Happy New Year to you all! Hope you are enjoying your time off of work and school! I love the start of a new year! Time to set some goals for the year and keep getting after it! Every catcher should make a goal of becoming a better receiver of the baseball this year. Here's a little tip you can start working on as we get closer to the start of the season.
One of my least favorite terms in the catching world is "framing". A lot of bad habits have been shaped by this term, and consistently I see many young catchers, all the way up to college, over framing pitches and working too hard to steal strikes. The more you look like you're trying to steal a strike the lower your chances are of getting those close calls.
You have to work hard without it looking like you are working hard. How do you do that?
Less body movement! The less we move around while receiving pitches the better we are presenting the ball to the umpire. Reaching out to really stick a pitch, just looks like you're trying to make that pitch look better than it really was. If you can receive that same pitch with less body movement and make it look as if you didn't have to do much to catch the ball, do that!
Keep your body quiet while receiving and you'll find you can get those borderline calls to go your way. Pitchers will love you for it and that's how you have a long career!
If you think pitchers don't notice which catchers get them those close calls, you're crazy! They know what pitches they want to get, and if you can get them a few extra calls by improving your presentation for the umpire, they're going to want to keep throwing to you.
Check out this video from our instagram page of Robison Chirinos staying quiet on a pitch 2-3 inches off the plate.