Fielder's choice

In baseball, fielder's choice (abbreviated FC) refers to a variety of plays involving an offensive player reaching a base due to the defense's attempt to put out another baserunner, or the defensive team's indifference to his advance. Fielder's choice is not called by the umpires on the field of play; rather, it is recorded by the official scorer to account for the offensive player's advance without crediting him with an offensive statistic such as a hit or stolen base.

Though there are several definitions of fielder's choice, the most common (and the only one commonly referred to as FC) involves a fielder fielding a fair ball and choosing to try to put out another baserunner, thereby allowing the batter-runner to safely reach first base. The defensive player may or may not have an opportunity to retire the batter runner. If a preceding runner is retired on a force out, the batter will not be rewarded with a hit and will be scored a Fielder's Choice (FC). Other plays that fall under the definition of FC are usually referred to using other terms such as "defensive indifference" or "on the throw."

Definition

Fielder's choice is defined in MLB Rule 2, "Definitions", as "the act of a fielder who handles a fair grounder and, instead of throwing to first base to put out the batter-runner, throws to another base in an attempt to put out a preceding runner." FC is recorded for the batter-runner if he reaches first base safely regardless of whether the attempt to put out the other runner(s) is successful. If the other runner is successfully put out for the third out, FC is recorded for the batter-runner regardless of whether he had already reached first base (if the other runner was forced out, the batter is described as grounding into a force play).

Rule 2 also defines FC as any of the following circumstances:

  • When a batter accomplishes a hit but is able to safely reach an extra base because of the defense's attempt to put out another baserunner (e.g., one running towards home plate). Often called on the throw.
  • When a runner already on base safely reaches another base due to a fielder's attempt to put out another runner, unless his advance can be categorized as a stolen base. Also referred to as on the throw.

In many situations fielder's choice requires the official scorer to make judgment calls, such as what the outcome of the play would have been had there been no runners on base after taking into account ordinary effort by the defensive team, as well as what effect any errors committed by the defensive team might have had on the play.

Impact on statistics

A batter who reaches first base safely as the result of a fielder's choice is not credited with a hit or a time on base; however, his turn at the plate is recorded as an at bat and plate appearance. Therefore, a player's batting average and on-base percentage decrease as a result of reaching first base via fielder's choice.

A batter who reaches first base safely but advances on the same play as the result of fielder's choice is credited with a hit for the number of bases he would have reached safely with no other runners on base, and is said to have taken the additional base(s) on the throw.

A baserunner who makes an undefended steal is not credited with a stolen base, but his advance is accounted for as defensive indifference.

Examples of fielder's choice situations

  • With a runner on first base, the batter hits a ground ball directly to the shortstop. Although he could easily throw the batter-runner out at first base, the shortstop chooses to throw to the second baseman who is covering second base, in an attempt to force out the runner advancing from first. Meanwhile, the batter-runner reaches first base safely.
    • This play is commonly referred to as "grounding into a force out". Fielder's choice is recorded for the batter-runner (6-4 or 6-4-3, depending on whether an attempt was made to put him out), and he is not credited with a hit.
    • A 6-4 FC would be recorded if the preceding runner is put out for the third out, regardless of where the batter-runner is on the basepaths when this occurs.
  • With a runner on second base, the batter sends a base hit to the outfield. The outfielder, playing shallow in anticipation of such a hit, throws to home plate in an attempt to put out the runner trying to score. The batter-runner may decide to advance to second base since he can see that there will not be a play there. This play is scored as a single for the batter-runner regardless of the outcome of the attempt to put out the runner trying to score. The term on the throw is often used to describe the outcome of any plays in this situation.
    • If the batter-runner safely reaches second base regardless of the outcome at home plate, his single still stands, but he is said to have taken second on the throw, or on fielder's choice.
    • If the batter-runner is thrown out at second base regardless of the outcome at home plate, he is still credited with a single, since the put out was a consequence of his attempt to take second on the throw.
    • If the runner attempting to score is put out, he is said to be out at home plate on the throw. If he is put out for the third out, no advance on the throw is recorded for the batter-runner, and the batter-runner is left on base since he is credited with a single.
  • With a runner on first base, the batter hits a ground ball back up the middle. The shortstop dives for the ball and saves it from going into center field. Realizing he has no time to throw out the batter-runner at first base, the shortstop tosses the ball to the second baseman covering second base in an attempt to force out the runner coming from first. However, the throw is not in time, and both runners are safe. Assuming the official scorer agrees the shortstop could not have thrown the batter-runner out at first with ordinary effort, this play will be scored as a base hit and not FC.
  • With the bases loaded and two outs, the batter takes a called strike or swings and misses at a pitch with two strikes. The batter is obliged to run to first base and all baserunners are compelled to attempt to advance one base to accommodate the baserunner. The catcher retrieves the ball and steps on home plate, achieving a force play on the baserunner who was on third base when the play began. The play is both a strikeout and a fielder's choice. If the pitcher must run to home plate to field a throw of a third-strike pitch that a catcher first fumbled and catches the ball and touches home plate before the runner from third base reaches home plate safely, then the play is a fielder's choice (2-1) as well as a strikeout.

