What Is Pop Time In Baseball

Pop time – Wikipedia

Pop time, commonly known as POP, is abaseball statistic that quantifies the amount of time it takes a catcher to throw from home plate to second base during an attempted steal of second base. The catcher’s footwork (the time it takes to get into throwing position), exchange time (the time it takes to transition from glove to throwing hand to release), and arm strength are all included in the measurement (velocity of throw). It has been argued whether or not quantifying pop time is effective. In particular, the statistic has been criticized for valuing speed above accuracy because it does not take into consideration whether the throw reached its intended location.

When the pop time is shorter than 2.0 seconds, the pitcher has 1.3 seconds to deliver the ball to the catcher, which is a significant advantage.

Austin Hedges topped the Major League Baseball in pop time during the 2017 season, averaging 1.86 seconds per pitch.



  1. Ab”Pop Time (POP)”.mlb.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 27, 2021
  2. AbMiller, Sam. “Pop Time (POP)”.mlb.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 27, 2021. (May 15, 2018). “‘Pop’ science: Your guide to mastering a new Major League Baseball metric.” ESPN.com. Petriello, Mike (March 27, 2021)
  3. Retrieved on March 27, 2021
  4. (March 8, 2018). In the new Statcast stats, star catchers stand out, according to mlb.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 27, 2021
  5. “Statcast Catcher Poptime Leaderboard,” according to the website. Baseball Savant is a term used to describe someone who understands baseball. retrieved on March 27, 2021
  6. Retrieved on March 27, 2021 Derek Goold is the author of this work (September 14, 2012). “Can you tell me how quickly Molina threw that ball to second?” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published this article. DODD, Rustin (March 27, 2021)
  7. Retrieved from (September 10, 2016). “Here’s why the Roayls believe Salvador Perez can improve as a catcher even more.” The Kansas City Star is a newspaper in Kansas City, Missouri. March 27, 2021
  8. Retrieved March 27, 2021

‘Pop’ science: Your guide to learning a new MLB stat

15th of May, 2018

  • Columnist and feature writer for ESPN’s baseball coverage Former editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus
  • Co-author of “The Only Rule Is That It Has to Work”
  • Former editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus

Earlier last month, MLB.com introduced a new statistic: catcher pop timings. Pop times are a mixture of two measurements (arm strength and the speed with which the catch is transferred from the hand to the throwing arm). During stolen-base attempts, you may use Statcast to time how long it takes a catcher to send a baseball to second base by timing his or her movements. There’s a new statistic! Take this measure and add it to the slew of other baseball statistics that did not exist 50 years ago, nor did they exist five or ten years ago.

  1. And they are predicated on understandings of the game that didn’t exist much more than five or ten years ago, to put it mildly.
  2. It is now the fan’s responsibility to study the statistics – literally, what they are, what they do, why they exist, and how to say them without looking like a complete moron.
  3. It may be exhilarating, but it can also be terrifying and perplexing at times.
  4. When a new statistic is released, we go through a process to establish not just if it is a good statistic, but also how it is a good statistic – how to grasp its purpose, how to account for its limits, how to enjoy it for precisely what it is, and how to make it valuable to others.

1. What does it look like?

Austin Hedges, a rising defensive standout for the San Diego Padres, had the quickest pop time in baseball last season, averaging 1.86 seconds on average, while also possessing 90th percentile arm strength and 75th percentile exchange times. The fastest pitch was thrown by Philadelphia Phillies rookieJorge Alfarot, who threw it at 89.8 mph last year and is even quicker this year, throwing it at 90.1 mph. J.T. Realmutothrows at an average speed of 87.6 mph, which ranks him second in the league, but even catchers with poor arm strength may be speedy if they have rapid transfers.

As you might anticipate, Yadier Molina and Salvador Perez were both far quicker than the national average last year, but Gary Sanchez was even faster.

Tyler Flowers was the most sluggish.

It looks somewhat like this:

2. What does it purport to tell me?

The official definition is as follows: “Pop Time counts the amount of time that elapses between the time that a pitch hits the catcher’s mitt and the time that the ball reaches the fielder’s projected receiving spot in the center of the base,” according to Baseball Reference. It refers to how quickly a catcher can transition from catching a ball to getting it all the way to second base on a single throw. From there, MLB.com breaks down the metric into two parts: the amount of time it took for the catcher to make the exchange (i.e., the time elapsed between catching the ball and releasing it) and the speed of the throw to second (which, of course, correlates with the amount of time it took for the ball to arrive at second).

Considering that a stolen base attempt is a race between the base runner and the pitcher, catcher, or middle infielder, pop time informs us how quickly the catcher ran his leg of the race.

