Baseball Defensive Drills

Baseball Defensive Drills

Though the main objective of baseball is to score more runs than the opposing team, stopping the other team from scoring can sometimes be just as important. For this reason, baseball players will often spend as much time practicing their defense as they do their offense. Listed below are some of the best defensive drills.

List of Baseball Defensive Drills

  • Barehanded Framing Drill
  • Barehanded Fielding Drill:
  • Blind Outfield Drill
  • Dirt Ball Blocking Drill
  • Flip and Follow
  • In-Between Hop Drill
  • Pick Drills
  • Triangle Drill

Barehanded Framing Drill

The barehanded framing drill is one of the most common drills for catchers. To perform this drill, a coach will continually toss baseballs to the catcher, who is ready to receive the ball without a ball in their hand. This action reinforces the idea of framing the ball with your hand (not your glove) to get a more complete feel of the baseball once the player puts the glove back on. 

Barehanded Fielding Drill

The barehanded fielding drill is one of the most common drills for infielders looking to improve their defensive skills. This drill requires a coach or surrounding player to roll the ball across the dirt to an adjacent fielder, who then fields the ball without their glove in hand. As a result of this simple procedure, fielders are better able to keep their glove down on ground balls once they put their gloves back on.

Blind Outfield Drill

Usually used as a fun, end of practice drill, the blind outfield drill is a great way to practice difficult, full-speed catches in the outfield. Coaches can conduct this drill by lining up their players in the outfield, and one by one, hitting/throwing the ball to the players who have their backs turned to the play. The player will turn as soon as the ball is thrown, running after and hopefully catching the ball in whichever direction it went in. This drill is supposed to test instinct and lateral movement toward the ball.

Dirt Ball Blocking Drill

Along with the barehanded fielding drill, the dirt ball blocking drill is another essential catching drill for defensive development. To execute this drill, a pitcher, coach, or pitching machine must purposely wield the ball into the ground in the direction of the catcher multiple times in a row. From there, the catcher is tasked with continuously blocking the ball in an effort to improve their defensive technique.

Flip and Follow Drill

The flip and follow is a middle infield drill that helps middle infielders (shortstops and second basemen) provide good feeds to their teammates when trying to turn a double play. The performance of the flip and follow drill is quite simple. All the player must do is field a normal ground ball cleanly and flip the ball to second base, overemphasizing the flip by following their throw an extra couple of steps once they release the ball. By doing this drill, players are less likely to get quick with their flips to second, allowing them to be more accurate in the real game.  

In-Between Hop Drill

Dubbed the toughest type of baseball to field, the in-between hop is one that lands five to ten feet in front of the fielder, creating an awkward fielding motion. Because of this fact, it’s essential to practice this type of motion with in-between hop drills, which involve purposely hitting the ball to areas that will cause this type of awkward hop. As a result, the fielder can gain more refined instincts around baseballs that come at them from difficult angles.

Pick Drills

Pick drills are heavily utilized across all infield positions, as improving your short hop/pick skills are essential in today's game. The easiest way to practice this motion is through a simple pick drill, which occurs when a player or coach purposely throws the ball on the ground underneath the player’s glove. As a result, the fielder must field through the ball in order to catch the ball cleanly and get off a throw.

Triangle Drill

The triangle drill is a common way to reinforce the idea of getting into a good fielding position in the infield. To perform it, all the player must do is set up in a fielding position with their legs spread out and their glove near the ground in front of them. From there, a coach or teammate will roll a ball to the player, forcing them to stay in the fielding position for longer than expected. By doing this repetitively, the player’s muscle memory in regards to their fielding position will be much better by the time they get in the game.


What is the best defensive drill in baseball?

The best defensive baseball drill is probably the blind outfield drill. This drill helps the defense practice full-speed and difficult catches in the outfield as if a real game were happening. To do this drill, outfielders must line up in the outfield with their back facing the infield and try to catch incoming thrown or hit balls.