How to Develop & Understand Catcher’s Signals

 

Baseball is a game of constant hand signals, pitching signs, and silent communication between players on and off the field. One position that communicates the most among players on the team is the catcher. With the catcher standing behind home plate, he can see the entire team on the field and the entire team can see him. With this power, comes great responsibility. The catcher must be a great communicator and leader on the field. He must not only be constantly practicing catcher drills for his position, but he must also remember all the signs and signals for the team to communicate.

Pitchers and catchers are consistently communicating back and forth to each other on what pitch to throw next. In the squat position, the catcher will flash a sign between his legs so only the pitcher can see it. It must be hidden enough so the batter cannot see it out of the corner of his eye. These signs will correlate to a certain type of pitch to be thrown, usually by the number of fingers that are represented.

This technique gets more advanced as you grow older and more experienced.  For example, if a runner is on second base, he can easily pick the signs from the catcher and relay what pitch is coming to the hitter. A more sophisticated method of hand signals should be used in this type of situation. For instance, the catcher could flash seven signs in a row and whatever the fifth sign is, that will be the pitch that is thrown. This will confuse the runner on second and leave him with no chance of picking the pitch and relaying it to the hitter.

The catcher can also give very subtle signs to his pitcher and other teammates in regards to picking off a runner on base. When a pitcher is looking for the sign for what pitch to throw next, the catcher could give him the sign to throw to first base and try to pick the runner off. Or, he could give the sign for the pitcher to throw a pitch-out, so he can throw the runner out easier if he steals. The catcher could also rub the dirt a certain way that tells the first baseman he is going to immediately throw to first after the pitch to try to pick the runner off. There are so many variations to these signs that a team can get very creative when thinking of signals to use on the field.

As you can see, the catcher is a very important component to the team. As a pitcher or normal position player, the catcher is a second set of eyes for you on the field.  A catcher plays a very valuable role in every pitch that is thrown during a game, and it is imperative that a unique set of signs between the catcher and the team are used and taken advantage of. If you are a catcher looking for an amazing selection on high-end gear, click HERE and browse through hundreds of different models and colors.

 

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