Defensive Positions in Baseball

By admin •  Updated: 01/16/15 •  6 min read

What Positions Are There In Baseball?

Baseball is best viewed through the lenses of a game of chess. Each position plays an important role in controlling the diamond.

As the bishop moves diagonally, the hot corners protect the outer edges of the field. While the queen has the ability to move just about anywhere, the catcher has the positioning to call the game from home plate.

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Positions in Baseball

It is essential to make sure that every player plays their role so that there are no loose holes. These can result in runs scored and an impending loss.

The Catcher

Catcher may be the most important defensive position in baseball. They require an incredible amount of baseball intelligence, hand-eye coordination and the innate ability to detect what’s going to happen next.

Every catcher should understand their pitcher’s quirks and tendencies and use those to call pitches that will give them an edge against the batter.

They should also maintain the pace of the game and let the infield know how many outs there are after each play. They are the quiet backbone of the team and should never fail to assert themselves as leaders.

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Pitchers are the loud, energetic backbone of the team. Along with the catcher, the pitcher controls the momentum and pace of the game.

When they’re on the mound they need to be ready for three instances at all times – a bunt, a runner trying to steal and a quick come back to the mound that you’ll have less than a second to field.

Any ball hit down the first baseline means the pitcher should be out hustling the runner to the base. If it pulls the first baseman away from the line and towards second base, the pitcher will be the one expected to cover it.

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First Baseman

Playing first base is no simple task. They’ll be seeing the majority of action every single inning. You need to position yourself so that you can play the bunt, close the gap down the first base foul line, but also far enough that you give yourself enough space to catch a screamer. Having an athletic second baseman will allow you to play closer to the base.

If there is a runner on first, the first baseman should have a foot on the base, ready for the pitcher to throw a pick off. The second the pitcher starts his pitching motion, they should jump off the base and be ready to field. Along with the catcher, it is the first baseman’s job to make sure the infield knows how many outs there are in the game.

How to stretch for a ball is very crucial at 1st base because you don’t want to get stepped on and you have to stretch for the ball. Here’s a quick video on how to stretch for the ball at 1st base!

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Situational Responsibilities of the First Baseman

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2nd Base Positioning

Shortstop Positioning

Positioning on Steals to 2nd Base

Second basemen and shortstops are positions in baseball that require athletic intangibles. They need to be quick on their feet, always aware of where they want to throw the ball, should they get it, and able to make diving and jumping stops. They both will cover a large portion of the field if the infield isn’t in a shift and they need to be ready for almost anything.

Shortstop decides who will cover on steals and double plays and communicates that to the second baseman. They need to have an idea of what will happen in every instance.

These two positions are also responsible for recognizing when the outfield needs a cutoff throw to get a runner. They also need to keep the outfield informed with how many outs there are in the game.

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Defensive Situational Responsibilities of the Second Baseman

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Playing Second Base Quiz

Playing Shortstop Base Quiz

Third Baseman

Third basemen are largely responsible for covering the hot corner. Because so many lefty batters pull, they need to always be aware of a screamer coming at them. It can mean the difference between a double down the line and a quick out.

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Defensive Situational Responsibilities of the Third Baseman

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Playing Third Base Quiz


Centerfield is a key position in baseball and needs to be one of the most athletic players on the field. They’ll have more ground to cover than right or left fielders. They are mostly responsible for pop-ups and line drives that slip out of the infield, but must always be prepared to back up second base if there is a steal attempt or throw there. They also need to take the number of outs from the infielders and relay them to the outfielders.

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Defensive Situational Responsibilities of Outfielders

Advanced Outfielder Skills

Playing Centerfield Quiz

Corner Outfield Positions in Baseball

Left and right fielders have pretty much the same role. Prepare for line drives that get out of the infield, charge in on pop-ups and backup third and first base, respectively. They need to be quick and agile to get to a ball that goes down the line and to chase a shallow pop-up in their area. Having a cannon for an arm is encouraged, as they will have to make plenty of throws to third base and home to try and get runners out.

Baseball Situations Quiz

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