Pitch framing: A quick tutorial
Q What does it mean for a catcher to frame a pitch?
A Receiving the ball — with the slightest flex of the catching hand or the smallest twitch of the arm — in such a way that it looks more like a strike than a ball.
Q Why is it important?
A A well-framed pitch can change the course of an at-bat. For instance, a 1-1 count becomes 1-2 instead of 2-1.
Q What’s the trick?
A Twins catcher Jason Castro said it’s “trying to get your body behind the ball and counteracting the movement in which that ball would take your glove.”
Q How did Twins catchers fare last season?
A Not well. According to StatCorner, Kurt Suzuki lost 0.40 strikes per game, while Juan Centeno lost 2.61. That’s why they went out and got Castro and Chris Gimenez.
Best pitch framers in 2016
According to StatCorner (minimum 81 games; numbers are strikes per game above what would be expected):
Buster Posey, Giants 1.75
Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers 1.70
Tyler Flowers, Braves 1.30
Jason Castro, Astros 0.92
Francisco Cervelli, Pirates 0.83
Yadier Molina, Cardinals 0.52
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers-Rangers 0.52
Brian McCann, Yankees 0.51