What are the qualities of a great shortstop? A good shortstop must have speed, range, be able to hit for power, and be an accurate fielder. A shortstop is a baseball infielder who plays between second and third base. Shortstops are frequently referred to as the team’s “captains of the infield.” They are the most essential infielders and one of the most recognized players on the field.
This blog post goes in-depth into how you can become a better player by having the best qualities of a great shortstop.
The Qualities of a Great Shortstop
A shortstop must possess certain qualities to be successful on the field. A shortstop must be able to:
- Coordinate With Second Baseman on Attempts to Steal
- Bloop Hitting Running Ability
- Reliable in Turning Double Plays
- Possess a Strong Arm
- Great Hitter
- Coordinate Pick-offs With the Pitcher and Second Baseman
- Make Accurate Throws With Confidence
- How to Act Like a Relay Man
- Cover a Large Ground Area
- Confident Enough
1. Coordinate With Second Baseman on Attempts to Steal
A shortstop’s ability to communicate with the second baseman is critical for stopping pick-off attempts. Good communication between players can result in an out on attempted steals, thus preventing runners from advancing bases.
This is needed because the shortstop is the player who covers second base when the ball is hit to the outfield. If runners are on first and second base, the shortstop needs to be able to relay information back to the second baseman about which runner is going to try and steal third base.
This coordination between players can help prevent stolen bases from happening or help to get a runner out if he does try and steal.
2. Bloop Hitting Running Ability
Shortstop must be able to hit low balls that are thrown at them or any ball that comes within reach when it bounces off the infield dirt. This is known as bloop hitting and it can be an important skill for a shortstop to have.
Hitting a running ability is extremely important for a shortstop because it makes the difference between an easy out and a base hit.
Bloop hits can be hard to field on defense, but if you can get in front of these balls they will most likely come up as an infield single or at worst an error.
If not though, this type of play could turn into a double or triple for the other team.
3. Reliable in Turning Double Plays
A great shortstop must be able to turn two, that is, make a quick pivot and throw the ball to first base to complete a double play. Pivoting quickly on one foot and making an accurate throw to first base is not easy, but it’s a critical skill for any shortstop.
Turning double plays is also important because it helps to keep the other team from scoring runs. The more double plays a shortstop can turn, the less likely it is that the other team will get runners on base and eventually score.
4. Possess a Strong Arm
A shortstop must have a strong arm to make long throws across the diamond to first base. The ability to make a strong, accurate throw can prevent runners from advancing bases and also from coming in to score.
Without a strong arm, a shortstop would not be able to make the plays that are necessary to keep the other team from scoring.
A strong arm is also important for throwing out runners who try and steal second base.
5. Great Hitter
Shortstop needs to be a great hitter too, they need power and the ability to hit singles and doubles as well as an occasional home run. Shortstops are usually among the best hitters on their team because of all their at-bats throughout the game. They must have good batting skills to be successful.
Hitting ability is important because it gives the shortstop another way to help the team. A good batting average can also lead to more runs being scored and a better chance of winning the game.
6. Coordinate Pick-offs With the Pitcher and Second Baseman
Pickoff attempts are an important part of playing defense, and a shortstop must be able to coordinate these efforts with the pitcher and second baseman. By doing so, they can keep runners from advancing bases or even coming in to score.
Another coordination quality needed for a good shortstop is the ability to relay messages from second base back to the pitcher. When fielding pick-off attempts you mustn’t interfere with them or make costly errors, as they can lead directly to runs being scored instead of outs made at first base.
7. Make Accurate Throws With Confidence
Shortstop needs to be able to make accurate throws on the run with confidence. A shortstop must have a strong arm and proper form for their throw to accurately get from one base to another without hitting any objects along the way or being off-line.
Throwing with confidence is important because it can keep runners from advancing bases or even help to get a runner out. A good throw is quick and on target, if you do not get the job done with your throws then you will give the other team more opportunities to score runs.
A shortstop can be one of the best players on their team, but it takes good coordination, athletic ability, and strong throwing skills to make a great defensive player.
8. How To Act Like a Relay Man
Shortstop needs to act as a relay man and make sure they get the ball out of their glove quickly. A shortstop should hold the ball high above his head, run towards first base as fast as he can while looking down at the infield dirt, then slide on both feet into the base with one hand on top of each other held up high in the air to show that he’s in control of the ball.
A relay man needs to be able to give the first baseman a clean, accurate throw from the short-stop position.
9. Cover a Large Ground Area
A shortstop must be able to cover a lot of ground while patrolling the infield. By being able to move quickly and covering lots of territories, they can prevent runners from advancing bases or coming in to score.
