Second base can be a fun and active position to play. You don’t need a strong arm, but you need to be quick and a good fielder.
To be a good second baseman you need to be a good fielder. In youth baseball the second baseman often fields the most balls, even more than the short stop or pitcher. However, you don’t need a strong arm as you are close to first base. It is also best to be right handed. There are very few left handed second basemen in the major leagues.
Covering the Bag
As second baseman, you share the responsibility for covering second base with the shortstop. Generally on balls hit between second base and the left foul line, you should cover the bag. Good communication is required with the shortstop to be sure someone is covering the bag and that only one player is covering the bag at a time.
Turning the Double Play
If there is a base runner on first base, you need to be ready to make a double play.
Fielding the Ball – If the ball is hit to you at second base, then the shortstop will be covering the bag. You should field the ball and throw it to the shortstop at second. The most important thing is to get the runner from first out. If you field the ball close to second it may make more sense to tag second yourself and then throw the ball to first. If you are close to second, but not close enough to run, throw the ball underhand so it will be easy for the shortstop to handle and make a quick throw to first.
Ball Hit to Third or Shortstop – If the ball is hit to the left side of the field, you need to cover second. This is one of the more difficult plays in baseball. You have to catch the ball, be sure you are touching the bag, and then turn, or pivot, and throw to first. Remember that the important thing is to get the out at second. Don’t rush. Be sure to catch the ball, tag the base, and then make the throw to first. Also, don’t try to be fancy. Take your time and make a good throw to first. If you try to be fancy, you could end up with a wild throw to first.
Where to Stand
When there are no base runners – In youth baseball the second baseman should stand about 8 to 10 feet from the base path and around a third of the way between first and second base. Depending on the age group and infield size, the coach may have the player positioned further in towards home plate.
With a runner on first – With a runner on first, the priority is on the double play. The second baseman should move a few steps toward second base and home plate.
- Back up plays at first base.
- Act as the cut off for balls hit into right field.
- If the runner from first is attempting to steal second, back up the shortstop on the throw from the catcher.