Three important things to know before stealing second base. If you know these three things, you will know whether you should challenge the pitcher and catcher and go for the steal.
1. How fast are you?
What is your time from 1st to 2nd base? Once you have taken a lead, if you can get to 2nd base (or 3rd) in 3.2 to 3.8 seconds, then you have a good shot at stealing bases. I’ll explain more below.
2. What is the pitcher’s time to home plate?
- In order to know the pitchers time to home plate, start your stop watch when the pitcher makes his first movement towards home plate and the time stops when the catcher catches the ball.
- Depending on your speed and your reaction time usually runners will want the pitcher to be at least 1.35 and usually over 1.40 seconds in order to try to steal second.
- A quick pitcher will usually have a consistent time of 1.1 – 1.29 seconds.
3. What is the catcher’s time to second base?
The catchers time starts when he catches the ball and stops when the infielder standing on second catches the ball.
An average catcher throw to 2nd base is 2.0 seconds.
The Bottom Line
After making these quick calculations you will know whether or not to challenge the pitcher and catcher and try stealing second base (or third).
For example quick pitchers will have a consistent time of 1.1 -1.29. This combined with the average catcher’s 2.0 second throw gives you 3.1 – 3.29 seconds to get to the bag. That can be tough, especially when we usually start after the pitcher has started his motion.
On the positive, you might like your chances to steal if a pitcher is 1.4 seconds or higher. Add that to the average catcher’s time of 2.0 seconds and you have 3.4 seconds to get there.
I hope this article on 3 things to know before stealing second base is helpful to you. If so, I hope you’ll share it with your friends and help us get the word out about all the free info on Pro Baseball Insider. Also, I invite you to leave feedback or ask questions in the comments section below. Play hard! – Doug
More on Stealing and Baserunning:
- How to Steal 2nd Base Off a Righty – Pro tips for stealing second base when facing a right handed pitcher
- How to Steal 2nd Base Off a Lefty – Pro tips for stealing 2nd when facing a left handed pitcher
- Stealing 3rd Base – How to steal third base
- Stealing Bases on a Wild Pitch – Pro tips for stealing bases on wild pitches, balls in the dirt, or passed balls.
- 12 Signs of a Good Baserunner – Twelve tips to help improve your baserunning
- Hitting Drills – New book release, includes free videos