Cleanup hitter

In baseball, a cleanup hitter is the fourth hitter in the lineup. They are the ones with the most power in the team and their most important job is to bring runs in, the cleanup hitter “cleans up the bases” meaning that if there are runners on the bases the cleanup hitter scores them in ergo the name. There is a whole theory on how a coach sets up his lineup card before the game so he gets the best outcome of his players during the game.[1]


The theory behind the use of the cleanup hitter is that at least one of the batters before him should reach a base in a way possible, usually being a walk or a base hit. The batters in the beginning of the lineup have a variety of different traits but traditionally the lead off hitter which sits at the number one spot has speed, plate discipline, and high on-base percentage. The second batter is usually a contact hitter, means they are able to consistently make contact with the ball and put it in play by any means possible to move the runner up and into scoring position. It is a possibility for the first or second batter to bunt their way on base because they both should have good speed. The third batter is usually the best all-around batter that tends to have the highest batting average and has the role of scoring runs himself, but ultimately the job comes down to getting on base for the cleanup hitter to have a turn to bat in the same inning. Now with cleanup hitter coming up to hit if he has runners on base he has a chance to produce runs by getting a hit or by using their power they can hit a home run or an extra base hit. It is often found that the 3rd and 4th batter can switch roles in a game because of the ability of the 3rd batter to also produce runs. The 5th batter in the lineup also has a small responsibility of pushing in runs so he acts like a backup for the cleanup hitter in case he doesn't get the job done. He shares multiple traits with the cleanup hitter therefore can also compete for the spot on the lineup to become a cleanup hitter. After that batters from 6 to 9 descend by their skill level meaning the 9th batter has a tendency of being the worst batter.[2]


There are reoccurring trends each specific batter has, which is what gives them the position in the lineup card. A cleanup hitter has trends in his statistics, which is how cleanup hitters are determined from the rest of the team or even how good of a cleanup hitter they are. A cleanup player tends to hit a lot of home runs and extra base hits, has lower on base percentage (OBP), high number of runs batted in, have high slugging percentages, and can also tend to be the player with the most strikeouts. Since the cleanup hitter is more of a power hitter than a contact hitter so there are a good number of strikeouts, which also explains the low (OBP). Cleanup hitters also commonly attend home run derbies because they lead in home runs.[3] Even though it is just an event the home run derby is where they get the chance to show case their power without the pressure of being in a game. Although there are athletes that break or don't fit into these trends, either because they are missing a couple of the traits or is an all-round player that can't be categorized to just the cleanup spot. An all-around player is good at most if not all aspects of the game and lead the leader boards in statistics.

American League vs. National League

There are two leagues in North American Major League Baseball, the American league and the National League. A key difference between the two is that the American League has a designated hitter (DH). The DH is a batter that hits for the pitcher and never plays defense. Meanwhile, the National League demands that the pitcher hit in the lineup unless another player pinch hits for the pitcher, in which case the pitcher must leave the game and must be replaced for the team's next defensive half-inning.[4] The DH is important in the American league because it is usually one of the better hitters. It is a trend that the DH is either in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th spot in the lineup. This is taken away when there are interleague games when the National League is the home team, so the American League team does not use a DH, and their pitchers take their turn at bat.



There are many examples of batters that have excelled in the cleanup spot of the lineup. These batters have left a mark on contemporary baseball and helped it evolve into the game it is now. One example of a cleanup hitter is Albert Pujols.[5] He is considered as a candidate for baseball's hall of fame due to his immense contributions to his team as a cleanup hitter. Albert is also known as “The Machine” which originated due to his power and runs batted in (RBI) statistics. He has bounced around between the three spot and the four spot as a hitter in his career. He currently plays for the Los Angeles Angels and was recently demoted to DH in the cleanup spot.

