Down the Line, Up the Valley
Purpose: This drill for the outfield defense is to have outfielders practice fielding balls and taking angles for balls down the line and in the alleys.
Procedure: This drill requires four outfielders, receivers at second base and third base, a hitter, and a catcher. Because the center fielder is always involved on balls to the gap, it is best to use two - one in left center and one in right center. The left and right fielders are in normal position. The ball is fungoed alternately to the two pairs of outfielders in the alley and down the line. The first ball is hit down the left-field line, the second to the right-field line, the third to the left-field alley, and the fourth to the right-field alley. Outfielders work on short-angle and deep-angle coverage and hitting the relay or bases. Have each fielder throw to both second and third base. Use extra outfielders or pitchers to cover the bases if the infielders are busy elsewhere. Have players return balls to the catcher or use a bucket at each base.
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