In today’s video blog post on outfield conditioning, we are talking about backing up the throw. Corner fielders, left fielders and right fielders, particularly on pick-off plays to third base or first base, need to be careful about the angle they take to back up that throw.
If I’m standing out in left field and I see that there’s a pick-off play, I’m probably going to edge that way before the pitch ever takes place. From this position, if I go to back up third base on a straight forward angle, straight to the line there, it puts me at a greater distance from the plate. So if there is an overthrow, it’ll take me longer to get the ball and I’ll have a longer throw.
But when I see that play being called and I’ve inched over, if I take an angle towards the line for the back up, now I’m closer to the play. I can obtain control of the ball sooner and get rid of it, and have a shorter throw to home plate in case of the overthrow.