The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Jan 26, 2015 6:00:00 AM

The Significance of Good Catchers to Baseball Team Defense

Next to the pitcher, the second most significant player on the field is - you guessed it - the catcher. This is not to say that every defensive player is not important. However, it is simple - without a guy behind the plate that can catch, the game is very difficult to play and have success as a team.

In an earlier blog pertaining to catching, I spoke of the lack of ability of catchers to simply catch the baseball and that there was a great de-emphasis on this discipline; or that the receiving of a pitched ball was an area that has fallen secondary to that of trying to throw runners out stealing.

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Topics: defence, team Defence, defensive baseball, catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals, baseball team defense, team defense, Defense

Rick Johnston | Jan 18, 2015 6:30:00 AM

Who Is To Say What Body Type a Baseball Player Is "Supposed" To Have?

"Big and imposing"

"Shows athleticism"

"Long frame"

"Broad shoulders"

"Thick trunk"

"Runs like a gazelle"

"Easy and fluid"

"Long and lean"

"Strong as a bull"

These are just a few scouting terms that are constantly used when players are being evaluated, whether considered draft potential or possible college type. Truly, though, who really knows what type of body can play the game? Who would have ever thought in the day of the big man, that you would ever see a Dustin Pedroia on the same field with a Frank Thomas? Now think about this for a moment, Pedroia, standing all of 5’8, 165lbs and Thomas, otherwise known as the Big Hurt, standing an imposing 6’5, 275lbs on the same field together, competing at the highest level of baseball.

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Topics: baseball coaching, myths, baseball scouting, baseball myths

Kevin Hussey | Jan 15, 2015 3:26:55 PM

How Aspiring College Baseball Prospects Can Learn From Learning

High school is obviously very important in terms of creating opportunities and giving yourself a chance to have a good job in the future. The misconception of high school is that its purpose is for kids to learn information you can use in your future. What kids really learn in high school is how to develop a work ethic while learning how to take information and apply it. Essentially what you learn in high school is how to learn. School gives kids the opportunity to constantly be challenged and deal with adversity. Every student has had difficulty either with a subject or understanding a concept throughout their education. This adversity is relatable to many aspects of life, including baseball. There has never been a college baseball player that went their whole career without having to persevere through some type of difficulty. The path to success that young athletes and students endure is similar in concept. Each year the difficulty and competitiveness increases, while getting closer to your goal. In academics and athletes once you move on to the next level, the previous year becomes irrelevant .For both students and athletes, the past can give you opportunity but the future will determine your success.

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Topics: college, college baseball, college baseball recruiting, college baseball scholarship, high school baseball

Ryan Armstrong | Dec 20, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Pendulum to Pelvic Load"

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is the "Pendulum to Pelvic Load" drill.

This baseball drill is used to help players incorporate the hips into the delivery. Leading with the hips will help players establish a direct line to the target. Moving our hips toward the target will also help us with rotation. More rotation can result in more velocity and allow the arm to have more room to decelerate, decreasing the overall stress of the throw.

The pendulum aspect of the drill allows players to relax and find a natural spot to lift their leg. The pendulum swing also allows players to stay loose as they begin to move forward. This can be very effective for players who are to tense as they begin the delivery.This drill can be done by anyone who is looking to develop an efficient move forward; it is also effective for player who may lack rhythm and tempo. We do this drill in season and off season and is usually followed by the actual pitching motion.

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Topics: baseball drills, pitching tips, pitching instruction, throwing drills, pitching drills, pitching velocity, pitching rotation, pitching mechanics, velocity drills, delivery, rotation drills, pelvic load

Mike McCarthy | Dec 11, 2014 3:12:00 PM

3 Reasons To Invest In A Baseball Strength Training Program

Learn what strength training can do for your game and what to look for in a program

Baseball is America’s past time and it has become the same for many Canadians as well, so it’s no surprise that many young athletes choose to make it their chosen sport to participate in. While some kids play baseball just for fun or to be a part of a team, there are those who live and breathe baseball. To these individuals, baseball is more than just a hobby, but what they excel at. Many hope to one day make it to play collegiately, and perhaps even professionally.

And to get to that point, these passionate individuals need more than just a couple of practices a week to really perfect their craft and hone in on their skills. Instead, they need serious training so that they can reach their baseball goals. That’s where baseball strength training programs come into play (for players such as MVP Mike Trout, pictured).

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Topics: strength training, in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, baseball functional training, off-season strength training, weight lifting, mobility, personalized training, group training

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