A run down accomplished properly is a thing of beauty. A run down gone wrong is not only ugly but also costly. The art of the run down is simple and can only become complicated when the defensive team does not work as a unit and remember their fundamentals. Below is a list of fundamentals to remember when executing a rundown.
- Always create a throwing lane: Outside or inside of the baseline. The key is to allow the defensive team to have a clear path to throw the baseball.
- Run Hard: It is called a run down. Run the runner hard. Make him make a decision. You are in control.
- Run the player back to the base he came from: If a runner is caught in a rundown between second and third – run the runner back towards second base.
- Get the ball out of your glove and into your bare hand: After receiving the ball from your teammate – get the ball out of your glove quickly while running the baserunner hard back to the base they came from. Keep the ball high so your teammate can see the ball.
- Do not pump fake with the ball: Although this might work sometimes, often this perceived advantage actually fakes out your teammate and not the runner.
- Deliver the ball to your teammate early enough where they can step into the throw and get their momentum going towards the baserunner.
- 7. Put the ball back into your glove while still holding the ball before you tag the runner to make sure the ball is not dropped.
- 8. Two throws or less is the goal.
Remember as a defender to always remain under control – play catch – run hard – finish the play.
Don’t complicate the play.
Until next time.