Why Young Baseball Players Should Learn Each Position

One of the faults of young ballplayers and parents is to become a fixture in a position at an early age. For instance, some kids may only catch or play shortstop because that’s the position he likes the most or possibly the coach doesn’t trust any other player in those positions. Sometimes the parents only want the child to play the position he is best at. Well I believe this is wrong. Ballplayers need to be well rounded and be able to play just about every position on the field.

Let’s take a look at some great major league players who have switched positions at sometime in their professional career.

* Mark McGwire- Pitcher to 1B * Babe Ruth- Pitcher to Outfield * Alfonso Soriano- Infield to Outfield * Craig Bigio- Catcher to Infield to Outfield * Dale Murphy- Catcher to Outfield * Alex Rodriguez- Shortstop to 3rd Base

We coaches love those players that can be filled into any positions at a moments notice. Injuries occur or players transfer, often resulting in a void on the field that needs to be filled and the kid who can fill in may just be the one waiting for his big chance to impress the coaching staff at that position. I know a number of coaches who will keep the kid that is on the bubble for making the cut just because they have the ability to be an asset to the team as a utility player.

Too many times I see talented high school and college players that are being scouted heavily and don’t get drafted because they don’t have a necessary tool at their current position and can’t play anywhere else. An example would be a great hitting shortstop that doesn’t have much range in the infield and has a slightly above average arm. This player may have a better shot at getting picked up as an outfielder.

From the big leagues down to little league traveling teams, coaches want those versatile players to put the best possible defense on the field.

About the Author

Coach Rau has been an instructor at baseball camps and clinics for over 20 years, and has ten years of high school and college baseball coaching experience. He has worked with a number of current and past professional baseball players over the years helping them improve their skills and mental approach to the game. He primarily handles the Play Ball pitching lessons, but has also spent many hours studying hitters and their swings. Coach Rau is a