We all know the list of required talents to play the catcher position in baseball is lengthy. Baseball drills galore fill the internet telling you exactly how to block a ball in the dirt and how to turn an ugly pitch a foot outside into a framed strike right on the corner of the plate.
But as a catcher, how do you stand out? How do you get noticed? It won’t be by blocking a ball in the dirt – every catcher does that. It won’t be because you’re a great framer – even I could do that. What set the great catchers apart from the good and even the mediocre catchers are the reaction time and the ability to throw out runners.
At the major league ranks, the most sought after catchers are the ones that have the quickest reaction times and tons of agility. You can have the strongest arm in the world, but if the runner is already standing on second base by the time you mosey out of your perch, your strong arm is about as relevant as a power hitter that couldn’t hit a curve ball with a light pole.
With lightning-quick reaction time, whether you are trying to gun out a runner stealing a base, or you’re barreling down the line trying to field a bunt, you can begin to position yourself into becoming that great catcher.
One of the best baseball drills for a catcher to be able to master is the half-moon drill. If you are serious about your position and you want the reaction time of a major league catcher, the half-moon drill is a must. The drill is centered around learning specific techniques and about simulating an actual game situation within the drill.
Here’s how it goes:
- Approximately 10 feet away from home plate, place 10 balls in a half-moon position.
- Get in a catcher’s stance behind home plate with glove raised as if receiving a pitch.
- Explode quickly out of stance and field first ball, throwing to first base.
- Return back to catcher’s position and field the remaining balls, throwing each to first base.
- Re-do the process after throwing all 10, throwing the second set of 10 to second base.
- Perform the final set by throwing all 10 to third base, continuing to focus on exploding out of stance.
Other Baseball Catcher Drill Variations:
- Have partner line up directly in front of you while you are in your catcher’s stance. Once you give him the cue, the partner will roll a ball to the left or right, having you explode out of your stance and make an accurate throw.
- To add another element, have a partner number each of the balls 1 to 10. When you are ready and give the partner the cue, the partner will call out a number. You will then explode and throw the numbered ball to a specified base.
Why it works:
The key to being a good catcher is reaction and having the explosiveness to make plays immediately. This baseball drill simulates an actual game and the stamina it takes to continue to explode even after being squatted in a stance for hours. The key is to take baseball drills seriously and explode every time you get up to field a ball. The different variations allow for a form of randomness and helps fulfill the mind game portion of being a catcher.
Article Title: Stopping Them in Their Tracks: A Baseball Drill for Serious Catchers