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Unread 03-22-2010, 05:11 PM   #1
mark38090
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Default Pitches low in the zone???

I feel like I am being inconsistent low in the zone, What can I do to help with seeing the low pitches better? I haven't had any real complaints but I just feel like I'm not seeing them consistently.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 05:17 PM   #2
thunderheads
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Default Re: Pitches low in the zone???

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Originally Posted by mark38090 View Post
I feel like I am being inconsistent low in the zone, What can I do to help with seeing the low pitches better? I haven't had any real complaints but I just feel like I'm not seeing them consistently.
Are you sure you're locked in and not moving your head? Not being a jerk, just an honest question because sometimes you need to break it down into the basics
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Unread 03-22-2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pitches low in the zone???

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Originally Posted by Thunderheads View Post
...sometimes you need to break it down into the basics.
Always start there. Track the pitch all the way to the mitt. Observe where F2 catches the pitch and what he does next with the mitt. Consider all the evidence. Decide strike or ball. Call it.
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Unread 03-24-2010, 04:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pitches low in the zone???

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Originally Posted by dash_riprock View Post
Always start there. Track the pitch all the way to the mitt. Observe where F2 catches the pitch and what he does next with the mitt. Consider all the evidence. Decide strike or ball. Call it.
Very true - catcher presentation is your best friend. Think about it - where is the catcher's glove located most of the time? Right above the bottom of the zone. So, if the catcher doesn't move his glove down (or moves it just a little) you probably have a strike. If he moves it a considerable amount, it's a ball.

But, if you do want to get a better perspective on the low pitches, move a few inches more to your left or to your right (depending on the handedness of the batter) and move a half step backward (depth). This should give you a better perspective of the low part of the zone.
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Unread 03-24-2010, 06:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pitches low in the zone???

While it was just touched upon, the biggest problem I see with young umpires is being too low, and too much behind or close to the catcher. No matter how well you track the ball, it's impossible to see the low or outside edge pitch over the plate accurately if you aren't properly in the slot.

Trust the equipment, get in the proper position, and stay there until you hear the pop. Only then, decide and call.

That being said, there are always cases of the catcher's setup or batter's stance that require minor adjustments.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 05:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pitches low in the zone???

It's often caused by not seeing the pitch all the way to the glove. You give up on the pitch when it's a few feet in front of the plate (and above the knees), then it drops to below the knees as it passes the plate.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pitches low in the zone???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark38090 View Post
I feel like I am being inconsistent low in the zone, What can I do to help with seeing the low pitches better? I haven't had any real complaints but I just feel like I'm not seeing them consistently.
If you're locked in, and your head is still, you may wish to establish a low part to your zone. IE - Catcher gloves the ball at his knees or just slightly below.

The reason for choosing the catcher's knees and the glove location is that the catcher's knees are roughly 2 to 4 inches below the batters knees when they are in their crouch. How far does a pitched ball drop in the 3' (distance from the front of the plate to the catcher.)? It's about 2 to 4 inches depending upon the velocity of the pitch. Obviously on the curve ball the drop is a bit more so you could give slightly more on the curve ball.

This works very well for myself and the coaches see the up / down from the side very well and I get few if any complaints for my low end.
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