If you’re new to baseball, picking out which baseball position to play would be the most difficult decision to make. Thankfully, there are many ways to identify which baseball position will be best even if you’re a beginner.
Here are some ways & Technics that will help you to choose the best baseball position to play, which is suitable for you:
- Practice with every baseball position before deciding
- Be open to more than one baseball position
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses
- Discuss with your coach your preferred baseball position to play
- Ask your friends for some tips and tricks
- Some baseball positions may be harder than others, so you could choose your favorite baseball position based on this
- Pick out a position that’s most wanted by coaches
- You could choose a position based on how dangerous it may be
- Discover the right positions for you based on your dominant hand
- Try out some online quizzes to find your favorite baseball position
- Your age may also be your deciding factor in choosing your baseball position
Without further ado, let’s discuss how to choose your baseball position so you can play your best while you’re on the field.
1. Practice with every baseball position before deciding
Before setting your heart on a single position, it’s important to first give every baseball position a try. Here are some of the important must-have skills for every baseball position to keep in consideration:
- First base
If you’re practicing for a first base position, be sure to keep a good focus for the balls coming your way. Taller players may also have an added advantage as a first baseman as they can stretch to catch the ball while staying in position with the bag.
- Shortstops or second base
As a shortstop or second baseman, you’ll have to be prepared to catch a ball, touch a base or tag a runner. If you’re someone with great focus and a good throwing arm, then a position as a shortstop or second base may be ideal for you.
- Third base
While being the third baseman isn’t as popular as the other spots in baseball, this position requires great pitching skills and speed. Do stay focused if you’re trying out for the third base position as you’ll have to act fast when you catch the ball.
Being a pitcher means you’ll have to get used to all the attention being on you. It’s good to practice your throwing arm if you’d like to be a pitcher, trying out different pitching styles such as fastballs, curves, screwballs, and many more before deciding if it’s best for you.
As a catcher, it will be your job to keep track of balls and strikes so it’s important to stay alert in a game. You’ll also have to work well with the pitcher to signal the type of pitch they should play, so do keep these in mind if you want to be a good catcher.
Also known as batters, this position requires a strong arm and great focus as you’ll have to hit the ball that’s headed for you at high speed. It’s important to keep practicing your batting swings so you’ll perform well when it’s your turn to hit.
- Center field
If you wish to play as a center fielder, you’ll have to brush up on your agility. This is so you can cover all the ground in going after the ball in a game before getting it back in the diamond on the field for an out.
- Left field
When you’re playing as a left fielder, it’s important to expect getting hits as most hitters are right-handers. You’ll have to strong enough to handle the leftfield position, so try building up strength before practicing as a left fielder.
- Right field
Aside from hitters and pitchers, right fielders are also expected to possess a strong arm. This is as you’ll have to throw the ball back to third base if it comes your way and that would require a lot of arm work.
While these requirements may be general to most baseball positions, some of them are more important than others so you may want to work on all your skills simultaneously to find out which baseball position will fit you best.
2. Be open to more than one baseball position
Subsequently, it’s also important to keep an open mind when it comes to picking a baseball position. In many cases, your coach may be happier to have an all-rounded player on the team to fill in the shoes of many positions as opposed to a player who can only play one.
By trying out more than one baseball position, you’ll also be able to train your body and mind to various exercises. This effectively reduces the possibility of getting injured or over-straining your muscles due to repetitive motions such as pitching or batting for long hours.
3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses
One of the best ways of picking the best position in baseball is to know your strengths and weaknesses. While you’re trying out for every position, it would be useful to keep track of your practice sessions, so you know what you’re good at to play well on the field.
If you want to better identify your strengths and weaknesses, you may also consider setting up a video recorder so you can look back at your performance on the field. Be sure to ask if your teammates are comfortable with this idea before you proceed.
3. Discuss with your coach your preferred baseball position to play
Aside from trying out the various playing positions, it’s also important to discuss your preferred position with your coach. This would then help your coach to take your preference into account when providing playing tips to improve yourself.
In case you haven’t sought out a preferred playing position even after trying them all out, it would be great to speak to your coach so you can identify the right position to fit your strengths and hone your skills better.
4. Ask your friends for some tips and tricks
If you have some friends who also play baseball, you could always consult them on which baseball position is best for you. This could be done through practice together so they can help identify what your strengths and weaknesses to best suit the position you should play.
