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Baseball - 13u AAU

Discussion in 'Coaches Corner' started by EddieYost, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. EddieYost

    EddieYost has a special friend in GHoff Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Hey guys,

    I am helping to coach a 13u team and am a bit at odds with another coach on a couple of things.

    One of us thinks the shortstop should be behind the runner on second base when trying to keep him close to second. The other prefers that the SS be in front.

    One of us thinks with runners on first and third the pitcher should very rarely throw to first, if ever. The other thinks that the pitcher should do it often.

    Thoughts? Links?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Bosox4416

    Bosox4416 Member SoSH Member

    Generally our team will use the shortstop to hold the runner with a lefty up, or the second basemen with a righty up, unless you know for sure they use the opposite field frequently. I don't think there should be a general rule for or against throwing to first with runners on the corners, but it depends of course on the quality of pickoff move, arm strength of the first basemen if the runner on third takes off, and if the catcher plans on throwing down to second or if you're planning on letting him swipe the bag..
  3. tonyandpals

    tonyandpals Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Usually a timing play on the pickoff on 2nd, so I'd say behind the runner because if you're in front he sees you that much easier.

    As for the 1st/3rd, i think the game situation dictates it. We give up 2nd in that situation a, but if the time is right I could see putting a play on. I am generally in the camp that it is high risk low reward with the runner on 3rd.
  4. Just a bit outside

    Just a bit outside Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Definitely behind the runner with a guy on second. If the SS plays in front you are cutting down their range and it makes the pickoff more difficult.

    First and third I would not do anything different than you do when there is just a runner on first. Change your timing, throw over when you normally would. Teach the kids to play the way they will in high school and they will improve and figure it out as they get better.
  5. EddieYost

    EddieYost has a special friend in GHoff Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Thanks for the feedback guys. My opinions are, when the shortstop is the one keeping the runner on 2nd close, he should do so from behind, for all the reasons you guys mentioned.

    I am generally opposed to throwing over to 1st base with a runner on 3rd because the risk outweights the reward. My opinion is probably skewed a little by the teams that I have coached (Cal Ripken Majors, Babe Ruth, and All Stars). I could see doing it occassionally if the 1B can make the throw home if the runner breaks and if the catcher has a real chance to throw out the runner stealing 2nd if you chose to take that out.

    My problem right now with it is that the other coach has made it a rule that the pitcher has to throw over to first at least 1x any time a 1st and 3rd situation happens.
  6. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    The only time I can think of the SS should be in front of a runner at 2B is when the bases are loaded with less than two outs and the infield is in.

    The players should learn to execute a 1B pickoff attempt with a runner at 3B. I don't necessarily agree it should be mandatory nor avoided, especially with a weak runner at either base. But I'm going to assume the runner at 1B is looking to double steal at that level. It's certainly an advantage for the 1B runner if there will be no pickoff attempt. If you're conceding the steal of 2B then let it go. If I have a runner at 1B and I see you're ignoring him, I'm telling him ASAP to grab a big lead and go on first movement. If you're not defending him, you might as well concede 2B as soon as he reaches. This would be true for all but the worst runners.

    I think at 13U, kids should be figuring out 1st and 3rd defense and conceding nothing. Defend it as it develops. Good runner at 1B and an appropriate game situation, hold him on. Risk of failure should not be a factor, IMO. If a 13U AAU team is going to win or lose because of 1B pickoff mistakes, so be it. They won't be playing competitively much longer if they can't execute and defend1st and 3rd.
  7. EddieYost

    EddieYost has a special friend in GHoff Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Thanks for the input everyone. My conclusion is that I should stick to my guns on the shortstop playing behind the runner, and be more open minded about pickoffs to 1B. I think we need to talk more about the situations, and what we are trying to accomplish.

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