DEFENSE

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Feb 10, 2018
500
93
NoVA
When you look at higher-level D1 teams, the best ones (those in the Top 25, say) have a fielding percentage of .960 or better. The very best teams (e.g., Oklahoma) consistently have fielding percentages of .980+. They make mistakes, which are part of the game, but not very many. I'd say the magic number of .960+ is a defensive standard that should be aimed for once you get past the developmental levels. Extra outs and free bases are definitely a sure way to lose to comparably or higher skilled teams.

In the small circles I run in, I see near maniacal focus on hitting but very little on individual defensive skills (outside of pitcher + catcher). Part of it is that defensive practice is likely to require mom or dad or somebody to hit decent fungo and to have an adequate outdoor or indoor space to do it.
 
Aug 1, 2019
1,000
113
MN
There is video floating around of a rundown in the Friday Indiana vs Minnesota game. I cant find it now.

It is painful. Really painful. It looks like a bad rundown drill gone viral.
I had it recorded and rewatched the play a few times. With all the time and commotion spent on instant replays and umpires review trying to figure out what may or may not have happened, it wasn't until I showed my DD the play she mentioned the batted ball appears to contact the catcher and the batter. None of what happened afterward should have mattered.
 
Dec 11, 2010
4,730
113
I had it recorded and rewatched the play a few times. With all the time and commotion spent on instant replays and umpires review trying to figure out what may or may not have happened, it wasn't until I showed my DD the play she mentioned the batted ball appears to contact the catcher and the batter. None of what happened afterward should have mattered.
I did not notice that!

A question: Is the throw to first the end of that play? I swear when I saw it on X there was still one more throw or something.
 
Feb 20, 2024
4
3
Nebraska
Give me a really good defensive catcher and centerfielder. The rest of the players can be the female versions of Kyle Schwarber and Jose Conseco defensively providing they produce a good OPS. But that's how I would construct a team if I was a college coach. Perhaps that's why I'm not. #ElevateToCelebrate
 
May 27, 2013
2,417
113
What is tough for me to see is the low softball IQ of some of these players. Even at the collegiate level, a hit back to the pitcher and they are automatically going to 1B, not going for the lead runner when they have plenty of time. It blows my mind!
 
Jul 5, 2016
662
63
Give me a really good defensive catcher and centerfielder. The rest of the players can be the female versions of Kyle Schwarber and Jose Conseco defensively providing they produce a good OPS. But that's how I would construct a team if I was a college coach. Perhaps that's why I'm not. #ElevateToCelebrate
You'll want a couple of strikeout pitchers as well if you are going to construct a team which doesn't have good defensive skills in all positions.

This would be my daughter's town travel team - if the pitcher was throwing mostly strikeouts, there was a considerable risk of losing on unearned runs.
 
May 29, 2015
3,851
113
I had it recorded and rewatched the play a few times. With all the time and commotion spent on instant replays and umpires review trying to figure out what may or may not have happened, it wasn't until I showed my DD the play she mentioned the batted ball appears to contact the catcher and the batter. None of what happened afterward should have mattered.

It wasn't batted, it was a strikeout. R1 and R2 with 1 out. The plate umpire hesitates due to the runners running, but then clearly signals the batter is out. The rest of the play is live.
 

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