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3B - The Third Baseman has quick reflexes, a strong arm, and bravery make for an ideal player. The hot corner must be able to handle the hard smash one hopper from right handed pull hitters and make the running one handed swinging bunt play.

Beginner: At the beginning stages, the third baseman needs to make the routine play, a ground ball and a throw to first base. For young players, the most difficult part of this play is the throw to first from the left side of the diamond. Many young kids simply do not have the arm strength to throw accross the diamond. Add to the situation the shorter basepaths and there is very little time to make this play. The tendency at third base will be for the player to want to stand directly beside the bag. Move the player about 8 feet off the line, towards the pitching mound. This will shorten the distance between the batter and the fielder and between the third baseman and first base, increasing the likelihood of a put out. Make sure your third baseman pays attention as this is also high potential line drive territory off the bat. With a runner on first, coach your third baseman to move back several steps, even with the baeline or slightly behind, and to make the out at second, which is a shorter, easier throw. With runners on first and second base,or loaded bases, play the third baseman several steps behind the baseline. A ground ball in this situation no longer requires a throw, just a catch and then step on the base.
Intermediate: The third baseman is now more involved in the defense, and must be aware of baserunning situations and potential bunt plays. In the simnplest of defensive strategies, the third baseman is responsible for all bunts on his side of the diamond, that the pitcher can not reach. In situations where either the pitcher or 3B can make the play, the fielder should call off the pitcher as he is better positioned to make the necessary throw. Generally speaking, with the runner on third, the pitcher now becomes responsible for bunts on the third base side and the third baseman holds the bag.
Advanced: Positioning can become as important as skill. The third baseman needs to adjust his position according to the game situation, and the particular batter. A right handed pull hitter should place the 3B deeper and shading towards the line. How deep depends on the running speed. The slower the speed of the batter, the deeper the positioning. With a left handed hitter, the third baseman can ake several steps towards second base. If a "shift" is on for a left handed pull hitter, the third baseman may end up nearly in the shortstop position. With a fast runner at the plate, the threat of a bunt exists if the third baseman plays too deep. Often, even with the bag will stop most hitters from attepting a bunt, but this also reduces the lateral range of the third baseman. With two strikes on a batter who is a threat to bunt, the third baseman can back off several steps..
  The Dream Play: The “Dream Play” for the third baseman is the two-hopper hooking towards foul territory down the third base line. The fielder makes a diving stop across the chalk line and then the long bullet throw to first base.

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To comment on any of these baseball tips please send us an email.  Baseball is a tremendously enjoyable game for kids to play.  These baseball coaching tips are provided to make the game easier to coach and increase the skill level of your baseball players.  This website is dedicated to the advancement of minor baseball players. It is about developing the fundamental skills of young baseball players by providing them instruction and coaching appropriate to their age and skill level.

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