Texas Ranger’s catcher Matt Treanor offers pro tips on the proper ready stance for a baseball catcher when there is no one on base and less than 2 strikes.
This stance focuses on giving the pitcher the best target as possible and not having to worry about blocking any pitches. This stance will give the umpire a great look at the pitch while giving your pitcher a great target. This stance happens after you give your signs to the pitcher and he is ready to pitch the ball home. There are 6 steps to follow that will get you in the perfect catchers stance for no one on base and less than 2 strikes.
1. Follow your glove.
Wherever you are trying to go with the pitch, take your glove there first. Your pitcher will get a visual of where to throw the baseball. Next, your body will follow your glove.
2. Sliding into the slot.
As the pitcher starts his motion you want to use your body to follow your glove. If this happens too early the other team may be able to relay the pitch location, so wait until the pitcher starts his move home. Slide your body so that your glove is in the center of your body. This gives the pitcher a great target to throw towards.
3. Throwing hand behind your right ankle.
This will keep your throwing hand protected from foul balls. It is important to keep all non protected body as hidden as possible to limit the number of direct shots your exposed areas take.
4. Position your glove just out in front of your knees.
You don’t want your glove too far in front of your body, you want it in a position that can maneuver in between your knees. You should be able to catch pitches in a way that anything caught in between your knees is a strike. Even if you are set up a little off the plate. Having your glove near your body will help.
5. Turn your toes out.
If you are having trouble getting low enough for the pitcher or the umpire, turn your toes out. This will open up your hips comfortably and will allow you to get lower in your stance. You don’t need to separate your feet just turn your toes out.
6. Chest up.
Having your chest up gives a great target to the pitcher. It makes your target look big and inviting to throw to. Even if you are a smaller catcher you can still give a big target by keeping your chest up. A big chest is an inviting background for the glove. Catchers note: Your knees should be about 17 inches apart (the width of the plate). Your stance should be such that if you are set up right down the middle and the pitch is thrown between your knees, it should be called a strike. I will touch on this more in How to properly receive a pitch (coming soon).
More on Catching:
- Catchers Stance 1 – How to Protect Signs to the Pitcher
- Catchers Stance 2 – Catching Fundamentals in a Blocking Situation
- Who I am as a Hitter and Where i fit in the Lineup
- The Baseball Swing, Part 1 – Rhythm
- All Articles on Hitting
- Batting drills – New book release
Source: Matt Treanor. Doug and Matt spent the ‘ 09 and ‘ 10 off seasons working out and preparing for the baseball season together. The two have discussed catching technique at length, and Doug has recorded the knowledge shared by Matt in this and other articles.