A batter is automatically out on a called or swinging third strike with fewer than two outs, and a runner on first, but with two outs, a runner at first, a runner on second with a runner on first, or any baserunner with the bases loaded is obliged to advance a base so that the batter-runner can attempt to reach first base.

External links

2018 American League Division Series

The 2018 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams of the 2018 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners, seeded first through third, and a fourth team—the Wild Card Game winner—played in two series. These matchups were:

(1) Boston Red Sox (East Division champions) vs. (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card Game winner)

(2) Houston Astros (West Division champions) vs. (3) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champions)Under sponsorship agreements with T-Mobile, the series was formally known as the American League Division Series presented by T-Mobile. The Astros and Red Sox won their respective series, to advance to the Championship Series.

Double (baseball)

In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay (see error) or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice. A double is a type of hit (the others being the single, triple and home run) and is sometimes called a "two-bagger" or "two-base hit". For statistical and scorekeeping purposes it is denoted by 2B.

Earned run

In baseball, an earned run is any run that was fully enabled by the offensive team's production in the face of competent play from the defensive team. Conversely, an unearned run is a run that would not have been scored without the aid of an error or a passed ball committed by the defense.

An unearned run counts just as much as any other run for the purpose of determining the score of the game. However, it is "unearned" in that it was, in a sense, "given away" by the defensive team.

Both total runs and earned runs are tabulated as part of a pitcher's statistics. However, earned runs are specially denoted because of their use in calculating a pitcher's earned run average (ERA), the number of earned runs allowed by the pitcher per nine innings pitched (i.e., averaged over a regulation game). Thus, in effect, the pitcher is held personally accountable for earned runs, while the responsibility for unearned runs is shared with the rest of the team.

To determine whether a run is earned, the official scorer must reconstruct the inning as it would have occurred without errors or passed balls.

Extra-base hit

In baseball, an extra-base hit (EB, EBH or XBH), also known as a long hit, is any base hit on which the batter is able to advance past first base without the benefit of a fielder either committing an error or opting to make a throw to retire another base runner (see fielder's choice). Extra-base hits are often not listed separately in tables of baseball statistics, but are easily determined by calculating the sum total of a batter's doubles, triples, and home runs.Another related statistic of interest that can be calculated is "extra bases on long hits". A batter gets three of these for each home run, two for each triple, and one for each double. Thus, leading the league in "Most extra bases in long hits" is a significant accomplishment in power hitting.

The statistic Extra-Base Hits Allowed (for example by a pitcher or by the fielding team in general) is denoted by the abbreviation XBA.

Hit (baseball)

In baseball statistics, a hit (denoted by H), also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice.

List of Major League Baseball career doubles leaders

In baseball, a double is a hit in which the batter advances to second base in one play, with neither the benefit of a fielding error nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice. A batter may also be credited with a ground-rule double when a fair ball, after touching the ground, bounds into the stands or becomes lodged in a fence or scoreboard.Hall of Fame center fielder Tris Speaker holds the Major League Baseball career doubles record with 792. Pete Rose is second with 746, the National League record. Speaker, Rose, Stan Musial (725), and Ty Cobb (724) are the only players with more than 700 doubles. Craig Biggio has the most career doubles by a right-handed hitter with 668. Only doubles hit during the regular season are included in the totals (Derek Jeter holds the record in post-season doubles, with 32).

