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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Jalbert’

Dan Jalbert gives us some key catching tips that will make you a better catcher.

Blocking the “bad ball” has always been my forte and something I have taken tremendous pride in. I feel that throughout my career, I have been as good or better at blocking pitches in the dirt than any catcher I have played against. For me, it is primarily a mental attitude that no matter where the pitch was or what type of pitch it was, I was going to keep it in front of me and thus keep runners from advancing a base. This attitude again gives the pitcher the comfort knowing that he can throw a pitch in the dirt and not worry about a runner from third scoring or allowing a runner on first to get into scoring position.

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First, while in our “man-on stance”, the catcher drops the glove to the ground and keeps it open as wide as possible.

Second, the knees hit the dirt on either side of the glove, and try not to allow any holes in between where the ball can squeak through.

Third, take the right hand with finger together in a slightly cupped position and put that between your glove and right knee on the ground. While you drop the glove, and then your knees to the ground, you should tuck your chin into your chest protector, keeping your head down and eyes looking down to the ball. Bend slightly at the waist and round your shoulders so that if the ball does hop up, your rounded position will help to funnel the ball back in front of you near the plate. If possible, try to close your feet together in the back so that if the ball does sneak past you, your feet will keep the ball from going to the backstop. Remember, the main goal of blocking the pitch in the dirt is to “block” it from going behind you, not catch it. If the ball does go in the mitt, that is a bonus, but the purpose is to keep the ball in a small area in front of you so that you can jump on it quickly and prevent runners from advancing a base.

More catching advice from Dan.

Blogger Bio
Dan Jalbert, now 33, has been catching since the age of 11. He played baseball at Danvers High and St. Lawrence University, and has played since 2000 in the Boston MABL, Yawkey League, and MSBL. He won the Tony C Comeback Player of the Year Award for the Rockies in the Yawkey League in 2008. He still plays for the Rockies as a Catcher/DH, is the head coach of the AAU 13U Scorpions, and does catching and hitting lessons at Extra-Innings Woburn. He also was a baseball player extra in Fever Pitch.

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Catching-5 Keys To Success

*Guest Blogger* Dan Jalbert writes about what it takes to be a successful catcher.

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Dan with actor Jimmy Fallon during the filming of Fever Pitch

Blogger Bio
Dan Jalbert, now 33, has been catching since the age of 11. He played baseball at Danvers High and St. Lawrence University, and has played since 2000 in the Boston MABL, Yawkey League, and MSBL. He won the Tony C Comeback Player of the Year Award for the Rockies in the Yawkey League in 2008. He still plays for the Rockies as a Catcher/DH, is the head coach of the AAU 13U Scorpions, and does catching and hitting lessons at Extra-Innings Woburn. He also was a baseball player extra in Fever Pitch.

The Catcher

It is no secret that catching is like no other position on the diamond. The catcher is looking directly at every other position on the field on every pitch, and must be aware of every little thing that is going on.

Be a field general

A good catcher must be a field general, he takes charge of the game and helps control what happens between the lines with his pitch selection, defensive calls, etc.

Observe the tendencies of the batters

Catchers have to take mental notes of each batter’s stance, swing, and at bats so as to know what pitches to call when that batter comes to the plate again. I can usually look at a batter’s swing and approach in the on-deck circle and have a good sense of how I want to pitch to that batter.

Do your homework so you do the thinking for the pitcher

The catcher must be the thinking part of the pitcher/catcher battery, so that the pitcher doesn’t have to think much. The pitcher’s responsibility should be to get on the mound, take the sign, and deliver the ball to a location. In addition, the catcher is usually the one to relay signs about pickoffs, bunt coverages, first and third situations, etc. to the rest of the team and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Develop a good relationship with the umpire

He has to make the pitcher look good with good frames, and this will hopefully develop a good relationship with the umpire.

Be tough- physically and mentally

The catcher must be both physically and mentally tough, as squatting for every pitch and taking fouls off the shoulders, mask, feet, and thighs definitely takes its toll in the summer heat!

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