BASEBALL IS A GAME OF INCHES
It is amazing how fine the line is within baseball between one thing happening, and another. Just a single inch in either direction can mean the difference between an out and a homerun, a perfectly fielded ball and an error, a ball and a strike. Making the contact between the barrel and the ball is perhaps the most finicky of relationships. Just 1/8th of an inch in either direction and a line drive can replace itself with a ground ball or a ball driven deep in the gap.
This relationship is entirely present in many different aspects of CATCHING as well. You will have to look closely to see the difference here but the point at which these curveballs make contact with the ground are a huge determining factor in how we are required to properly block them.
In the first video, this ball makes contact with the ground just an inch short of where a perfect block would have resulted. By having enough spacing between the catcher and the initial point of impact there is a large distance to where this baseball is able to shift enough to almost miss the catcher's blocking surface entirely. Because this is a CURVE BALL, the spin of the ball causes the large directional change high and towards the left shoulder of the catcher.
In the second video - the ball travels an additional inch, cutting down the overall distance between the blocking surface and the initial point of impact. Just this slight increase in overall distance makes an exponential change in the finished product. You can see the ball takes a very similar route but the distance between the two points is much more favorable to the catcher who does a great job creating a slight angle to stop the ball clear in its' tracks. This note is one reason why we want to be sure that your catchers are not 'losing ground' by blocking backwards. Even though it sounds crazy this is a very common flaw and you should push your catchers to be cutting down the distance rather than losing ground. Think of a short hop vs. an up hop. A lot of indecision is cleared up by that last inch.