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A good base stealer can still give his team an advantage, especially in close games. The downside, of course, is that getting caught stealing can end a rally and cost a team an out.
Base Stealing – Technique
Get A Good Jump – A good base stealer gets a jump on a pitcher by studying their moves. As soon as a pitcher makes a move towards the plate, a base runner should be off and running.
Judgement – Good judgement is as important to base stealers as speed. Knowing which catchers and pitchers are easy to steal against is an essential part of a base stealer’s technique.
When To Steal – It is generally easier to steal third base than second because a runner can get a better lead off second base. But because a player is already in a scoring position at second base, most runners won’t steal third unless they have a success rate of at least 90 percent.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
After making these quick calculations you will know whether or not to challenge the pitcher and catcher and try stealing second base (or third).