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Throwing Out Baserunners - Catching
Throwing Out Baserunners
A lot of the time bases are stolen off of pitchers. Either they are too slow to home or the runner knows that they don't have a good pick off move and can get a better jump. Other than that, it is your job as the catcher to get the baserunner out if he tries to steal. You want to focus on being able to catch the baseball, pop up, throw the baseball, and get it to the second baseman in under 2 seconds. This may be tough but here are some tips to help you.
Although you are trying to be as quick as possible at getting the ball down to second, you want to be sure that you catch the baseball and don't try to transfer too quick. Be sure your throwing hand is close to the glove so the least amount of movement is needed to put your hand in the glove and grab the baseball. A lot of coaches teach to keep the hand behind the glove in case of a foul ball. This all depends on how comfortable you are behind the dish.
Your left foot should actually be just a little more forward than your right. Once you catch the baseball some coaches teach a step through with your right foot first to get momentum to throw. This will take too much time and you will never throw anyone out. You must use a quick hop into position like in the cross drill. At the same time the baseball should be removed from your glove and brought straight up to the throwing position. When you do this hop, your feet should land directly in line with second. If you are falling over or unbalanced you need to work on staying on the balls of your feets or not spinning too much when you hop.
Again the arm should come straight up to the throwing position. There should not be any arm circle when bringing the baseball back. Take it in a direct line from glove to your comfortable throwing position. Some coaches teach throwing from the ear. I suggest doing what feels most comfortable, that you can repeat over and over again, and obviously something you can do quickly.
Your throw and follow through should be at full speed even though your arm path is shorter than other throws. Release the baseball out in front of you and try to keep your fingers directly on top of the baseball. This will help keep movement off the baseball. The more movement there is, the less accurate you are going to be, and the slower the baseball will get there. A good four seam rotation is ideal but you may not have enough time to get that grip before you throw. That is why it is important to keep your fingers on top of the baseball and throw through the ball.