Major League Baseball
Minor League Baseball
Baseball Terminology / Definitions
Baseball is loaded with various statistical terms and special "baseball terminology". This article will provide you with definitions of the most commonly used baseball terms.
The most popular fantasy baseball scoring categories:
BATTED IN (RBI)
ON-BASE PLUS SLUGGING PERCENTAGE (OPS%)
STRIKEOUTS (SO or K)
EARNED RUN AVERAGE (ERA)
Other popular baseball terms include:
A team's best starting pitcher.
AGE 27 RULE
The age at which an unusually high percentage of players have their best seasons. As a consequence, when people devise such career projections systems as Bill James', the best season will compute out to be age 27. Not all players have their career years at age 27. But maybe 30% do have them then, and that is clearly the best figure for any age. When you add in the ones that have their career years at age 26 and 28, that three-year period is clearly the peak for Major League Baseball players.
The section of the outfield between the outfielders. Also called gap.
AROUND THE HORN
A double play going from third base to second base to first base.
Help from a fielder in putting an offensive player out. A fielder is credited with an assist when he throws a baserunner or hitter out at a base.
Each Batter’s opportunity at the plate is scored as an "at bat" for him.
Fence or wall behind home plate.
Slang-term for a base.
Penalty for an illegal movement by the pitcher. The rule is designed to prevent pitchers from deliberately deceiving the runners. If called, baserunners advance one base.
A pitch outside the strike zone.
One of four “stations” to
be reached by the runner.
The baseball’s core is
made of rubber and cork. Yarn is wound around the rubber and cork centre. Then 2
strips of white cowhide are sewn around the ball. Official baseballs must weigh
5 to 5 1/4 ounces and be 9 to 9 1/4 inches around.
A play in which the batter
hits the ball in fair territory and reaches at least first base before being
Four balls and the hitter
advances to first base.
A coach who stands by
first or third base. The base coaches instruct the batter and base runners what
to do with a series of hand signals.
The white chalk lines that
extend from home plate through first and third base to the outfield and up the
foul poles, inside which a batted ball is in fair territory and outside of which
it is in foul territory.
No runner on the bases.
Runners are on first,
second and third base.
Instrument used by the
hitter while batting. The bat must be no longer than 42 inches and no wider then
2 3/4 inches. Players are allowed to cover the first 8 inches of the bat’s
handle so they can grip it better.
An offensive player who
takes his position in the batter’s box.
An area marked by white
chalk lines on the left and right side of home plate in which a player must
stand while batting.
Term referring to the
pitcher and catcher combination.
The offensive line-up of a
team that lists the player will bat. The batting order is given to the umpire
before each game.
Any start where a pitcher lasts less than five innings and allows five or more earned runs.
The progression of the
game as written in a series of boxes indicating hits, runs, errors and player
substitutions of each inning played.
An off-speed pitch that curves.
A pitch that nearly hits
Area designated for pitchers to warm-up.
Short hit that is executed by letting the ball hit the bat (not swinging). Usually attempted to advance a runner.
A game suspended or ended by the umpire.
CAN OF CORN
An easy catch by the fielder.
When a batter is called out on strikes.
Player positioned behind home plate and responsible for receiving the pitch from the pitcher.
Area behind home plate in which the catcher must stand until the pitcher delivers the ball.
A team in last place.
A slow-pitch thrown with the exact arm action as a fastball, designed to disrupt the timing of the hitter.
A partial swing. If the swing has gone more than halfway around, the umpire can rule it a full swing, or strike.
A pitch that is high and inside.
CHOKE-UP (ON THE BAT)
Gripping the bat up on the handle away from the knob of the bat.
An outstanding catch by a fielder.
Player who hits fourth in the batting order.
Relief pitcher who specializes in pitching the last few outs of a game. Generally used to hold a lead in the late innings of a game.
Statistical credit to a starting pitcher for pitching the entire game.
The number of called balls and strikes on a hitter.
Pitch that moves down and across, because of the rotation of the ball.
CUTTER (CUT FASTBALL)
A fastball with a late break on it.
When a batter hits a single, double, triple and homerun in the same game.
Player who bats in the pitcher’s spot in the line-up. The DH does not have a fielding position.
The infield playing surface.
Circular shaped weight that slides over the bat. The weight is used when a player is loosening up in the one deck circle.
A hit that enables a batter to reach second base.
Two games played back to back by the same teams.
Any defensive play that results in two base runners being called out.
Enclosed seating facility reserved for players, substitutes, coaches and other uniformed team members.
A run scored on a hit, walk or steal, without benefit from a defensive error on the play.
Defensive mistake that allows a batter to stay at the plate or reach first base, or that advances a base runner.
A straight pitch thrown by the pitcher as hard as possible.
Part of the playing field within, and including the first base and third base lines, from home base to the bottom of the playing field fence and perpendicular upwards. All foul lines are in the fair territory.
Term used when a fielder can chose among base runners or throw or tag out.
A team's closing pitcher.
Batted ball that goes high in the air.
An out created when a runner is forced to advance because there is another runner behind them, although they will be thrown or tagged out. The defensive player needs only to touch the base being approached by the runner with the ball in hand to record the out.
A pitch thrown by placing the ball between the first two fingers, usually resulting in a sinking ball.
A ball that lands outside the first or third base foul lines.
Lines extending from home plate through 1st and 3rd base to the outfield fence and perpendicularly upwards. These lines are considered in play.
Part of the playing field outside the first and third base lines extended to the fence and perpendicularly upwards.
Bat used to hit fungo. Usually longer and thinner than a regular back.
The section of the outfield between the outfielders. Also called alley.
A home run that is hit with a runner on every base. This hit scores 4 runs.
