Major League catcher Matt Treanor offers expert advice on the proper catcher stance and how to protect signs to the pitcher.
Why It Matters.
The preciseness of this catchers stance is to keep the opposing team from stealing signs. It is important to keep signals between catcher and pitcher protected, concealed from the opposing teams eyes.
When giving signs it is important for not only the pitcher see them clearly, it is equally important for the shortstop and the second baseman to see the signs as well. They need to take that information and pass it along to the corner infielders. Make sure to talk to your infielders and make sure the two middle guys can see your signs and the corner infielders can’t. If they can’t see the signs, then you know the 1st and 3rd base coaches can ’ t see them either.
1. Point your knees to the middle infielders.
In your catchers stance, your left knee will be facing the shortstop and your right knee will be facing the second baseman.
Pro Tip: Keep your knees from swinging back and forth trying to block everyone from seeing the signs. Doing this may block the middle infielders from seeing the signs.
2. Balance on your toes.
Your toes should follow your knees and point to the middle infielders as well. Having your toes pointed out just a little will make your catchers squat a little more comfortable as well as put your knees in the right place. Your heels should be in the air just beneath your rear end.
3. Use the catchers mitt shield your signs from the 3rd base coach.
Take your glove hand forearm and rest it on the outside of your left knee. From this position your glove should be under your left knee blocking the vision of the 3rd base coach from seeing your signs.
Pro Tip: Don’t wrap your glove around your left knee, this will not allow your shortstop to see the signs being given.
4. Hand position for giving signs.
A catcher should give signs as close to the body as possible. This allows the position of your legs to work for you concealing the signals. Take your right wrist and place it in the crease of your hip so your hand is hanging loosely between your legs.
5. Only use your fingers to give signs.
If your wrist or forearm moves as a result from giving signs, you are being too lazy. An experienced coach will look at your throwing wrist or forearm to see if you are giving away pitches or pickoffs etc.
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More on Catching:
- Catcher Stance 2 – Catching Fundamentals in a Blocking Situation
- Catchers Stance 3 – No One on Base
- 7 Absolutes of Every Good Hitter
- The Baseball Swing 1 – Rhythm
- Sacrifice Bunting
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.
I found it helpful when you said that you must keep your knees from swinging back and forth. As you said, this blocks everyone from seeing the signs. This sounds like a good tip for my son and for his friends who all love to consider playing baseball. I could imagine how attending a baseball skills camp could help them learn their needed skills and techniques.
That makes sense that you would want your legs to conceal the sign if possible. My son loves to play baseball, and I am trying to help him get better in any way I can. I’ll have to tell him to try and do that if he decides to play catcher when he tries out for a team.