A baserunner stealing third base can devastate a catcher's psyche. Here are some tips to help catchers make accurate throws to third—and keep the opposition away from easy scoring chances.
3 Types of Throws
A catcher can utilize three methods of throwing to third base. They can take a jab step towards the backhand, throw over a right handed hitter, or shuffle behind a right handed hitter. The location of the pitch, height of the hitter, and arm strength and size of the catcher will determine which throw is best.
On pitches that take the catcher toward their backhand, the jab step is an appropriate throwing position.
The catcher will simply take a jab step with their outside foot, plant their foot, stay low, point the shoulders to third, and make a strong and accurate throw. This will clear you from the hitter and give the catcher a lane to throw in.
Over the Top
On a pitch that is down the middle, the catcher can use one of two methods. First, depending on whether there is a right or left handed hitter, and how tall the right handed hitter is in relation to the catcher, the catcher could plant the back leg, step towards third with the front leg and throw over the top of the hitter. The object is to have a lane to throw in without the hitter getting in the way and disrupting the throw.
If the hitter is taller than the catcher or the pitch takes the catcher towards the forehand side, the catcher can utilize a quick shuffle outside the hitter and create a throwing lane. Again, stay low, athletic, square the body to the base and make a strong and accurate throw to third.
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Jason Vittone is the head baseball coach of Brescia University. Jason has put together numerous clinics to give catchers of all ages a place to hone their skills.