When I teach Baseball Training, including Fielding Infield Ground Balls, I stress the importance of Playing the Ball, never let it play you.
The reasoning and explanation behind this statement is based on solid percentages.
1. If you are moving forward (charging) on a groundball, you're ability to change your direction or hand (glove) position to react to a sudden change by the baseball, is high.
2. If you're flat footed or on your heels as the ball approaches, you can not react to any sudden directional change of the ball.
Look at it as if :
(A) I'm in charge of what happens... or
(B) The Baseball is in charge of if I catch it or not.
The first step in accomplishing that goal is any time you're fielding a ground ball, Start Low and Stay Low the entire procedure.
Let's look at how to make this occur.
As the pitcher toes the rubber you, as an infielder, should be in your starting fielding position, which is eyes on the pitcher, slightly bent at the back and knees, while on the balls of your feet.
As the pitcher goes into his windup you take a couple of steps forward and enter your fielding position, which is, body bent, weight forward on the balls of your feet, head up, glove low on the ground out in front of you where you can see it.
If the ball is hit right at you, you move forward bent over, watching the baseball all the way into the glove, then after Catching the ball you raise, but do not stand straight up.
Taking a crow hop, a crow hop produces the greatest amount of forward energy,towards the base you’re throwing to, throw a 4 seam ball to the fielder, always throw chest high if possible.
A crow hop is when you slightly take a hop on your right foot and step your left foot towards the target. As you throw the ball your body should always follow through towards the target.
You never stop halfway through the motion, "short arming it" as it's called, because it’ll cause an aimed throw, short on velocity and will end up in the dirt.
Infield Ground balls Hit to Your Backhand:
When a ball is hit to your backhand your first step (assuming you’re right handed going to your right) is a cross over step. Identical to your first step when stealing you pivot on your right foot and cross your left leg over your right.
Stay low and watch the ball all the way into your glove and field it with soft hands. What “Soft Hands” means is instead of slapping forward at the ball, you bring the glove backwards and up allowing the energy to dissipate in your glove instead of against the glove, which could cause it to pop back out. You set your right foot, crow hop starting your forward motion towards the target. Release the ball and follow through with your body towards the target.
Staying Low Eyes On Ball
Baseball Training on Infield Ground balls Hit to Your Left:
On a ball hit to your left you will pivot on the ball of our left foot and move sideways to the ball. Fielding the ball, take a crow hop and finish the throw to the target, following through with your body.
In summary: Start Low, Stay Low, 1 Step (Crow Hop) and Throw, Follow Completely through the throw with your entire body.
Infield ground balls Drill :Baseball Training
The intent of this drill is too increase foot speed and range side to side, while staying low the entire time.
Place two plastic cones 10 feet apart. The player moves between these two cones. The Coach stands @ 10 feet in front of the player with the baseball.
The coach throws ground balls left, right and at the player, who moves sideways back and forth between the cones. The player, with no glove, catches the ball and rolls it back to the coach. Be sure the player is extending his hands out in front of him when fielding.