Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 10:26:00 AM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 7/29/2014 10:13:00 AM (view original):OK, maybe you think it does take a genius. Left field and right field are very similar in that you have similar amounts of ground to cover in catching fly balls. You're essentially doing the same thing, just a mirror image of the diamond. You may desire a slightly more rangy left fielder because more balls are hit his way, and you may want a right fielder with a slightly better arm because he's often making longer throws. Otherwise, they're similar.
Posted by burnsy483 on 7/29/2014 10:08:00 AM (view original):Explain it to me.
No, I don't. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the degree of difficulty between left field and right field isn't as strong as right field and third base.
Third basemen are harder to come by - they need spectacularly better reaction time than corner outfielders do. They need a better arm than corner outfielders do, even right fielders. They need to be much quicker in getting rid of the ball than outfielders do. Their throws need to be accurate, where outfielders generally don't need to be. An average ground ball to the third baseman generally has a larger degree of difficulty than a fly ball to a corner outfielder.
I agree with most of that. Let's recap:
LF: Ability to judge and catch flyballs. The foot speed to get there. Arm somewhat optional as the throws to 2B/3B are the shortest in the OF.
RF: Ability to judge and catch flyballs. The foot speed to get there. Arm more important because you want to stop the first to third on a hit.
3B: Reaction skills to catch hard hit grounders. Foot speed doesn't matter. Arm to make the throws on backhands on the bag.
Ability to catch struck balls: LF, RF, 3B
Foot speed: LF, RF
Arm strength/accuracy: RF, 3B
In short, you need better reaction time to play 3B. You need the ability to judge, and get to, balls in the OF. I do agree that you want a little more speed in LF. More RH batters who will pull the ball and put a little more zing on the ball. You need to be able to make strong throws in RF and 3B. Do you really think there's that much more difference between RF and 3B than there is LF and RF?