The purpose of catching is not to be extremely quick, but rather to throw the runner out, therefore one might argue that this statistic is placing a number on something that is connected to, but not the main goal.

3. What does it leave out?

There are at least three elements to consider, all of which are critical in determining how well the catcher performed. The first is how precise the throw was. You will never be able to throw out a runner no matter how fast you are as long as the throw is 85 feet over the shortstop’s head. Furthermore, not only does pop time provide no solution to this question, but the quickness of a catcher may in some situations be an obstacle to accuracy. It’s possible that accuracy and speed are in direct competition with one another.

  • The average pop time in the major leagues is 2.0 seconds.
  • He may be taking his time because he has the financial means to do so, as well as because doing so allows him to throw more accurately.
  • During the 2017 season, over two-thirds of catchers were slower on caught stealings than they were on successful base steals.
  • This implies that there is a great deal of this happening on: When the catcher recognizes that the runner has a high leap and is likely to steal a base, he places a premium on rapidity – potentially at the sacrifice of accuracy, in a last-ditch effort to save his team’s season.
  • Caleb Joseph plays catcher for the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Take, for example, the two Russell Martinthrows that have been thrown this season.
  • In another, he is documented as having a 1.93-second pop time.

But, of course, the 1.93 wasn’t fast enough, and the 2.36 came in almost as quickly.

However, when seen in context, the 2.36 represents Martin performing according to his purpose rather than according to our stat.

Here’s one example of extremely exceptional pop: Realmuto’s 1.80, which is one of the quickest times of the year, is as follows: A throw at 88 miles per hour!

Fantastic work, definitely something to be admired.

A 2.33-second pop time, a 1.01-second transfer time, and an 80-mph throw are all possible with this pitch in the dirt and with an all-arm throw.

This is the game,” Joseph said, miming the difficulty of converting a filthy slider into a transfer and throw: “This is the game.” Having a clear understanding of what we’re talking about is critical to our success.

Even WAR, which makes an attempt to include everything that can be measured, leaves out a significant amount of information – most significantly, anything that cannot be quantified.

4. What type of stat is it?

We just use one word, yet the term “statistics” encompasses a vast array of measurements with a variety of aims and varying degrees of human influence. Until the 1980s or so, the most of us were familiar with three sorts of statistics: 1. Keeping track of numbers like as hits, strikeouts, and outfield assists 2. Statistics that are considered average: batting average, earned run average, and fielding %. 3. Stats to note: saves, victories, and game-winning RBIs We were aware of, but did not have regular access to, the following resources: 4.


pitcher matchup data, vs.

As a result of these efforts, Bill James, Pete Palmer, Project Scoresheet, online hobbyists, Baseball Prospectus, The Book, and Baseball-Reference.com came into being.

A lot of the stats they developed were more sophisticated versions of previous stat types – for example, wOBA is a more sophisticated average stat based on a more sophisticated counting stat, and UZR is a more sophisticated fielding percentage with a more sophisticated denominator – and they were able to do this because they had access to more sophisticated data.

They did, however, introduce some new types: In addition to just counting occurrences, context-adjusted statistics, like as OPS+ or wRC+, take into account how much easier or more difficult each accomplishment is made by the context (ballpark, era, quality of competition), and change the statistics accordingly.

  • Predictive analytics, such as xBABIP, Fielding Independent Pitching, catch percentage, or hard-hit ball rates, which move away from outcomes to predict how well a player’s performance “should” have transformed into value are being developed.
  • Player value stats, such as WAR, which take every piece of the chicken, mash it up, and reassemble it into a delectable chicken tender are also available.
  • 10.
  • 11.1 Descriptive information that is most likely not neutral, such as release-point consistency, spin rate, exit velocity, route efficiency, and tunneling, for example.
  • Catcher pop timings are classified as a Category 4 statistic.

For the first time, Statcast provides us with access to the scout’s stopwatch and allows us to get more exact timings for practically all throws, not just the ones on which you or a scout chance to be sitting. Also, they fall under either the Category 10 or 11 category.

5. Does it tell me who is good? Does it do so better than my own eyes and/or what’s already out there? How should I use it?

catcher’s pop times describe how well he physically performed a baseball action – such as throwing to second base – without necessarily demonstrating how effectively he did it In a lot of ways, it’s analogous to sprint speed, which can’t tell you how excellent a player is at stealing bases or chasing down fly balls but can obviously tell you the pace he runs. Unlike stolen bases, though, there isn’t already a standard number that informs you with any certainty how successfully a catcher throws out baserunners.

