Topping the wish list of just about every catcher is a desire to throw out more runners at second. It's probably the biggest request I get when I teach the position.
So my first question back to the aspiring catcher is "how often do you practice throwing to second?" Nine times out of ten, it's not a whole lot.
It's All About Timing
Here's the deal. Throwing to second is very timing dependent. It's very similar to hitting in this respect.
And how much do you practice hitting? Just about every day, right? It would be silly to expect yourself to walk into a game situation, have good timing, and get hits if you only practiced once or twice a month.
Why Practice is Important
Since throwing is every bit as timing dependent as hitting, how can you expect yourself to perform if you rarely practice?
It's simple. If you want to get better at it, do it. Even in the middle of a big league season, I'd still be out on the field 3-4 times a week making throws to second. And that's with a 100-plus game catching workload.
What Young Catchers Can Do
You don't have to blow it out or over do it. 10-15 throws using about 75 percent velocity every other day will do the trick. You might toss the last few at game speed. Make a commitment to yourself to consistently practice your throwing mechanics to second and I'll guarantee you'll see improvement in game results.
Till next time, have fun, play hard, and keep your eye on the ball....
Brent Mayne is a 15-year veteran of the Major Leagues. He ranks 75th in the history of baseball with 1,143 pro games caught, and his .993 career fielding percentage is 4th all-time. Brent is the author of the book "The Art of Catching"--a comprehensive guide to teaching and building defensive catching skills.