Originally posted by cmcconnell:
During a recent discussion with fellow coaches, this question came up: How many HS teams in the country have a first baseman that gets DH'ed for? I recently saw this from an opposing team and began wondering - what circumstances bring about that decision and how prevelant is it? I know I've never seen in at any level of college and never will see it at any professional level.
The prevailing thought was that 1b isn't the most athletically demanding IF position. Coach up your next best bat and put him at 1b. I'm curious how many HS coaches have seen/currently employ this lineup arrangement?
We almost made this move in a game last week. We had a player who was due to get some AB's - second string 1B and further down the depth chart at other positions. Starting 1B was slumping but too valuable defensively to take him out. In the end, we decided against as we did not want to send the starter a message that we weren't confident in his bat, but I think there was a good argument here for making that move.
I don't agree with the general notion that 1B isn't demanding, athletically or otherwise. Our starting 1B, as well as another have saved many bases, runs and a few games with key plays at 1B. Picks, keeping balls in front, bunt coverage, relays, getting to the hole, getting to foul pop-ups, coming off the bag for a swipe tag, turning 2, making the throw when a runner breaks on a pick move, etc. 1B defense is underrated.