Three Rules of Thumb for Running Bases

By Doug Bernier

Here are some rules of thumb for base running that will keep you from making major mistakes that hurt the team and will help you run bases like a pro.

1. Don’t make the 1st or 3rd out at third base
If you stop at 2nd with no outs, the hitter can move you up to 3rd with one out so you can score multiple different ways without needing a hit.
If you stop at 2nd with 2 outs, you are still in scoring position, and you basically need a hit to score you whether you are on 2nd or 3rd.

2. Use the third base coach on plays you can’t see
Base running situation: You’re on 1st and the batter hits a single to left center field. If you can see the ball the whole way, then you can decide whether or not to advance to 3rd on your own.

If you are a runner on 1st and there is a single hit to right field, that is when we look for some help from the 3rd base coach. He is our eyes when we lose sight of the baseball.

3. Don’t get doubled off first base
As a runner on first, don’t ever get doubled up on a line drive to 3rd or shortstop. In other words, be able to get back to first if the line drive gets caught. There is no reason to be too aggressive on this play. Even if the ball gets through the infield you will have to stop at 2nd anyway because the left fielder is there to hold you at 2nd.

In the heat of the game you don’t have time to ask questions, so it is expected that you know these rules of thumb.

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, PIT Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. Where is he now? After 16 years of playing professionally, he is now a professional scout with the Colorado Rockies. You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier

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