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  • Thrown down accuracy and pop times

    Well my son is a catcher, and he is interested in improving his throw down to second / pop times.


    So just for the heck of it I started recording pop times on some of the college and MLB games I have been watching.

    The best pop time so far in a game situation was 1.9 seconds, I have a DVR and run it back just to get a few times just to see if I am correct. Surprisingly most of the pop time in the MLB and college are around 2sec to 2.2seconds.

    The best pop time of 1.9 seconds was a perfect pitch and a perfect thrown that got the guy out with a glove tag while the guy was sliding head first. I mean he was out by a mile/few feet.

    Ok, my dilemma is you can work all you want to on arm strength, foot work but what I see as the most important thing in just the catchers responsibility when in comes to pop time is accuracy. You can have the best pop time but if you cannot throw down to second with accuracy you are doing nothing but fooling yourself when in comes to good pop time.

    Am I missing something here when it comes to just Pop time to second? Is it really that important when I am timing the pros and college at around 2 seconds? Why is pop time such a big deal to some people?


    Love always that #2 position,

    drill
    Yogi Berra was asked by a reporter "How do you catch a knuckle ball?" He came right back and said "When it stops rolling"

  • #2
    Drill, I had an absolutely wonderful, 80-minute talk with Coach Weaver of the New England Catching Camp last night, discussing almost exactly what you are questioning here.

    I am not going to even attempt to answer your question, but I would say that you might want to send a "Private Message" to Coach Weaver here on to forum; he posts as "Catchingcoach" and is just a wealth on information on the subject.

    Good luck to you and your son,
    MV9
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd say it is what they look at because they don't have the time to sit and watch enough games to watch how the catcher receives the ball. A poor receiver can cost several legitimate strikes per game where a good receiver can allow the umpire to have an accurate and clear view of location. And so on. Probably because that pure pop time is measurable and other things are more difficult. They might figure other things can be taught, given a great pop time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CoachHenry View Post
        I'd say it is what they look at because they don't have the time to sit and watch enough games to watch how the catcher receives the ball. A poor receiver can cost several legitimate strikes per game where a good receiver can allow the umpire to have an accurate and clear view of location. And so on. Probably because that pure pop time is measurable and other things are more difficult. They might figure other things can be taught, given a great pop time.
        Coach Henry,

        You have absolutely nailed it. The skills a catcher needs to excel are unlike anything the other players have to learn. So many people, (coaches at all levels included) don't always recognize all the things their catcher is actually contributing behind the plate.

        HOWEVER....most people do know how to operate a stop watch and the pop time is a measuarable skill, so that is indeed why it has become so talked about.

        Interesting though, the guy that owns the facility I run my camp indoors at was a AAA catcher for the a's in the late 80's early 90's. He was a D-1 All American in college, he cannot remember anyone ever puttong a watch on him or talking about his pop time.

        I believe with the advent of all the showcases for HS kids it has become a big deal. In that kind of forums you have so many kids "showcasing" their skills side-by-side it was a measurable tool to help evaluate and compare kids.

        DRILL,

        Your observations about MLB times in games is very accurate. Good friend of mine is the Notheast Regional Scout for a MLB team and former minor league catcher himself. He has told me for year that lots of guys get thrown out in MLB games with ACURATE 2.0 throws. A 1.9 in a game is a "hose" as he would say. Another piece of info for you is that the average MPH of a MLB catcher to 2nd is 79-82MPH. Are there guys that throw 85 out of crouch? Sure there are, but again that catcher is above the norm, not at the norm.

        Yes, MLB runners are VERY fast, but MLB pitchers are good at holding runners and picking them off first, so the speed advantage of these world class athletic base stealers is diminished some by those facts.

        The Pop-time is a good tool to compare kids as long as the pitch location is the same for all. The times these HS kids get in showcases are so low (some as low as 1.70) the college and pro scouts know they are manufactured times and do not give a true read on the catchers thowing skill in a game.
        They will be far more interested in seeing them throw in a game.

        Any other questions let me know,

        Coach Weaver
        Coach Weaver
        www.catchingcamp.com
        Facebook: New England Catching Camp
        Phil 4:13

        Comment


        • #5
          dont want to hijack this thread but i really no very little on tips to give our catchers. mainly in terms of footwork to be in better position for a quick release. has this been covered on this site?

          Comment


          • #6
            Coach Weaver,

            How many innings are too many and how much rest is enough?

            Is there any rule of thumb?

            My son is 15yo freshman and the starting catcher on the JV and also pitches.

            Last week in 7 days he had 6 games, he pitched 4 innings and caught for 23 innings. Needless to say he was very tired. He did throw out 7 kids stealing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TL_Dad View Post
              Coach Weaver,

              How many innings are too many and how much rest is enough?

              Is there any rule of thumb?

              My son is 15yo freshman and the starting catcher on the JV and also pitches.

              Last week in 7 days he had 6 games, he pitched 4 innings and caught for 23 innings. Needless to say he was very tired. He did throw out 7 kids stealing.
              TL_Dad,

              6 games x 7 innings = 42 possible innings to play over 7 days.

              Your son played in 27 of them (23+4).

              At first glance does not seem like excessive play time. However did he play more innings at a 3rd position?

              Also, what was the sequence during the 7 days of his 27 innings? That would be helpful.
              Coach Weaver
              www.catchingcamp.com
              Facebook: New England Catching Camp
              Phil 4:13

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Catchingcoach View Post
                TL_Dad,

                6 games x 7 innings = 42 possible innings to play over 7 days.

