To field or not to field?

My boy10 is concerned with the comebacker and/or the fielding aspect.
Because of this his movement is way different than it is in the pen.
Ingame he doesnt really finish his movement…because of that.
In a way hes absolutely right and in his right. (dont try to force a kid in anything…he knows what hes doing)

On the other hand he should just try to go for the best pitch hes able to.

Sounds familiar?..advice?..tnx!

Not finishing his pitch would cause his speed and accuracy to drop. That can lead to more contact from batters and increases the chance of those come-backers that he is trying to avoid.

How we got past this issue on our team is to hit grounders to pitchers on the mound with gradually increasing speed, so they get used to seeing balls come at them. Once they have seen several hundred balls hit toward them in practice, its not so scary during a game. It sometimes helps a pitchers confidence to have a “head protector” under his cap and protection apparel (made for baseball players) designed to shield the chest and heart.

Ill try to give him some comebackers…tnx for that.
In theory…should pitchters pitch in such a way they can field a ball?


They should make the best pitch that they can and be ready for what comes next. Sometimes its covering a base, backing up a throw, or fielding a line drive headed in their direction. The pitcher’s work is not done until the play is over but, a lot of youth pitchers feel that they are done once the ball leaves their hand.

I like PIP’s idea as well.

In theory yes a pitcher should finish in such a way that he’s able to field his position but sometimes that doesn’t happen.

How drastic of a change mech wise are you talking about in regards to the difference between a pen and when he’s in a game?

Not following through (decelerating) properly can lead to injury.

And this is why PFP—pitcher’s fielding practice—is of paramount importance.
When a pitcher steps off the rubber, as in completing a pitch, s/he becomes a fifth infielder and has to be able to do the things infielders do: fielding bunts, covering bases, handling comebackers, backing up at a base or home plate—you name it. Eddie Lopat told me this and suggested that we devote an afternoon to infield practice, including pitcher’s fielding practice; to this end he rounded up a few guys—he said they were kids from his neighborhood—plus a guy with a bat and a couple of strong-armed outfielders to handle caroms off the wall and firing in to the infield. It was a terrific workout and a lot of fun, and I found myself with no time to think—I just executed the plays. And this was no simulation; we were working in the context of real game situations. I got more out of that one afternoon than most pitchers do in months!
(Incidentally, I had a suspicion that those weren’t kids taking part in the infield practice, and I mentioned it to Lopat. He said they were not; they were some of the Yankees’ second-line players, and he had the idea that I would enjoy participating in such a workout.)
So I think it would be a good idea for your kid to take part in several such workouts, both to familiarize him with these situations and also to give his confidence a shot in the arm. 8)

This is an argument that happens on here from time to time. First, PIP and Zita are correct, the more you practice, the better he will get. Work out with a tennis ball or softer baseball until his confidence builds.

I’ve always fallen on the side of absent of other “more developed” mechs, it is in my opinion desirable to teach finishing which presents the pitcher with the best fielding opportunity possible. Many argue very passionately for letting the kid end up where he ends up. Particularly on younger kids still working on development. The overwhelming chances are that lil Johnnie ain’t little Bob Gibson (Who spun like a top after release) so getting him ready for some come backer action is likely to keep them pearly whites…pearly white and still there.

And here’s a case in point: Hiroki Kuroda of the Yankees. He’s considered the best fielding pitcher in the American League, never having made an error. :slight_smile:

Pitchers should only field a ball to protect their life and limb or to field a tapper or a bunt that is directly in front of them–and even then only if the catcher or other infielder can’t get to it.

Pitchers seem to be great a hitting a mitt, but terrible at hitting any other piece of leather. How many times have we watched ‘easy’ plays result in horrendous throws from the pitcher? How many deflected balls have been misdirected away from charging middle infielders by pitchers flashing tardy leather? How many theoretical 1-6-3 double plays have begun with a pitcher throwing the ball into center field?

Yes, practice fielding from the mound and covering first because it’s a skill that will be needed from time to time and you want to be able to get the out, but every time a ball is hit to the pitcher, I throw up in my mouth a little as a coach. :oops:

Somebody never heard of a guy named Andrew Eugene Pettitte.
In the fifth game of the 1996 World Series he fielded a comebacker and immediately whirled and fired to third, and the runner was nailed. Talk about poise. And a little later in the same game he started a 1-4-3 double play, as pretty as one could wish.
A prime reason why pitchers’fielding practice is so essential. Because of what Mr. Pettitte did, the Yankees won that game 1-0. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Hey Zita…I’ll take the 350+ wins, 16 gold gloves and no DL time in 20+ years for arm related injury and Greg Maddux for 50 please 8)

I get what Coach is saying…but he wasn’t advocating for not doing it…he just hasn’t had Pettitte/Maddux quality on the mounds he’s been hanging around…and if we think this through…it does make sense.
Kids are asked to “change” focus off the bump when a ball is in play…in youth ball the pitcher is generally “the athlete”, complimented as best the draft for that year has allowed…changing focus…being all excited we have an adrenal pump…boom the ball wakes up the center fielder by rolling past :lol: …the curse of Micheal Jordan (Who played while everyone else watched)…I’ve had to ask 10 yr olds not to kill their infielders :wink:

Exactly, when the kid’s not pitching, he’s probably playing SS and throwing laser strikes to first base. Youth pitchers, which is what we’re talking about here, have very little in common with AP and GM. Focus on pitching and let the infielders have anything in their range.

Exactly, when the kid’s not pitching, he’s probably playing SS and throwing laser strikes to first base. Youth pitchers, which is what we’re talking about here, have very little in common with AP and GM. Focus on pitching and let the infielders have anything in their range.

Pitchers need to be able to field the ball for their very survival, ala the come backer. That aside all pitchers should know how to execute bunt defenses, covering first, etc.

What I hate to see pitchers do is field pop ups. Nothing good can come of it. :lol:

A good fielding pitcher can control the bunt game.