Fielding a Ground Ball
Baseball Ground Ball Reads
Set up in your normal defense with runners on any number of bases, and create situations in which the runners will have to assess and then react to the play.
Hit a ground ball to the left or right side of the field that’s playable for your infielders. Analyze how your runners are moving on contact, and then make adjustments afterwards.
Go through this drill as many times as you’d like. Create a number of different situations, ranging from common ones to unlikely ones.
Goal of Ground Ball Reads
Utilize many different situations to ensure your runners are knowledgeable about what to do in the heat of the moment. For example, with a runner on third and a ground ball is hit to the left side of the field, you’d probably keep that runner put. Now if the ball is on the right side of the field (depending on how hard it is hit and how fast the runner is), it’d be advantageous to send them.
Be creative with an additional factor in this drill -- how many outs. With two outs, runners should know to leave contact. With one out or no outs, this can play a number of factors.
Baseball and softball are highly situational games, and it’s up to the players to realize the situation and which outcome will yield the desired results. When it comes to base running, especially with runners in scoring position, understanding the situation is crucial.
This drill will help prevent runners from making mistakes that can turn potentially productive innings into disasters.
Written by: Devin Pickell