Catching Program

Our Player Development Manual has 124 pages of material covering the various aspects of Catching.

Our program will develop first rate receivers who can frame, block, call a game hold runners and lead teams to victories. We have signed 6 catchers to MLB contracts. The catcher is the field general and one of the toughest dudes on the field. He is involved in the game more than any other player and he must be an above average leader.

Included in the catching program is significant detail covering:

Receiving – Framing – Throwing- Footwork – Signal Calling – Blocking – Pop Fly – Handling of Bunts – Signs –  Game Control – Analyzing Batters – Handling Pitchers and Umpires – Fly Ball Priorities – Plays at the Plate – Bullpen Sessions – and more.

 Here is are 2 excerpts for our young catchers.  “The Relaxed Receiving Position”

With no runners on, and less than 2 strikes catchers should start out using the “Relaxed Receiving Position” shown above. As the player advances and becomes more athletic he will learn additional advanced relaxed positions to fill out his repertoire.

  • Feet are shoulder width part – heels to the ground – splayed.

  • Body is square to the pitcher with glove side shoulder slightly advanced forward

  • Weight to the inside of your feet but fully balanced.

  • Butt is low – upper leg bone angled down on a 45 degree angle – about mid calf level.

  • Spinal posture should be neither upright or terribly curved but athletic and stacked over the hips.

  • Glove hand protected by placing it behind your right shoe – thumb in the heel.

  • Glove under glove eye or slightly towards center of body.

  • Glove arm slightly bent and extended but relaxed.

  • The Glove hand should not buried deep into the glove.

  • The elbow of the glove hand should be below the glove – above the knee – but not resting on the knee for support.

  • The glove should be just slightly above your knees but at the bottom of the strike zone – and not obstructing your vision.

  • Top of glove slightly extended forward with a relaxed wrist and palm at a 45 degree angle.

  • The left knee slightly tilted down and in, will allow for easier range of motion with the glove.

  • For soft hands the glove wrist should be relaxed before receiving the ball – while it firms firm up when the ball makes contact with the glove. Catching the ball.

Framing Tip

Young catchers who are attempting to frame pitches, often try to frame pitches which are completely outside of the strike zone. It’s a nice thought but not practical. The umpire will not be fooled by you dragging an errant pitch back to the strike zone.

The correct thing to do is to catch it and send it back to the pitcher. 

Moving the ball with an obvious movement to make it appear to be a strike can alienate an umpire and can hurt a pitcher later on in the game. This is a catching habit that needs to be avoided at all costs.

The chances of you fooling an umpire are pretty slim and the chances of you losing strike zone credibility with the umpire is pretty high so pulling pitches back in to the strike zone more than a few inches should be discouraged.

So, if its a strike or close enough to be debatable, frame it properly with correct glove positioning techniques.  If it’s not a strike or borderline material, catch it and send it back without trying to oversell it. 

One pitch in a game is all it takes to change the final score on occasion and with umpire credibility established you just might buy your team a borderline strike at a critical time so let’s keep the framing where it belongs, on quality pitches only.   

ARE YOU READY?