Advice on picking off for a right handed pitcher


#1

Any tips are welcome


#2

For a righty the key is, IMO, to hold the runner there at first, more so than picking him off.
You need to be quick to the plate,
Change up your timing,
and If you’re going to throw a pick off to first, use the jump spin move.


#3

I remember the time when Eddie Lopat, my incredible pitching coach, asked me how I was doing with holding runners on base. I replied that I thought I might have a problem, in part because I too was righthanded. Lopat told me not to worry about it, that I wasn’t out there to set records with pickoff moves but just to hold runners on. A few days later we spent a whole morning working on all sorts of holds and moves, and in the process he taught me an absolutely devastating snap-throw pickoff move that served me very well for the next two decades that I pitched. He told me that the key was to watch that runner—was he a bump on a log, a runner who wasn’t going anywhere, or was he a definite threat to steal, or would he go if the hit and run was on. We worked on pickoff moves for all sorts of runners on all bases, and he showed me how to thwart an attempted suicide squeeze! The whole point was: one step too far off the bag, whoosh, he was out! Move fast and throw a strike.
Some time later he orchestrated a pitcher’s fielding practice in which I took part, and we had some real live baserunners for me to practice with. It was a lot of fun and a terrific workout, among all the other things we did—comebackers, fielding bunts, backing up at any and all bases (an absolute necessity when the fielder was out of position, etc., etc, and I do wish they would do this in Little League instead of futzing around with those face masks which really don’t help much!)


#4

Tips…
Practice it, understand where you are throwing, have a target (Inside corner of the bag, knee high) work with your first baseman and develop more than one move…the PC at the University of North Florida used to teach at least 6 different moves, including a balk move.
He taught: before coming set, at set, hold the ball, buckle the back knee (balk), step off the rubber and best move.
What you want to do is disrupt the running game and not take away from your pitching effort…way too often you see guys going over until finally an error and the guy advances…vary your delivery, don’t be predictable and keep them off balance…less is better, go over when the first guy reaches so you get the distance down but any smart runner will exploit too much attention…let your catcher and 1st baseman give you signs if the runner is straying. Get the ball, check the runner…deliver…


#5

Two things:

  1. Get comfortable holding the ball for 1, 3 and 5 M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i to vary things up. Trust me, that 5 sec hold feels like an eternity. And then you can deliver to the plate or take a quick step back off the rubber.

  2. Use one move on your throws to 1B. Use your best fastest one. That’s how we did it in pro ball. We worked on it a lot. Like a lot, a lot!