Drafting a great catcher for youth baseball team. Little League draft advice.


When it comes time to evaluate catchers for
the new season’s youth baseball player draft, the tryout process for most leagues does not
provide a lot of opportunity to get a sense of a catcher’s ability behind the plate. Especially for teams up north, their tryouts
are typically indoors with limited time and limited space. So how can a manager determine quickly if
a catcher has what it takes or not? With the ages 9 and under, the younger ages,
about half of kids want to be catchers. By the time you get to 11 & 12 you’re lucky
if just 15-20% are still willing. Catchers can be tough to find and without
a good catcher you can forget winning very many games no matter how good your pitching
is. They are really critical to a team’s success. If you’re needing a catcher what can you
look for? There are three basic things to look for
#1 General athleticism. Catcher’s need to be mobile, quick and athletic
to prevent passed balls and to stop a lot of wild pitches. Second, catcher’s should face the ball even
when bounces in front of them. They should not be popping up or turning their
body. That is a sign of a player who is fearful
which does NOT work when you’re the catcher. And, finally, watch the players eyes. When you do get a chance to see the catchers
receiving pitches, try to be close enough to watch the catcher’s eyes. If a catcher is squeezing his eyes closed
on pitches then you probably don’t want that player to catch no matter how good he
is otherwise. Great catchers don’t even blink as seen
here with Brian McCann, but good catchers that last are able to keep their eyes open
during the entire pitch even if the batter swings and the ball is in the dirt, and If
they are not able to do that without a batter, then no matter their athleticism, their ability
to throw and block, they will be chasing way to many balls while the other team advances
their runners. Finally. good catcher’s also follow the ball with
their eyes all the way to the glove. They may not move their whole head every time,
but their eyes follow the ball until it’s secure. If they are athletic and able to focus on
receiving without being fearful, most of the other skills a catcher needs at this level
you can teach them.

6 thoughts on “Drafting a great catcher for youth baseball team. Little League draft advice.

  1. Excellent video…. You seem like you are a very good coach…. You know your stuff keep em coming…. But I must say tho all the things you spoke of can be taught e.g the fear of the ball and blinking can be worked on and stamped out with time 👍🏾

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