List of Major League Baseball career extra base hits leaders

In baseball, an extra base hit (EB, EBH or XBH), also known as a long hit, is any base hit on which the batter is able to advance past first base without the benefit of a fielder either committing an error or opting to make a throw to retire another base runner (see fielder's choice). Extra base hits are often not listed separately in tables of baseball statistics, but are easily determined by calculating the sum total of a batter's doubles, triples, and home runs.

Hank Aaron is the all-time leader with 1,477 career extra base hits. Barry Bonds (1,440) is the only other player with more than 1,400 career extra base hits. Only 39 players all time have reached 1,000 career extra base hits, with 2 of them (Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera) being active.

List of Major League Baseball career plate appearance leaders

In baseball statistics, a player is credited with a plate appearance (denoted by PA) each time he completes a turn batting. A player completes a turn batting when: he strikes out or is declared out before reaching first base; or he reaches first base safely or is awarded first base (by a base on balls, hit by pitch, or catcher's interference); or he hits a fair ball which causes a preceding runner to be put out for the third out before he himself is put out or reaches first base safely (see also left on base, fielder's choice, force play). In other words, a plate appearance ends when the batter is put out or becomes a runner. A very similar statistic, at bats, counts a subset of plate appearances that end under certain circumstances.

Pete Rose holds the record with 15,890 career plate appearances. Rose is the only player in MLB history to surpass 14,000 and 15,000 career plate appearances. Carl Yastrzemski (13,992), Hank Aaron (13,941), Rickey Henderson (13,346) and Ty Cobb (13,087) are the only other players to surpass 13,000 career plate appearances.

List of Major League Baseball career singles leaders

In baseball, a single is the most common type of base hit, accomplished through the act of a batter safely reaching first base by hitting a fair ball (thus becoming a runner) and getting to first base before a fielder puts him out. As an exception, a batter-runner reaching first base safely is not credited with a single when an infielder attempts to put out another runner on the first play; this is one type of a fielder's choice. Also, a batter-runner reaching first base on a play due to a fielder's error trying to put him out at first base or another runner out (as a fielder's choice) is not credited with a single.

On a single hit to the outfield, any runners on second base or third base normally score, and sometimes the runner from first base is able to advance to third base. Depending on the location of the hit, a quick recovery by the outfielder can prevent such an advance or create a play on the advancing runner.

Pete Rose is the all-time leader in singles with 3,215 career. Ty Cobb (3,053) is the only other player in MLB history with over 3,000 career singles.

List of Major League Baseball career times on base leaders

In baseball statistics, the term times on base, also abbreviated as TOB, is the cumulative total number of times a batter has reached base as a result of hits, walks and hit by pitches. This statistic does not include times reaching first by way of error, dropped third strike, fielder's obstruction or a fielder's choice, making this statistic somewhat of a misnomer.

Pete Rose is the all-time leader, being on base 5,929 times in his career. Barry Bonds (5,599), Ty Cobb (5,532), Rickey Henderson (5,343), Carl Yastrzemski (5,304), Stan Musial (5,282), and Hank Aaron (5,205) are the only other players to be on base more than 5,000 times.

Mike Witt's perfect game

On September 30, 1984, Mike Witt of the California Angels threw a perfect game against the Texas Rangers at Arlington Stadium. It was the 11th perfect game in Major League Baseball history.Witt's perfect game came on the last day of the 1984 MLB season. As the Angels and Rangers had both been eliminated from the playoffs, only 8,375 fans attended the game. Witt was opposed by Charlie Hough of the Rangers, who allowed only one run to the Angels.Reggie Jackson, whose seventh-inning fielder's choice ground ball scored Doug DeCinces for the game's only run, was also on the winning end of Catfish Hunter's perfect game while with the Oakland Athletics in 1968, becoming the first player to play for the winning team in two perfect games.

