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ref4e

Couple of Plate Mechanics Questions

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Posted this on Ask the Umpire first, then saw the mechanics thread.   (Sorry...newbie to the forum)

 

Couple of plate work questions:

 

Question 1:

How do you handle the situation with a tall catcher and short batter?    If I set up with my eyes at the top of the strike zone, I'm losing the outside corner because the catcher's head is in the way; and if I set up with my chin no lower than the top of catcher's head, I can see the outside corner, but am well above the top of the strike zone.   

 

Question 2:

How do you handle a catcher who slides over to the inside corner when a batter is already crowding the plate?    When this happens, it takes my slot away.    I've been told to set up higher, but when I do that I can't see the catcher glove the ball, meaning I'm guessing on pitches low in the zone.

 

I'm working middle school and high school baseball and softball.

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It's all about adjusting. There is no ideal way to fix these situations, so you do the best you can. In Sit 1, try moving into the slot more, if you can. That way you can see the outside corner a bit better. But you have to adjust based on the catcher. In Sit 2, I used to adjust higher and move back, but I have since been trying going lower and not moving back, and trying to catch a better view of the plate that way. So far, it seems to work. As you work more games you get a feel for the strike zone, which makes these minor adjustments not that big of a deal. 

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For Question 1 - Instead of setting up at the top of the zone, try placing your head in the same place on every batter. That could mean the same height/distance from the catchers helmet. For example, your chin at the top of the helmet. By moving your zone up and down, you are seeing the pitches differently for every batter. You may be above the 'top of the zone', but that is OK. You just need to see the entire zone and all of the plate.

 

Question 2 - Stay in the slot - DO NOT go to the right of the catcher, or you enter the kill zone. I find that one or even a half a step back and up a little gives me a good view. The catchers glove is only part of calling the pitch. You need to see it all the way through the zone, and should be calling the pitch on that zone not the catchers glove. As you work higher levels or even better teams in whichever levels you work, the catching may become better, and they catch it out in front - hoping to get the low pitches.

 

Just my .02 and what works well for me

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Position where you can see the plate even if you can't see the ball coming in. You will see where F2 catches it. Timing.

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For question 1) Don't set up based on the batter's hight. Set up based on your catcher. Obviously the catcher isn't going to stay in the same place all game so your head hight will have to adjust with him but he definitely won't change his hight as much as a batters will. Where as if you adjust to the batter you aren't getting as consistent of a look as you could be.

 

As for question 2) When the catcher pinches you inside you have two options and you may have to use both at different points in the game. Your first option is to move inside with him and get a little more forward lean and basically put your head right next to his. Or you can go inside with him until the point that it no longer is possible to shift in and then put your head right on top of his. The best way to see this in action is turn on your TV and watch some big league guys do it. Everyone of them uses these mechanics in some shape or fashion.

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      Couple of plate work questions:
       
      Question 1:
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