  • For that matter, his caught-stealing percentage is dramatically affected by how many baserunners attempt to steal against him.
  • A new, more advanced measure at Baseball Prospectus -Throwing Runs- winnows all those variables down until the catcher’s function is isolated, a more thoroughly thought-out statistic for judging catchers than CS percent .
  • If a veteran catcher’s throwing success goes down one season to the next, it might be a blip, a fluke.
  • And it appears to be correlated to throwing success.
  • Based on the data, 0.1 seconds of pop time changes the caught stealing rate by 10 percentage points.
  • Only one of the top nine – Hedges – didn’t.
  • Maldonado, for example, was 1.92 in 2015, then 1.91 in ’16 and 1.93 in ’17.
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It’s a combination of two different skills, as you’ll see, but we tend to see the same names at the top each season.” There’s a pretty convincing match between catchers’ average pop time and how well they rank on Baseball Prospectus’ advanced throwing stats.

Don’t use it for what it’s not.

It probably can’t tell you, without any other context, how good or bad any individual throw was.

It doesn’t aspire to be any of those things, at least not now.

In combination with your own eyes, or over the course of dozens of throws, it can illuminate the reasons a catcher was successful at stopping the running game and help separate his skills from those of his pitchers.

It’s primarily descriptive but can be paired with other information to help pass judgment.

For now, it’s a source of data that gives great color (Alfaro’s average throw to second is 90 mph!) and offers some new insight into how the game is played.

It might seem intuitive now that I know, but it’s definitely not something I already was intuiting. Pop times taught me something about catcher behavior. I imagine it won’t be the last time.

Breaking Down Pop Time

Pop times define how well a catcher physically performs a baseball activity – such as throwing to second base – without necessarily demonstrating how effectively he does so. For the most part, it’s analogous to sprint speed, which doesn’t tell you anything about a player’s ability to steal bases or chase down fly balls, but does tell you how fast he sprints. In contrast to stolen bases, however, there is currently no standard measure that can be used to determine how successfully a catcher throws out baserunners.

  1. In fact, the number of baserunners who attempt to steal against him has a significant impact on his caught-stealing %.
  2. There is a new, more sophisticated measure at Baseball Prospectus called Throwing Runs that winnows down all of those variables until the catcher’s part is isolated, making it a more well thought-out tool for judging catchers than CS percent.
  3. However, pop times can provide answers to questions.
  4. It is possible that the decline in throwing success of an experienced catcher from one season to the next is due to an anomaly or a fluke.
  5. Furthermore, it appears to be associated with throwing success.
  6. According to the study, 0.1 seconds of pop time increases the chance of being caught stealing by 10 percentage points.
  7. Only one of the top nine players, Chris Hedges, did not.
  8. For example, Maldonado’s ERA in 2015 was 1.92, then 1.91 in 2016, and then 1.93 in 2017.

We find the same names at the top of the rankings each season, which indicates that it is a mix of two separate abilities, as you will see.” There is a strong correlation between catchers’ average pop time and how well they do on Baseball Prospectus’ advanced throwing numbers, according to the data.

  • Don’t try to utilize it for something it isn’t.
  • It is unlikely to be able to tell you how excellent or poor a particular toss was if you do not have any additional information.
  • For the time being, it does not seek to be any of those things, at least not yet.
  • With your own eyes, or over a large number of throws, it can shed light on the reasons why a catcher was effective in halting the running game and assist distinguish his abilities from those of the pitchers who he backed up.
  • It is mostly descriptive, but it may be used in conjunction with other information to assist in making a decision.
  • For the time being, it is a source of information that provides excellent color (Alfaro’s average throw to second is 90 mph!) and provides some unique insight into the way the game is played.

It might sound obvious now that I know what I’m talking about, but it’s not something I was already thinking about. I learned a lot about catcher behavior from watching pop times. I have a feeling this won’t be the last time.

The Metric

First and foremost, in order to effect change and have an impact on a given statistic, we must first comprehend how that metric is assessed and broken down. It is called pop time in this instance, which is the length of time it takes for the baseball to go from the catcher’s glove to the fielder’s glove at second base. However, we are aware that there are other factors that contribute to a runner being caught stealing (e.g., pitching time to the plate, throw accuracy, fielder’s tag, and so on), we also know that pop time is substantially connected with the likelihood of a runner getting caught stealing.

  • Time elapsed between a catcher receiving the ball and releasing it is referred to as exchange time. Ball flight time is the amount of time that passes between a catcher’s release and a fielder’s receipt of the ball.

We, as catchers and coaches, have found that declaring that today would be a throwing day quickly devolves into an exchange and footwork day instead. In our busy lives, we don’t spend much time working on our arm strength.” J. Garcia, a graduate assistant at the University of Washington who used to play college baseball as a catcher at the University of Northern Colorado. As of right now in baseball, there is a persistent belief that exchange time is the most important factor in increasing a backstop’s effectiveness in limiting basepath advances.

