Defensive OF Footwork: Is Bader The Master?

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
63,167
The title is more for humor than accuracy, but I have never seen an OF play fly balls like this. Harrison Bader has only played three games for NY (and I very rarely watch NL games) but part of his superb overall defensive package is that if he is pursuing a fly ball that is in the opposite direction of where he has to throw it after catching it, he backs into the catch so that he is lined up correctly, incredible footwork. We saw a small example in the 10th inning last night with Bogaerts at second:

View: https://twitter.com/ben13porter/status/1573142361827418113


And there was a more obvious example in the PIT series, but I don't see a clip of that online.

Anyway, Bader can't be the first to do this, I read somewhere he learned it from Jim Edmonds. I tried to research it a bit, but instead I figured I'd just throw it open to the experts here. Who else has done this kind of thing well in the past?
 

Catcher Block

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 7, 2006
4,800
St. Louis
Edmonds does color on the Cardinals' TV Broadcasts, and has definitely taken credit for teaching this technique to Bader.

Once in a blue moon, Bader will get a little crossed up in his approach and it ends up hurting his throw (or causes him to drop or misplay the ball completely), but watching him do this for years I would absolutely say that the benefits of it outweigh the risks.
 

derekson

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2010
4,419
The title is more for humor than accuracy, but I have never seen an OF play fly balls like this. Harrison Bader has only played three games for NY (and I very rarely watch NL games) but part of his superb overall defensive package is that if he is pursuing a fly ball that is in the opposite direction of where he has to throw it after catching it, he backs into the catch so that he is lined up correctly, incredible footwork. We saw a small example in the 10th inning last night with Bogaerts at second:

View: https://twitter.com/ben13porter/status/1573142361827418113


And there was a more obvious example in the PIT series, but I don't see a clip of that online.

Anyway, Bader can't be the first to do this, I read somewhere he learned it from Jim Edmonds. I tried to research it a bit, but instead I figured I'd just throw it open to the experts here. Who else has done this kind of thing well in the past?
It wouldn't shock me. People hated on Edmonds for "showboat catches" but he was a superb CFer for his limited speed.
 

h8mfy

lurker
Jul 15, 2005
323
Orange County, CA
I hadn’t seen Bader play or read this thread but immediately thought of it when I saw how Bader popped up from his slide into second and continued to third last night.

I realize it isn’t what the OP was about but his nimble footwork stuck out, to me at least.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
63,167
Yeah his baserunning instincts are also superb, in his first game he scored from second with one out on a line single to center that the CF was inches away from catching, but Bader never hesitated.