Wednesdays Web Gems Tips – “Keep the Ball Down”
Coaches often implore pitchers to do that and keep the ball down in the strike zone – but that is something that I teach infielders to do, also. Of course, at the lower levels of baseball it is best that infielders aim and try to all throws to the first baseman’s chest.
However, as the level of play improves and first basemen become more skilled at stretching for balls and picking balls out of the dirt, it is better to have infielders throw balls somewhere between the knees and waist. The lower the throw, the further the first baseman can reach out and catch the ball. The sooner they can catch the ball, the more outs acquired, especially on close plays, which is the objective of the low throws, of course.
Good, experienced fielders have a sense when plays are going to be close at first, as on most double plays, thus they learn to keep these throws down more than on routine outs at first base.