  • @Alex Caravan and I are now working on a small side project [email protected] that will break down catcher statcast data.
  • On the surface, this appears to make sense.
  • What if we take a step back and consider the greater component of a base-stealing attempt: ball flight time?
  • The average exchange time of a major-league catcher is over a full second longer than that of any other catcher in the league.
  • And that’s with an 87-mph throw, which in 2018 was quicker than the top 10 percent of throws made by the majority of catchers (faster than 33/46).
  • Please keep in mind that for all of the studies and statistics in this post, we only looked at catchers who attempted at least 15 throws to second base in a given season.
  • Furthermore, moving the ball from the glove to the throwing hand and then into the release position is a highly technical skill that must be accomplished in a short period of time.
  • Alternatively, by just throwing the ball harder, the flight time of the ball can be decreased.

While that may not always be the case, we at Driveline have a very decent understanding of how to raise arm strength and throwing velocity in order to improve performance. Before we proceed any further, let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

The Stats

Statcast conveniently tracks the exchange time in the same way that it is defined above, that is, the time between when a catcher receives the ball and when he releases it. While it is possible to determine ball flight time (pop time – exchange time), Statcast measures arm strength, which can be used as a predictor of ball flight time in certain situations. Note: Because Statcast has not yet provided throw-by-throw data, arm strength is calculated as the average of the top 10 percentile of all throws made by the catcher in question.

First and foremost, ANOVA one-way findings show that exchange time and arm strength are both strongly connected with pop time for each year.

Reduced exchange time (which catchers are taught and practice) does, in fact, aid in the reduction of pop time, as has been demonstrated in several studies.

In the Fisher Z transformation, the difference in correlation strength was shown to be not statistically significant.) On the following pages are the cold, hard (and less flashy) figures relating to the strength of the R-squared values, also known as the square of correlations.

Arm Strength and Pop Time

But, if I throw more forcefully, won’t my exchange time slow down as a result? No, not at all. When we look at the link between the arm strength of these catchers and their exchange times, we find that there is almost no association between the two. In other words, there is no need to be concerned that training in one area may impair one’s capacity to do well in another. Descriptive data for sub-segments of our pitcher population show that there is no discernible difference in average exchange times between the hardest and the softest throwers, which is another encouraging finding.

A t-test comparison between any of the possible pairings fails to produce statistically significant results; the highest t value only reaches an absolute value of around 0.5 units and a subsequent p-value of 0.33; the lowest t value only reaches an absolute value of around 0.5 units and a subsequent p-value of 0.33.

Implications and Applications

There is an idea that catchers should focus building arm strength at a comparable level to pitchers in order to emphasize exchange method, which is supported by the breakdown and statistics presented above. Furthermore, this is solely from the perspective of throwing out baserunners. Putting emphasis on arm strength, rehabilitation, arm health, and appropriate throwing mechanics is highly beneficial for catchers, who throw the baseball more times than any other position during a game.

As a result, there should be a greater focus put on recuperation, arm health, and good throwing mechanics in baseball.

NOT All Catchers Are the Same

Individualizing one’s growth is still the way to go. In the creation of catchers, there is no one-size-fits-all model that exists, and there probably never will be. Coaches can use the breakdown of catcher pop time to tackle individual player’s shortcomings if they are aware of them. Having a cannon for an arm and having poor exchange technique puts a catcher in a position where skill improvement geared at minimizing exchange time should take precedence over anything else. An alternative approach is to have an exceptional transfer technique and a below-average arm before entering a program.

Nevertheless, by concentrating arm strength and developing an appropriate training program around it, a catcher in this situation may be in a terrific position to drastically increase pop time.

We should pause for a moment to appreciate a very basic and straightforward insight that taps into a baseball catcher’s potential to improve a portion of his or her game.

Catchers in the Lie: A New Wearable Aims to Bring Honest Data to Pop-Times

The stopwatch was baseball’s first technical advance, and it was a game-changer. We now have to decide if we can finally start putting them in the garbage 100 years after they were created. Beginning with the invention of metal spikes, baseball scouts from Schenectady to Sheboygan have been interested with speed: just how rapidly can a hitter carry the ball down the first base line in a given game? Alternatively, who is faster: a runner attempting to steal second or a catcher rushing in and attempting to gun him down.

