What is your speed from home plate to first base? Any of you guys get timed what did you get?
That is an excellent question... and real basic stuf. So, here's a measure to compare yourself to.
In the Minor and Major's it's a norm for players to make contact with the ball, uncoil and make it to first in about four (4) seconds. Some very talented players can even beat that time.
In the college game it's a norm for players to make contact with the ball, then uncoil and make it to first in about 4.5 - 5 sconds.
From a pitching perspective, does this concern us? You bet it does. In fact, if a pitcher lets a runner on first take a ten foot lead .. well, that's a given. Even a player who's not know for base running is going to take three (3) shuffle steps then one small step towards second. But, allow more than that and your giving up more ground then your club can beat in seconds .. once the runner takes off after your pitch home.
Figure it this way, 90 feet in 4.5 seconds .. home to first. Runner on first takes a .. say fifteen (15) lead, now he's only got seventy five (75) feet to go. And a good high school varsity runner can usually hit second base with that kind of lead in about 3.5 to 4 seconds. So, your pitch has to go to the catcher, catcher has to get the ball out of his glove and then throw to second.. right on the money, then the fielder covering second has to make a quality tag.. all in UNDER 3.5 to 4 seconds.
When the batter makes contact for a grounder in the infield, the infield team has to make all this happend also ... in under 3.5 to 4 seconds.
One of the least considered drills .. and a lost art really, is timing fielders on infild plays. But, it's one of the simplest and most effective way for coaching infield .. without the presence of a runner. Usually, wild throws are greatly reduced, ball handling is major focus, and TIME AND DISTANCE and DISTANCE AND TIME are drilled home with amazing effectiveness. For outfielders .. hitting the cut-off is a skill that young clubs find very rewarding when breaking down field situations with runners on.
Very good question.