Witt also struck out 10 batters during the game. With the win, the Angels finished .500, which they had not done since the 1982 season. Two years later, they would reach the ALCS but lose. The Rangers would have to wait ten years for their perfect game, which they did fittingly enough against the Angels. That game took place in Arlington Stadium's successor, The Ballpark in Arlington.

Official scorer

In the game of baseball, the official scorer is a person appointed by the league to record the events on the field, and to send the official scoring record of the game back to the league offices. In addition to recording the events on the field such as the outcome of each plate appearance and the circumstances of any baserunner's advance around the bases, the official scorer is also charged with making judgment calls that do not affect the progress or outcome of the game. Judgment calls are primarily made about errors, unearned runs, fielder's choice, the value of hits in certain situations, and wild pitches, all of which are included in the record compiled. This record is used to compile statistics for each player and team. A box score is a summary of the official scorer's game record.

Newspaper writers initially performed this function in the early days of Major League Baseball (MLB). As the importance of baseball player statistics increased, teams began to pressure writer-scorers for favorable scoring decisions for their players in games played at home stadiums, and a home team scoring bias was perceived by many coaches, players, and writers. Controversies related to perceived bias or errors in scoring have led to questions about important baseball records, including several no-hitters and Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak of 1941. By 1979, many major newspapers decided to ban their writers from scoring baseball games due to conflict-of-interest concerns, and in 1980 MLB began to hire independent official scorers.

Since 1980, some reforms have been suggested to improve the performance of official scorers. In 2001, MLB formed a scoring committee to review their performance, and by 2008 the committee was given the authority to overturn scoring decisions. This authority was used by the scoring committee three times during the 2009 season. In 2006, an academic study seemed to confirm the historical existence of a home-team bias in scoring decisions, but this measurable bias decreased after 1979.

On-base percentage

In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP; sometimes referred to as on-base average/OBA, as the statistic is rarely presented as a true percentage) is a statistic generally measuring how frequently a batter reaches base. Specifically, it records the ratio of the batter's times-on-base (TOB) (the sum of hits, walks, and times hit by pitch) to their number of plate appearances. It first became an official MLB statistic in 1984.

By factoring in only hits, walks and times hit by pitch, OBP does not credit the batter for reaching base due to fielding errors or decisions, as it does not increase when the batter reaches base due to fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference.

On-base percentage is added to slugging average to determine on-base plus slugging (OPS). The on-base percentage of all batters faced by one pitcher or team is referred to as on-base against.

Plate appearance

In baseball statistics, a player is credited with a plate appearance (denoted by PA) each time he completes a turn batting. Under Rule 5.04(c) of the Official Baseball Rules, a player completes a turn batting when he is put out or becomes a runner. This happens when he strikes out or is declared out before reaching first base; or when he reaches first base safely or is awarded first base (by a base on balls, hit by pitch, catcher's interference, or obstruction); or when he hits a fair ball which causes a preceding runner to be put out for the third out before he himself is put out or reaches first base safely (see also left on base, fielder's choice, force play). A very similar statistic, at bats, counts a subset of plate appearances that end under certain circumstances.

Run batted in

A run batted in (RBI), plural runs batted in (RBI or RBIs), is a statistic in baseball and softball that credits a batter for making a play that allows a run to be scored (except in certain situations such as when an error is made on the play). For example, if the batter bats a base hit, then another player on a higher base can head home to score a run, and the batter gets credited with batting in that run.

Before the 1920 Major League Baseball season, runs batted in were not an official baseball statistic. Nevertheless, the RBI statistic was tabulated—unofficially—from 1907 through 1919 by baseball writer Ernie Lanigan, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.Common nicknames for an RBI include "ribby" (or "ribbie"), "rib", and "ribeye". The plural of RBI is generally "RBIs", although some commentators use "RBI" as both singular and plural, as it can also stand for "runs batted in".

Sacrifice bunt

In baseball, a sacrifice bunt (also called a sacrifice hit) is a batter's act of deliberately bunting the ball, before there are two outs, in a manner that allows a runner on base to advance to another base. The batter is almost always sacrificed (and to a certain degree that is the intent of the batter) but sometimes reaches base due to an error or fielder's choice. In that situation, if runners still advance bases, it is still scored a sacrifice bunt instead of the error or the fielder's choice. Sometimes the batter may safely reach base by simply outrunning the throw to first; this is not scored as a sacrifice bunt but rather a single.

