Throws to second

One of the most challenging aspects for a catcher is the throw down to second base. And it’s not unusual for a club watching the battery work, to take note of the backstop’s toss to second after saying ” coming down!”

Catchers with a rifle arm get respect, no doubt about it. And when that rifle arm can claim accuracy too – the other club’s larceny isn’t so “at will”.

Below, is one of many approaches of coaching a catcher to focus on a reference point with throwing to second. Basically it goes like this:
 The catcher identifies the right side of the rubber (his right).
 The catcher now wants a height indicator which will provide the elevation reference for his throw.
 The catcher assumes his position behind the plate, receives a pitch, then fires just above the right side of the pitcher’s head.
 The catchers should take note of where his throw landed.
 He should notice the second baseman receiving the toss just off or near the leading edge of second base (facing first) and the throw should be greeting the base runner.
 The right side of the pitcher’s rubber can sometimes be impossible to see but after some practice a catcher’s instincts should be pretty close with estimating this location. Why the right side of the pitcher’s rubber? If a ball field is designed and marked off properly, this right side should be a very good indicator for the line-of-sight along which the catcher’s throw is suppose to travel.
 The height of the pitcher should be a very good indicator of a reasonable reference point at which the catcher – during his being rushed to release, can control his throw so he doesn’t increase the probability of overthrowing or under throwing the toss and thus allowing a trouble ball for the second baseman and even the possibility of an error and an additional 90 feet opportunity for the runner.

Coach B.

And don’t forget throws to third! A few days ago I was watching the Yankees-Mariners game, and Ichiro Suzuki had gotten on base and stolen second. Then he decided to try stealing third—and Yankee catcher Jose Molina cut him down with a powerful, accurate throw. 8)

Yah coach could you do a topic about throwing to third…thats my problem when playing catcher…i ALWAYS ALWAYS throw it to the left side of the third basemen(my perspective) :oops: :cry:

I’m going to qualify my answer to your question about throwing down to third by saying that I am not specifically trained and schooled to coach catchers. I have, out of necessity, from time to time, but I must admit that I’ve learned more from these men than they have learned from me.

But I have noticed common traits that most, if not all, catchers exhibit when going to third.

First, they anticipate the throw. By that I mean these catchers pay attention to the potential plays in front of them and with their teammates … “he’s going!!..”, wraps the play up into a team effort, not just dependent on one man - the catcher.

Second, their moves are deliberate, crisp and no wasted motion. Reason - their dealing with tenths of a second. A catcher must understands the distance and time relationship on the base path along with leads off base that eat away and the battery’s response. Hence, the entire body must uncoil from the plate position, keep somewhat flexed at the knees, bring the glove with the ball in it back to the throwing hand, glove elbow points directly to third, reach the throwing hand sky high, crisply snap throw the ball and let the shoulders rotate, the glove riding up at throat level and riding just under the chin while the shoulders rotate.

The biggest thing that I’ve seen catcher’s work on is their body discipline from the hips on down.
The tendency to point the glove side foot towards first or the pitcher - and not directly at third, seems to give the catchers that I’ve had, problems.

Again, possibly there’s another reason for your training needs, but this is the best that I can do based on my limited experience with backstops.

I would suggest however, trying just what I suggested and see if that helps any.

And by the way, one of the major infield coaching routines that I seen with fielders who were about to receive any throw, was to put their glove UP AT LEAST CAP HIGH so as to give the throwing fielder a good target to throw at. If your third baseman is not giving you a good target, that could be one of your problems also. In fact, first basemen find that if they don’t put their mitt up at least cap high, they have a greater tendency to be scooping throws from short and third out of the dirt.

The other thing that I’ve notice that good catchers seem to manage, is the batter. I’ve seen some great catchers practice this for hours - batter up in the box, squared in the box, back in the box. I was even asked to help out once by standing in the box - nearly got my head ripped off, but I survived. In fact during more than once, I’ve witnessed my guys actually come close to muscling the batter out of the way if they had to.

In any event, my hat’s off to you. Backstop duty is tough, dirty, and grinding work.

Coach B.

Ok thanks Coach B.

But do you know if anyone on this forum is more experienced(best word i could find, please dont take it in a bad way)more experienced in coaching catchers?

Here’s a man who impresses me. He’s signed on as BBathe. I took the liberty of bringing one of his posts over so you could read it, without searching. His man is the genuine article. I’d refer your questions directly to him.

Sorry I couldn’t help you more. But I know this man can.

Best wishes with your baseball experience.

Coach B.



Joined: 09 Apr 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Tucson Arizona
Posted: Apr 16, 2009 Post subject: Catcher’s stance

Okay- being a former major league catcher, here is the nuts and bolts of catcher’s positions…

  1. A catcher will sit in a relaxed position with no one on base. Over the course of a game, you need to stay relaxed… When there is 2 strikes you get in a ready position to block the ball in case the batter swings at strike 3.
  2. The link supplied in the previous post illustrates beautifully the correct position with runners on. The reason for the feet slight outward, weight on insoles and knees slightly in, puts your balance and your ability to move quickly where it belongs … On the inner sides of your thighs… It is the BEST position for springing and moving quickly…

The catcher in that footage illustrates perfectly and executes perfectly. It provides balance, quickness, and stability… I can speak from experience…

Bill Bathe- retired MLB player. Played in 1989 world series. Has played in Japan, Venezuela, Mexico. Went to college at Pepperdine.