Baseball is one of the most played games, which requires different types of exceptional skills from players. So, if you love to play baseball and you’re looking to become a third baseman, stick to how to play third base in a baseball article until the end.
Taking a position at the “hot corner” for defense is not easy. The third baseman position requires the combination of several skills like strategic thinking, quick reflex, and strong muscles to prevent runs and outnumber your opponents by turning their hits into catches.
Whether you’re a professional player or just training to improve your baseball skills read this guide. Here we’ll take a deep dive into all the important aspects of playing as a third baseman, including required skills, responsibilities, and strategies that can help you physically and mentally enhance your gaming techniques.
What is Third Base in Baseball?
Before moving on to our how to play third base guide first we need to be clear about what is third base in baseball? Where is it located on the field? Because these questions are the first thing that comes to mind.
The game has nine field positions covering the four bases. However, the third base holds a special place among all these fields. This field is located on the opposite of first base and the left side of the infield.
The 3rd base meaning is the base that a runner must touch in order to score a run. Which is why it holds importance because the runner must reach it to score a run.
At third base there is a defensive player referred to as “third Baseman” who guards the base. The responsibility of third Baseman is to defend against bunts and supporting the pitcher in fielding duties.
What are the Responsibilities of Third Base Players in Baseball?
In Baseball, a player who is playing 3rd base is responsible for fielding if any ball is hit at his side. For example, if the batter hits the ball on the ground, the third baseman must field it and immediately throw it to first base.
Also, if the striker hits the ball in the air, then the third baseman needs to catch it before it goes to the ground. Here’re some key responsibilities that the third baseman has:
How to Play Third Base in Baseball? – Important Tips and Tricks
If you’re someone who has a passion for playing and in search for how to play third base in Baseball, then here’re some tips and tricks for you:
Understand Your Responsibility
The first thing that you need to do as a third baseman softball player is to understand your primary role and responsibility. You’re responsible for covering the area around third base and defending it, covering the bunts, participating in double plays, and throwing the ball to first base.
Adjust Your Position
While playing the game, your position can make a big difference to your game. So, you need to take a position a few steps behind the bag of third base. Also, position at an angle that your body is slightly facing the home plate. This way, you can cover ground balls and line drives quickly.
Read the Batter
To execute your strategy while playing, it’s very important to read the batter’s body language. Pay attention to his swings, stance, and tendency to judge where he’ll hits the ball so you can take position and field according to it.
Fielding of Ground Balls
When the batter strikes the ground ball towards you, move sideways in the direction of the ball by keeping your glove in front of your face and waiting for it to get low to catch it. Then with your throwing hand, make it through to first base.
Take Action to Line Drives
When the batter strikes the line, drive towards you, and instantly take action by keeping your glove in front of your face to catch it. If you can’t catch the ball, then you need to keep the ball in front of you by knocking it down. This way, you’ll be able to prevent extra bases.
Covered the Bunts
For covering the bunt plays, it’s important to take action quickly, charge the ball, field it cleanly, and throw accurately to first base. In addition, you must work on your agility and footwork to field the bunts effectively.
What Required Skills Needed To Play as Third Baseman?
Playing at the third baseman position is challenging. It requires excellent skills and abilities from players. The third baseman is in the defensive position and must show exceptional fielding skills to win the game. Here’re some skills that’s required from third-base players:
Quick reflexes are key to playing Baseball, and the third basemen need extra quick reflexes like a lightning bolt. So they can instantly react to the balls that sharply hit their side.
With quick reflexes third, they’re charged to make decisions in seconds, like catching the ball, diving for the ball, or any acrobatic play. They’ve the ability to judge the direction of the ball when it hits the bat, and they position their body according to it.
The third baseman throws the ball at the longest distance to first base as compared to infield positions. These throws are not easy, and they need strong arm muscles. So, a third baseman must have strong arms in order to throw the ball a long distance with accuracy.
Also, they need the ability to make throws from different angles on the run and with the speed to defeat the baserunners. Strong arms can help you turn the double plays and make the tough throws from the foul line.
Agility and Range
Covering the ‘hot corner’ requires extraordinary range and agility from 3rd base players. Therefore, the third baseman must have the quickness and agility to effectively move laterally to the field when the ball is hit on the line and make instant throws to the fielder across the diamond.
Moreover, the agility in players helps them to charge slow rollers, field bunts, and dive to stop extra-base hits and change their direction quickly while maintaining their balance on the field.
In Baseball, fielding skills are a trump card to win or lose the game. Players need a wide range of fielding skills and abilities to cover different types of defensive positions. For example, the player in the third baseman defensive position must have soft hands and outstanding glove work to do fielding ground balls.
Players need to cleanly field the ground ball and then make accurate throws from their throwing hand. Good footwork and strategic instincts are also essential to ready different angles and speeds of the ball to adjust their body position for slow roller fielding or charging bunt.
Without having strong mental skills playing Baseball is not possible. As much as the game is physical, it also requires players’ mental strength to concentrate their minds to have a good focus while playing the game.
The third baseman needs to make instant decisions on the field, which requires a quick decision-making ability that comes from concentrating on the game.
Types of Third Baseman on Field
The third baseman softball players are famous for their outstanding infield defense ability and arm talent. Some of the third basemen may be lined up because they’ve a talent for hitting, which makes them great hitters, and others are defenders.
However, some teams are lucky and have a player with the ability to hit and play at defense. Therefore, three types of third basemen exist: offensive, defensive, and all-rounder.
Defensive Third Basemen
The responsibility of a defensive third baseman is to do fielding of ground balls and catching the fast line drives. No matter how far the ball is to travel to their left or right, the third baseman needs to field it. This type of baseman on the team has the quickest reflex and is strong.
At the defensive position, these players have strong footwork and instincts to track the ball off the bat. So they can take quick action by throwing the ground balls to the longest distance at first base in just seconds in order to out the runner.
Offensive Third Basemen
With time baseball has become more focused on making runs. Now the teams are looking for potential players who have a talent for hitting the ball. An offensive third baseman has the ability and skills to hit the ball over fielding.
However, these players are lined up in order to produce offensively. While playing, when the team knows that they aren’t doing exceptionally well in defensive play in catching, diving, or throwing the ball, then they drop off the defensive playing and focus on the offensive playing ability.
All-Around Third Baseman
The all-around is a third type of baseman who’s one of the best assets on the team. A player with exceptional skills in fielding and hitting has no chance of remaining in the lineup.
Because they’re the game changer and can change the game at any difficult time in favor of their team with their defensive play, however, these types of third basemen are rare gems, and only lucky teams have these high-caliber players.
Frequently Asked Questions
Playing at third base in Baseball needs a lot of practice and a combination of different skills. So, if you’ve the potential and skills to play at third base, start working on your footwork, reflexes, and throwing accuracy. Also, go through our “How to play third base in Baseball” guide and learn more about it.
Moreover, playing third base demands a well-rounded skill set and a deep understanding of the game to contribute to the team’s success. So, get insight into the responsibilities, types, and skills in detail to develop your strength and skills through continuous practice with dedication and passion.