You must learn your defensive responsibilities in order to know how to play baseball shortstop position. The shortstop position is known as the toughest position in the infield, due to scorching grounders and line drives coming their way. However, once you know how to play the position you can concentrate on your actual fielding.
- Know what is out of reach. As a shortstop, you don't want to try to field baseballs that are closer to the third baseman. Also, those that are out of your reach to your left near the second base bag, and those into shallow left and center field should not be sought after unless you can get to them. Know your limits as a shortstop based on the type of ball being hit. You don't want to be out of position or get into another fielder's area of fielding.
- Learn when to cover second base. When second base needs to be covered, you and the second baseman are responsible for the bag. Simply put, when the baseball is hit to the other side of the diamond, it becomes your responsibility as the shortstop. This is so that the second baseman can field the baseball or be the cutoff man.
- Recognize when you are the cutoff man. When the second baseman covers the bag on a ball hit to the outfield, you are the cutoff man as the shortstop. That means you will go just into the outfield (just entering into the grass; the very shallow outfield) to make it easier to get the baseball back into the infield.
- Work on fielding the ball. Fielding the baseball can be difficult at the shortstop position. Recognize your responsibilities and work on the fielding aspects of the shortstop position.