A baseball field is a large area and a shortstop needs to move fast when covering the portion that is closest to them. The more ground a player can cover in a short amount of time, the less likely it will be for runners to successfully get past them and score runs.
10. Confident Enough
Lastly, shortstop needs to be confident in their abilities. Confidence allows players to focus on the game and not worry about making mistakes, letting them play at their highest level of ability. It also helps if they are quick learners so that they can improve upon what skills they do have quickly and keep up with where base runners will try to steal bases next time around.
Confidence in oneself is a must when playing the position of shortstop because it gives a player a good mental state in which to play at their highest level. Being confident prevents too much negative thinking, and can help players work on improving any weaker areas of their game so that they may be the very best they can be.
A great shortstop must have all of these qualities to be successful on the field. By having all these skills, they can help their team win ball games. And that’s what it’s all about!
The Shortstop Position: A Job Description
The shortstop position is considered the most important defensive position on the baseball field, and because of that, you want to be able to find a quality player for this position. By being able to accurately spot talented players at this position you can improve your team overall.
When choosing who will play shortstop it’s useful to define what types of qualities are needed at the position.
- The shortstop needs to possess good all-around defensive skills, including strong throwing ability, sure hands, speed, and quick reactions. These are important because having them at this position can prevent runners from advancing bases or coming in to score.
- Defense is the most important part of playing shortstop but there are also other key factors that you need to consider when deciding who will be playing this position for your team.
- You can find talented players of all shapes and sizes, but here are some popular choices of what types of players make good shortstops.
All of the following qualities are ALSO important, so you shouldn’t feel limited in choosing a player with these types of characteristics:
Small And Quick
A shortstop has to be able to react quickly, so players with smaller physical sizes tend to have an advantage in this department. A player who is vertically challenged can get a jump on a ball that other players may not see or reach due to their lack of vertical height.
Speed On The Bases
Shortstop also needs to have good speed to match their quick reactions. This allows an infielder to get a better jump on batted balls and get the ball back into the infield faster so that there is less time for runners to advance bases.
A shortstop with good physical tools in these areas will be able to improve his skills by paying attention during practice and working hard between practice sessions.
After pinpointing what type of attributes you want in your shortstop it’s time to look for a talented player for this position. Luckily, you don’t have to go far because there are plenty of great choices at shortstop.
Why Does a Baseball Game Need a Shortstop?
A shortstop is a key player on the baseball diamond, and his importance is often overlooked. Baseball games can be won or lost by how well the shortstop performs.
The following are some of the main responsibilities of a shortstop:
- Field balls hit them in the infield
- Turn double plays with the second baseman
- Prevent runners from advancing bases
- Throw to first base to get the runner out
- The shortstop is also responsible for calling defensive plays and positioning other infielders.
- By being able to do all of these things, a shortstop can help his team win ball games. And that’s what it’s all about!
Benefits of Having a Shortstop in a Team’s Lineup
A shortstop is a very important part of the team, and his benefits are many.
Some of these benefits are:
- The shortstop can help control the running game by preventing runners from advancing bases on hits.
- He can also turn double plays with the second baseman to get two outs quickly and stop rallies.
- The shortstop can also help get the lead runner out by throwing to first base.
- The shortstop can help improve a defense by making a lot of assists and turn a double play.
- The shortstop is an important part of the team, but his benefits are many.
The Top Shortstops in Baseball
Throughout the history of baseball, there are many shortstops who have made great contributions to the game.
Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
Carlos J. Carlos Correa Oppenheimer is a former Major League Baseball shortstop who is now a free agent. He was a Major League Baseball player for the Houston Astros. The Astros took Carlos Correa with the first pick in the 2012 MLB draft.
Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox
Timothy Devon Anderson, Jr. is a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball. The White Sox selected Anderson in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft, with Chicago taking him 30th overall. He played college baseball at East Central Community College. He debuted in the major leagues in 2016.
Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
Corey Seager, nicknamed “Seags”, is a United States-born professional baseball shortstop for the Texas Rangers of the MLB. Seager was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft and debuted with the team in 2015.
Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
Ednel Javier Baez, also known as “The Magician,” is a shortstop for the Detroit Tigers of the MLB. He was a member of the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets in the major leagues before retiring. Báez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Jacksonville, Florida.
Trea Turner, Washington Nationals
Trea Vance Turner is a shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers in MLB. He is one of the quickest runners in Major League Baseball, with at least two 22.7 mph runs in 2016.
These players are just a few of the many great shortstops who have made their mark on baseball.
The qualities of a great shortstop in baseball are many. By having a shortstop who can field balls hit in the infield, turn double plays, and prevent runners from advancing bases, you are giving your team a great chance to win. So, when looking for a shortstop for your baseball team, make sure to find someone with all of the qualities mentioned in this article.