Someone is always watching
As the game of baseball has progressed, so has the way in which coaches get the most out of their in and out baseball pregame. The purpose of the in and out prior to the game is for the defense to look sharp, professional and enthusiastic as the team makes final preparations for what each player hopes will be high quality performance. Additionally - and maybe even more important as players get older and competition becomes tougher - the primary objective then becomes more of an opportunity to show off the “tools” each player has in their tool box. That means showing off their arm strength and fielding ability to professional scouts, college recruiters, coaches and the opposition.
One of the most awe-inspiring features of any in and out baseball pregame is watching fluid, sharp and crisp throws being made effortlessly around the infield with extreme pop and accuracy. In baseball, there is truly nothing more stimulating than witnessing perfect throws on line, with carry, promoting a smooth transition from the catch phase to the throw phase, as the ball moves efficiently around the infield. The impact of a brisk, high energy in and out can send riveting meaning to the opposition prior to any game.
Over the years, the development from the most simplistic in and out to an in and out with multiple fungoes and multiple balls being put in play have been introduced. Each having a purpose and each in and out designed by a coach that serves five primary puposes: Look and feel good; show off tools; increase the number of ground balls; make plays on routine plays; and get familiarized with the playing surface.
One of the most stimulating in and outs that a coach can incorporate into their in and out is the 24 throw series in the infield. That means when the final throw comes in from the rightfielder to the plate, the catcher will catch the ball and begin the series. When this series of throws is accomplished, of course through practice and failure, it is a spectacle that truly will blow the opposition away.
Before I explain how the series and direction of the throws are made, the owning of this in and out throwing program will not occur overnight. It will take time, patience and coordination to ensure timing and direction of each throw fashioned is clean and crisp with little interference. Modifications may be needed and added if necessary.
As stated, the throw series begins with the last throw coming in from the rightfielder. Upon the catcher receiving the ball, the process will be the following:
Each infielder positions themselves at their respective base. Of course the two middle guys will both take up second base.
C-3B-2B (at second base)-1B-C-1B-SS (at second base)-3B-C-3B-1B-C-1B-3B-C-SS (backdoor at second base)-3B-C-2B (backdoor at second base)-3B-C-SS (who steps up and cuts ball)-C-2B (who steps up and cuts ball)-C
Number of throws=24
By Position=C-Catcher=8; 3B=6; middle infielders=6; 1B=4
Turns=all infielders should, when possible, ensure each catch and throw is done with glove side turns. Of course left-handed first basemen will not. Catchers will never glove side turn, just catch and pop.
This throwing sequence will blow any team away while sending messages to any scouts or college recruiters that this team can throw. The entire timelines on this is actually less than what you would think. It may appear that it will take the entire 10 minutes of your pre game, but surprisingly, when this is mastered, it will appear as though it barely took anytime at all. So, if you would like to give the 24 throw series a whirl, then go for it. Don’t expect results right away, but when it is perfected the eyes will shine like bright stars and the beginning of the infield portion of the in and out will look like butter.
Good luck and if you have any suggestions on some of your in and outs, please let us know.
Rick Johnston, Co-Founder - The Baseball Zone
Image courtesy of 123rf.com