How To Frame A Pitch
Clint Chalk is a former college baseball player and CoachUp coach -- and this is framing the pitch.
For an umpire to call a pitch on the corner of the plate a strike, you have to make it look like a strike. To make a close pitch appear like it was over the plate, you have to be good at pitch framing. This is one of the most important aspects to a catcher’s game because it affects almost every single pitch. The better you are at pitch framing, the more strike calls you get. Here’s how you do it:
- Catch the ball in the middle of your body around your chest, even if that means rocking side to side on your feet.
- If the pitch is too far outside your body, roll your fingers in towards the plate as if funneling the pitch into the strike zone.
- If the pitch is coming in low, receive it by pulling the ball back and up as you catch it.
Catcher is a position where defense is known to come first, and knowing how to frame a pitch is more useful than any of a catcher’s other defensive skills. As a matter of fact, MLB teams are starting to study the effects of pitch framing on a game, and they are finding that it has such a big effect that some teams are willing to start catchers who can hardly hit, but can frame a pitch very well.
Pitch framing is becoming an increasingly appreciated skill in baseball, and while there are certainly other skills for catchers to work on--hitting, arm strength, and speed--being good at pitch framing will set you apart from your competition. More than anything baseball is a game based on skill, technique, and fundamentals. You don't have to be the best natural athlete to be a good ballplayer, but you do need to be willing to work hard and focus on learning the basics. If you want more help mastering the fundamentals in your baseball training, one of our coaches, like Coach Chalk, is always able to help.