When a young player first starts playing baseball, they really don’t know what position they are best suited for. Most players look at pitcher or shortstop as the best positions to play. But it really depends on the individual and what their skills are on the baseball field.
Are they a fast runner? Do they have a strong arm? Or do they have a knack for fielding ground balls or judging a ball in the air. These are all things that will help coaches determine what position might be best suited for that player.
We’ve broken down each position on the field and discussed the attributes that players may need to excel at that position. Take a look.
Being an infielder, it’s important that a first baseman be adept at fielding balls on the ground. And because they play in closer than a middle infielder, they need quick reflexes for balls hit hard right at them. They need good lateral quickness to be able to move side to side to make plays and need good decision-making skills. A first baseman can be helped by throwing left-handed since it can make some throws easier to make. They can also benefit by being a taller player to retrieve high throws and will need to be able to catch short hop throws coming their way.
A good second baseman needs to be a good fielder, specifically of ground balls and balls hit to the shallow outfield. Lateral quickness is essential and the ability to make short but accurate throws to second or first is needed.
The infield general, the shortstop typically plays deeper than the other infielders and needs to cover a lot of ground. Speed and quickness is required to grab a ball in the hole or up the middle. The ability to field a ground ball and know whether to charge or stay back is also essential. A shortstop should also be smart and know what the right play is at all times and have a good and accurate arm.
The third baseman needs sharp reflexes and a strong arm. They also need to able to charge bunts and make one-handed plays and also make quick but accurate throws.
The left fielder, like all outfielders, needs to be able quickly judge and react correctly to balls hit their way. They need to have a good arm for strong throws back to the infield or home plate. They need to able to keep the ball in front of them and use speed to cut off balls headed for the gap.
Speed is probably the number one asset for a center fielder. They have the most ground to cover and need to use that speed to reach balls hit to the gaps or deep.to the outfield. They need to judge balls hit their way and have a good arm.
The right fielder is similar to the left fielder, since they need to be able quickly judge and react correctly to balls hit their way. They need to have a good arm for strong throws back to the infield or home plate. They need to able to keep the ball in front of them and use speed to cut off balls headed for the gap.
Being a catcher takes a special type of player. First, they need to be comfortable wearing the equipment and they have to want to catch. They need stamina and strength when playing, especially in warm conditions. Catchers need to be smart since they usually relay instructions to the infielders. They also need to be good at blocking pitches and need a strong arm for making throws to catch players trying to steal.
Pitchers can come in all shapes, sizes and skill levels. Probably a pitcher’s main attributes are arm strength and accuracy. Some pitchers are able to throw the ball really hard and that is an asset. But if they can’t locate the pitch in the strike zone, they may not a good candidate to pitch. As they get older, the ability to command different types of pitches is equally important. If they can throw a fastball, slider, curveball and changeup for strikes, you’ve got a pitcher. Pitchers should be able to field their position and also be quick enough to charge bunts or slow hit balls.