The second baseman positions himself between the first- and second-base bags (closer to second base), typically toward the back of the infield dirt.
On defense: Second basemen require quick lateral movement to reach balls hit to their right and left. But given that they are stationed on the right side of the infield -- close to first base -- and make shorter throws than shortstops and third basemen, second basemen generally do not need strong throwing arms.
When turning double plays that originate on the left side of the infield, second basemen have a unique challenge in that they must face the shortstop or third baseman to receive the throw. This prevents the second baseman from seeing the oncoming runner while covering the bag. Given this obstacle, second basemen must be able to quickly receive the ball, pivot and -- in some cases -- leap over or sidestep the incoming runner before completing the double-play attempt.
On offense: Since second basemen require more range and athleticism than corner outfielders or first basemen, they often come with more modest expectations on offense. Although the position is home to a handful of quality offensive performers, second basemen rarely rank among the game's top power contributors.