Monday, October 24, 2005
To package players in groups of four, according to their traditional spot in the batting order, facing a relief pitcher who is trying to stop them from scoring two runs with a runner starting on second base.
Standard defense on the field
Groups of four offensive players according to batting order position
Relief pitcher on mound
The coach must break his team up into groups of four according to their spot in the batting order, an example would be: the leadoff, second, third, and fourth hitters are in a group of four. The first person in the group will start at second base. The three other offensive players will try and score two runs before recording three outs. All hitters will start with a 0-1 count. The defense and relief pitcher will try and stop the offense from scoring. The coach will continue to move offensive groups through the rotation. The entire batting order should hit, along with any players that contribute through pitch hitting roles. Players starting at second will work on their leads and are eligible to steal bases at any time during the hitting rotation. Each group will start with no outs, so they drill will stimulate a leadoff double. Every time a group scores two runs they receive one point. The group of four with the most points gets to sit out of end of practice fieldwork. Once the relief pitcher has thrown 50 pitches, another relief pitcher can rotate into the game to try and record outs against the offense.
This drill allows players to work in the proper batting order to help produce runs. Offensive players are able to work on hitting in a negative count, while a runner is at second base. Relief pitchers get to work on improving their delivery from the stretch, holding base runners, and working in a positive 0-1 count trying to throw breaking balls for strikes. The defense will practice working with a lead off run at second base and trying to record three outs before the runner is able to score. Outfielders should try and throw the runner out at the plate and execute proper relays on balls hit in the outfield gaps. This drill promotes teamwork and forces players to execute properly in order to score runs. Furthermore, this drill helps create game-like pressure through realistic situations that both offensive and defensive players will see in upcoming contests. Players that can properly execute these types of drills will have a mental edge when the situation arises in the game.
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