How To Play Shortstop in Baseball
PLAYING THE SHORTSTOP POSITION
To be a success at shortstop at any level you need to have a few key tools that will allow you to be successful and recognized as a true shortstop.
Playing the shortstop position you have to be super athletic to make the plays that are necessary to complete the plays. Being able to react and act on a play is very important because of the throws you have to make, along with the speed of the balls that are hit to the shortstop. Shortstops will need amazing timing and intangibles to complete the play. Shortstops have to throw from every arm angle whether you’re on balance or off balance because of the distance they play from first base. Instincts along with the intangibles come into play when there are runners on. Shortstops are the leaders of the infield and need to be really good with relaying balls and dictating where the ball should go to most of the other position players. Athletic is the first thing shortstops need to play it at a high level.
Having quick feet as a shortstop is a must for the fact that you have to cover a ton of ground. Not only do you have to gain a ton of ground, but you also have the longest throw to first base. With quick feet, that will allow the shortstop to field the ball quickly and get rid of it. Having quick feet as a shortstop will help them be more accurate as well. Double plays are very key for teams which means the shortstop is a big part of being quick to turn a double play. Quick feet allow you to be fast, smooth and have good balance. Shortstops need to have good feet just like a boxer.
Accuracy & Velocity
As a shortstop, it’s demanded to be really accurate for the fact they make the hardest throws on the field. Not only are they routine throws but they need to make every throw, whether it’s an off-balance, on the run, across their body, over the top, double play, relay, and bare hand. Playing shortstop forces you to get rid of the ball quickly with velocity. With all the ways shortstops need to throw the ball from the furthest distance is why they will need to have a strong arm.
Instincts & Intangibles
Having instincts and intangibles means the best shortstops know where to be at all times, where the ball should go and be able to direct others to do what’s needed. Shortstops are leaders. Shortstops have to know how fast runners are, be able to read swings, realizing what a swing is going to do depending on what pitch is going to be thrown. They need to know the outfielder’s arms because of all the relays they need to do so that they’re in the right spot. Instinctual on the fact that they can’t throw out a lead runner and be able to then back pick and where to back pick because of the timing of the play.