One afternoon my pitching coach got a few guys together to be infielders---and one to hit grounders and stuff---and we spent that whole afternoon on a very intensive pitcher's fielding practice. One of the things we did was the sort of thing you describe; I would pitch to the plate---not batting practice, but really giving the guys something to hit---and they would hit line drives back at me in every direction, and I had to move fast to spear those line drives and avoid getting hit. It was a strenuous workout, believe me---but it was a lot of fun, and I didn't even think, I just executed those plays, and that included not only spearing the line drive but also throwing to a base. Later on I found out that those were not kids; they were a few of the Yankees' second-line infielders, and my coach figured I might enjoy getting in some fielding practice with them. I sure did---and it came in handy in game situations when an opposing hitter would line one right back at me and I would just grab the ball and fire to first for the putout.