Friday, December 15th, 2017

Block the routine ball

May 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Catching

One of the many jobs of a catcher is to block pitches in the dirt.  There’s nothing worse than seeing a catcher constantly make that trip back to the backstop to retrieve a ball that should have been blocked.  Especially if it meant that runners

Focus on blocking the pitches around the plate

moved up or batters got to first base as a result.

When practicing blocking skills, many catchers, and some coaches as well, spend too much time on blocking pitches that are way out of the strike zone.  It’s much like a shortstop who constantly practices the play in the hole where they jump-turn to throw to first.  It may be fun and nice to look at but how many times are you realistically called upon to make that play?  The same is true for catchers.

A catcher has to master the routine block which is any ball that crosses the plate or is a couple inches off each corner.  Expecting a catcher to block more than that is unrealistic.

If too many pitches are farther off the plate and need to be stopped, you don’t need a catching coach, you need a pitching coach!

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