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Why are there no LH throwing catchers?


joejoesox
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The last one in the majors was in 1989.  There doesn't seem to be a real consensus on why exactly all catchers throw right handed, but I have a theory.  It's because of a few things:

Most people are right handed. This is the largest pool of players (obviously)

If you're left handed, and can hit, you'll always find somewhere to play. 

If you can't hit, next in line would be to become a pitcher because of the inherent value in LHP.  Even if you aren't great, these guys still manage to get drafted.  Lefty pitchers are a massive premium in baseball.

If you're right handed, and can hit, generally you'll find a position to play.  If you can't hit, and you can't pitch, you're gonna be blocked by a lot of guys (due to being in a much larger pool of righties) unless you learn how to catch.

So basically it boils down to there being more righties than lefties, and catcher being the least desirable position to play

What do you think?

 

Edited by joesaiditstrue
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“Left-handed throws to second base are adversely affected by right-handed hitters. Controlling the running game is important, and the majority of plate appearances come with a right-hander at the plate. So the assumption is that “throwing through the batter” negatively affects the catcher's accuracy.”

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2 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

“Left-handed throws to second base are adversely affected by right-handed hitters. Controlling the running game is important, and the majority of plate appearances come with a right-hander at the plate. So the assumption is that “throwing through the batter” negatively affects the catcher's accuracy.”

Read the rest of the article.  😂

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4 hours ago, manbearpuig said:

Without reading the article, just throwing to 3B on a steal attempt and having to turn your body is enough reason to not have a lefty catcher.

Not to mention having to take the mitt off your left hand and transfer the ball to it Jim Abbott-style before throwing. Guys would be stealing all day.

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23 hours ago, joesaiditstrue said:

The last one in the majors was in 1989.  There doesn't seem to be a real consensus on why exactly all catchers throw right handed, but I have a theory.  It's because of a few things:

Most people are right handed. This is the largest pool of players (obviously)

If you're left handed, and can hit, you'll always find somewhere to play. 

If you can't hit, next in line would be to become a pitcher because of the inherent value in LHP.  Even if you aren't great, these guys still manage to get drafted.  Lefty pitchers are a massive premium in baseball.

If you're right handed, and can hit, generally you'll find a position to play.  If you can't hit, and you can't pitch, you're gonna be blocked by a lot of guys (due to being in a much larger pool of righties) unless you learn how to catch.

So basically it boils down to there being more righties than lefties, and catcher being the least desirable position to play

What do you think?

 

So I was moved off of catcher at a very young age - because as a lefty - my throw is impacted when a righty is in a box. For a right handed catcher - the same holds true when a lefty is in the box (ie. it is more difficult).  The problem is - majority of MLB hitters are righty (or at least were back in the day - not sure how the trend has shifted) and thus - left handed catchers just didn't exist because a righty has a leg up at throwing guys out a 2B.

The one question I have is - with stolen bases going the way of the dodo bird - does that mean you might see more left handed catchers emerge?  My guess is still no - because base stealing is still pretty prolific at the college and little league levels.  

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1 hour ago, Chisoxfn said:

So I was moved off of catcher at a very young age - because as a lefty - my throw is impacted when a righty is in a box. For a right handed catcher - the same holds true when a lefty is in the box (ie. it is more difficult).  The problem is - majority of MLB hitters are righty (or at least were back in the day - not sure how the trend has shifted) and thus - left handed catchers just didn't exist because a righty has a leg up at throwing guys out a 2B.

The one question I have is - with stolen bases going the way of the dodo bird - does that mean you might see more left handed catchers emerge?  My guess is still no - because base stealing is still pretty prolific at the college and little league levels.  

I'm left handed and when my little league coach asked if I'd play catcher my parents said that would be great as long as the team was buying the catcher's mitt since they provided one for the right handed catchers and that was the end of that discussion.

Edited by WhiteSoxFan1993
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14 hours ago, WhiteSoxFan1993 said:

I'm left handed and when my little league coach asked if I'd play catcher my parents said that would be great as long as the team was buying the catcher's mitt since they provided one for the right handed catchers and that was the end of that discussion.

LOL - That is a good point too.  Cause my parents wouldn't have bought one at the age I was at. When I was moved off - it was still at the point where most of the kids didn't even have catcher's gloves (even though kids were pitching).  Its funny - cause my 6 year old plays Pony and they already have catcher's glove despite the fact that it is machine pitch and catcher is still set pretty far off the plate due to some kids having bats fly out of there hands, etc still at this age.  Although this summer he is doing some tourneys with Pony (against other cities) and some of these teams have catchers that are already catching everything out of the machine (which is pretty impressive for 5-6 year olds).  

But I won't have that problem - my son is lefty and he never ever ever wants to play catcher (which is a good call - it is such a brutal position).  

