Turning two in the infield can be a great momentum swinger for a defense. However, to turn a double play up the middle, you need to secure the first out. That starts with a proper feed to second base.
“Double plays are a defense’s best friend,” former professional baseball player Steve Bernhardt says. “But as we like to say, one’s a must and two’s a plus.”
On a ground ball to the shortstop, there are a few techniques you can use to exchange the ball for that first out. One quick and easy method is the underhand toss.
HOW TO DELIVER AN UNDERHAND TOSS
To begin your double play exchange with an underhand toss, Bernhardt recommends closing some ground if possible. “Don’t sit back on the ground ball,” he says.
Move your feet in a right foot, left foot rhythm into your fielding position and secure the ball out in front. From here, make a quick and clean ball exchange from your glove to your bare hand.
Next, “Clear the glove out of the line of vision of the second baseman,” Bernhardt says. This can help your teammate track the ball in for a secure catch.
Using a stiff wrist, push the ball to your target. Use your legs and built-up momentum toward the base to deliver a clean toss to your teammate’s chest. Keep your feet moving through the exchange and toward the bag.
“Our goal is to make the feed firm, but at a velocity that can be easily handled,” Bernhardt adds.
Use these infield tips to begin your double plays on the right foot. Master the underhand toss from shortstop and make turning two as easy as 6-4-3.
Looking to turn two but aren’t close enough to the bag for an underhand flip? Use these tips on shortstop standard feeds to begin your double play with strength from the start.