Clean Up Batter Examples

Here is a small list of more Cleanup Batters that have made a name for themselves due to their role as a clean up hitter and strong offensive force for their team:[6]

Buster Posey

Reggie Jackson

Edgar Martinez

David Ortiz (Big Papi)

Evan Longoria

Babe Ruth

Mark McGwire

Lou Gehrig

Evan Gattis

Mike Napoli

Adam Jones

Jed Lowrie

Kent Hrbek

Yoenis Cespedes[7]


  1. ^ Kalkman, Sky (2009-03-17). "Optimizing Your Lineup By The Book".
  2. ^ Tango Dolphin Lichtman, Tom M Andrew E Mitchel G (2014). The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball (Playing the Percentages in Baseball). Createspace Independent. pp. 398 pages. ISBN 9781494260170.
  3. ^ Keri Click, Jonah, James (2006). Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong. Basic Books. pp. 1–57. ISBN 9780465005963.
  4. ^ Brinson, Linda (2012-08-26). "Whats The Difference between the American and national leagues?".
  5. ^ "Albert Pujols".
  6. ^ Wood, Robert. "Top 10 Clean-Up Hitters In Baseball".
  7. ^ Whitehead, Bill. "Mets Cleanup Hitter Cespedes Clears It Up: He Wants the Ring". USNews.
1958 World Series

The 1958 World Series was a rematch of the 1957 World Series, with the New York Yankees beating the defending champion Milwaukee Braves in seven games for their 18th title, and their seventh in 10 years. With that victory, the Yankees became only the second team in Major League Baseball history to come back from a 3–1 deficit to win a best-of-seven World Series; the first was the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925. (The 1903 Boston Red Sox came back from a 3–1 deficit in a best-of-nine affair.) These teams would meet again in the fall classic thirty-eight years later—by that time, the Braves had moved to Atlanta. As of 2019, this is the most recent World Series featuring the two previous Series winning teams.

1972 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1972 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds winning the National League West title with a record of 95–59, 10½ games over the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. They defeated the previous year's World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1972 National League Championship Series, but lost to the Oakland Athletics in seven games in the 1972 World Series. The Reds were managed by Sparky Anderson.

The theme for the Reds was "Redemption" after a disastrous 1971 season that saw the Reds fall from a World Series participant in 1970 to a sub .500 team a year later. In fact, the March 13, 1972, Sports Illustrated edition featured the Reds on the front cover headlining "Redemption for the Reds." The Reds won 102 games in 1970, but only 79 a year later. A major catalyst for the Reds, Bobby Tolan, ruptured his Achilles' tendon in the winter of 1971, and he missed the entire '71 MLB season. Nearly every Reds regular, including Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Pérez, Bernie Carbo and David Concepcion, had significant decreases in their production from 1970. The lone exception was popular first baseman Lee May, who set career highs in home runs (39) and slugging percentage (.532).

Reds fans, en masse, were shocked and dismayed when, on November 29, 1971, Cincinnati Reds General Manager Bob Howsam traded May, Gold Glove winning second baseman Tommy Helms and key utility man Jimmy Stewart to division rival Houston Astros for second baseman Joe Morgan, third baseman Denis Menke, pitcher Jack Billingham, little used outfielder Cesar Geronimo and minor leaguer Ed Armbrister. The trade turned out to be one of the best trades in Reds history. Morgan would escape the cavernous Houston Astrodome to a more hitter-friendly Riverfront Stadium home park. Surrounded by more talent in Cincinnati, Morgan would become one of the more productive power-speed players in the entire decade on his way to eventual induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Morgan and Geronimo would also go on to each win multiple Gold Glove awards, as Geronimo manned right field until 1974 when he would take over in center field. Billingham would go on to win 12 games in 1972 and 50 total in his first three years with the Reds. Billingham's best moments came in the 1972 World Series when he threw ​13 2⁄3 innings allowing no earned runs in collecting a win, a save, and a no decision in Game 7.

