Baseball Walks

Is there a limit to the number of balls a player can earn when at-bat? Get ready to learn about player walks in baseball.

Introduction

We've already learned about the strike zone, and how pitches can result in either a strike, ball, or foul for the batter.

In this tutorial, we will learn what happens when a batter earns the maximum number of balls during an at-bat called a walk.

Walks/Base-on-Balls

A walk, also known as a base-on-balls, is when the batter is automatically entitled to reach first base.

Baseball Base On Balls

A walk can be drawn when the pitcher throws four (4) pitches outside the strike zone that the batter does not swing at.

First base can also be rewarded to the batter in other situations:

PRO TIP: When a batter draws a walk, he is not credited with an at-bat. Rather, it counts as a plate appearance. We will learn more about the difference between at-bats and plate appearances in future chapters.

Intentional Walk

Sometimes, if the pitcher is facing an especially skilled and powerful hitter and there are baserunners on base, the pitcher will purposely throw four (4) balls in a row and give that player a walk. This is to take away the batter's opportunity to hit a home run or another powerful hit that would drive the baserunners home.

Baseball Intentional Walk

Can Runs Be Scored Through Walks?

Yes! When a batter who draws a walk advances to first base and there is already a runner on first base, that runner is pushed to second base. If there is a runner on second base, he must advance to third base, and so on. If a batter draws a walk when the bases are loaded (each base is occupied by a baserunner), all the runners must advance: including the runner at third base, who advances to home plate and scores. This does not happen very often, but it does happen!

Baseball Bases Loaded

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