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.
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.
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.
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.