Arenado : Positioning & Fielding

Jun 14, 2024

Arenado is one of the most gifted fielders to ever grace the field. But his form is anything but conventional. As kids we all grew up learning that you have to field every ball with two hands and you have to be square to the ball when you field it. 

Not so, says Arenado. 

His two biggest lessons from this video are that he fields most groundballs that are hit right at him with his left foot is slightly back. The idea being that he now has more space to move through, or back on, the ball, if it were to take a bad hop. 

Before you get upset with this idea, let's make sure we understand why he's doing this. SPEED. The ball at the MLB level is hit so hard down to 3rd that most players don't have time to play the perfect hop. Therefor, Nolan is giving himself more time with his set up so that he can create the ideal hop in the extra space he gives himself by offsetting his stance. 

The second lesson that Nolan shares is that he fields every ball with 1 hand and not 2. Stating that this gives him more range of motion to again be athletic and flow with the ball. You hear a ton of MLB infielders preaching the same idea - that 1 handed fielding is the way to become elite. 

BUT, as we all know, fundamentals are fundamentals for a reason. You have to master square stance fielding and two handed fielding before you can graduate to the stuff Arenado is talking about. If you skip straight to the advanced fielding you will make a million errors because the athelticism required to play the way the great fielders play takes thousands of hours of practice. 

Nolan is an expert and with that comes artistic expression and individual style. So the takeaway from this video is that you need to get good at the basics first, but then be confident enough to experiment with other forms, picking and choosing what works for you and what doesn't. Being great at anything in life takes time to find your identity. But you have to be willing to try and fail & keep showing up even when things don't go initially go your way. 

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