Playing Third Base In Baseball
Alan Jaeger (Pitching Coach / Founder) gives expert video advice on: What is 'third base' in baseball?; What are the defensive responsibilities of a third baseman in baseball?; What is the proper stance for a third baseman in baseball? and more...
What is 'third base' in baseball?
Third baseman in baseball, which is often referred to as the 'hot corner', is the position located right by the third base bag. The reason it's called the 'hot corner' is because he tends to be closest player, besides the pitcher, to home plate, so balls can be hit to him very quickly.
What are the defensive responsibilities of a third baseman in baseball?
A third baseman's defensive responsibilities include many. First of all, for any ground ball that is hit to him, his job is to throw the runner out at first base. If there is a runner on first on a ground ball, his job is to figure out whether or not he should throw to second if he's got time for the double play. If not, he's got to throw at first. If there's no one on first or second, he's got a different responsibility, which if it's hit at him with less than two outs then his job is to throw to second base for the double play. If it's hit to his right, his job is to actually field the ball and then step on third base to get the force out there, and then most often he'll then throw across the diamond to first base and get a double play that way. A second huge responsibility to a third baseman is bunting. There are so many plays involving third basemen in bunting that are crucial. First of all, there's a very standard runner on first base whose whole responsibility is the right side on a bunt. When it gets to first and second it becomes very tricky, because what happens is that the bunter has been trained to bunt the ball toward the third baseman and make him field it. He's got a very delicate situation there to either come and get the ball, get the easy out at first, or if it's bunted to where the pitcher can field it and he can get back to third, its a great play to be able to get the force out at third. Again, his responsibilities are many but essentially fielding the ground ball, turning the double plays, and the bunt responsibility are the biggest ones. The last one you would say he is also a relay man, meaning any balls that are hit to the outfield - left field or center field - his responsibility is that he is the cut-off man to home plate.
What is the proper stance for a third baseman in baseball?
The proper stance for a third baseman in baseball is like any other in-fielder. He wants to be in an athletic position, meaning his knees are slightly bent, which gives him the ability to be quick in any direction. He needs to be as relaxed as possible, because the more relaxed he is, the quicker his instincts tend to be. And then he has to have great mechanics, for the average in-fielder, great mechanics are really getting lower to the ground, keeping your knees bent and trying to let your hands be soft.
Where should the third baseman be positioned on the baseball field?
The third baseman should be positioned on the baseball field in one of many places. It really depends on the situation. The standard position is to be close to the third base bag, maybe ten feet behind the third base bag. And what that does is it gives you more depth so you have more angles to field more ground balls. If there's ever a runner on first and there's a double play in order, so to speak, a third baseman is supposed to be what's called, even with the bag, so he's close to third base, the bag, and he's on a line segment between third base and second base. The purpose for that is that the ball needs to get to him quick enough to where he can then make a throw quick enough so he can get the double play.
Why is the third base position in baseball called the 'hot corner'?
The third base position in baseball is called the 'hot corner' because he's the one infielder that's closest to the hitter besides, of course, the pitcher. What tends to happen is that if a hitter hits it to third base, especially if he's right handed, it means that he pulls the ball. When he pulls the ball, that means he's got a lot of power behind the ball, and needless to say, with the power being hit with the ball and the third base being close to home plate, the ball gets to him very, very fast. That's why it's called a 'hot corner'.
What are the third baseman's responsibilities on a bunt in baseball?
The third baseman's responsibility on a bunt in baseball are usually one of three. The first thing is, in a very basic sacrifice situation, where his job is just to field the ball cleanly and get the ball to first base and not really care if the runner is safe at second base or not. So usually, first and foremost, is to cover the right side of the infield. The second responsibility for him is to read the play so to speak, and to see that if the bunt is not coming to his territory, he needs to be able to get back and cover third base. A third responsibility might be, if the catcher comes and fields the ball and there's a runner on second, the catcher throws to first, as the runner comes to third, his responsibility might be to continue on to home and cover home plate.
When should a third baseman be looking for a bunt?
As a third baseman you should be looking for a bunt anytime. Number one, you have a very fast runner up whose job is to try to get on base and use his speed to his advantage. Number two is anytime you're in a close game, and usually there's already a runner on first, with nobody out, or there's a runner on first and second and nobody out. If it's a close game, it's almost certain that a bunt is going to be coming so those are the main situations to look for a bunt.