Catchers: You Win with the Stri-Ball

Your goal as a catcher is to make sure that every pitch that is a strike is called a strike; plus you want a minimum of those 50/50 pitches (stri-balls) to be called strikes. There are somewhere between 18-36 stri-balls in every game. As a catcher you save somewhere between .14 – .62 runs depending on the count. The top receivers outdistance the average ones by as much as 27 runs saved which could be as much as 3 extra wins for their team.

The chart below shows how the offensive environment changes with each pitch depending on whether it’s a ball or a strike:

A few thoughts on how you do it… (More details in a future blog…)

  1. Catch the ball firm by beating the ball to the spot.
  2. Catch the ball up to the plate. The closer you catch the ball smoothly up to the plate, the more of a strike it is.
  3. Minimum amount of head & body movement on balls close to the zone.
  4. Let the close pitch sit.
  5. Catch the ball in the top of the glove between your thumb & middle finger.
  6. Avoid trying to turn obvious balls into strikes & don’t try to turn strikes into better strikes.
  7. Low setup with your thumb pointed to 6 0’clock with the top of your glove below the hollow of the hitter’s knees.
  8. On stri-balls you can use subtle glove movement to manipulate the ball into the zone.