Baseball Magazine

Outfielders: Know the Steps to the Fence

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
A big part of playing the outfield positions is knowing how to handle a ball that is hit to the wall.  Unfortunately, when you watch outfielders on TV, you are rarely going to get a clinic on how to do this properly.  At the major league level, the corner outfield positions (left field and right field) are becoming much more of an offensive position where players are expected to do more hitting than play defense.  To a degree, these positions have always been more offensive in nature but it seems like that is becoming more the case these days.  It seems like the only outfield position that still focuses more on the defensive side of things is center field.

Outfielders:  Know the steps to the fence

Ryan Braun has moved far beyond being just
an offensive player with his defensive
work in left field.

Regardless of which position is played, here is an important tip any outfielder should know in order to improve their outfield play.
Know how many steps it takes to go from a normal playing position to the outfield fence.
If a player does not know this number, he should take the time to go out onto the field, stand in his normal position, turn and run to the fence, and count the number of steps it takes to get there.  Use different angles to the wall and do the same.  This is important because if you get a general feel for how many steps it takes, you will not have to go back and forth between looking at the ball and looking at the wall as you run.  You can keep your eyes on the ball because you will have developed a feel for how many steps you have before contacting the wall.  On the nicer fields, you may have the benefit of a warning track which will help with this information but most lower level fields do not have one.
Of course, all this is much easier to do on your home field.  On away fields, especially those on which you've never played, you may have to go out before the game and do this drill to get the information.  If you have the luxury of on-the-field batting practice prior to the game, it would be best to do it then.  You'll also be able to read balls hit off the bat during BP to get game-like experience on going back on the ball and dealing with the fence.
If you are a young outfielder, take pride in your defense.  Put a lot of work into it.  Don't be that guy who stands out there and just waits for their next at-bat.  There are too many of those out there already.  The game doesn't need more.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Outfielders: Knowing the Pitch

    Outfielders: Knowing Pitch

    One of the advantages infielders have is the fact that they usually can know or find out what pitch is about to be thrown to the batter. Read more

    By  Meachrm
  • Don’t Assume They’ll Know What to Do.

    Don’t Assume They’ll Know What

    The shocking events exposed this week at Penn State University have been forcing a lot of people to ask the question, “What would I have done?” Many of the... Read more

    By  Meachrm
  • Know Your InGREEDients

    Know Your InGREEDients

    A lot of people have a misconceptions about health foods. If you walk through a supermarket, you will notice a lot of different foods that are marked healthy, o... Read more

    By  Tatiannalovingfit
  • What Artists Know

    Every artist especially those early in their careers desperately try and often fail to develop their own unique style. Every artist is influenced by those that... Read more

    By  Rodjonesartist
  • Everything You Didn't Know About Armadillos

    Everything Didn't Know About Armadillos

    Armadillos are edentate mammals, native to southern North America and South America and characterized by an armorlike covering consisting of jointed bony plates... Read more

    By  Gerard
  • Egg Hunt Know-How

    Hunt Know-How

    According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) the best way to prepare eggs for an egg hunt is as follows: Only use eggs that have been... Read more

    By  Jean Campbell
  • Did You Know? has over 1,030 did you knows in various categories. Heaps of interesting fun facts and figures to keep you entertained for hours. Read more

    By  Gerard