10 Pitchers' Fielding Practice Drills

  • Last updated Dec. 17, 2016
Youth pitching program
ATTENTION PITCHERS: One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching. If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

3 in 1 pick-off techniques drill

1. To perfect various pick off techniques for pitchers and getting a lot of reps in a short period of time
2. Work on the timing of various pick off plays for infielders as well as pitchers

Drill Procedures:
Use 3 lines of pitchers working at the same time - one to each base. Each pitcher takes 2 plays to a base, then rotates to the next line. Pitchers in the back of each line should be kneeling.

Techniques to Execute:
To 1st base: normal pivot or jump step move from stopped position; quick move as hands hit together; from preliminary position
To 2nd base: reverse pivot to SS, 2nd baseman spin move to SS & 2nd baseman
To 3rd base: pick-off time play to 3rd, RHP and LHP; 31 play

Drill time: 12-15 minutes

3 in 1 Fielding Bunt Drill

1. To teach correct techniques in fielding bunts
2. Proper throwing techniques, when possible, crow hop when throwing; throw to spots, clear runner

Drill Procedure;
1. 3 pitchers working at same time
2. On command of “go”, pitchers feint a set position throwing motion and follow thru. On the second “go”, all 3 catchers roll balls for good bunt placement.
3. After fielding one bunt, pitcher’s rotate lines.

Techniques: P1 fields bunt on the line, steps back in, throws to 1st. P2 fields bunt at him, crow hops to 2nd. P3 fields bunt, throws to 3rd.

Drill time: 10-12 minutes, indoor or outdoor

3-1, 4-1 Cover First Base (Use a batter-runner)

1. To teach pitcher’s how to cover 1st base proper
2. To teach pitcher’s how to avoid, and not be distracted by the batter-runner

1. Fungo hitter hits various types of ground balls to 1st baseman, or 2nd baseman
2. Place a batter-runner about 25 feet up the baseline. Have the runner time his run to be right next to the pitcher - try to distract him.

Situations to cover:
1. Normal 3-1, 3-1 on bobbled ball
2. Slow roller 3-1, or 1-3
3. 4-1; or 4-3, pitcher back up throw
4. Add a runner on 2nd who attempts to score on 3-1 play. Pitcher must throw home.

Time: 6-8 minutes

Come-Backer Drill

1. To teach pitchers to field their position and to protect themselves.
2. To react to various defensive situations

Various Situations:
1. No runner on; vs bunt for hit, cover 1st, come-backer, shin burner
2. Runner on 1st; vs sac bunt, come-backer, come-backer on steal attempt
3. Runners on 1st and 2nd; come-backer at pitcher, to his right
4. Runners on 3rd, or 1st and 3rd; come backer, squeeze
5. Bases loaded, less than 2 outs; come backer, squeeze

Drill procedure:
1. Can use all pitchers as position players or use infielders as fielders
2. One pitcher throws to the plate. Fungo hitter hits various types of come-backers and bunts at him
3. Each pitcher gets one rep then rotates to 3rd base, 2nd, 1st, then back to line.

Time: 12-15 mins.

Squeeze Attempt Defensive Drill

Purpose: To drill various techniques to prevent and control the squeeze bunt attempt

Drill Procedure: Runners at 3rd base and batters bunting, fake bunting, or taking a pitch. Defensively, use catchers, pitchers, 3rd and 1st basemen.

Techniques to drill:

1. Use of the step-back technique to check batter’s action
2. Use of a pitch out
3. Pick off at 3rd base; from set, from wind up position
4. Use of the slide step, throw high fastball in the strike zone

A. Defensive Actions:
1. Field bunt, look runner back to 3rd, throw to 1st
2. Field bunt, toss to catcher at home
3. Field bunt, runner scores; get out at 1st base
4. Field bunt, get runner in a run down
5. Defensing the double suicide squeeze
6. Defensing the 1st and 3rd squeeze play
7. Fake throw to 1st, trap runner at 3rd in run down

Time: 12-15 minutes

Combination 3-in-1 Drill

Purpose: to drill 9 common defensive situations and cover them quickly by doing 3 at one time. Use only after teaching proper techniques on each play.

