Is it too late for me to become a catcher?

I'm a freshman OF with a decent arm but am a pretty awful hitter, which is keeping me out of my JV lineup. I got behind the plate for the first time ever in a rec game the other day and did okay. Is it too late for me to become a catcher?

Original Post
mjg13x posted:

I'm a freshman OF with a decent arm but am a pretty awful hitter, which is keeping me out of my JV lineup. I got behind the plate for the first time ever in a rec game the other day and did okay. Is it too late for me to become a catcher?

Certainly not too late if you're willing to put the work in.  My only caution is to make sure your team values catchers.  Some do not.  You get no work and are relegated to shagging balls during infield practice. Then they have no clue what it takes and you are "blamed" for every wild pitch/passed ball even though your pitchers couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.  You're also "blamed" for stolen bases even though you can time your pitchers speed to the plate with a sun dial.  It's a thankless spot.  You may be better off becoming a better hitter.  

Have you recently had an eye exam?  I say that because you should be able to track a Freshman pitch.

Also, i'm going to depart from the group here and say it would be hard for you to become a GOOD catcher at this point.  Could it be done, sure.  But catching requires your body to instinctively act that are in direct contraction to how it wants to act.  You really only have split seconds to decide to throw your body, extend your glove, lay out, or cover.  It's not just catching the pitcher.

Could you become a catcher, YES!  Could you pick up the gear in 9th grade and be recruited to a high level college, no.

CaCO3Girl posted:

Could you become a catcher, YES!  Could you pick up the gear in 9th grade and be recruited to a high level college, no.

That's not true at all......  it's absolutely possible.  The starting catcher on my son's D1 team, who is very good, never caught a game at any level until halfway thru his junior year in HS.  Their starting catcher got hurt....he was a 2B/Pitcher and "took one for the team" as they say and moved to catcher.   He's as good as all but a couple of the catchers we saw thru my son's first 3 years of college.  Not big, not great power, but a great arm...and great mechanics behind the plate.   A 9th grader has plenty of time to pick up catching.....it's up to him how far he can go with it.  The "awful hitter" part is going to be as much (or more) of a factor in whether or not he can play beyond HS than his catching ability.   Even the best catchers need to be able to hit a little bit   .  Most HS catchers weren't catchers at the younger ages....nobody ever wanted to be a catcher.  A lot of times when you get to HS and decide you want to play instead of sitting the bench as a backup OF or IF is when you turn to catching.  His thought process is the same as ALOT of kids that end up being very good catchers.  

mjg13x posted:
Consultant posted:

Which is your dominate eye? Do you hit right or left?

Bob

Dominant eye: right.

I also hit right.

Consultant may be on to something.  Maybe practice hitting from the left side.  My son became a switch hitter late in high school, through college, and now milb.

Found this on the internet.  Your dominant eye should be closest to the pitcher:

Extend your hand out in front of you with your thumb up as though you are giving a friend the “thumbs up” or “good job, way to go,” sign. With both eyes open, pick an object about twenty feet away from you and position your thumb so that the end of it covers that object. Now, close your left eye. Did your thumb seem like it moved over to the left? If it did, your left eye is your dominant eye. If nothing happened and your thumb is still covering the object, close your right eye. Did your thumb seem to have jumped over to the right? If so, your right eye is the dominant eye.

Why is all of this important to you? The answer is simple, you want to make use of your dominant eye when you are hitting. Choosing the proper stance to help put that dominant eye to work is important. Ideally, your dominant eye would be the one closest to the pitcher. The left eye for the right handed batter, the right eye for the left handed batter. Unfortunately, most people are just the opposite. Right handed batters generally are right eye dominant and vice-versa.

Having your dominant eye closer to the pitcher contributes to better tracking of the ball to the hitting zone. This is one of the factors that helps explain why switch hitters hit better from one side or the other. Not having this luxury does not mean you can’t be a good  hitter.

mjg13x posted:

I'm a freshman OF with a decent arm but am a pretty awful hitter, which is keeping me out of my JV lineup. I got behind the plate for the first time ever in a rec game the other day and did okay. Is it too late for me to become a catcher?

When you say "awful", what does that mean? Not strong enough to hit the ball hard? Swing and miss too much? Ugly swing?

Have you worked with a hitting coach? If so, what have they suggested you do to improve?

It will be tough to get on the field at any position if you can't hit. Maybe your school puts a premium on catcher defense (more so than offense), but unless you want to pitch, it sounds like becoming a better hitter should be your priority.

