How to Identify a Potential Slapper

softball slapper slapping player lefty fast not slap slow
softball slapper slapping player lefty fast not slap slow running

Slappers are those really fast lefties that drive us all crazy on defense. Yet most of them start out as righty hitters.

If you don’t have a slapper on your team, but would really like to add one, read on to figure out how to identify potential slappers on your team.

Hit from the left side, run at the ball and then fly to first base. That’s the life of a slapper. Meanwhile, the defense plays up, moves people over, tries all kinds of things and still struggles to throw them out. When done well, slapping can be a CRAZY weapon for your team. But when done poorly, it could be more harmful rather than helpful.

While the 3 steps to slapping aren’t that difficult (I explain them in detail in our eClinic 020: Teaching the Running Slap), you want to figure out who on your team could be a good running slapper candidate. So, in a nutshell, here are the qualities you should look for in a running slapper:

  • Fast Runners –  I don’t mean kind of fast, I mean FAST. Even being the fastest player on your team might not really qualify if your team isn’t fast. But you know what’s fast. You know fast players when you see them. So, is your player that fast? If so, then consider turning them into a slapper. Why end up at 1st base if their speed could get them to 2nd. And why get thrown out by a step if they could start a step closer to 1st and use their speed to get on base.
  • They’re Always Thrown Out by a Step or 2 – and I really mean by a step. If you have a player where that’s the case, then you might consider moving them a step closer to start by putting them into the lefty box. When they hit that same groundball, they can now beat it out.

Now, just as important is who should NOT slap:

  • Slow Runners – I had to list it, but chances are, you aren’t even considering it.
  • Doubles/HR hitter – don’t give up consistent power and long balls to turn someone into a groundball, singles hitter.
  • Someone who is Curious about Slapping– that might be a good reason to try it, but to actually become good at slapping means being dedicated to the work involved with learning slapping, and the struggles involved to master it. That’s different than curiosity.

For more help with slapping, check out the following:

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