I can’t express how much I love the recent trend of swim-move slides. More and more baserunners, it seems, have learned that beating the ball to the bag isn’t the only way of stealing an extra base. Instead, a simple contortion of the body in a free-style swimming manner can allow a runner to arrive late, but still stick around for the party.
Check out the Pirates’ Josh Harrison, for example. After essentially getting caught in a run-down and attempting to go back to first, Harrison breaks for second base, arrives after the ball, but is called safe (on the replay), after lifting his inside arm up and over the tag. It’s not luck, it’s extremely impressive.
I mean, come on, he was DONE FOR, before making it into second safely. In fact, he was clearly closer to first base, when the play started. That’s why the ball went that way. But he made it. He made it in safely, and it’s because of that brilliant slide. I’m not quite sure this is much of a teachable skill, but it should be something base coaches start bringing up. You can effectively add a step or two to your overall base-stealing ability, by improving your sliding technique.
Here it is again, slowed down and in .gif format:
Can't touch this. #JHayAllDay
— Pirates (@Pirates) August 10, 2016