Resisting Pitch Angle

One of the big things I try to get catchers to understand when it comes to receiving, is what I call, resisting pitch angle.

Each pitch comes in at a different angle and velocity. Which means we shouldn't be trying to catch each pitch the same way. To keep pitches in the zone we need to provide resistance against the angle of the incoming pitch.

The fastball that stays low needs to be approached from underneath and caught with a subtle but firm lift back up to the zone. (key word - subtle!)

Tyler Flowers does a great job with low pitches.

Whether it's a low pitch, outside, inside, or high we have to get to the other of where the pitch is going and work back against it. If we are late to the spot with our glove we won't be able to subtly manipulate the ball back to the zone. We have to be early for it to look smooth and subtle.

Here is another look at this. Here is Travis D'arneau catching a left handed slider at 88 mph. This pitch is working down and into his glove side. If he doesn't resist the angle of this pitch, it is either going to handcuff him or pull his glove out of the zone. You'll see he works against the angle and "moves" the pitch back where it came from. "Resisting pitch angle"

This is vital for catchers to learn. There are many great drills to improve this; probably the most popular is using weighted baseballs for receiving drills. With a weighted baseball catchers will have to resist the momentum of the pitch even more, which exaggerates the movement we want to create so they can really get a feel for the action.

Share this with your catchers and leave a comment or question below.

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