The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | May 28, 2013 7:02:00 AM

Practicing the Double Play - How? How Often? How Important Is It?

The Double Play…a different look

The formation of any good team defense is up the middle. The foundation of that defense is usually centered around the combination and teamwork of the middle infielders. When working in harmony together, they will form the backbone of the team defense. That being said, their ability to turn and complete a double play at a key or pivotal moment in a game can possibly signify the difference between a win or a loss in the standings. But how often does this occur? And how much of your valuable practice time should be dedicated to the mastery of turning the double play?

When discussion of double play does come about, it should not come about as a primary defensive skill that needs to be worked on more than simply taking routine balls. I am not saying the double play should not be a part of any team's main daily defensive work - what I am saying is that, as important as the double play is to teams at pivotal points of games, take this as food for thought. In 2012, only 3 MLB teams turned more than 1 double play per game. Just think about that - only 3 teams turned at least 1 double play per game. Wow…who would have thought? Well, then think about it this way, 27 MLB teams turned less than 1 double play per game. 2 of those teams turned just over half a double play per game. It is safe to say that MLB teams, loaded with the best middle infielders in the world, who play on the best fields in the world, on average only turn 1 double play per game. Now, ask yourself this question…how much time should be spent on working on the skill development of double plays? Has it changed yet?

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Topics: baseball instruction, baseball coaching, infielding, infielding tips, fielding instruction, double play

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