How important is the bond or relationship between the pitcher and the catcher? As far as the pitcher being comfortable with the catcher and the catcher knowing the strenghts and weaknesses of the pitcher.
One of my son's pitchers has been a great reference for him. They aren't friends off the field, and don't go to the same high school.
They are now both being recruited by the same college.
I don't know if I would describe it as a bond, but there are catchers that pitchers prefer. My son is a very good blocker, but not flashy. Calls pitches well. Pitchers have always liked throwing to him.
I will let my son's two newspaper interviews speak for how he feels about the relationship:
#1 - son is AP:
MT: A lot of the pitchers here aren’t guys you’ve been going to school with for years, so you kind of have to come in and build that relationship, especially as a catcher. How important is that relationship, and building that?
AP: Oh, big time. If you don’t have a good relationship with your pitcher, it’s just going to be a very uneasy game. If you’re not on the same page with pitches, it’s very hard. That said, when you are on the same page, the game speeds up, the flow, the tempo, everything is better that way. So it’s a big relationship.
MT: On that same note, you guys lost (starting pitchers) Jake Lambert and Kevin Buran and Brandon Hinkle has been off for at least a week. How difficult is it to, not only, replace those guys, but also to replace that relationship that you had with them?
AP: It’s difficult, catching them for four or five games, and catching some of them last year. You pretty much have to take that relationship and kind of carry it over to the new guys and say, ‘hey, this is what we’ve been doing and this has been working.’ You just kind of mold them into the team and how we do things. But all our new guys that replaced the other guys that left, they all jumped on board and there hasn’t been too much of a change. Personality-wise there has been a little bit of a change, but everyone has a different attitude. You just have to work with it.
MT: At what point in your development as a catcher did you pick up on those little things that are more than just getting good at catching the ball.
AP: I think a lot of it comes more during, not necessarily in the game, but before the game. You know, every pitcher has their own routine and they like throwing at a certain time before the game. I feel like if you can get on their level and make them comfortable and feel like they don’t have to change anything, then that’s just the best.
“I am just trying to work with our pitchers and stay on the same page with them. This increases the flow of the game and really helps the pitcher's rhythm.”
It's called the battery and there is no closer relationship that exists in the game than between pitcher and catcher. Son has a very close friend who he felt was the best milb pitcher he has ever worked with. He can't hit, but as far as the respect, confidence and trust the pitchers feel toward him it has earned him to be one of the longest tenured farm guys in the organization. Yes it is true that some guys prefer some catchers over others, but that isn't always an ideal situation.
Backstop17, Sounds like your son knows what it takes, it's not an easy job, understanding the individuality of 13-14 guys on the team is what it is all about.