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I saw this online:

We would keep track of these every game. FREE BASES. Our goal was to have 5 or less per game. If we did this we had a 72% chance of winning that game. FREE BASES are…

Walks
Balks
Wild Pitches
Passed Balls
Errors
Stolen Bases
HBP (Hit By Pitch)

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Thinking about it, catchers can greatly control wild pitches, passed balls and stolen bases. That's 3 of the seven. And, he might be able to help with walks by stealing strikes.

So, that's more than half of the free 90s where a great defensive catcher is a huge asset.  Or, am I missing something?

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@Francis7 posted:

I saw this online:

We would keep track of these every game. FREE BASES. Our goal was to have 5 or less per game. If we did this we had a 72% chance of winning that game. FREE BASES are…

Walks
Balks
Wild Pitches
Passed Balls
Errors
Stolen Bases
HBP (Hit By Pitch)

===============

Thinking about it, catchers can greatly control wild pitches, passed balls and stolen bases. That's 3 of the seven. And, he might be able to help with walks by stealing strikes.

So, that's more than half of the free 90s where a great defensive catcher is a huge asset.  Or, am I missing something?

So you are a fan of free basing? That would explain a lot ! 😂

@adbono posted:

So you are a fan of free basing? That would explain a lot ! 😂

LOL.

Well, the post you grabbed is incorrect about Stolen Bases being free.  Some that show up in the scorebook are free, but a legit stolen base is earned by the offence.

Also, as to errors -- that's not specific enough. Some errors are going to happen, but most that contribute to a "Free Ninety" (that's one HS Dugout cheer I don't miss) are mental, from lack of preparation, or just plain stupid.  If you want to eliminate free bases, you have to work on stuff like:

- No backpicks at 1B unless C and 1B are both very solid. No back-picks at 3B period.

- Practice 2B picks until you've got it perfect or don't do it.

- teach 1B to throw to 2B reliably when working with LHP

- with men on base teach IF's to hold a slow roller or a ball in the hole if they don't have a play.

- teach OF's to hit the cutoff

- teach C's to call for the cut in time

- practice bunt coverages until it's dark

@TxballDad posted:

Agreed, some of the time to the plate numbers at the HSs around here are pretty slow.

That's certainly part of it, but I can't tell you how many kids I've seen be way too predictable by not varying their time to delivery and sometimes just not looking over. Son's team had multiple occasions where they had running starts. They even did it to lefties a couple times.

That's certainly part of it, but I can't tell you how many kids I've seen be way too predictable by not varying their time to delivery and sometimes just not looking over. Son's team had multiple occasions where they had running starts. They even did it to lefties a couple times.

We spend quite a bit of time working on stealing 3rd by having our runners study pitchers. Most pitchers are very predictable with holding runners on especially with a man on 2nd.  If done correctly the catcher shouldn't even throw the ball to 3rd, as the runner basically steals it standing up.

I have always coached that fundamentally sound teams are very hard to beat.... and giving up multiple free bases is a sure way to end up on the losing side. 

I would exclude stolen bases from this as they can be earned.

But yes, obviously walks, HBPs, errors and passed balls/wild pitches are going to kill you at higher levels.

The question is however to avoid them because kids are not intentionally botching plays.

What you probably can avoid is stuff like mental errors, unnecessary throws , sloppy blocking and also when it is better to accept a hit or run and prevent bigger damage (like first baseman leaving bag instead of trying a very risky pick at his end range.

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