Because the position sees a lot of activity, first basemen must stay focused. As a first baseman, your height might work in your favor. You'll be able to extend and grab wayward balls while staying in contact with the bag. A powerful throwing arm is not required for this position.
However, strong legs are very helpful because you will be doing a lot of running up and down the batting line-up. Also, strong wrists are important because you will be making all those hard throws. And lastly, big hands are necessary because you will be handling lots of balls during games and practice.
In conclusion, being tall is helpful but not necessary for being a good first baseman.
The first baseman's most crucial task will be to catch the ball on a force out at first base. Nonetheless, catching the ball at first base is not the same as simply playing catch with your pals. Other abilities you'll need to acquire include getting your foot on the bag, maintaining your foot on the bag, snatching a short hop, and more.
Shuffle towards second base as soon as the pitcher fires a pitch and prepare to field any ball hit your way. If first base is unoccupied, the first baseman will usually stand many feet behind first base and away from the baseline. This position is determined by the batter.
To play first base, you must be able to catch really well. It helps to have the proper size mitt. The sizes of first base gloves will range from 11.50 inches to 13 inches. The thickness of the first base glove should be such that it is not too heavy or stiff for easy handling, but still provides adequate protection for the hand.
The best way to determine what size glove you need is by using some simple math. First, figure out your hand size. Use this formula:
Hand Size = [(4 x Hand Length) - (7 x Hand Width)] / 7
Then just look up the size in the chart below and pick the one that matches your hand size.
Here are some more tips for choosing a first base glove:
Make sure the glove fits properly. If it is too small, you will not be able to put enough weight on the ball when catching it; if it is too large, you will waste energy moving it around your hand while trying to grab balls hit toward the outfield.
Test the glove's feel. Make sure it isn't too thin or thick for your hand.
As the third baseman frequently makes long throws to first base, he or she must have a strong and precise arm. Sometimes the third baseman must throw fast to second base in order to initiate a double play. In addition, the third baseman must field fly balls in both fair and foul territory. Thus, he or she needs to be able to cover a large area quickly with accurate throws.
In addition, many third basemen work with the pitching staff by giving advice on pitches. They may tell their teammates when a pitch is going too high or low, or whether or not a pitcher's arm is healthy. These are all skills that improve as you gain experience at the game you can develop yourself or with help from a coach.
Finally, some third basemen handle themselves with such grace and professionalism that they become true stars within the baseball world. These players often receive contract extensions far into their young careers because no one wants to see them go. One example of this type of player is Mark DeRosa. He has continued to improve each year at the hot corner for the Florida Marlins and will likely continue to be an important part of their team for years to come.
In conclusion, third basemen need strong arms under pressure, good eyes, and solid hands. However, more than anything else, they need courage to do what needs to be done even if it means making a hard throw or handling a tough error.
In double-play situations, shortstops will often protect the second base bag on grounders hit back to the pitcher. A competent defensive shortstop must have exceptional range, a strong throwing arm, and the ability to cleanly field hit balls. Although they generally do not get the attention of other players on the field, shortstops are among the most important positions because of their impact on double plays and potential game-ending errors.
The modern shortstop covers about 275 feet along the basepaths during an average play at home. This is more than any other position except for first base (335 feet) and catcher (315 feet). A common error by shortstops is going too far toward a line drive or fly ball, which increases their risk of being thrown out at first. They should also keep an eye on popups near them in case one is caught off balance or makes a bad throw.
At times, two shortstops will be used simultaneously to replace one injured player. This is usually done when one shortstop is unable to handle playing time due to injury or poor performance. Sometimes, two middle infielders are used instead, depending on the manager's strategy. Using multiple shortstops at once is most common with younger teams that may not have enough major league talent to properly fill out their roster.