Catcher Throwing to Third Technique
So when I was playing for the Baltimore Orioles, one of my teammates, Brian Roberts, was one of the best in the game at this, stealing third base. It’s because the pitcher doesn’t actually see him. The infielders don’t pay enough attention to him. He’d start to hop out there at second base and you knew the catcher had no chance. For a catcher to throw to third base, we know it’s a shorter throw. It’ an easier throw for us to make. The problem is it’s easier to steal for the base runner because there’s normally not somebody quite as close. It’s tougher to pick him off back there. So for us to have a chance to throw him out, we have to be quick. Here’s what it should look like. So were in our stance again with a runner on base. We catch the ball. We want to make sure we take as direct a line at third base as we possibly can while staying low.
The problem is there’s going to be a hitter here. If there’s a left handed batter, they don’t steal very often because it’s a real simple throw. We really don’t need to go over the footwork for that. You’re just going to catch a ball and fire it. But with a right handed hitter, we need to make sure we stay as close to his back as we possibly can. We want to go right along his back delivering a strong accurate throw to third base. Now remember it’s a short throw, you don’t have to wind up. We just need to get it in the air and be accurate with it. So here’s what it’s going to look like. We’re set up. We know there’s a man on second base. We know he might run. We’ve already seen what our line looks like. Make sure. Take a look. Look down at third base. Make sure you know where you’re going to go. So as we catch it, we catch and we come right behind his back.
Some guys will talk about going in front of the hitter. It’s doesn’t happen very often. The reason it doesn’t happen very often is because the pitch really has to take us way outside here and this is a difficult jab step to go this way and then come in front of him. Almost every time you’re going to go behind the right handed hitter. So next time you’re behind home plate, before the pitch is thrown, take a look, get you’re line. Know where you want to throw the ball. You’re a catcher. You’re prepared. Stay low, be quick and deliver a strike the next time you’re behind the dish.