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How to Tag up in Baseball off 3B

baserunning tagging up at 3b Apr 21, 2021


All right, guys. We're going to talk about leading off of third base. We've been getting asked a lot of questions lately, early in the season. Kids are getting picked off third. They're not really sure how far off the base to get. We're just going to walk you through positioning and then how we're actually going to walk off into our secondary lead here at third base.

I'm the base runner at third and Coach Duke's my third baseman. After we get our sign from our third base coach, basically, we're going to walk off the base. We're going to walk off the base in foul territory, and I'm allowed to go as far as Coach Duke is from the base. He's probably eight to 10 feet off the base. That means my primary lead is going to be about the same, eight to 10 feet.

I'm on the pitcher, so as soon as that pitcher leg lifts and delivers the home plate, the timing for me is going to be crossover with my left foot, plant on the right. I'm here. Nice athletic position. I'm going to cross over with my left, and then plant with my right foot. Notice, I'm at like a 45 degree angle here. I'm in a position where if it's a dirt ball or if it kicks away, I can break. If the ball's hit, I can break. But I'm also in a position where if that catcher catches the ball and tries to back pick me, I'm athletic enough to come back and dive back into the base.

Now, notice I'm diving back in fair territory. I'm taking my lead in foul territory, and I'm going back to the base in fair territory because if I'm out here in fair territory on my lead, I get hit with the ball. I'm out. But I'm here in foul territory. As soon as that pitch is thrown left, right, I cross over. Then I always work back in fair territory. It's going to make it more challenging for that catcher to throw directly over my head.

But again, make sure your players don't come off of the base and do one of these because now on a back pick situation, they're dead. There's no way they're going to be able to turn their body and dive back in. Quick recap. I'm off the base as far as coach Duke is, as far as the third basemen is. I'm right in here. I'm watching the pitcher. As soon as he goes through his delivery, we're going to cross over with the left foot. It's going to be crossover left, plant off the right. Now I'm in an athletic position to either dive back or break towards home plate.

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