Baseball is a game of strategy, and one of the most exciting parts of the game is the art of stealing bases. While there are many different ways to steal a base in baseball, one technique that has gained popularity in recent years is the "vault steal".
A "vault steal" is a type of steal where the baserunner takes advantage of their momentum to steal the base just before the pitcher starts their windup. The idea is to take advantage of the situation, much like a car approaching a stoplight that turns green. To execute a vault steal, baserunners need to have a good combination of speed, timing, and awareness. They must be able to read the pitcher's delivery and the catcher's arm strength to determine when to take their lead and when to start their run towards the next
One of the keys to executing a vault steal is to take a smaller leadoff, usually around 4 feet instead of the traditional 6 feet. When the pitcher comes set, the runner shuffles (similar to a secondary) out to their secondary lead. If the pitcher starts the delivery at the moment of the shuffle, the runner steals the base. However, if the pitcher doesn't deliver the ball, the runner shuffles back to their 4-foot lead.
Vault steals are typically used when the pitcher is quick to the plate and the catcher has a strong arm. While the vault steal may not be as common as other types of steals in baseball, it can be a highly effective way for baserunners to take an extra base and put pressure on the defense. When executed correctly, it can be a game-changing play.