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Baseball Strategy:Tagging Up to Second

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--Bchew 23:45, 20 June 2008 (UTC)==Rules and Exceptions==

Rule 1: Unless you are coaching at a level of ball that all but ensures that the outfielder can not even reach a cutoff, you should never be looking to tag up from first base. Because second base is located in the center of the field, it is the easiest base to throw to from all 3 outfield positions (both with and without cuts). On fly balls to the outfield, the runner at first should get far enough off the bag as possible without running a risk of being doubled up if the ball is caught. This gives the baserunner his greatest opportunity to advance to third base if the ball is not caught. Always remember that baseball is a game of percentages and the percentage of a runner getting to third on a missed or dropped fly ball is much greater than a runner successfully tagging up from first. Furthermore, the percentage of a runner scoring from third base with no out is 70%, and 60% with a runner on second and 0 out. Since that 10% is greater than the chance of successfully tagging from first to second, the smart move is not to tag.

Exceptions:One exception to the rule would be if there is a runner on third and a fly ball is hit deep enough for the runner at third to make a tag attempt, but not so deep as to where the outfielder would be forced to use a cutoff man to the plate. The fly ball must also be perceived as a routine flyball that SHOULD be caught. If this situation occurs, the runner at first should be on the bag and ready to tag as soon as the ball is caught. As soon as it's caught, the runner on first should get off the bag and look to take second base if he sees that the outfielder is bypassing the cutoff man on a direct throw to the plate. As soon as the runner sees it will not be cut he continues to second. However, if the baserunner sees that the ball will be cut, he must retreat towards first base so not to be an easy out
A tag-up to second is a move which straddles aggressiveness and insanity. However, it does move a runner into scoring position and so should be used in key moments during the late innings of a key game should the opportunity arise.
First of all, if a fly ball is hit deep enough, the runner on first is fast, and the situation is important, the tag-up advances a runner a base and this choice could prove crucial. But consider this new tactical nugget: the Delayed Sacrifice Fly.
With runners on the corners, and no outs, the batter at the plate should hit a fly ball deep and preferably into a corner- that way the outfielder might have a longer throw to the bag. After the ball is caught, the runner on first should fly to second with fury, and as soon as the runner on third sees the ball leave the hand of the outfielder towards second base, he should take off for home. This way, the hitting team is helped regardless of the outcome: if the throw goes to second, the runner on third should have time to score, and thus a run crosses the plate even if the runner tagging up to second is called out. If the outfielder making the catch knows that by going for the runner at second, he is practically allowing the runner at third to score, he might hold the throw, thereby moving the runners to second and third with only 1 out. It's a win-win kind of play to help a team when it's in a tight spot.


Rule 2:

Exceptions:

Notable Tag Ups to Second

If the ball is hit deep to left or right and the outfielder is on a jog back to the wall and seems to have a beat on the ball, the first base runner can tag because the outfielders momentum will be taking his body away from the infield, while if he drops it then the runner will end up on 2nd and a hit will score him while if hes not tagging up and he catches it then the runner will end up back on first, then 2 hits will have to score him instead of 1 if he would have tagged and got to 2nd

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