5. Some baseball positions may be harder than others, so you could choose your favorite baseball position based on this
While every position in baseball may be equally important, some players may find positions such as the outfield positions are easier than infield positions. Here are some of the other thoughts on which positions are easier or harder than the others:
A catcher is said to be one of the hardest positions to play in baseball. This is as catchers hold multiple responsibilities in a game and must remain in a squatted position between 2 to 5 hours.
Pitchers are also considered as a difficult position to play as you’ll need a really strong arm and you can injure easily. This is due to the many ways a ball should be thrown, and pitchers will often have to practice for long hours to perfect their pitch.
Like the pitcher, a hitter must also have a strong arm but that isn’t why this position is difficult. Instead, this is a difficult position as hitters must stay focused to avoid being injured by a fast-moving ball and bat a hard as possible to aim for a home run.
Unlike the other positions in a game, outfielders are said to have one of the easiest positions because they are not subjected to as many sprints as the infield players. Do remember, however, that outfielders must usually run farther to chase after the ball.
To many players, infielders are also an easy position to play although it requires sharp focus and quick actions. As an infielder, you’ll be exposed to many experiences in catching the ball and returning them to the diamond.
The shortstop position is a tricky position to play because of the many hats you wear. Shortstops are known to be a semi-difficult position to hold, although players who can master this position are very well sought after by coaches.
Despite this, it’s always good to try and master every position there is to make it easier to fill in for other positions as and when needed by your coach. While this is easier said than done, a little extra practice should take you a long way in a baseball season.
6. Pick out a position that’s most wanted by coaches
Weird, but true! If you’re hoping to play on the field more often, you should pick a position that’s most wanted by coaches and that is the shortstop. This is as shortstops can usually cover for other positions in a game, but not many players can master the skill of a shortstop.
As a shortstop, you’ll have to put your agility to the test. This is as you’ll carry numerous responsibilities such as touching base or tagging a player, but still have a good throwing arm to help pitch the ball for an out.
7. You could choose a position based on how dangerous it may be
Regardless of how careful you are in baseball, there may still be margins for error. If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of getting injured, you may want to choose your position based on how dangerous it is. Here are some examples of high-risk positions in baseball:
As a catcher, you’ll be positioned directly behind the hitter and straight from the pitcher. Hence, there may be a chance for you to get injured from a fast-moving ball or if the hitter accidentally swings their bats toward you.
The most common injury that plagues all pitchers is what we call a pitcher’s elbow. This is due to the continuous strain of a pitcher in the throwing position, which could cause their muscles and arms to hurt if unattended to.
On top of having to bat away the ball coming towards you at high velocity, hitters are also prone to arm injuries caused by the vibration of the bat. One of the best ways to avoid this is by using a batting glove or to switch to a bat that suits you better.
Of course, there are also other common injuries such as sprained ankles and elbows that other players may experience. If these injuries are left unattended, a player may even have to sit out a game for a full season due to pain.
8. Discover the right positions for you based on your dominant hand
Did you know that your dominant hand could also play a part in choosing your baseball position? If you’re a left-hander or lefties in short, you may not be able to play positions such as a catcher or shortstop as it poses a disadvantage to making a throw to the third base.
This however doesn’t apply to you if your dominant hand is on the right, or if you’re able to train yourself to be ambidextrous. Discuss with your coach on what’s best for you if you wish to play as a lefty as they should be able to provide you with the best suggestions on the field.
9. Try out some online quizzes to find your favorite baseball position
This may sound unconventional, but if you have a favorite position in mind, you could also try out some online quizzes to see if you fit right in. While these quizzes may not be 100% accurate, it may help clear your mind on whether that position is right for you.
10. Your age may also be your deciding factor in choosing your baseball position
In general, a great age to start learning baseball is at the age of 7. This is as children are more agile and pick up on new knowledge quicker. Of course, it’s never too late to start picking up a sport but you’ll want to keep your age in mind when picking your position.
If you haven’t been particularly athletic, you may choose to start from an outfielder position before moving inwards to other, more strenuous infield positions. Try not to strain yourself and have ample rest between games so you won’t injure easily.
As you can see, picking out the baseball position you’d like to play isn’t just dependent on your personal preference. If you’re unsure about which position is best for you, a great way to know is by asking your teammates or coach about your strengths and put it to your advantage.
Remember that an all-rounded player may be more sought after than a player who is overly focused in a single position, so where possible you may want to expand your preferences and try out for various playing styles to excel in the seasons to come.