Buckeye 2015 posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:

Could you become a catcher, YES!  Could you pick up the gear in 9th grade and be recruited to a high level college, no.

That's not true at all......  it's absolutely possible.  The starting catcher on my son's D1 team, who is very good, never caught a game at any level until halfway thru his junior year in HS.  Their starting catcher got hurt....he was a 2B/Pitcher and "took one for the team" as they say and moved to catcher.   He's as good as all but a couple of the catchers we saw thru my son's first 3 years of college.  Not big, not great power, but a great arm...and great mechanics behind the plate.   A 9th grader has plenty of time to pick up catching.....it's up to him how far he can go with it.  The "awful hitter" part is going to be as much (or more) of a factor in whether or not he can play beyond HS than his catching ability.   Even the best catchers need to be able to hit a little bit   .  Most HS catchers weren't catchers at the younger ages....nobody ever wanted to be a catcher.  A lot of times when you get to HS and decide you want to play instead of sitting the bench as a backup OF or IF is when you turn to catching.  His thought process is the same as ALOT of kids that end up being very good catchers.  

That must have been a very rare kid.  Blocking is not natural.  Kids train for years and some still can’t.  Receiving is also an art form unto itself. 

My real question here is if the poster has the arm to be a catcher and isn’t hitting well, why isn’t he a PO?

3&2;

when we travel Internationally and play 12 games in 15 days. we select 2.5 catchers. In the heat (40 celius) in Australia, the catchers are "worn out". We have often switch 3b to catch in an emergency.We DH the second catcher.

Rule #1, do not try to do more than you are capable, block the low pitch!!

We have also made left handed hitters of players, ages 16-18 who are struggling with the Australian National teams pitchers, who throw perfect sliders. If a right handed hitter with dominate right eye, he will start reaching for the ball as he "loses" it,  6" in front of the plate, unless he has an "open" stance.

Eddie Murray did not switch hit until first year in Pro ball.

Bob

CaCO3Girl posted:
Buckeye 2015 posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:

Could you become a catcher, YES!  Could you pick up the gear in 9th grade and be recruited to a high level college, no.

That's not true at all......  it's absolutely possible.  The starting catcher on my son's D1 team, who is very good, never caught a game at any level until halfway thru his junior year in HS.  Their starting catcher got hurt....he was a 2B/Pitcher and "took one for the team" as they say and moved to catcher.   He's as good as all but a couple of the catchers we saw thru my son's first 3 years of college.  Not big, not great power, but a great arm...and great mechanics behind the plate.   A 9th grader has plenty of time to pick up catching.....it's up to him how far he can go with it.  The "awful hitter" part is going to be as much (or more) of a factor in whether or not he can play beyond HS than his catching ability.   Even the best catchers need to be able to hit a little bit   .  Most HS catchers weren't catchers at the younger ages....nobody ever wanted to be a catcher.  A lot of times when you get to HS and decide you want to play instead of sitting the bench as a backup OF or IF is when you turn to catching.  His thought process is the same as ALOT of kids that end up being very good catchers.  

That must have been a very rare kid.  Blocking is not natural.  Kids train for years and some still can’t.  Receiving is also an art form unto itself. 

My real question here is if the poster has the arm to be a catcher and isn’t hitting well, why isn’t he a PO?

It’s hard to determine potential without seeing the poster play. Good athletes can become quality catcher’s at any age. We have no idea regarding the  athleticism of the poster.

A kid at our high school played second until senior year. He caught senior year and caught at a quality D3.

A kid who played with a friend’s son at an SEC switched from right field to catcher soph year. He had a gun for an arm. 

Whether or not a kid can pull it off in high school depends on his athletic ability and the quality of play at his high school.

I once went to watch one of my travel players play in a small classification high school district playoff game. He was the only player on his team who could have made my son’s large classification high school team.

The kid pitched and caught for his high school team. He couldn't have caught for our travel team.

I coached a kid and he coaches with me now that never caught prior to college. He was recruited by NC State to convert to catcher. He ended up being 1st Team All ACC and a 2nd round pick of the Dodgers as a catcher. Never caught until his first fall practice at NC State as a freshman. 

My back up catcher this year should be my starter next year. He never caught until this season and he is a JR in HS. He's got a chance to be pretty darn good. Look if your willing to work hard and you have the tools to get it done go for it. Good luck

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