The Players & Coaches must know three elements before
thinking about stealing a bag.
Element 1: Catcher's Pop Time
The pop time is the amount of time it takes for the ball to
get from the catcher's glove to second base.
The time is started when the ball hits the catchers mitt and
stopped when the ball hits the glove of whoever is
covering the bag, (either SS or 2B).
High School Average Range: 2.3 - 2.4 seconds
College Average Range: 1.95 - 2.25 seconds
Professional Average Range: 1.90 - 1.99 seconds
Element 2: Pitchers Delivery Time
The delivery time is the amount of time it takes for the
pitcher to deliver the ball from the stretch to the catcher's
Delivery time will vary due to variations in leg kicks, stride
lengths, velocity fluctuations and slide steps.
Time can vary from 1.0 second to 2.0 seconds. Get
these times during pitcher warm ups and throughout
the game to see if it changes!
Element 3: Straight Steal Time from Your Lead
The steal time is the amount of time it takes for the runner
to steal second base from their lead off of 1st base.
These times need to be figured out in practice!
Test your lead and see how far you can get. Make sure the
distance is big enough so that you are able to dive back
aggressively without being picked off.
Once an athlete knows how long it takes for them to steal
second, all they need to know is the pop time and the
pitcher's delivery time to mathematically know if they can
steal 2nd! Simple.