Second Base Tips and Instruction

Technique, Strategy, and Drills for Second Basemen

A second baseman should have a firm understanding of double play and relay positioning, as well as mastering several specific defensive skills.

Click on the red links to get the step-by-step breakdown for each skill, as well as some advanced second base tips to help you take your game to the next level.

Critical Skills for Infielders

1. Fielding Tips and InstructionWhether you want professional tips to fine-tune your game, or basic instruction on fielding mechanics, click here to learn how to consistently secure routine ground balls and make outs.

  1. The Pro Infielder’s Secret
  2. Routine Ground Balls
  3. Backhand Plays
  4. Forehand Ground Balls
  5. Plays on-the-run, and slow rollers

If you can show that you are a strong defensive player you will be wanted to be on the field when the game is on the line. Everyone loves offense, but pitching and defense win games.  Bonus* Check out our Guide to Best Infield Gloves

2. Throwing MechanicsThrowing the ball around the infield is the second part of making plays. After we field and secure the ball we need to be able to throw it to the base that will give us an out.How to Throw a Baseball:

  1. Grip
  2. Mechanics of Throwing
  3. Feet Position, Upper Body and Feel

Being able to throw properly takes work, but with a few basics for throwing correctly you will be able to increase arm strength and accuracy – of which accuracy is more important.

3. Cut-Off fundamentals
How to be in the best position possible for taking a throw from an outfielder as a cut off man. Where to align yourself and how to make the quickest, most accurate throw possible.
4. Rundowns
Rundowns are when you have a base runner caught in between two bases. This article gives tips and instruction for how to get out of a pickle (i.e. executing a rundown).

Positioning for 2nd Basemen

5. Double Play Depth and other Infield Positioning
Where is double play depth? How will this help me on turning double plays?  Also, infield-in, no doubles, and other infield positioning.  Includes diagrams and pro tips.
6. Bunt Play Positioning
Bunt play positioning for a second baseman is pretty basic as long as there are no pick off plays on. Learn the different types of bunts and how to position yourself and defend them properly.
7. Relay Positioning: Part 1
The 2nd baseman’s role and positioning for balls thrown from outfield to home plate, or cut-off for a play at 3rd base.
8. Relay Positioning, Part 2, Double CutsThis article discusses the following: What is a double cut relay? What is the 2nd baseman’s role in each scenario, and particularly for every ball hit to an outfielder where there is a potential play at home plate? Includes diagrams for clarity.
9. Pop Fly Priorities.Everyone needs to know the chain of command so players won’t be fighting over who will catch a pop up – or having dangerous collisions. Visit this page to learn who you can call off and who you defer to when a high pop fly is hit, as well as some other important protocols you will be expected to know.

Specific Skills for 2nd Basemen

10. Double Play Feeds to Second Base.There are three types of feeds you can use as a second baseman when starting a double play. The ground ball will dictate which one to use, and with the feeds there are variations of all three. If you are confident and c an perform these feeds, you will help your team out tremendously by getting two outs on one play rather than one.
11. Double Play Turns for Second Baseman
Learn the art of working around the second base bag on a double play when a runner is trying to take you out to avoid the completion of the play. Getting two outs on one pitch can be a huge momentum shift from the offensive team to the defensive team.
12. Holding Runners Close to Second Base.
Holding runners close to second base is a skill and an understanding between you and your pitcher. There are a second base tips to think about when keeping the runner on the bag.
13. Tag Plays at Second: Receiving Throws from Catcher on Attempted Stolen Base
Being in position to make a tag on a runner is a basic concept that often times doesn’t get executed. The idea is to make the tag as quick as possible so you can have a better chance to get an out, and having your body in a good position to counteract a hit and run. Many times the difference between an out and safe call is milliseconds.

Strategy and Game Preparation

14. Communication and Defensive StrategiesHow to communicate with other players around the infield to let them know what pitch is coming or who is covering what base. Also, a few strategies to be in the best position to make plays and to use the field to your advantage.
15. Pregame Fielding RoutinesHaving a prepared routine that you can do everyday that will prepare you for the game. Defensive routines do the same thing as offensive routines, by using physical actions to get physically and mentally ready. Believing in yourself and trusting the work you do, plus some helpful second base tips, will go a long way.
16. Pre-game mental preparationDoing your homework before every game, to increase your awareness of what may happen throughout the game. From knowing your pitchers game plan for that night, to who can run on the other team, and knowing which hitters have certain tendencies that can be used against them during the game.
17. Know the Baseball FieldIn a game where split second decisions matter, the slope of the foul line, speed of the infield, and other such factors can dramatically change the outcome of a play. With just a little bit of preparation, you can give yourself an advantage during the game.

I hope these second base tips are helpful for you.  If so, I hope you’ll share this page with your friends and help us spread the word about the awesome free resources on this site.  Also, I’d love to hear your feedback or questions in the comments section below.  Play hard! – Doug

Other free baseball tips from Pro Baseball Insider:

About Author

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 13 years. Most recently, Doug signed with the Minnesota Twins in 2013, where he logged time at every infield position except 1st base in 33 Major League games. Currently Doug is with the Twins' AAA team in Rochester, NY

5 Comments

  1. are your positioning tips good for softball. I play in a slow pitch men’s league in the military so its somewhat competitive but not too intense; but id like to know exactly what I should be doing.

  2. How can I work on deflecting the ball out of my glove into my throwing hand on balls that are towards my throwing arm side? When i try to do it, normally my hand gets caught on the glove, or it takes too long. Thank you

    • Hi Julian. Thanks for the question. Here’s a few ideas. Try to work on catching the ball in the middle of your body at your chest. Moving your feet so the exchange is in the middle of your body helps the transfer. Also catch the ball with your thumbs up. Most times the glove thumb points down towards the ground and makes for a more difficult transfer. Let me know if that helps you out at all. Good luck!

  3. Ryan stoddard on

    Coach put me at second last practice expecting me to know the mental part and this helped a lot, because I have been a PO my entire career

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