Defensive fielding in baseball can be a tricky thing regardless of how long you’ve been around the game. Weather is always a factor to consider. So too are alignment shifts pertaining to a specific opponent’s tendencies at the plate. Fatigue and ballpark dimensions can also make playing defensive a much greater challenge. However, when done the right way, good defense can be a major catalyst for team success.
Coaches of young ballplayers can use sports team websites to outline defensive drills and strategies. The more prepared a youngster is for the field, the better. And while hitting often gets most of the attention from beginners, defense is just as important.
Los Angeles Dodgers infield features impressive defense
The Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the largest payroll and World Series aspirations, is most widely known for players with star power. Lefty pitcher Clayton Kershaw is arguably the most impressive hurler in the game. He nearly won the National League MVP despite playing only once every five games. Outfielder Yasiel Puig regularly dazzles with his impressive speed, power and flair for the dramatic.
However, according to the Los Angeles Times, the team’s infield defense will be an important variable this season that shouldn’t be overlooked. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, second baseman Howie Kendrick, shortstop Jimmy Rollins and third baseman Juan Uribe are all terrific in the field.
“We can act on a dime and adjust,” Gonzalez told the news outlet. “I think that’s going to play a big part, especially when other teams try to bunt on us or try to run some kind of trick play. I don’t think anything’s going to catch us off guard.”
Marlins shortstop flashes array of skills
The Miami Marlins are a trendy pick as a playoff contender heading into the upcoming season. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton leads a core of young talent that should keep the team competitive for many years to come.
According to the Associated Press, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria should also be a significant contributor to the team’s success. While the youngster still needs to work on his consistency at the plate and in the field, he nonetheless has plenty of defensive potential.
“One of the goals of mine is to win the Gold Glove one year,” Hechavarria told the news outlet. “That’s one of the greatest achievements I want to achieve. Whether it’s this year or next year, I’m always going to want to win one.”