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Leads off of 3base

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  • Leads off of 3base

    When taking a lead at first base and second base when the pitcher is going from the stretch the runners shuffle off from their primary lead to their secondary. They don't cross their feet, they don't turn their shoulders to the next base until they make a decision.

    However at third base, in the bigs, runners, after their primary lead, take a walking lead, ie, crossing their feet and turning their shoulders towards home, even when the pitcher is in the stretch..

    I don't get the reasoning for this so if someone could explain it I'd appreciate it. Seems like at the amateur level a runner would increase the chance of getting picked by the pitcher, especially, or catcher.
    Major Figure

  • #2
    Uh, because the third baseman almost never covers or even feigns covering the runner. Why bother - straight steals of home are now unheard of. It's a no-winner - if the 3rd baseman moves closer to the bag, he gains a minuscule benefit of making the runner more cautious but gives up defensive range.

    Good lesson for younger players - I hate to see third baseman 'holding' runners like a first baseman does. Even more important at those levels, you tempt the pitcher to throw over, and the chances are higher that you'll throw the ball away and give an easy score than they are that you'll pick off the runner.
    sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
      Uh, because the third baseman almost never covers or even feigns covering the runner. Why bother - straight steals of home are now unheard of. It's a no-winner - if the 3rd baseman moves closer to the bag, he gains a minuscule benefit of making the runner more cautious but gives up defensive range.

      Good lesson for younger players - I hate to see third baseman 'holding' runners like a first baseman does. Even more important at those levels, you tempt the pitcher to throw over, and the chances are higher that you'll throw the ball away and give an easy score than they are that you'll pick off the runner.
      I guess in the bigs this is true although with the infield in and the runner potentially going on contact or on a squeeze the third baseman will feign to the bag keeping him close (er). Still, squaring the shoulders toward home increases the risk of a catcher's pick.

      But the real question for me is should players take walking leads at 3rd when the pitcher is in the stretch at the amateur level. I don't think so because the third baseman generally play closer to the bag (weaker arms, incorrectly play too close to the bag even with lefties), the pitcher is more likely to attempt a pick, and the runners are clueless.

      I use to think a pick at 3rd by a pitcher from the stretch was a bad play because a bad throw leads to a run. But I'm re-thinking that- I think the pick is definitely there if done correctly (certainly enough guys get picked by lefties at 1st). The throw is not that far and the play can be practiced.

      Runner on 3rd, nobody out, 3,4, and 5 hitters coming up. Might be worth it.
      Major Figure

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      • #4
        Originally posted by omg View Post

        I use to think a pick at 3rd by a pitcher from the stretch was a bad play because a bad throw leads to a run. But I'm re-thinking that- I think the pick is definitely there if done correctly (certainly enough guys get picked by lefties at 1st). The throw is not that far and the play can be practiced.

        Runner on 3rd, nobody out, 3,4, and 5 hitters coming up. Might be worth it.
        If done correctly it can be very effective at the younger levels. You have to look for the right situation though. My son picked off two runners at third this year because he saw them taking their secondary as he lifted his leg, rather than when he had committed to the plate. On the next pitch he signaled F5 for a timing play -2 easy outs. Usually you don't see this happen with more experienced, or better coached base runners. When the opportunity presents itself though...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by omg View Post
          I guess in the bigs this is true although with the infield in and the runner potentially going on contact or on a squeeze the third baseman will feign to the bag keeping him close (er). Still, squaring the shoulders toward home increases the risk of a catcher's pick.

          But the real question for me is should players take walking leads at 3rd when the pitcher is in the stretch at the amateur level. I don't think so because the third baseman generally play closer to the bag (weaker arms, incorrectly play too close to the bag even with lefties), the pitcher is more likely to attempt a pick, and the runners are clueless.

          I use to think a pick at 3rd by a pitcher from the stretch was a bad play because a bad throw leads to a run. But I'm re-thinking that- I think the pick is definitely there if done correctly (certainly enough guys get picked by lefties at 1st). The throw is not that far and the play can be practiced.

          Runner on 3rd, nobody out, 3,4, and 5 hitters coming up. Might be worth it.
          I taught walk down, never draw a throw, stay in foul territory, in the wind up/stretch, go down far-back fast (in fair territory covering the bag). I also never had my 3B "hold" a runner. It should be practiced so that the 3B and ball get to the bag at the same time. We used signals.
          "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
          - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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