Second baseman is a lot harder to play than given credit for because shortstop is considered the most challenging infield position. However, the second baseman has to make a lot of decisions on the field and also needs some range as well. Let’s take a look at some Little League Coaching Tips for Situational Responsibilities of the Second Baseman.

#1 Runner on First

With a runner on first, the second baseman will throw to first for the out.

The second baseman will have to slide over to cover first base (to complete a possible double play) if the ball is hit to the first baseman away from the first base bag.

On a ball hit to the left side (shortstop or third baseman) then the second baseman will have to slide over to cover second on an attempted force play.

#2 Runners on First & Second

With two outs and runners on first and second, the second baseman will throw over to first base for the final out.

On a hit to the right of the second baseman and towards the middle, the second baseman should go for the force at second to end the inning. With less than two outs, the second baseman should start a double play by throwing over to second.

On a ball hit to the second baseman’s left, then they may elect to throw to first for the out.

The second baseman will usually not attempt to force out the runner going from second to third. This would be a risky and unconventional play.

The second baseman will have to slide over to cover first base if the ball is hit to the first baseman away from the first base bag. On a ball hit to the left side of the field, then the second baseman will have to slide over to second for an attempted force play.

#3 Runners on First & Third

With two outs and runners on first and third base, the second baseman will throw to first base for the final out.

When fielding a ball towards second base, then the proper play would become the force at second. With one out, the second baseman should start a double play by throwing over to second.

On a hit to the second baseman’s left, then they may elect to take the out at first. With no outs, the second baseman can start a double play or throw over to first if the ball is hit to their left.The second baseman will have to slide over to cover first base if the ball is hit to the first baseman away from the first base bag.

If the ball is hit to the left side of the field, then the second baseman will have to slide over to second for an attempted force play.

If the runner on third base is the game-winning run, then the second baseman should look the runner on third back and only consider making a very easy play (very short throws). If the runner on third is going on contact (and they just might do that), then the second baseman will have to throw home.

#4 Runners on Second & Third

With two outs and runners on second and third, the second baseman will simply throw to first for the out. With less than two outs, the second baseman should look the runner on third back before throwing over to first for the out.If the ball is hit to the left side of the field, then the second baseman may have to slide over to second for an attempted play due to a possible base running error. If the runner on third base is the game-winning run, then the second baseman should look the runner on third back and only consider making a very easy play (very short throws). However, if the runner on third is going on contact (and they just might do that) then obviously the second baseman will have to throw home.

#5 Runner on Second

With two outs and a runner on second, the second baseman will throw over to first for the final out.

With one out, the second baseman should look the runner on second back and throw to first for the second out. With no outs, the second baseman can look the runner on second back and then throw to first for the out. The second baseman could also make a fake throw to first and attempt to pick the runner off of second or start a run down. If the fake or look back doesn’t draw the runner off second base, then they can still throw over to first to record the out.

If the runner on second goes on contact (which they should), the second baseman should ignore the runner and throw over to first for the out. Throwing across the field would be too risky.

On a ball hit to the left side of the field, then the second baseman may have to slide over to second for an attempted play due to a possible baserunning error.

#6 Runner on Third

With two outs and a runner on third, the second baseman will throw over to first for the final out. With less than two outs, the second baseman should look the runner on third back before throwing over to first for the out.If the runner on third base is the game-winning run, then the second baseman should look the runner on third back and only consider making a very easy play (very short throws). However, if the runner on third is going on contact (and they just might do that) then obviously the second baseman will have to throw home.

#7 Bases Loaded

With two outs and bases loaded, the second baseman will be at normal depth and will throw to first for the final out. With one out, the second baseman can play at regular depth and play for an inning-ending double play. At the Little League level, this is a risky play if the intent is to prevent the run from scoring. The other option with one out is for the second baseman to play in on the infield grass with the play being at the plate. With no outs, the second baseman has to play in on the grass, and the play is at the plate.The second baseman will have to slide over to cover first base if the ball is hit to the first baseman away from the first base bag. On ball hit to the left side of the field, then the second baseman will have to slide over to second for an attempted play there.

#8 Hits to the Outfield

The second baseman will be the cutoff man on balls hit from right field over to right center field. The second baseman will cover second base on balls hit from left field over to center.

#9 Base Stealing Attempts at Second & Balls Hit Back at the Pitcher

The second baseman will back up the shortstop at second base when a runner on first attempts to steal second. The second baseman will also back up the shortstop at second in a force out situation when balls are hit back at the pitcher. Here’s how to properly catch the ball and tag the runner on a steal to 2nd base.

#10 Pop Up on the Pitcher’s Mound & Behind First Base

The second baseman must be ready to make a play on a pop-up near the pitcher’s mound. In MLB, pitchers rarely call for the pop-up and usually allow one of the infielders to take it for them. This is because most pitchers are not great fielders. At the Little League level, a team’s best athletes might be the pitchers( who also play other positions). However, the second baseman should still be prepared to take a pop-up near the pitcher’s mound just in case. A pop behind the first baseman is the second baseman’s ball if they call for it and they should most of the time. The reason is that the second baseman will have a better angle on most pop-ups behind the first base bag.

Conclusion

The second baseman will have quite a few responsibilities on the baseball field that require some thought.

When teaching situational responsibilities at the youth baseball level, it is important to start with a foundation of basics and then build on those basic concepts. It is also especially important with a position like second base (which is complicated for a young player) that fundamentals of the position like situational positioning (knowing where to be and when), applying tags, receiving throws (good and bad throws) and throwing to bases from different spots on the field are worked into every practice.

The best way to teach a challenging position is to drill the fundamentals at every practice and then challenge the player beyond the basics.

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