With Rose, Morgan and a healthy Tolan at the top of the lineup, a rejuvenated Bench was the recipient as the Reds' cleanup hitter. Rebounding from the 1971 disaster when Bench only drove in 61 runs, he slammed 40 home runs and had a major league-best 125 RBI. Bench also walked a career-high 100 times on his way to NL MVP honors.

Cincinnati got off to a slow start, winning only eight of their first 21 games before winning nine straight. The Reds were still only 20–18 when they went into Houston to play the retooled Astros for a four-game series, May 29 – June 1, at the Astrodome, a notorious pitchers park. But the Reds scored 39 runs in the series and won all four games. The Reds went into the July 23 All-Star break with a 6½ game lead over the Astros and an 8-game lead over the Dodgers. Neither team seriously threatened the Reds in the second half.

Reds ace Gary Nolan won 13 of his 15 decisions by July 13, only 79 games into the season. But Nolan suffered a series of neck and shoulder ailments that forced him out of the All Star game and limited him to a total of 25 starts. He spent much of the second-half on the disabled list resting and then rehabbing. He won two games after the All-Star break. Nolan still finished second in the National League in ERA (1.99) to Philadelphia's Steve Carlton (1.97). Morgan (122 runs scored, 16 home runs, 73 RBI, 58 stolen bases, .292 average) finished fourth in MVP voting, while Rose (107 runs, 198 hits, 11 triples, .307 avg.) and reliever Clay Carroll (37 saves, 2.25 ERA) were 12th and 13th, respectively, in the MVP voting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, three games to two, in an exciting 1972 National League Championship Series, the first time in its four-year history the NLCS had gone five games. The World Series against the Oakland A's was equally as epic, with the Reds falling in Game 7, 3–2, the sixth game of the series decided by a single run.

2015 Japan Series

The 2015 Japan Series was the 66th edition of Nippon Professional Baseball's postseason championship series. The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, champions of the Pacific League, played the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, champions of the Central League. The Hawks were the defending Japan Series champions, having beaten the Hanshin Tigers in 2014. The series was sponsored by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and was officially known as the 2015 SMBC Nippon Series.

The Hawks defeated the Swallows in five games. Lee Dae-ho won the Japan Series Most Valuable Player Award. Kenji Akashi, Shota Takeda, and Rick van den Hurk (all of the Hawks) won outstanding player awards, while Tetsuto Yamada of the Swallows won the Fighting Spirit Award.

Base running

In baseball, base running is the act of running around the bases performed by members of the team at bat.

In general, base running is a tactical part of the game with the goal of eventually reaching home to score a run. The goal of batting is generally to produce base runners, or help move base runners along. Runners on second or third base are considered to be in scoring position since a normal hit, even a single, will often score them. Part of the goal of a runner and a batter is to get the runner into scoring position.

Baseball positions

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. Within the game there are positions in which each player can play in.

There are nine fielding positions in baseball. Each position conventionally has an associated number, which is used to score putouts:

1 (pitcher), 2 (catcher), 3 (first baseman), 4 (second baseman), 5 (third baseman), 6 (shortstop), 7 (left fielder), 8 (center fielder), and 9 (right fielder).For example:

If the third baseman fields a ball and throws it to first, it is recorded as a 5-3 out.

A double play where the second baseman fields, throws to the shortstop covering second base, who throws to the first baseman, is recorded as a 4-6-3 double play. This is not the only way to make a double play.

Batting order (baseball)

In baseball, the batting order or batting lineup is the sequence in which the members of the offense take their turns in batting against the pitcher. The batting order is the main component of a team's offensive strategy. In Major League Baseball, the batting order is set by the manager, who before the game begins must present the home plate umpire with two copies of his team's lineup card, a card on which a team's starting batting order is recorded. The home plate umpire keeps one copy of the lineup card of each team, and gives the second copy to the opposing manager. Once the home plate umpire gives the lineup cards to the opposing managers, the batting lineup is final and a manager can only make changes under the Official Baseball Rules governing substitutions. If a team bats out of order, it is a violation of baseball's rules and subject to penalty.

