In our first installment on stealing 3rd, we spoke about timing the pitcher. In Part 2, we will talk about creating a gap.
Create a gap
By stealing 3rd base, one thing you are doing is opening up a larger hole on the left side of the infield, as the 3rd baseman needs to vacate his position to cover 3rd base.
There are several situations where your hitter is more likely to hit that gap:
1. The hitter has a tendency to hit the ball that way.
2. The pitcher is likely to throw a ball that the batter can hit in that gap. (most often this will be a pitch middle/in to a righthanded hitter)
3. It's a hitter's count (1-0,2-0,2-1,3-1) when a hitter is in an aggressive mode at the plate.
On the flip side
If your team is in the field, you might consider holding the 3rd baseman in position and conceding 3rd base. You would probably only do this when there are 2 outs and you believe there is a high likelihood that the batter will hit the ball in that gap.