Baseball Fielding – Forehand Ground Balls
How to properly execute the forehand catch when fielding ground balls and line drives. Fielding a baseball to your forehand is a critical defensive skill that all infielders should master.
Ground ball to Your Left: The forehand play on a Ground Ball or Line Drive.
Doug Bernier fielding a ground ball to his forehand. Image by Ed Wolfstein.
Of course, the ideal situation is to have your body squared up to the ball for the catch. If a ball is hit to your glove side and must be fielded on the run, you want to position our body with a stance that is open to the ball. This means the left leg should be forward or in front, and the right leg is back or behind you.
This keeps us open to the baseball and allows our eyes to stay on the baseball longer. Keeping the right leg behind the left allows you to field the ball cleanly, without your body getting in the way of your glove.
You may not always get into the ideal position. The most important thing is to keep your movements controlled.
To increase your chances of achieving the optimal positioning every time during a game, you should work on it during your pregame warm-up and practice routines.
Making the Throw.
To make the throw, you have two choices. Which option is the better choice depends on several factors.
—Option 1: Standard Throw.
To make the throw you will need to swing your feet and your shoulders around so you can be in line to where you are throwing the ball. This is more difficult than it sounds when your momentum is taking you in the wrong direction. You must stop and turn to the inside before releasing the baseball.
—Option 2: Spin Throw.
If you are running as hard as you can to get to the ball and are stretched out, you may not be able to stop, readjust and make the throw in time to get the runner. If this is the case, you have the option to spin and throw.
The downside of a spinning throw is that it can be difficult and disorienting, increasing the chances of making an error. The benefit of the spinning throw is that it allows you to make all that momentum work for you instead of against you. If done right, it will be faster and more powerful.
The key to making an accurate spinning throw is to find your target as soon as possible. Once your eyes find your target, your body and the ball will follow.
Click here for more throwing tips and technique.
Pro Fielding Tip:
Work on both throws for fielding a baseball forehanded during practice, because you will need both of them in the games.
Next Articles on Fielding:
- Professional Fielding Tips for Infielders
- How to Field Routine Ground Balls
- Backhand Plays
- Plays on-the-run, and slow rollers