According to The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, a team has "batted around" when each of the nine batters in the team's lineup has made a plate appearance, and the first batter is coming up again during a single inning., however, defines "bat around" as "to have every player in the lineup take a turn at bat during a single inning." It is not an official statistic. Opinions differ as to whether nine batters must get an at-bat, or if the opening batter must bat again for "batting around" to have occurred.In modern American baseball, some batting positions have nicknames: "leadoff" for first, "cleanup" for fourth, and "last" for ninth. Others are known by the ordinal numbers or the term #-hole (3rd place hitter would be 3-hole). In similar fashion, the third, fourth, and fifth batters are often collectively referred to as the "heart" or "meat" of the batting order, while the seventh, eighth, and ninth batters are called the "bottom of the lineup," a designation generally referring both to their hitting position and to their typical lack of offensive prowess.At the start of each inning, the batting order resumes where it left off in the previous inning, rather than resetting to start with the #1 hitter again. If the current batter has not finished his at-bat, by either putting a ball in play or being struck-out, and another baserunner becomes a third out, such as being picked-off or caught stealing, the current batter will lead off the next inning, with the pitch count reset to 0-0. While this ensures that the players all bat roughly the same number of times, the game will almost always end before the last cycle is complete, so that the #1 hitter (for example) almost always has one plate appearance more than the #9 hitter, which is a significant enough difference to affect tactical decisions. This is not a perfect correlation to each batter's official count of "at-bats," as a sacrifice (bunt or fly) that advances a runner, or a walk (base on balls or hit by pitch) is not recorded as an "at-bat" as these are largely out of the batter's control, and does not hurt his batting average (base hits per at-bats.)


Cleanup, clean up or clean-up may refer to:

Cleanup template, a Wikipedia template messages to inform readers and editors of specific problems with articles or sections

Cleaning, making clean and free from dirt

Clean-up, a part of the workflow in the production of hand-drawn animation

A cleanup hitter in baseball

Clean Up Records, a record label

Environmental remediation, the removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media

World Cleanup Day, a trash removal social movement.

Code cleanup

Glossary of English-language idioms derived from baseball

This is an alphabetical list of common English-language idioms based on baseball, excluding the extended metaphor referring to sex, and including illustrative examples for each entry. Particularly American English has been enriched by expressions derived from the game of baseball.

See also the Glossary of baseball for the jargon of the game itself, as used by participants, fans, reporters, announcers, and analysts of the game.

Hiroki Kokubo

Hiroki Kokubo (小久保 裕紀, born October 8, 1971) is a retired professional baseball player from Wakayama, Japan.

Kokubo was one of Japan's leading power hitters during the 1990s and early 2000s. He hit over 40 home runs in 2001 and 2004, but only led the league in the category once (1995), with only 28 home runs. He also led the league in RBIs in 1997.

He was suddenly given away to the Yomiuri Giants in 2003, despite being the team's cleanup hitter. Kokubo was seemingly given away for free, since the Giants did not give a player to the Hawks in exchange. The motives behind this transaction remain a mystery.

He played with the Yomiuri Giants for three years before signing with his former team (now the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks) during the 2006 off-season as a free agent.

He won a bronze medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics before entering the Japanese professional leagues.

In 2011, as team captain, he helped lead the Hawks to victory in the Japan Series, winning the Most Valuable Player Award.

On June 24, 2012, Kokubo recorded his 2,000th career hit, becoming the 41st Japanese professional baseball player to reach the milestone. On August 14 he announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2012 season. His retirement ceremony was held on October 8, after the last regular-season match against the Orix Buffaloes, which SoftBank lost after being no-hit.

