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THE CASE for the LEFT HAND CATCHER in SOFTBALL.

Oct 17, 2014
9
3
Maryland
THE CASE for the LEFT HAND CATCHER in SOFTBALL.

In 2008 I read an article by Dave Weaver “showcasing” the left hand catcher at all levels of softball; especially college.

It caught my eye because the LH catcher in baseball is at a disadvantage due to the throw to third base on the stealing runner. Much like the charging 3rd baseman on the slow roller or bunt, a lefty would be at a huge disadvantage since the throw can not be made across the body. The necessary adjustment takes too long.

This is NOT the case in softball chiefly because the runner can not take a lead off 2nd base; can not leave any base until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.

Consequently, stealing 3rd base is nearly impossible (at competitive levels of the game), assuming the pitch is caught.

BUT the softball lefty has several advantages over the RH catcher.

  • There are more throws to 1st base than 3rd base; on bunts and pickoffs.
  • The rare throw to 3rd base can be easily made, by dropping the jab step back and relying on a “snap throw”
  • The throw to 3rd base on the 1st & 3rd steal can resemble the LH pitcher’s pickoff move in baseball, where the catcher looks committed to throwing to 2nd, except for the snap throw to 3rd.
  • Since most batters are right handed, the LH catcher can present/ “frame” the outside pitch better.

Because of the ease of most throws and the element of surprise/ deception, a LH catcher is preferable!

Dave went on to say that “enlightened college coaches” are looking for/ recruiting good LH catchers because of these advantages!
 
May 29, 2019
257
43
DD has played with two exceptional left-handed catchers in her travel career; both are D-1 commits. I totally agree with the "advantage" of the pick 1st vs throw to 3rd. With that being said, the left-handed catcher is absolutely at a disadvantage with receiving a throw on a play at the plate. Lefty has to cross their body to apply the tag whereas a righty has a quicker, natural swipe tag. I have seen runners coming up safe many times on close plays because it takes that extra split second to get the tag around, especially on throws from RF.
 
Oct 17, 2014
9
3
Maryland
Would you say that for baseball LH catchers? Benny Distefano was a left-handed catcher in the majors 20 years ago. No lefty has played the position since.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
3,780
113
California
Saw this article to add to discussion.
Little history too


My view either L/R work fine.
Think 👉Mechanics matter more.
 
Mar 6, 2016
370
63
THE CASE for the LEFT HAND CATCHER in SOFTBALL.

In 2008 I read an article by Dave Weaver “showcasing” the left hand catcher at all levels of softball; especially college.

It caught my eye because the LH catcher in baseball is at a disadvantage due to the throw to third base on the stealing runner. Much like the charging 3rd baseman on the slow roller or bunt, a lefty would be at a huge disadvantage since the throw can not be made across the body. The necessary adjustment takes too long.

This is NOT the case in softball chiefly because the runner can not take a lead off 2nd base; can not leave any base until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.

Consequently, stealing 3rd base is nearly impossible (at competitive levels of the game), assuming the pitch is caught.

BUT the softball lefty has several advantages over the RH catcher.

  • There are more throws to 1st base than 3rd base; on bunts and pickoffs.
  • The rare throw to 3rd base can be easily made, by dropping the jab step back and relying on a “snap throw”
  • The throw to 3rd base on the 1st & 3rd steal can resemble the LH pitcher’s pickoff move in baseball, where the catcher looks committed to throwing to 2nd, except for the snap throw to 3rd.
  • Since most batters are right handed, the LH catcher can present/ “frame” the outside pitch better.

Because of the ease of most throws and the element of surprise/ deception, a LH catcher is preferable!

Dave went on to say that “enlightened college coaches” are looking for/ recruiting good LH catchers because of these advantages!

As the dad of a lefty DD catcher, I AGREE COMPLETELY!! lol 👍 🤪 Now, where is Patty Gasso's number...I had it around here somewhere.


aqc.jpg
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,306
83
Would you say that for baseball LH catchers? Benny Distefano was a left-handed catcher in the majors 20 years ago. No lefty has played the position since.
He played a few games at C but was really a RF. I remember watching him play in Buffalo when he played AAA.
 
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