Procedure: line your pitchers up in 3 lines. Fungo hitters hit the ball at the same time and all 3 pitchers react together. After the play, the pitchers rotate lines.

Techniques: FH3 hits a ground ball to the 1st baseman who tosses to P1 covering 1st. Pitcher should get to the base line 20 feet before first base and run right up the inside of the line. Catch the toss, tag the inside of the base with the right foot, step inside with the left foot, then plant the right foot, while turning to throw to 3rd or home.

Fh2 hits a hard hopper back to P2. Pitcher fields the ball, takes a crow hop and throws to 2nd. The SS and 2nd baseman alternate covering the base. Pitcher should make firm 3/4 over hand throws head high to the SS.

Fh1 rolls a bunt up the 3rd base line. P3 charges the bunt, fields it, and make a counter clockwise pivot and throws to the 3rd baseman covering 3rd.

Time: 12-15 minutes

Backing Up Base Drill

1. To get pitcher;s in a proper back up position and be balanced and ready to protect ball from dead ball area.
2. Conditioning as well as technique work.

Drill Procedure:
1. Coach takes bucket of balls to short center field and throws to 3rd or home as the pitcher sprints to back up the throw.
2. 3rd baseman or catcher lets the ball go through or deflects it at odd angles, so the pitcher must scramble for it.
3. After the pitcher recovers the ball, he jogs to the bucket and returns the ball, then jogs to the mound area.
4. As soon as the preceding pitcher fields the ball, on command of “go” the next pitcher sprints to back up the base.

Time: 10-12 minutes for 6-8 pitchers

Pitcher’s Defensive Reaction Drill

Purpose: to create various situations that pitcher’s must react to on ground balls to the right side

Drill Procedure: Offensively runners at 1st, batter-runner at the plate. Defensively; pitcher, catcher, 1st and 2nd basemen, and SS. Pitcher pitches to catcher and reacts to a ball hit to the right side of a come backer.

Situation to cover:
1. Normal 3-1 play; bobbled ball 3-1, hold base.
2. Slow roller, 3-1, or 1-1. Pitcher makes call
3. 3-6-1 or 4-1 direct path to 1st base
4. Bunt on 1st base line - inside move, outside technique
5. Catcher-pitcher communication and actions on short bunt
6. Come backer; 1-6-3, 1-4-3, 1-3
7. Sac bunt: 1-3, 1-4, 3-1, 3-4, 1-6, 3-6

Time: 10-12 mins

Trap Wall Drill for Pitchers

I. Purpose of Drill
1. To get your form throwing done working on specific mechanics techniques
2. To work on defensive techniques of fielding ground balls and come backers

II. Procedure for drill
1. Pitch 1/2 speed from the dirt area. Isolate specific mechanical points you want to concentrate on.
2. Don’t worry about control, just hit the wall then work on proper fielding techniques.

A. Teaching points:
1. End up in a good follow through position and the glove brought back out in front of body.
2. Field the come backers then organize the feet, crow hop, and feints throws to: 2nd base, 1st, look runner back to 3rd, throw to 1st, etc.

B. 8-10 minutes, 30-40 throws

Covering Home Plate

Purpose of drill:
1. To teach pitchers how to cover home plate and tag a runner while avoiding collision
2. To teach catchers how to go after a pass ball and throw to a pitcher covering

Drill Procedure:
1. Pitcher on mound, catcher at plate, basketball up the 3rd baseline approx.. 20 feet form home plate.
2. Coach rolls a ball behind catcher; pitcher breaks in to cover home plate, catcher throws ball to pitcher
3. As the pitcher is about to catch the throw, a player rolls a basketball down the 3rd base line over the plate. Pitcher tags the ball then jumps back to avoid a collision, and readies himself to make a throw at another base.

Time; 6-8 minutes

Get my pitching velocity program

Youth pitching program
One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

What do you think?

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What's your favorite pitchers' fielding practice drill? Are there any additional PFPs that I missed?

Or maybe you have an idea of how I can make this article even better.

Either way, leave a comment and let me know.

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