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20 hours ago, Chisoxfn said:

So I was moved off of catcher at a very young age - because as a lefty - my throw is impacted when a righty is in a box. For a right handed catcher - the same holds true when a lefty is in the box (ie. it is more difficult).  The problem is - majority of MLB hitters are righty (or at least were back in the day - not sure how the trend has shifted) and thus - left handed catchers just didn't exist because a righty has a leg up at throwing guys out a 2B.

The one question I have is - with stolen bases going the way of the dodo bird - does that mean you might see more left handed catchers emerge?  My guess is still no - because base stealing is still pretty prolific at the college and little league levels.  

the MLB.com article from February dispels some of the things you mentioned, at least they were convincing enough to me

https://www.mlb.com/news/why-there-are-no-left-handed-catchers-in-mlb

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  • 2 years later...
Posted (edited)

Edited by joejoesox
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On 7/1/2021 at 10:05 AM, Chisoxfn said:

So I was moved off of catcher at a very young age - because as a lefty - my throw is impacted when a righty is in a box. For a right handed catcher - the same holds true when a lefty is in the box (ie. it is more difficult).  The problem is - majority of MLB hitters are righty (or at least were back in the day - not sure how the trend has shifted) and thus - left handed catchers just didn't exist because a righty has a leg up at throwing guys out a 2B.

The one question I have is - with stolen bases going the way of the dodo bird - does that mean you might see more left handed catchers emerge?  My guess is still no - because base stealing is still pretty prolific at the college and little league levels.  

Base stealing is BACK...as of last year.

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On 6/30/2021 at 8:10 PM, CentralChamps21 said:

I'm left handed and when my little league coach asked if I'd play catcher my parents said that would be great as long as the team was buying the catcher's mitt since they provided one for the right handed catchers and that was the end of that discussion.

I just wanted to play shortstop, man. One time. 70% of the kids can't throw it across the infield anyway, who cares if I have to turn my body? The last game before high school the coach let me play second base. Jerk.

Edited by nrockway
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/19/2024 at 8:28 PM, nrockway said:

I just wanted to play shortstop, man. One time. 70% of the kids can't throw it across the infield anyway, who cares if I have to turn my body? The last game before high school the coach let me play second base. Jerk.

How did you do?

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I have often wondered about this left-handed bull s%*#. 

Catcher-- it shouldn't make any difference, but after reading a post here about the COST of a glove, bingo, that was the answer, and it has  prevailed to this day.

Third base? No one bunts any more.  Who cares?

Second and Short-- I get it.

Some frustrated lefty here should start a class action lawsuit.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, oldsox said:

How did you do?

I fielded a groundball and threw it to the first baseman for the out. I think coach's brain exploded. I actually feel bad calling him a jerk in the other post, he was a good man that took kids' baseball a little too seriously. 

"you guys played terrible, get the f*** out of here!"

"coach we're 11."

Edited by nrockway
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On 5/5/2024 at 7:54 PM, nrockway said:

I fielded a groundball and threw it to the first baseman for the out. I think coach's brain exploded. I actually feel bad calling him a jerk in the other post, he was a good man that took kids' baseball a little too seriously. 

"you guys played terrible, get the f*** out of here!"

"coach we're 11."

I'm a lefty and it stinks and my son is currently a lefty and kind of now hitting that age where while he's way good enough to play in infield - now that we are starting to turn double plays, etc - it pushes him to outfield (or 1B) + Pitcher.  With that in mind - I really do understand why a 2nd basemen can't be left handed - I have no idea how I could effectively turn a tight double play as a lefty.  I have tried many ways and I don't see it.  3rd base is probably the one position where I would argue you could have more lefties - but even than the footwork to make the throw is much harder for a lefty than a righty and your ability to come across diamond and make the play is going to limit your range left (albeit you should be able to make up for it by playing slightly to the left since you don't have to be as tight to the line.  

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Not a chance in hell of throwing out 90% of MLB runners while pivoting off the line at 3B. Honestly as a lefty myself I feel that catcher is probably the only position currently not played by lefties that would perhaps make sense to try and develop them.

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My path to catcher was easy. Second day of practice.

"Who wants to tryout for catcher?"

Four kids threw from home to 2nd. He told me to try on the gear. I never took it off. Nothing fit. I was the skinniest catcher imaginable. I recall wrapping the straps for the shin guards around twice. 

My bat didn't get me on traveling teams.  I'm trying to remember any kid switching to catcher after the age of ten or eleven. 

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11 hours ago, Texsox said:

My path to catcher was easy. Second day of practice.

"Who wants to tryout for catcher?"

Four kids threw from home to 2nd. He told me to try on the gear. I never took it off. Nothing fit. I was the skinniest catcher imaginable. I recall wrapping the straps for the shin guards around twice. 

My bat didn't get me on traveling teams.  I'm trying to remember any kid switching to catcher after the age of ten or eleven. 

All the same for me back in the day haha I had to be the smallest, skinniest catcher.

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