Andrew C. Fry, John P. Wagle, Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Daniel Yu, Ivan Renteria


Pop time (POP) is the measure of how long it takes a catcher to throw to 2nd base calculated from when the ball arrives in his mitt to when it arrives in the fielder’s glove at 2nd base. It has recently been suggested that greater emphasis should be placed on throwing velocity development instead of the ball exchange and throwing motion. The present study determined if the differences in POP characteristics between high school (HS) and Major League Baseball (MLB) catchers indicate a greater contribution from throwing velocity. HS catchers had slower POP characteristics in both exchange and throw phases. Exchange and throw times relative to pop times were nearly identical for HS and MLB, 36.6% and 36.0%, and 63.4% and 64.0%, respectively. The exchange phase exhibited the greatest variability and the most room for improvement. POP percent contribution from the exchange and throw phases between HS and MLB catchers did not change and their absolute values both improved equally. Therefore, it may be beneficial for coaches to design programs that not only strengthen the arm, but also develop efficient ball exchange and catcher throwing mechanics prior to ball release.


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catching; velocity; sport science; performance; kinematic sequence

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