Baseball Magazine

Tips for an Underhand Toss

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard
There are a number of plays in baseball that require an underhand toss:

Tips for an underhand toss

Ranger pitcher CJ Wilson

  • A first baseman tossing the ball to the pitcher covering first.
  • A pitcher fielding a hard hit bunt on the first base side and tossing it to the first baseman.
  • A pitcher tossing the ball to the catcher on a squeeze bunt.
  • A shortstop tossing the ball to second base on a double play or force out.
  • A second baseman tossing the ball to the shortstop on a double play or force out.
Like everything else in baseball, there are a lot of little things that go into a simple throw like an underhand toss.  Here are a few to make it the best it can be.

Tips for an underhand toss

Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira

Get your glove out of the way. Some players make the mistake of keeping their glove too close to the ball when they throw a ball underhand.  This makes it tough for the receiver to see where the ball is coming from.  After catching the ball, put your glove on or near your hip so the fielder clearly sees your throwing hand and where the ball is coming from.
Step to your target when you toss.  Standing still and tossing underhand tends to make your arm swing too high or not high enough.  Catch the batted ball, step towards your target, and underhand while you are moving to the target.

Tips for an underhand toss

Former Tigers shortstop 
Adam Everett

Don't let your arm go above parallel.  When you swing your arm up to toss, make sure your arm doesn't go too high.  Stop it at the parallel mark.  An arm that stops before that will tend to toss the ball too low.  An arm that stops higher than that tends to put too much arc on the ball or throw it too high.
"Shake his hand." Recoiling after letting go of the ball screws up your accuracy.  After tossing the ball, stop your arm at the parallel mark and keep it there as you move to the target as if you are going to shake the hand of the person you are throwing to.

Tips for an underhand toss

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard

No arcs.  Firm, line drive tosses only.  A toss with too much arc will get there slower and usually is too high to handle easily and quickly.
Keep your head still.  By "still" I mean do not lift it up as you are throwing.  From the start of your toss to the finish, keep your head at the same height from the ground.  Picking your head up brings your arm up as well which creates an arc.
Chest high.  Aim for the chest.  It is more easily seen and handled by your teammate.
Throw and go.  Continue moving in a straight line towards your target after tossing to improve accuracy.
As you can see, even a simple play like an underhand toss involves a lot of little things that must be done consistently to get the most out of it for you and your teammate.

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