  1. Rich Donnelly, a former third base coach for the Pirates, Marlins, and Mariners, describes the game as “a load of nonsense.” Five-tenths of a second is around three or four steps, and Deion Sanders was once timed to first in 3.6 seconds, the quickest time ever recorded.
  2. Some scouts have quicker trigger fingers than others, resulting in uneven findings that, in some cases, should be struck off the record, such as Mantle’s 90-foot sprint, for example.
  3. Speed guns have long been used to measure pitching and throwing velocity, but now there are lasers that can quantify foot speed, as well as applications that cover biomechanics and nearly every other aspect of baseball.
  4. Batters’ exit velocity, launch angle, and 3D ball flight may all be determined using Rapsodo and HitTrax.
  5. All of this has rendered the stopwatch outdated and unnecessary, with the exception of one renegade category: pop-time.
  6. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina in July 2017, completing a double play that included a strike out and another throw out.
  7. It measures how long it takes him to throw the ball to second base after he has received the pitch.
  8. If you can do it in less than 1.8 seconds, you have a legitimate opportunity to win cold, hard cash in the big leagues.
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Jerry Weinstein, the Colorado Rockies’ special assistant for scouting and player development, describes the stopwatch as “basically the most important thing.” The conclusion is that the majority of pop-times outside of the big leagues—where the in-game average is truly 2.1 seconds, monitored by stadium equipment with little potential of human error—are outright fabrications.

  • “Just for the record.,” said a Perfect Game staffer in response.
  • A large number of the top players, such as Matt Wieters, Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Geovany Soto, and so on would be included in this group.
  • “I caught a fish thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Baseball Factory player development coordinator, Patrick Wuebben, admits that he hears “tall stories” all the time.
  • So, if you’re better than Yadier Molina, that’s fine with me.
  • Not only may it render the stopwatch obsolete, but it also has the potential to transform the way professional and collegiate scouts assess catchers (for pop-time and release time), infielders, outfielders, and anybody else who works with a throwing arm.
  • At the time, he was a sought-after young catching instructor owing to his extensive experience (a collegiate career at Ole Miss, followed by 13 years of professional baseball in the United States and Europe), as well as his interpersonal abilities (he was dubbed the “Crash Davis of Italy”).
  • He chose to reinvent his coaching style to compensate for his injury.

“However, I needed to design a platform where guys wouldn’t be tempted to cheat on their pop-times or distances.” Having discussed his ideas with former teammate and pitching guru Caleb Balbuena—who was already coaching online at the time—Ceriani began looking for scientists who could assist him in designing a product that, when equipped with an embedded Bluetooth radar telemetry unit, would become known as “the radar gun for catchers.” As envisioned by Ceriani, his gadget would be able to quantify pop-time down to 1/1000th of a second by embedding in the catcher’s mitt and infielder’s glove, respectively, a tiny accelerometer (which detects vibrational change).

  • Whenever a ball struck the catcher’s mitt, a timer would start counting down from that point and would stop until the ball reached the infielder’s glove down at second base.
  • The technology would restore integrity to a game that had become a haven for cheaters.
  • As a result, the ghost has 1.67 pop-times.
  • ” Then when they arrive to the institutions where they plan to enroll, their coaches are like, ‘This kid is truly a two-point-one.
  • It is possible that the pop-time will not be recorded if the catcher shuffles forward so that his throw goes less than 130 feet or if the infielder scoots in so that the throw is shorter.
  • According to Ceriani, “this technology will legalize throws that occur in the Safeway parking lot.” Another fantastic day spent in the company of Matt Ceriani!
  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Ceriani achieved an instant success in the same way that many sports technology entrepreneurs do.

While Ceriani’s idea was on hold, a trio of Iowa fathers, who were also annoyed by their teenage sons’ unreliable stopwatch pop-time readings, developed and patented their own glove-to-glove timing system, which they branded Accu-Pop, which was completely unknown to Ceriani.

From there, he contracted with Pipeline Design and Engineering, a business based in Mesa, Arizona, to put the design into action.

Considering Ceriani had previously played with the D-Backs’ Triple-A hitting coach, Jason Camilli, and was acquainted with their minor league catching coordinator, Mark Reed, the D-Backs were eager to hear him out.

When clean pop-times began to come, Reed and Arizona’s main catching coach, Rob Hammock, were both intrigued by the development.

“As a result, our thoughts began to race through our heads.” Photograph by Jason Miller/Getty Images MLB clubs employ the Hawk-Eye sports monitoring technology, which has 12 cameras, to measure a catcher’s pop-time and release time during games.

According to Reed, the release time of a catcher is a more useful measure than pop time, which is why the Hawk-Eye system appeared to be the best in the business.

As a result, Reed assured Ceriani that “if your gadget can also detect release time, every team will want them.” “It’s going to be a game changer.” Months later, Ceriani’s developers came up with a neoprene bracelet that was fitted with a trigger that calculated when the product would be released.

