Outfield Drills Progression for Baseball

By staff •  Updated: 03/30/17 •  5 min read


All baseball teams want to get the most out of their practice time. Regardless of position, coaches should be ready to have some meaningful drills for each specific group. Infielders need to communicate and work together, and their drills will be more focused on things that happen during a game on the infield.

On the other hand, outfielders in baseball see the game from a different perspective. For the most part, they have time to react to balls hit towards them but still need to understand what to do when they field it. Outfield drills should be focused on those game-type situations so players can become more comfortable knowing what to do given the game situation.

Outfield drills should involve the physical part of playing the position, things like catching, throwing and running, but should also include the mental part of playing the position. Things like knowing what base to throw to, where to line up for the cutoff throw and when to back up another outfielder. Baseball is a game that requires physical skills, but the mental part of the game is just as important.

Here are some drills for outfielders that can get them moving and also thinking the game and learning what to do in certain game situations.

Ready Position – Catch Flyball

This drill will focus on players getting in the proper ready position prior to the ball being hit in the air to them. They will then catch it using proper technique and make an accurate throw to another player stationed somewhere near where the cutoff man might be.

This drill will involve four people. Someone hitting the ball, the outfielder, an outfielder to back up the play and the cutoff man. Here are the steps;

1. Hitter will toss the ball in the air to hit the flyball. As the ball is tossed, the outfielder will take a step or two in the ready position so they can react quickly.

2. Outfielder will react to the ball, make sure they get under it and catch it using proper technique.

3. Outfielder will line up the throw, transfer the ball to their throwing hand and take several steps towards the target and throw trying to hit the cutoff man chest high.

4. The backup outfielder will then rotate with the outfielder who then backs him up. Players will each take three repetitions.

Fly Ball Communication

This drill is simply to make sure that outfielders learn to communicate on a fly ball hit between them. This drill involves three people, hitter and two outfielders.

1. Outfielders are placed apart but close enough where they can both reach a ball hit between them.

2. The hitter’s goal is to hit a fly ball high and in between both outfielders.

3. The player who has the best opportunity to catch the ball needs to call for it while the other must back off.

4. Players need to firmly call “MINE” with enough time to allow the other fielder to slow down so that they don’t collide.

Fielding Balls on the Ground – Throw to Home Plate

Outfielders need to field more balls coming at them on the ground than they will fly balls. This drill will focus on making sure they field it cleanly and then make a throw to the plate to the cutoff man. Drill will involve four people. The hitter, the outfielder, a backup outfielder and a cutoff man.

1. Hitter tosses the ball and hits a ball on the ground to the outfielder.

2. Outfielder fields the ball charging it slightly and making sure they stay in front of ball so that it doesn’t get by them.

3. Outfielder moves to the throwing position and takes a few steps or a crow hop and throws chest high to the cutoff man.

4. Backup outfielder rotates with the outfielder. Each outfielder takes three repetitions.

Catch Fly Ball – Throw to Base

This drill will involve the outfielder catching a fly ball and then throwing to a specific base, not the cutoff man. Drill involves five people. The hitter, outfielder, backup outfielder and two infielders.

1. Hitter will hit a fly ball to the outfielder. When the ball is in the air, he will yell out which base to throw to.

2. Outfielder will position themselves to make the catch and then make a throw to the designated base. The goal is to make an accurate catchable throw to that base.

3. Backup outfielder rotates with the outfielder. Each outfielder takes three repetitions.

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