Our 2015 series on learning baseball from those who teach it best continues with this week’s feature on being defensively sound…from University of Dayton coach, Tony Vittorio.

In our last article we talked about the three good F’s of fielding – fielding, funneling, footwork.  This article will consist of the three bad F’s of fielding that consist of “fanning”, “flipping”, and “frog gigging”.  Obviously these are three things that you want to stay away from when fielding a ground ball.

Fanning

During our pre-pitch and as we approach a ground ball, our thumb should be out and our elbow should be in with our fingers in our glove pointed towards the ground.  Fanning consists of when we approach the ball, our thumbs go in and our elbows get outside of our body.  If we do this, we will come in from the side of the baseball.  If we come in from the side of the baseball, it will not allow us to keep our hands out and will cause us to field the ball too deep and possibly on our body.  Remember that we always want to keep the baseball out in front of us and off our body.

Flipping

Flipping consist of when we approach the ball with our thumb out and elbow in, we point our fingers in our glove straight out or up to the sky.  Remember, our fingers should always remain pointed to the ground.  If our fingers creep out or up, the ball will get deep on us or on our body.  Again, this will go against the point that we want to field the ball out in front of us and off our body.  You can also refer this to rolling your fingers up.  Without a doubt, we want to keep our fingers to the ground.

Frog Gigging

I am a city boy but spend a great amount of time in the outdoors.  I apologize though if I did not spell gigging right.  But, as you country boys will know, that when you frog gig, you shine a light on a frog.  When you freeze the frog, you quickly attack the frog with a gig by starting high and working low.  When fielding a baseball, you want to stay low and work up.  If an infielder starts high and works low, again, the ball will get deep on the infielder or on his body.  It is of utmost importance that on a ground ball the infielder stays low and works uphill.

In the last article we discussed the three good F’s – fielding, funneling, and footwork.  This week we covered the three bad F’s – fanning, flipping, and frog gigging.  As an infielder lets reputation the three good F’s and stay away from the three bad F’s.

In our next article, we will talk about reading hops and the other intangibles of fielding.

Until next time………………………

Tony Vittorio
Baseball Coach
University of Dayton

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