  • When Colorado’s Weinstein learned of the revelation, he immediately informed Ceriani that the Rockies would be interested in the story as well.
  • The timing of our double-play turns can be down to one-thousandth of a second.
  • That, however, is from a stopwatch.
  • He intends to sell it on the open market for around $499 per unit by the end of March or the beginning of April.
  • According to Ceriani, other Major League Baseball teams, including the Angels, Dodgers, Padres, Mariners, A’s, Giants, Cubs, Blue Jays, Nationals, Marlins, and Orioles, are considering trying it out.

That is, if you’re using a stopwatch. Question? Comment? Do you have a story idea? Please notify us at Credits for the image: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

How to Improve a Catcher’s Pop Time

Pop times are a source of anxiety for everyone. To put it another way, the time it takes from the time a pitch touches the catcher’s glove to the time it strikes the glove of the middle infielder at second base is the pitch delay. In general, a respectable time at the major league level is around two seconds long. A fantastic time would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.8. As you can see, the gap between being ordinary and being excellent is almost equal to the amount of time it takes for a person to blink.

It’s Not About the Arm

When it comes to shaving those crucial tenths of seconds and improving pop times, there are several options to choose from. Unfortunately, we can’t spend too much time worrying about velocity since, for the most part, God either blessed you with a canon or he didn’t gift you with one. We have to find out a method to complete the task with the resources we have. There are, however, innovative ways to approach the situation, and one of the easiest is to allow the pitch to move. Overall, it comes down to the reality that an incoming pitch can go considerably quicker than you can reach out and receive it, bring it back into your body, and exchange it with your throwing hand before it reaches the pitcher.

Allow the ball to travel and bring the glove-to-hand exchange closer to your body, especially if you can get the pitch to finish up somewhere between your shoulders or anywhere in the middle of your torso.

Close to the Vest

When it comes to saving those precious tenths of seconds and improving pop times, there are several options available to you. Due to the fact that, for the most part, God either blessed you with a canon or he didn’t, we can’t put too much emphasis on velocity. With the resources we have available, we must devise a strategy for completing the task. It is still possible to be innovative, and one of the most straightforward methods is to allow the pitch to travel. Overall, it comes down to the reality that an incoming pitch might go more quicker than you can reach out and receive it, bring it back into your body, and exchange it with your throwing hand before the pitch hits the ground.

Allow the ball to travel and bring the glove-to-hand exchange closer to your body, especially if you can get the pitch to finish up somewhere between your shoulders or between your shoulders and your torso.


What exactly is pop time? On both steal and pickoff attempts, pop time is defined as the amount of time that elapses between the time that the pitch touches the baseball catcher’s mitt and the time that the targeted fielder is estimated to receive his throw at the middle of the base, in milliseconds. Baseball catcher’s pop time is a mix of his footwork, exchange of throws, and arm power. Pop time is used to determine whether or not a catcher has a good chance of throwing out baserunners. The typical major league pop time is between 1.90 and 2.00 seconds, with speeds starting at 1.85 seconds.

  • The use of warm-up equipment like as bands, wrist weights, and shoulder spinners should be incorporated into your practice and game schedule.
  • Following your satisfaction with your throwing distance, post-throwing recuperation is extremely crucial and is critical to your arm health as you continue to push your boundaries.
  • In addition, the exchange time is significant, although it is frequently viewed as the second key to a reduced pop time to arm strength ratio.
  • Allowing the ball to travel allows you to get the glove-to-hand exchange closer to the body.
  • Following that, you must concentrate on your footwork.
  • When you throw, it is critical to maintain forward momentum toward your throwing target; as a catcher, you must be able to use your legs to make the strongest throw possible while remaining as swift as you possibly can.
  • Start by taking a stride towards the right centre of your body in order to gain momentum.
  • Taking a stride forward that is too large consumes an excessive amount of time.
  • The initial step should be taken exactly beneath the chin, which is the most comfortable position.

Here are a few of the most memorable MLB Pop moments from 2018. J.T. Realmuto has a 1.9 rating. Yan Gomes has a 1.93 grade point average. Jorge Alfaro has a 1.94 rating. Visit this page to find out how you may improve your pop time!

Pop time expectations

In order to achieve success as a freshman, it is recommended that you break the 2.4 mark. The average game pop for a good high school varsity catcher is 2.20-2.25 for a good high school varsity pitcher. 2.10-2.19 is considered above average. A game throw of 2.0-2.09 would be ideal for a varsity catcher on the high school level. The most important thing to remember is that the catchers throw is merely the second part of the equation, not the first. If your pitcher is 1.7 feet away from the plate and your catcher is 2.3 feet away, the overall distance is 4.0 feet.

