The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Sep 4, 2013 3:58:00 PM

5 Differences Between Stealing and the Hit and Run

We recently released our newest eBook titled "8 Baserunning Myths You Can Leave Off the Basepaths This Year" (you can download it here - you'll enjoy even if you don't agree). One reader had asked me to explain the difference between the steal versus the hit and run. I thought the question was excellent but more importantly a question that was not afraid to be asked. It is like coaching your players, no question is a dumb question.

In some of my previous blogs I have actually written on both of these offensive tactics in aspects of who to do them with, when to do them, why it is good or bad tactical judgement, what the general expected results will be, some of the factors that need to be observed and the overall thought processes behind the operation of each of these.

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Topics: baserunning, baseball strategy, base stealing, hit & run

Rick Johnston | Jun 20, 2013 11:13:00 AM

Stealing Third Base...Your 3 Biggest Targets & Other Tips

Stealing third base in many instances is actually an easier theft than attempting to steal second base. It may appear as though the steal of second base is easier due to the distance the catcher must throw the ball and the combined times it takes for the ball to get from the pitcher to the catcher to one of the middle infielders at the base. This could be true for some of the more fleet a foot baserunners or baserunners possessing plus speed and quickness. However, for the slower baserunners, who may be classified as count or read baserunners, learning to steal third will add an additional weapon to their offense. The art of stealing third base, no matter who the baserunner, is truly an art and all players need to gain the knowledge of how to do this.

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Topics: baserunning, baseball instruction, base stealing, baseball skills

SST Mississauga | May 3, 2013 1:46:00 PM

Baseball Functional Friday | "Sled Crossovers"

This week’s "Baseball Functional Friday" Exercise of the Week is the "Sled Crossover".     

Sled Crossovers are a lower body strengthening exercise that challenges the body in the frontal or coronal plane and helps strengthen the hip flexors, adductors and improves lateral movement. The crossover is used more than you might think on the baseball diamond and becoming stronger and more efficient with this movement will make you a better athlete on the field.  

Baseball players use the crossover movement when;

  • Transitioning out of the batter’s box and running towards first base
  • Stealing a base or advancing a base, you will require a 90 degree turn to your right which will involve a crossover step
  • Infielders'/Outfielders' initial movement when moving laterally and/or diagonally on a batted ball will be a crossover

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Topics: fitness tips, baserunning, strength training, in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, baseball functional training, off-season strength training, baseball exercise, base stealing, lateral strength, lateral speed

SST Mississauga | Apr 26, 2013 2:19:00 PM

Baseball Functional Friday | "Sled Shuffle"

This week’s "Baseball Functional Friday" Exercise of the Week is the "Sled Shuffle"

Sled Shuffles are a lower body strengthening exercise that challenges the body in the frontal or coronal plane and helps strengthen the hip flexors and improves lateral movement. The lateral shuffle is a common movement pattern used by baseball players and improving your quickness and agility in this plane will help you in many ways on the field. Whether you are reacting quickly to a ball hit to your left or right or getting a better secondary leadoff, lateral mobility can help you become a better athlete on the diamond. This can happen by saving more runs by getting to more balls defensively or by scoring more runs by getting better jumps on batted balls or straight steals.  

This drill can be used for 3 different phases of your off-season training program:

  1. This drill can be used in a general preparation phase at the beginning of your off-season with light to medium weight and a medium pace
  2. This drill can be used in the middle of your off-season while you are in an intensification phase with heavy weight and a slow pace
  3. This drill can be used in the last 8 weeks of your off-season with no weight or very light weight with a quicker pace

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Topics: fitness tips, SST Mississauga, strength training, in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, baseball functional training, off-season strength training, weight lifting, base stealing, lateral power, lateral strength, Sled Shuffle, lateral speed

Rick Johnston | Jan 28, 2013 3:17:00 PM

A New, Better Stance for Stealing Second Base?

By Rick Johnston & Mike McCarthy

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Topics: baserunning, base stealing, speed, shin angle, sprinters, cornerbacks, football

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