Baseball Magazine

Where Do Outfielders’ Hands Go?

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Where do outfielders’ hands go?

This position is what you want outfielders to
avoid in their pre-pitch set up.

Ask any little league infielder where their hands go before the pitch and he’ll very likely give the correct answer.  “Down near the ground and out front.”  If he can’t say it, he’ll at least show you.  But how about if you asked that same question to an outfielder?  Even a high school outfielder?  Chances are good you will get a variety of answers that are spoken with some uncertainty in their voice.  The point is, infielders generally do a good job of getting ready before the ball is hit.  Not so much with outfielders.  Here is what they should be doing.

Where do outfielders’ hands go?

Manny's defense was suspect to say the least but at
least he got into the correct position on this pitch.

Outfielders are not infielders so there is no need to put their gloves out in front of them prior to the pitch.  Infielders do this to be prepared for hard hit grounders sent their way.  Outfielders, on the other hand, have to be prepared to cover a lot of ground on line drives and fly balls hit around them.  As a result, they need to be ready to move quickly.  Putting their hands on their knees doesn’t work because that just makes them slow and prone to laziness.  But allowing them to stand tall doesn’t work for the same reasons.  So what are they supposed to do?
The answer is, put their hands on the front of the hips.  On every pitch, the outfielder should take a step towards home plate and place both the glove and the throwing hand on the front of their hips just below their belt.  The stepping forward gets their feet into proper position (the athletic position) and the front of the hips gives them a good spot for their hands to be without it leading to slow reactions or laziness.
It's very simple but it's not often done.

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