  1. I receive several emails from coaches who complain that their catchers are ineffective at throwing out runners, but when I inquire as to what their pitchers’ time to the plate is, they are unable to provide an answer.
  2. Catchers bear a large portion of the responsibility for successful basestealing.
  3. He was recruited to play for a middle school squad.
  4. Many times, the pitchers didn’t even bother to look over to first base.
  5. It is not only about the throws that the catchers make.
  6. Another useful benchmark for kids to aim towards is the 13-year-old who is playing in his or her first season on a large field.
  7. Their objective should be to end the spring season with a 3.0 on the 13-year ball.
See also:  What Does Go Yard Mean In Baseball

Catchers – How to Improve Pop Time? Fix these 5 killer mistakes

Catching entails a wide range of abilities that are difficult to define on paper. Things such as receiving, framing, blocking, mental toughness, and leadership must be OBSERVED in order for them to be assessed and evaluated. That is one of the reasons why pop time has become such a popular measure. The fact that it is one of the few objective measures that is recorded on catcher evaluation forms is significant. Pop time, on the other hand, is more than simply a figure to brag about. A pleasant feeling comes from knowing that your teammates can rely on you to keep the running game under control.from knowing that you are capable of shutting down anyone who would dare to steal a base under your watch.

So, what steps can you take to enhance your pop time?

1) Missing the target

The stop watch continues to tick until the infielder successfully catches the ball. So, if they have to reach for the ball.or jump for it. Alternatively, you may wait for it to hop—those are valuable fractions of a second that are ticking away at your pop time. Perhaps you were previously aware of this. The majority of catchers are completely unaware of the fact that the reason they are suffering with accuracy begins even before the ball leaves their fingers. Typical catchers, for example, have no understanding that when they “pop,” they’re actually producing momentum in the opposite direction of the ball (with sloppy footwork, drifting to the side etc.).

In order to avoid being irritated because his throws aren’t always precise, catchers often believe to themselves, “oh man, that just slipped through my fingertips.” However, this isn’t the root of the problem at all.

2) You forgot to cheat

Smart catchers know how to “cheat” (no, I don’t mean physically cheating) by positioning their bodies in a coiled, ready, and forceful stance well before the ball hits the mitt, hence increasing their chances of catching the ball. By waiting until you have caught the ball before beginning your throwing action, you will have fallen behind the game.

3) Inefficient transfer

Caught in a coiled, ready, and forceful stance long before the ball touches the mitt, smart catchers know how to “cheat” (no, I’m not referring to physically cheating). By waiting until you have caught the ball before beginning your throwing action, you will have fallen behind the competition.

  • Inability to transfer it neatly due to reaching and looping
  • Poor gripping ability.

Improving pop time can be aided by something as basic as better transfer technique, which can have an instant and apparent benefit.

4) Arm strength!

Yes, thank you very much, Captain Obvious; we’d all like to see a little more zip on the ball. The answer to this dilemma, on the other hand, is not so straightforward. Lifting weights and being stronger is beneficial, to be sure. The truth is, though, that there is much more to it than that. More strength does not necessarily equate to more home runs, just as it does not equate to more strikeouts. For example, in 2016, Brian Dozier hit 42 home runs for the Chicago Cubs. Joe Mauer, his teammate who is 6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than him, only hit 11 home runs that season.

Dozier, although being a smaller man, is capable of producing world-class bat speed IF he learns how to use his body effectively.

To put it another way, even if you spend the entire summer doing weights, you will still have a weaker arm than the man who is using his entire body appropriately.

A few of the most prevalent footwork errors that cost time (and, by the way, also result in weaker, more inaccurate throws) are as follows:

  1. There are too many steps (many catchers are unaware of how many needless steps they are taking)
  2. There are too many catchers. They have the wrong rhythm, and their footwork is inconsistent (they don’t truly grasp what proper footwork is, thus their footwork is different every time). When the throwing action is not correctly synchronized with the receiving motion, difficulties with both power and accuracy arise. The body appears far too rapidly
  3. Drifting
  4. Failing to make progress
  5. Having gained an excessive amount of ground

So there you have it. I hope this has provided you with a starting point for thinking about how to enhance pop time. If you can improve any one of them, your pop time will improve. Now, if you’re interested in removing the obstacles that are preventing you from becoming your greatest self, I’d be delighted to assist you. The Elite Catcher was born out of a desire to do just that. It’s an online training program that includes video courses, drill plans, quizzes, and other activities and resources.

If you’d like, I’d be happy to assist you in eliminating the uncertainty and poor habits that are slowing you down and preventing you from attaining your maximum potential as a catcher.

