A catcher is a position in baseball or softball. When it's a batter's turn to bat, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the home umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. Hand signals are often used by the catcher to request pitches. After each pitch, the catcher calls the out signs while standing up.
In addition to calling balls and strikes, the catcher has other duties that are important for successful batting. The catcher must keep an eye on the running game, pick off base stealers, and throw out would-be base stealers. Also, runners can be forced into errors by making accurate throws to first base or to record votes at second base.
Catchers are usually very athletic individuals who can run fast enough to tag up after a single or take extra bases himself. They need to be able to catch basers quickly because they will sometimes get injured trying to make spectacular catches.
Some notable current catchers include Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals. Both players have won the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
Posey is also the winner of three Golden Spikes Awards as the best college player in America. He has been ranked No. 1 by Baseball America every year since 2006.
To offer the pitcher a solid target, the catcher frequently squats down and places the glove just where the pitcher is attempting to throw it. Catchers typically communicate to pitchers where to throw the ball and what sort of pitch to make. Catchers also play defensively around home plate and cover home plate. They may have assistance from a coach or scout during games, but they are always on the field during play.
There are three main positions in baseball: first base, second base, and third base. Each position has its own responsibilities, so it is important that you choose the right player for the job. For example, if you want to keep your best hitter off the bench, you should not use him as a pinch-hitter even though this is allowed in some leagues. In addition, if you want to reduce defensive mistakes, you should probably start with someone who is likely to get the job done quickly at one of the other positions.
In most leagues, each team has a designated hitter (DH) who plays when there is a game being played in a time zone different than that of their team. The DH gets to sit out every other day so that they can rest their arms. During these games, they will usually be substituted for another player so that someone else can get a chance to hit.
In addition to batting orders and DHs, teams also decide how many players to use in each position during a given game.
Catchers do more than merely advise the pitcher on which pitch to throw. They also need a pitcher to pitch out, pick off, hold a runner, shake off the pitch, or walk off the mound. In other words, they need a lot of help from their pitchers.
In addition to telling his pitcher which pitch to throw, the catcher also calls the game by telling him when to come inside or outside with the ball, when to change speeds, and so on. This is important because it gives his pitcher the best chance to succeed. If the pitcher does not get the call, he may try to go too far outside or stay in too long which could lead to an injury. However, if the pitcher does not know what to do, he could simply stand there waiting for his turn at bat while the coach makes these decisions for him.
Some believe that the catcher's input is necessary to keep the batter confused about what kind of pitch is coming next. This may be true for some batters, but not all. Some hitters like knowing exactly what kind of pitch is coming so they can plan their defense accordingly. Whether this strategy works for them depends on how much control they have over their own fate during at bats.
The person behind the batter in baseball is known as the catcher. The pitcher collaborates closely with his catcher, who is the man standing behind home plate who catches the ball when the batter does not hit it. Although most major league catchers are also capable of throwing a pitch, that capability is used only when necessary.
In addition to receiving balls thrown by the pitcher, the catcher has other duties, including signaling the batter when a pitch is good for hitting and keeping track of the number of balls and strikes encountered during an at-bat. He also calls the runners out on safe decisions and makes sure they stay in their lanes. Finally, he controls the game from the mound by signifying to the coach when he needs a new bat or glove.
Catchers are expected to be well-rounded players with strong arms. They usually stand between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 2 inches tall and weigh between 180 pounds and 210 pounds. A catcher's skills are needed in almost every inning of a game, so it is important that they have good batting averages. This means that they should not be afraid to take a pitch - even if it is not struck - but rather wait for the best opportunity to hit. Catchers who can throw well enough to get batters out sometimes are found in both college and professional baseball. However, they are rare.