Base Stealing Tips | The math of how to steal a base from a TX Ranger


If you plan to steal bases, this is very important. In fact, it’s so important that I’m going to do something I’ve never done before – give you some homework!

So, watch the video, and then see the homework below.

Your base stealing homework…

If you already know your time from first to second WITH a lead, comment below with your time (it’s ok to be anonymous).

If you DON’T know how long it takes you to run 78 feet (26 yards), then your homework is to get out to the baseball field and time yourself… then come back here and comment below to let me know you did it.

Or if you’re a coach, put this challenge to your team:

Tweet: The #1 base stealing tip is KNOW YOUR MATH. Watch this video then tweet your time @lowliners #baseballhomework Tweet: The #1 base stealing tip is KNOW YOUR MATH. Watch this video then tweet your time @lowliners #baseballhomework

Like I said, I’ve never done this before, but you need to know this info if you plan to steal bases successfully. So I’m going to be your accountability partner here. Learn your time, and then comment below with the number.



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Video Transcript Below

The 26 yard sprint or the 78 foot sprint… It doesn’t matter what you call it because its the same distance. But why is that so important? The reason we pick that number is because an average lead at first base is about 12 feet. So you’ve got 90 feet between bases and when you take 12 off that leaves you with 26 yards which is 78 feet. That’s an important number to know [Know your time!  How fast do you run that distance?]

When you’re looking to steal a base, there’s a couple numbers you try to add up really quickly.

  1. Pitcher – You’ve got the pitcher’s time, from the time he starts his motion to the time the catcher catches the ball. So that’s usually about 1.3 seconds or so.
  2. Catcher – Another time you factor in is the catcher throwing from home to 2nd base. The average catcher is around 2.0 seconds.

So when you add those 2 times up you get somewhere around 3.3 seconds.

So I’m taking my lead, my 12 foot lead and I sprint and I know that if I’m about a 3.5, It takes me 3.5 seconds from my lead to get to 2nd base, then I know that I’m only looking to steal if the pitcher gets up into the 1.5 range. So this distance just gives me an idea, an educated guess if I can steal 2nd base.

Again, of all the base stealing tips I could give you, this one is big!  Was this post on how to steal a base helpful?  Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Author

Avatar für Doug Bernier

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, PIT Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. (You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier) Where is he now? After 16 years of playing professionally, Doug retired and took a position as a Major League scout with the Colorado Rockies for 2 years. Currently Doug is the Data and Game Planning Coordinator with the Colorado Rockies



  1. Avatar für Andrew Wise

    An entirely in-good-faith-question: what’s the best way to time for stealing?

    I have been studying base stealing this off-season. I understand perfectly the math that goes into knowing your times; what I don’t understand is how to determine these times. From what I have read — and the numbers vary–, timing sprinters with a handheld stopwatch has a margin of error of as much as two tenths of second on both start and finish. For timing a baserunner’s 3.5 second sprint, that uncertainty (+/- .4 s or +/- 8.9 ft) would make the measurements worthless. The percent of uncertainty further increases as you measure the shorter intervals of the catcher’s pop time and the pitcher’s delivery, and on those I will only get limited opportunities to time during a game. What’s the solution?

    I see big league first base coaches with their handheld stopwatches and I think A.) I must be over-thinking this or B.) there’s a reason why would-be basestealers still get thrown out 25% of time.

  2. Avatar für Andy

    Great tips on your web site. Wanted to let you know that the links on this page to How to Steal off a Righty/Lefty point to a staging1 url that is asking for a login.

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