For those considering enrolling, now would be an excellent time to do so because the 50% off Quarantine Discount is going to expire, and the price will be returning to its previous level. If you’d like to learn more, please visit this website. Lavarnway

About the Author:

Now you know what I’m talking about. I hope this has provided you with a starting point for thinking about how to enhance your pop time performance. Your pop time will improve if you can correct even one of these problems. In any case, if you’re interested in resolving the issues that are preventing you from being your best self, I would be delighted to assist you. The Elite Catcher was born out of a desire to help people like you in your situation. An online training program that includes video courses, drill plans, tests, and other resources is available to participants.

I will also teach you how to hit the ball out of the park and how to field ground balls.

For anyone considering enrolling, now would be an excellent time to do so because the 50% off Quarantine Discount is due to expire and the pricing will be returning to normal shortly after.


  • The Boston Red Sox, the Atlanta Braves, the Baltimore Orioles, the Oakland A’s, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees, and the Miami Marlins are the teams to watch.

With the Boston Red Sox, Lavarnway won a World Series championship and a championship ring in 2013. Interested in learning more? Aside from that, I’m giving out some pretty cool, highly important freebies as part of this offer right now, including the following:

  • Personalized video critiques – If you belong to the Private VIP Facebook Group, you may upload your own video and I’ll give you direct feedback on it! (ValueFree): ($199)
  • There are 20 daily catcher workouts (included with the Bootcamp Replay, which is a $250 value free)
  • My own personal mobility workouts (which I created through my work with Loren Landow, who is currently the strength coach for the Denver Broncos)
  • Warm-up and stretching practices that I use on a daily basis
  • When and how to take a mound visit such that pitchers trust you and coaches adore you is known as the “Art of the Mound Visit.”

And, just to make sure you don’t feel any pressure, I’ve taken away all of the danger. Please use the trial period to evaluate the product. If you are dissatisfied in ANY way, simply shoot me an email and I will return 100% of your money. Click here to be signed up before the price goes back up to its previous level. The following are some of the comments made about The Elite Catcher: “Before I started studying your curriculum, the foundations did not appear like this. This initiative has, without a doubt, changed the landscape of the industry.

  1. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hard effort pays rewards.
  2. The thought of enrolling in and paying for an online baseball school made me a little nervous at first.
  3. Doug and Ryan have revolutionized baseball instruction by bringing it into the twenty-first century!
  4. Because they were able to watch as many times as they wanted, they were able to have a greater grasp of the drills when it came time to put them into practice.
  5. Sean’s posture has become more relaxed as a result of following the practice routines provided in the course, and he is now catching the ball with both his hands and his eyes, and he appears to be much more comfortable behind the dish.
  6. It has come to the point where both of my boys like trying to block off a pitching machine, which is a big accomplishment for them!
  7. “Congratulations, Doug and Ryan!” The following is from Tom Phillips, a father of two boys from Dayton, Ohio.

For my 11-year-old son, Ryan is the best thing that has ever happened to him.

The fact that he is working with a professional catcher has put a grin on his face.

-–”This has been extremely beneficial to my 12-year-old son and our family.

We used to go once a week for private lessons, and while our son enjoyed them, he has expressed his preference for your workouts, saying he gets more out of them and has learned a great deal in just a few weeks.

“Thank you so much for everything you and Jamie have done for everyone.” — North Port, Florida, father of a 12-year-old “I’ve been following Ryan’s career since he was a student at Yale.

Ryan is a fantastic instructor who also happens to be a fantastic person.

“Thank you very much.” — New Haven, Connecticut, coach and father -–I just want to express my gratitude to Ryan, both as a father and as a coach.

As a coach, it provides me all the resources I need to assist in the training of my youngsters that aspire to play catcher.” — From Dallas, North Carolina, the father of a catcher – It is the finest description I have ever heard regarding when and how to receive and throw out of the one knee position, and I have listened to a lot of explanations.

Exceptional are your daily drills and explanations of concepts. Thank you very much for your assistance in assisting everyone!

About Author

Ryan Lavarnway is a professional basketball player. To put it succinctly. With the Boston Red Sox, Lavarnway made history on August 18, 2011, when he became the first player in MLB history to hit two home runs and throw out a runner in his first start as a catcher in the same game. During his professional baseball career, he has played for the following organizations: Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A”s, Pittsburgh Pirate, New York Yankees, Miami Marlins, and others.

When Team Israel competed in the World Baseball Classic in 2016 and 2017, Lavarnway was a significant player of the squad, receiving the award for Most Valuable Player of Pool A in the tournament.

Lavarnway attended Yale University, where he majored in philosophy while also competing for the Yale Bulldogs in baseball.

After being selected by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, Lavarnway joined the team.

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