In October 2013, Kokubo was named the manager of the Japan national baseball team. He led the team to a third place finish at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Kenta Kurihara

Kenta Kurihara (栗原 健太, Kurihara Kenta, born January 8, 1982 in Tendō, Yamagata, Japan) is a first baseman for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

The Carp's current cleanup hitter, Kurihara has blossomed into one of the most feared power threats in the Central League. He played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic as an emergency replacement for Shuichi Murata, who suffered an injury in the second round of the tournament.

Koh Shimozuru

Ko Shimozuru (下水流 昂, Shimozuru Ko, born April 23, 1988 in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan) is a professional Japanese baseball player. He is an outfielder for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Lin Hung-yu

Lin Hung-yu (Chinese: 林泓育; pinyin: Lín Hóng-yù; born 21 March 1986) is a Taiwanese baseball player who plays with the Lamigo Monkeys in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

Nobuhiko Matsunaka

Nobuhiko Matsunaka (松中 信彦, Matsunaka Nobuhiko, born December 26, 1973 in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto, Japan) is a former left fielder and designated hitter for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

He played in the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympics as well as the 2006 World Baseball Classic, hitting cleanup in 1996 and 2006.

Rabbit Maranville

Walter James Vincent "Rabbit" Maranville (November 11, 1891 – January 6, 1954) was an American professional baseball shortstop, second baseman and manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Boston Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Robins, and St. Louis Cardinals between 1912 and 1934. At the time of his retirement in 1935, he had played in a record 23 seasons in the National League, a mark which wasn't broken until 1986 by Pete Rose.

Sarah Mavis Dabbs

Sarah Mavis Dabbs (March 10, 1922 – May 14, 2000) was a fourth outfielder who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5' 5", 130 lb., she batted and threw right handed.Sarah Dabbs played softball in her home state of Florida during ten years before joining the league. From 1940 to 1941, she demonstrated her role as catcher and cleanup hitter for the R. H. Hall team of St. Petersburg that won the Florida women's softball in consecutive years.Dabbs served as a backup outfielder for the Fort Wayne Daisies during the 1947 season, playing briefly for them while collecting a .091 batting average in 12 games. She is remembered for made several sparkling running catches at outfield and for taking some timely hitting for the Daisies.In 1988, Dabbs received further recognition when she became part of Women in Baseball, a permanent display based at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, which was unveiled to honor the entire All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Shuichi Murata

Shuichi Murata (村田 修一, Murata Shūichi, born December 28, 1980 in Sasaguri, Fukuoka, Japan) is a third baseman for the Tochigi Golden Braves of Baseball Challenge League.

Murata led the Central League in home runs in both 2007 and 2008 and is one of the few pure home run hitters in Japanese professional baseball today. He played in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a member of the Japanese national team and hit cleanup for much of the latter tournament.

Switch hitter

In baseball, a switch hitter is a player who bats both right-handed and left-handed, usually right-handed against left-handed pitchers and left-handed against right-handed pitchers.

Tomoaki Kanemoto

Tomoaki Kanemoto (金本 知憲, Kanemoto Tomoaki, born April 3, 1968, in Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Japan) is a Japanese former professional baseball outfielder and manager. In his career as a player he spent 11 years with the Hiroshima Carp before moving to the Hanshin Tigers in 2003, where he spent another 10 years. He holds the world record for consecutive games played without missing an inning (1492, ending on April 18, 2010).

The Tigers' former cleanup hitter, Kanemoto is regarded as one of the most accomplished hitters in Japanese professional baseball history. His 476 career home runs are the most by a left-handed hitter who throws right-handed and tenth overall on the all-time NPB list. Kanemoto retired as a player at the end of the 2012 season and rejoined the Tigers as their manager for the 2016 season, replacing Yutaka Wada. At the time of his retirement, Kanemoto was ninth on the all-time hit list for Japanese players across Japan and MLB. He is now 10th on the all-time list in both hits and home runs.

Baseball concepts
Game process
Base running

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