Baseball Infielders: 5 Essential Drills to Play Like a Pro
Baseball infielders are some of the most talented players in the game; here are 5 essential drills to play like a pro. If you wish to play like a pro, you need to practice every single chance you get. It is not enough to simply practice, however. You also have to practice intelligently. This means doing the right drills and practicing the skills that will help you the most. Here are five excellent drills for baseball infielders that will have you playing like a pro in no time:
1. Pepper - Playing pepper is one of the oldest and most endearing baseball drills of all time. The reason it is such an old baseball drill is because it is such a good one. To play pepper, you simply line up several players about twenty feet from another player with a bat. Then have the hitter pepper grounders to you. This game is great for hand/eye coordination and is a great warm up for your baseball drill session.
2. Situational Grounders - Most infielders spend plenty of time fielding grounders and throwing over to first base, but the situational grounders drill allows you to think your way through game time situations. Take the field at your normal positions and have a hitter call out a situation. For example, "Man on first with one out." Then, have them hit the ball on the ground and respond just as you would in the game. This is especially effective if you have the runners to place on base as well.
3. Rundown - Getting runners into a run down is one of the toughest skills to learn in baseball if you do not know what to do. The key here is to have a runner trapped between two bases in which you play the situation correctly. The infielders can then learn how to properly back each other up and drive the runner back to the appropriate base. Rundown forces you to work together well.
4. Pop-fly Madness - This drill entails a batter hitting pop ups to the infield over and over. The importance of this drill is both in catching the pop-fly as well as knowing when to call it. If you have a problem with several people calling them, then this baseball drill is a must.
5. Cutoff Drills - Just as it is important to correctly read balls hit to the infie, so too are the balls that go to the outfield. Learning who is the cutoff man on a ball hit to the outfield and who should be covering what base is vital to the game of baseball. Infielders should always know where to be on the field, and this drill will test that knowledge well.