The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Jan 26, 2015 6:00:00 AM

The Significance of Good Catchers to Baseball Team Defense

Next to the pitcher, the second most significant player on the field is - you guessed it - the catcher. This is not to say that every defensive player is not important. However, it is simple - without a guy behind the plate that can catch, the game is very difficult to play and have success as a team.

In an earlier blog pertaining to catching, I spoke of the lack of ability of catchers to simply catch the baseball and that there was a great de-emphasis on this discipline; or that the receiving of a pitched ball was an area that has fallen secondary to that of trying to throw runners out stealing.


Topics: defence, team Defence, defensive baseball, catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals, baseball team defense, team defense, Defense

Rick Johnston | Oct 28, 2013 9:41:00 AM

Do You Know Your Teammates' Throwing Abilities?

Practice the practice of knowing your teammates' throwing abilities


Topics: baseball coaching, defence, team Defence, baseball practice, throwing skills

Larry Jusdanis | Oct 16, 2013 3:08:00 PM

5 Things That Are Making You Less Agile on the Baseball Diamond

Agility is a skill which becomes invaluable on the field, court, or diamond! It is often the person who can change directions the fastest that will be able to to get to the groundball, transition quickly to throwing or simply making better moves on the basepaths. Mangine et al (2013) put some science behind this assertion when they found that pro agility (or the 5-10-5 drill) along with vertical jump are the best predictors of "defensive run value of a player over the course of a professional baseball season."


Topics: fitness tips, agility training, baserunning, defence, infielding tips, pro agility

Rick Johnston | Jun 18, 2013 9:33:00 AM

12 General Mental Tips for Better Infield Play

Where is YOUR mind in between pitches???

Baseball is without question very much a game of thoughts and has been referred by some as a “thinking man’s game”. Unlike other sports like hockey, basketball or soccer as examples, there is a tremendous amount of downtime in a baseball game. During these downtimes or rest phases of each game, the minds of each player, coach or manager will constantly be shifting and swaying with each pitch, each out and each complete inning played. Players try and out-think other players; pitchers and catchers try to out think hitters; and coaches and managers try to out think opposing coaches and managers. Sometimes, however, infielders (and outfielders) do too much thinking and fail to hone in on simple, yet general mental aspects of infield play...or sometimes let their minds wander to never never land.

The following is a short list of 12 mental considerations for more consistent infield play.


Topics: baseball instruction, baseball coaching, defence, infielding, infielding tips, team Defence, mental performance, fielding instruction, baseball skills, defensive baseball, infield play

Rick Johnston | Jun 5, 2013 12:50:00 PM

Throwing and Catching…Quintessential Defensive Baseball

Make it a field or dreams or a field of nightmares (errors) - your choice

Spend your time around enough ball parks or indoor training facilities and there is one thing you will soon find out…most kids struggle with playing simple Catch and Throw. Think about this - all defensive aspects of baseball revolve around the ability to perform two fundamentals…Catch and Throw. But what happens? Most commonly, the mistake is made trying to teach kids complicated, intricate techniques and skills before they have been able to master the fine art of catching and throwing.

Take for example, an extra base hit that gets past an outfielder. This is a true example of a retrieval, a throw (to the right player), a catch, another throw, another catch and maybe a tag play on the runner. That’s two throws and two catches. Yet how many times have you seen this sequence go askew?


Topics: baseball coaching, defence, team Defence, baseball practice, baseball skills, throwing skills, baseball fundamentals, playing catch, defensive baseball

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