Routine flyball is well, routine.
No need to guess and sprint to the spot where you think the ball will land.
No need to fight with the sun to track the ball.
No need to pay attention to a nasty spin that may shank or hook the ball.
A player basically has to casually walk few steps and snag a high-towering flyball.
Bottom of the ninth inning with Baltimore (visiting team) is up 8-7 against the Red Sox (home team). With two out, Red Sox batter hits a lazy flyball to the left field. The Baltimore Oriole’s left fielder simply has to shag a routine flyball to end the game.
With plenty of time to spare, all he has to do is get under the ball and use two hands to secure the ball.
But he doesn’t. Take a look at the MLB YouTube video (timestamp 9:01) and see for yourself.
Poor Catching Form
His throwing arm is down to his side. His body is not under the ball. The ball clanks on the heel of his glove and bounces off, resulting in an error. A costly error that Red Sox is able to capitalize to come back and win.
Now, Ryan McKenna is a great guy. Good locker room presence. Teammates like him. He is a good MLB baseball player. Mistakes happen all the time in baseball and baseball is a team sport, so I am not necessarily picking on him.
But let’s not beat around the bush here. He was the sole reason why the Orioles lost the game.
As my old baseball coach used to say, when you make millions to play baseball, they can showboat all they want so I suppose they earned the right to play however they want.
Catching Routine Flyballs the Right Way
On the contrary, take a look at these two Oakland Athletics players, executing a sound mechanics to catch a flyball.
Of course, balls will sometimes popup even when catching them the right way and that is just part of the game. But more often than not, these players will catch routine flyballs.
Takeaway for Youth Baseball Players
The costly error that McKenna made should be a good learning lesson for kids .
Parents and coaches should encourage kids to focus on doing the right things when they are on a field.
Hustle more than other players.
Focus more than other players.
Be smarter than other players.
Practice the fundamentals of catching baseballs the right way.
Baseball game is a law of averages. Do the littles things right and good things will happen to those youth baseball players who stay vigilant.