Starting a 3-6-3 double play
(Photo by LakeCountyCaptains)

One of the many pet-peeves of mine when I watch games is on a 3-6-3 double play when either the shortstop or the first baseman yells "Inside!" or "Outside!" before the throw to second base.  Saying anything is unnecessary.  Whether the first baseman throws to the inner side or to the outer side of the bag simply depends on where the first baseman is when he catches the ground ball.  If he is on the infield side of the base path (photo at right), he should always throw to the shortstop who positions himself on the infield side of the bag - again like the photo.  If the first baseman is playing deeper and catches the ball on the outfield side of the base path, he should always throw the ball to a shortstop who has positioned himself on the outfield side of second base.  In both cases, if done properly, the ball stays out of the path of the runner and will not hit him.  As I said in this previous post on common mistakes by first basemen, great players know where they are at all times on the field and should not have to be directed by others, in this case telling a shortstop where to be.  The shortstop should already know where to be based on where the first baseman caught the ball.
The only tricky part about this play is when the first baseman catches the ball directly in the base path.  To avoid throwing the ball in line with the runner, the first baseman should continue forward after catching the ball to get on the infield side of the base path before throwing.  That is a more natural movement as opposed to trying to back up to the outfield side of the base path after catching.  

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