The Reason Behind 60-Yard Dash in Baseball

Unlock your full potential in baseball with the ultimate speed test: the 60-yard dash
Written by Mark Bailey
Last updated on

The 60-yard dash in baseball is the gold standard for evaluating a player’s sprinting prowess, a crucial indicator of speed and agility that can often influence a game’s outcome or a scout’s interest.

  • Speed is a key skill for baseball players, and teams are always looking to add faster players to their rosters.
  • The 60-yard dash is used to measure speed in baseball because it takes into account both short bursts of speed as well as long-distance sprinting.
  • A player with a time under 7 seconds is considered an average baseball player; a player with a time between 6.3 and 6.7 seconds has exceptional speed and any player under 6.3 seconds is among the fastest you will find.
  • To train for the 60-yard dash, cardio workouts are important to build endurance, and proper form includes keeping your head low during the first phase of the run (the first 15-20 yards).

The role of speed in baseball

Speed comes into play in almost every aspect of baseball. Whether chasing down a fly ball or running to first base, you are always on the move. A team that is faster than its opponent has a huge advantage that could affect the outcome of the game.

A slow outfielder is unattractive to coaches and teams. This outfielder is going to have a difficult time reaching balls in the gaps.

An outfielder with speed can catch balls that the slower one cannot catch. A fast outfielder also gives himself room for error. A wrong judgment can be made up for with his speed. However, the slow outfielder has no room for error and must be perfect every time.

Baseball is anything but a perfect game. It is a game of failure.

The history of the 60-yard dash in baseball

The distance between each base in the MLB is 90 feet. Ninety feet are equal to only 30 yards. You might wonder why the 60-yard dash is used for baseball instead. Well, base running isn’t the main running that is done in baseball.

Outfielders run over 100 feet to fly balls into the gap. Batters that hit doubles or triples are running at least 180 feet. Some runs are longer than others.

There are many short-burst runs in baseball. However, there are also many long-distance sprints.

The 60-yard dash was created before technology. Its implementation in baseball has been around for ages. Scouts focus on 60-yard dash times when determining the speed of a baseball player. If you go to a college camp or any tryout, you will certainly end up running the 60-yard dash. It will help if you try to get your time under 7 seconds, as this is usually the expected standard.

The benefits of the 60-yard dash for players and teams

By putting a drill into place, teams and coaches save themselves hours of travel and time to watch games in person. They can now use 60-yard dash times to examine speed instead of waiting to see them run in-game. While in-game speed is just as important, scouts or coaches might not be in attendance to see it.

Teams are constantly looking for speedy guys. Some players earn an opportunity based solely on their speed. The team may never use him outside of baserunning. However, his role is still a crucial one.

A player with a time under 7 seconds is considered an average baseball player; a player with a time between 6.3 and 6.7 seconds has exceptional speed and any player under 6.3 seconds is among the fastest you will find. Mike Trout has a recorded 60-yard dash time of 6.08 seconds. You won’t find many guys with a time like that outside of the MLB, but you should still strive for it. Speed can take your game to an entirely different level.

Training for the 60-yard dash

A 60-yard dash is not a short sprint. You can’t just use a small burst of an explosion to get through it. You must be durable and efficient with your movements.

If you aren’t in shape, you will wear out in the last 15-20 yards. This will noticeably hurt your time. Make sure you stay in shape by doing cardio workouts often. A cardio workout can be anything from a long run to a bike ride.

A big part of improving your time is starting off right. Your first step should be with your back foot going across your body. If your first step is to twist your outside foot, you have already lost half a second. You want every movement to be toward the finish line.

When it comes to the run, it will be easier to divide it into phases. The first phase is the first 15-20 yards. During this phase, you will want to keep your head low while you drive your knees. This will create your pace, which carries you through the run.

Once you enter the second phase, you can lift your head slightly. This is when you give it everything you’ve got but keep some in the tank.

You should be emptying the tank in the final 15-20 yards. Practice makes perfect. Have a friend time you when you run 60 yards. Keep working on lowering your time with each try.

The future of the 60-yard dash in baseball

Many people have begun lobbying to eliminate the 60-yard dash in baseball. Their arguments make sense since the bases are 30 yards apart. Some fans and players have tried to replace it with the 40-yard dash.

All of these attempts have been to no avail, as the 60-yard dash remains the decider of speed. You can expect it to remain a part of the game for a long time. It has been put into every single scouting and training camp across baseball. You can’t get a scholarship without running a 60-yard dash.

Since baseball has many long runs, it isn’t much of a bad thing to keep the 60-yard dash. Players will just need to make adjustments in an attempt to master this exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has the fastest 60-yard dash time in the MLB?

The fastest 60-yard dash recorded in MLB history belongs to Carl Lewis. In 1982, Lewis recorded an unreal time of 5.98 seconds. Mike Trout has the fastest time for a current MLB player at 6.08 seconds.

What is a good 60-yard dash time?

Your time is dependent on what position you play. Each position has different expectations when it comes to the 60-yard dash. A catcher isn’t expected to have too quick of a time. However, an outfielder should strive for a time under 6.8–6.9 seconds. An infielder will be in the same range as well.


Speed plays a huge role in the game of baseball. It can even go as far as deciding the outcome of a game. That said, it’s clear why coaches are always eager to add speed to their teams. It was decided that the best way to determine a player’s speed is through his 60-yard dash times. The run can examine the durability of a player as well as his long-distance speed. Players should always be looking to improve their speed.