Anonymous
how to hold a runner on 2nd base
February 27, 2007 12:05PM
what is the proper way to hold a runner on 2nd base? do the shortstop and 2nd baseman switch back and forth??? when??? at what points do they switch and when do they break? my sons coach has the short hold the runner until the pitcher steps on the rubber, then he runs off and the 2nd baseman comes to hold him on. when the ball is thrown he runs off. they seem to be just running around.
nate.landas
how to hold a runner on 2nd base
February 28, 2007 10:13AM
There's a lot of factors to take in when holding a runner on 2nd base. Either the 2nd baseman or shortstop can hold the runner early in the pitcher's routine.

Then, I recommend knowing the pitcher / hitter. If there's a right-handed pull hitter up to bat, or if your pitcher is not overpowering...I would suggest having your 2nd baseman hold the runner (keep your SS in position - thinking the ball will be hit to the left side of the infield). If the right-handed hitter has a slow bat or is a little weak / your pitcher is overpowering...I would suggest having the shortstop hold the runner (keep your 2B in position - thinking the hitter will be late and hit the ball to the right side of the infield)...and follow the same idea with left-handed hitters.
As they advance into higher levels of baseball, they'll be able to read the hitters quite well...and know what pitch the pitcher is throwing which will also determine who may hold the runner.

Whoever is holding the runner should be close, if not at their position when the ball enters the hitting zone. Many coaches teach that when the pitcher lifts his leg, that is when you should return to your position. With this said, you have to really work the runner on 2nd early and often & really practice your pickoffs (pitcher / SS or 2B AND pitcher / 1cool smiley. Keeping the runner on 2nd is important - especially at the lower levels because 2nd may not be considered "scoring position" (younger kids with 90ft bases & OF playing in because lack of power). But if the runner has a great leadoff & good secondary shuffle, he'll score easily.

I hope this helps - let me know if you have any additional questions!

Thanks,
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