What Makes a Great third Baseman

Third base, otherwise known as the “hot corner” in baseball, requires one to have a strong arm, good range, quick reflexes and a speedy third baseman would give a team a huge advantage. The reason why a third baseman needs quick reflexes is because some of the hardest hit balls are to third base and some of the balls hit to third can become some of the most difficult to catch and often has very little time to react. So

Why would a third baseman need a strong arm?

A third baseman needs a strong arm is because he has to make the longest throw to first base on the infield……if your throw the ball from the third base bag to first base it is a 180 foot throw, just under three times the length a major league pitcher has to throw the ball from the mound to home. It also would help the third baseman to have a strong arm because he is the one who can get the ball to the plate the fastest with the exception of the pitcher because third base is the base closest to home plate.

Why does a third baseman need quick reflexes?

On a traditionally designed play, if an opposing hitter was to bunt and the first and third baseman would charge the plate. If the hitter pulls back and hits a scorching line drive toward the surging third baseman he may have to quickly raise his glove or move his body to defend himself. That is typically where the ball is hit the hardest, mainly because of the large number of right handed hitters in baseball. In the major leagues, over the past 63 years there have been 71 percent more righties than lefties. Going further than 63 years ago it was quite the opposite. Some famous left handed hitters include Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

Why would a third baseman have a need for speed?

While speed could be at an advantage at any position, it is especially true for third baseman. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, if a runner is on second and tries to steal third, a speedier third baseman can get there quicker to accept the throw and apply the tag. This could also allow the manager who sets the field for his team to allow the third baseman to play further if the bag to accommodate the hitter’s tendencies. The same could also go if the pitcher wants to try to pick the runner off third. Also, on plays where the runner gets caught in a pickle between third base and home, the third baseman will probably be involved with either the pitcher or the catcher. If the third baseman is speedier he is much more likely to tag the runner out.

So what makes a great third baseman? One who has a great arm, quick reflexes, is fast and if he can hit too, the more strengths the merrier.

Kevin Eaton
 

Keavin Eaton lives with his wife and two boys in New Orleans, LA. He has a bachelor’s degree in Phys Ed from the University of New Orleans and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from the Louisiana State University. As an athlete, Kevin competed in many sports including wrestling, rowing, speed skating and bobsleigh before finding skeleton. Opinions expressed by Kevin on Play Famously are his own.

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