In the next installment of our Pro Tips series, we sat down with former Yankees’ catcher Chad Moeller to discuss all things baseball.
Moeller played eleven seasons in the Major Leagues as a catcher. To do so requires a balance of offensive and defensive skills. He believes catchers should be skilled in both areas.
Chad Moeller (Courtesy of mlbreports.com)
“There’s saying that as long as you catch well the offense is a bonus,” said Moeller. “The reality is being a great catcher will help you make a team but does not guarantee getting on the field. Almost every coach will put the better baseball bat on the field over the best glove, as long the difference isn’t too great. I would say the breakdown should be 50/50.”
Moeller was known for his solid defensive work as a Major Leaguer. There were some key drills he performed to keep his game on top.
“I like the tennis ball drill with no glove to work on soft hands and turning the hand,” said Moeller. “Catching bullpens will help the most as time goes on to learn the pitchers and what there ball does. I like to do blocking drills with TEE balls.
Same weight of the balls but not all the pain. I like them to start on there knees and work on parts of the block and progressively get to a full block.”
Moeller played with the Arizona Diamondbacks during their playoff run in 2002, batting .400 in the NLDS. He caught Randy Johnson during the playoffs, calling it “nervous, but exciting.” However there other moments in his career which Moeller listed as his favorites.
Catcher: Baseball’s toughest position (Courtesy of zimbio.com)
“My MLB debut was very exciting and scary,” stated Moeller. “Playing for the Yankees was one of those experiences that you can’t compare. It would also be hard to beat hitting for the cycle in for the Brewers. Winning the World Series is also on that list but I honestly had more fun in 02 even though we lost.”
Moeller also added his own advice for youth baseball players who want to continue to play baseball.
“The biggest piece of advice for young players is simple have fun playing the game, enjoy the game and when it is all over have no regrets,” said Moeller. “That was my biggest goal as a player. When I was done I new I had done it as well as I could. Yes I thought I could have been better but I knew I worked as hard as I could have and did it the best I could.”
Long Island Baseball Magazine would like to thank Mr. Moeller for his time and effort. To find out more information about Chad Moeller and his career, please check out www.chadmoellerbaseball.com.