In the Major Leagues, sacrifice bunts reduce the average runs scored but increase the likelihood of scoring once. However, they can increase the average runs scored in an inning if the batter is a weak hitter.

A successful sacrifice bunt does not count as an at bat, does not impact a player's batting average, and counts as a plate appearance. However, unlike a sacrifice fly, a sacrifice bunt does not count against a player in determining on-base percentage. If the official scorer believes that the batter was attempting to bunt for a base hit, and not solely to advance the runners, the batter is charged an at bat and is not credited with a sacrifice bunt.

In leagues without a designated hitter, sacrifice bunts are most commonly attempted by pitchers, who are typically not productive hitters. Managers consider that if a pitcher's at bat will probably result in an out, they might as well go out in a way most likely to advance the runners. The play also obviates the need for the pitcher to run the base paths, and hence avoids the risk of injury. Some leadoff hitters also bunt frequently in similar situations and may be credited with a sacrifice, but as they are often highly skilled bunters and faster runners, they are often trying to get on base as well as advance runners.

A sacrifice bunt attempted while a runner is on third is called a squeeze play.

A sacrifice bunt attempted while a runner on third is attempting to steal home is called a suicide squeeze.

Although a sacrifice bunt is not the same as a sacrifice fly, both fell under the same statistical category until 1954.

In scoring, a sacrifice bunt may be denoted by SH, S, or occasionally, SAC.

Single (baseball)

In baseball, a single is the most common type of base hit, accomplished through the act of a batter safely reaching first base by hitting a fair ball (thus becoming a runner) and getting to first base before a fielder puts him out. As an exception, a batter-runner reaching first base safely is not credited with a single when an infielder attempts to put out another runner on the first play; this is one type of a fielder's choice. Also, a batter-runner reaching first base on a play due to a fielder's error trying to put him out at first base or another runner out (as a fielder's choice) is not credited with a single.

On a single hit to the outfield, any runners on second base or third base normally score, and sometimes the runner from first base is able to advance to third base. Depending on the location of the hit, a quick recovery by the outfielder can prevent such an advance or create a play on the advancing runner.

Hitters who focus on hitting singles rather than doubles or home runs are often called "contact hitters". Contact hitters who rely on positioning their hits well and having fast running speed to achieve singles are often called "slap hitters". Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, Tony Gwynn, and Ichiro Suzuki are examples of contact hitters; of these, Rose and Suzuki might be called slap hitters.

Times on base

In baseball statistics, the term times on base, also abbreviated as TOB, is the cumulative total number of times a batter has reached base as a result of hits, walks and hit by pitches. This statistic does not include times reaching first by way of error, dropped third strike, fielder's obstruction or a fielder's choice, making this statistic somewhat of a misnomer.

Triple (baseball)

In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay (see error) nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice. A triple is sometimes called a "three-bagger" or "three-base hit". For statistical and scorekeeping purposes it is denoted by 3B.Triples have become somewhat rare in Major League Baseball. It often requires a ball hit to a distant part of the field, or the ball taking an unusual bounce in the outfield. It also usually requires that the batter hit the ball solidly, and be a speedy runner. It also often requires that the batter's team have a good strategic reason for wanting the batter on third base, as a double will already put the batter in scoring position and there will often be little strategic advantage to taking the risk of trying to stretch a double into a triple. (The inside-the-park home run is much rarer than a triple). The trend for modern ballparks is to have smaller outfields (often increasing the number of home runs); it has ensured that the career and season triples leaders mostly consist of those who played early in Major League Baseball history, generally in the dead-ball era.

A walk-off triple (one that ends a game) occurs very infrequently. For example, the 2016 MLB season saw only three walk-off triples, excluding one play that was actually a triple plus an error.

Baseball concepts
Rules
Park/Field
Equipment
Game process
Batting
Pitching
Base running
Fielding
(positioning)
Miscellaneous
Batting
Base running
Pitching
Fielding
Sabermetrics

Languages

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.