                Your son played in 27 of them (23+4).

                At first glance does not seem like excessive play time. However did he play more innings at a 3rd position?

                Also, what was the sequence during the 7 days of his 27 innings? That would be helpful.
                game 1-Saturday pitch 4 innings last inning at SS (10 run rule)
                game 2-Saturday catcher 5 innings (10 run rule)
                game 3-Monday catcher 4 innings (10 run rule)
                game 4-Tuesday catcher 6 innings
                game 5-Wednesday catcher 5 innings (10 run rule)
                game 6- Friday catcher 6 innings

                My totals were slightly off-
                catcher 26 innings, pitcher 4 innings, and ss 1 inning.
                34 offensive innings, 31 defensive innings
                Last edited by TL_Dad; 05-11-2008, 03:03 PM. Reason: add possible innings

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TL_Dad View Post
                  game 1-Saturday pitch 4 innings last inning at SS (10 run rule)
                  game 2-Saturday catcher 5 innings (10 run rule)
                  game 3-Monday catcher 4 innings (10 run rule)
                  game 4-Tuesday catcher 6 innings
                  game 5-Wednesday catcher 5 innings (10 run rule)
                  game 6- Friday catcher 6 innings

                  My totals were slightly off-
                  catcher 26 innings, pitcher 4 innings, and ss 1 inning.
                  34 offensive innings, 31 defensive innings
                  So here is his week

                  game 1-Saturday pitch 4 innings last inning at SS (10 run rule)
                  game 2-Saturday catcher 5 innings (10 run rule)

                  Sunday-Day off-Rest

                  game 3-Monday catcher 4 innings (10 run rule)
                  game 4-Tuesday catcher 6 innings
                  game 5-Wednesday catcher 5 innings (10 run rule)

                  Thursday-Day Off-Rest

                  game 6- Friday catcher 6 innings

                  This is a very common week in the life of a high school catcher, I see this kind of schedule all of the time.

                  The key here to my rule of thumb is there is no rule of thumb. Every player has his own level of stamina. While this was a busy week for him there were days off throughout. Mondays game was a 4 inning game.

                  Is this a normal schedule for your school prgram or were you making up games due to bad weather?

                  Most high school schedules I see are 3 games per week, (M-W-F).

                  It is however not uncommon for school teams to only use 1 catcher unlike summer travel teams that will have more then one and trade off games in a double header.

                  So the answer to the question,

                  How many innings are too many and how much rest is enough?

                  will vary from player to player. The players will never tell their coach they are too tired or sore to play. Coaches and parents need to be in touch with each other and communicating if parents see signs that this player is unreasonably fatigue and needs another day of rest.
                  Coach Weaver
                  www.catchingcamp.com
                  Facebook: New England Catching Camp
                  Phil 4:13

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TL_Dad View Post
                    Coach Weaver,

                    How many innings are too many and how much rest is enough?

                    Is there any rule of thumb?

                    My son is 15yo freshman and the starting catcher on the JV and also pitches.

                    Last week in 7 days he had 6 games, he pitched 4 innings and caught for 23 innings. Needless to say he was very tired. He did throw out 7 kids stealing.

                    I've wondered as well since my son catches and pitches. He caught a MWF evening game and a double header on Saturday. He only pitches occasionally because we don't have a reliable backup. He is very tired on the weeks we have double headers on Saturdays.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CoachHenry View Post
                      I've wondered as well since my son catches and pitches. He caught a MWF evening game and a double header on Saturday. He only pitches occasionally because we don't have a reliable backup. He is very tired on the weeks we have double headers on Saturdays.
                      As I said this is a very common question. The catchers life behind the plate is so often under-appreciated for its toll on young players. I hear so many coaches respond to this question with a "oh suck it up and play" attutude. Very shortsighted on their part.

                      Do catchers have to be tough, yes
                      Do they have to play sore, yes
                      Do they have to play tired, yes

                      Do we still need to recognize they are still growing young men whose bodies are ever changing and that growth and change alone can bring discomfort to legs, back, joints. YES

                      And is the answer to this question still that the adults in his life, coaches and parents, need to keep a watch on him and watch for signs of over fatigue and over use and step in and get him to rest....YES YES YES

                      and this needs to be done without slamming the kid as not being tough enough to play the position.

                      I have students that I train that I beleive at the ripe old age of 16 could catch 7 innings a day every day if you let them. and they would have no ill affects from it. These are the few exceptions to the rule and we should not assume all kids are made up that way
                      Coach Weaver
                      www.catchingcamp.com
                      Facebook: New England Catching Camp
                      Phil 4:13

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hawkiirock View Post
                        dont want to hijack this thread but i really no very little on tips to give our catchers. mainly in terms of footwork to be in better position for a quick release. has this been covered on this site?
                        Hawk, I believe Coach Weaver has discussed before here. You can do a search here or visit his site at New England Catchers' Camps
                        "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                        - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          thanks jake. I think i will search his posts and check his site out. take care
                          Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                          Hawk, I believe Coach Weaver has discussed before here. You can do a search here or visit his site at New England Catchers' Camps

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hawkiirock View Post
                            thanks jake. I think i will search his posts and check his site out. take care
                            I also highly recommend getting his DVD. PM him for more information.

                            Comment

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