Signal from the coach to hit the next good pitch, or a signal to a base runner that gives the runner the authority to decide when to attempt a steal.
A ground ball.
GROUND BALL A ball hit in the infield by the batter that bounces in the infield.
A play in which the batter safely reaches a base after hitting the ball, without aid from a fielding error or fielder’s choice.
HIT AND RUN
Play-action situation in which the batter must swing at the pitch while the base runner attempts to steal the base.
The fourth and final “station” to be reached by the runner. The offensive team is credited with one run every time a player safely crosses this base. A pitched ball must cross the plate when thrown by the pitchers to be credited as a strike on the batter.
Area 90’ square with the corners being the four bases.
Fielder who occupies a position in the infield. Most commonly refers to the first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, and shortstop.
A period of play. There are 9 innings in a regulation game, each team bats in an inning until they record 3 outs. The visiting team always bats in the top half (beginning) of an inning
Four balls thrown on purpose to a batter advancing the hitter to first base. Generally, executed when 1st base is empty to set-up a force play.
A pitch thrown by gripping one of the seams on a ball with fingernails and/or knuckles of the forefinger and middle finger with the thumb another fingers underneath the ball. The ball is pushed out of the hand by the two fingers to keep the ball from rotating, causing the ball to move in an unpredictable manner.
LEFT ON BASE
Runners stranded on base after three outs.
A ball hit in the air at a low projectory directly to a fielder or through
A team’s batting order and fielding positions
A batting average of around .200. Named after Pirate shortstop Mario Mendoza.
Hill the pitcher stands on while pitching.
A game in which a pitcher does not allow the opposing team to reach a base via a safe hit.
A term used to refer to the next batter up in the inning. This person stands in a designated circular area and warms up before batting.
OUT IN ORDER
Retiring the first 3 batters in an inning.
Area between the back edge of the infield and home run fence.
A fielder who occupies a position in the outfield, which is the playing field most distance from home base.
A pitched ball missed by the catcher, allowing a runner to advance.
A game in which a pitcher does not allow any batter of the opposing team to reach base.
An attempt by the pitcher to get a base runner out by throwing to the base from the stretch position.
A hitter who substitutes in the line-up for a starting player. The original batter can’t return to the game, so the pinch hitter or a third person takes over the defensive position as well.
A player entering the game to run for someone already on base.
When a pitch is thrown wide of the strike zone on purpose. A catcher will signal for a pitchout if they think that a runner is trying to steal.
The order in which the starting pitchers take turns starting games, usually with three or four days rest between starts.
A batter that generally hits to the same side of the field that he bats. (eg, righthanded pull hitter hits to the left side of the field).
In scoring, a fielder is credited with a putout if he receives the ball to put out a base runner or a hitter.
A start in which the pitcher pitches at least six innings and allows no more than three runs.
The pitcher replacing the starting pitcher. The relief pitcher can win, lose, save, or not be involved in the game’s final score.
The pitching plate on the mound. The pitcher must have one foot connected to the plate while pitching to the batter. The rubber is located 60’ 6" (19.5 meters) from home plate.
A played used by fielders to tag out a runner caught between bases.
An offensive player who is advancing toward, touching, or returning to any base.
A bunt designed to advance a runner although the batter will be thrown out.
Fly ball out that scores a runner from third base.
Declaration by the umpire that a runner is entitled to the bases for which he was trying.
Runner who is on second or third base.
Defensive player positioned between second and third bases.
A game in which one team doesn’t score any runs.
Player signals given from the third base coach to the hitter and runner. Or, a hand signals given by the catcher to the pitcher suggesting the type of pitch to be thrown.
A fast pitch that breaks downward as it reaches.
A pitcher that appears to the batter as a fastball until it reaches the plate, then breaks sharply on a level plane. The ball is held similarly to the curveball, but the wrist is kept straight, like a fastball, and broken downward.
Illegal pitch which a foreign substance (most commonly spit or grease) is applied to the ball causing it to react in an unpredictable manner.
The pitcher who beings the game and pitches until he wins the game or is replaced by a relief pitcher.
Attempting to advance a base between pitches without the batter hitting the ball or getting a base on balls.
A strike is called if a batter swings at a pitch and misses, or if the pitch simply passes through the strike zone. The first 2 foul balls that are not caught count as first and second strike. A foul ball that is not caught can never be counted as a third strike.
The area over home plate between the batter’s armpits and knees when the batter is positioned to swing. Any pitch that is delivered through this area is called a strike.
SUICIDE SQUEEZE PLAY
A play in which a runner on third breaks toward home on the pitch and the batter’s responsibility is to bunt the ball allowing the runner to score.
Player who is able to bat left-handed or right-handed. A switch-hitter will bat from the opposite side in which the pitchers throws.
An action runners must perform before they can advance on a fly ball. Runners must touch the base they occupy after the ball is caught before they can try to advance. Runners can leave their base before a ball it hit, but must return and touch the base if the ball is caught. Or, an action executed when a defensive player touches a runner with the ball in an attempt to get them out.
A bloop hit that drops between the infielder and outfielder.
TOTAL PLATE APPEARANCES
Calculated for teams, leagues, and players by the following formula: TPA = AB + TBB + HBP + SH + SF.
A hit enabling the batter to safely reach third base.
A defensive play that records 3 outs.
TWO BASE HIT
A hit enabling the batter to safely reach second base. Also called a double.
A curve ball.
A player who fills in at many different positions.
An award given to the batter after the pitcher delivers 4 balls. If a hitter receives 4 balls during an at bat, they automatically advance to first base. Any forced base runners also advance. Also called base on balls.
A hitters power zone.
A strike out.
A pitch so far from the strike zone that the catcher cannot catch or block it, permitting any base runner to advance a base.
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