Baseball Lingo And Terminology

baseball lingo and terminology

There is a lot of lingo used in the sport of baseball. It can be especially confusing when watching a baseball game and hearing announcers and players say phrases you’ve never heard of. What are some common phrases used in baseball and what do they each mean? Let’s learn about the terminology most commonly used by players, announcers, and baseball fans.

Baserunning Lingo

  • In-the-hole: Refers to the batter that is scheduled to bat after the on-deck hitter (hitter that will come to the plate following the current hitter).
  • Pickle: When the base runner is stuck in-between two fielders and must try to run back to a base safely without being tagged.

Batting Lingo

  • Hot Corner: Another name for third base, as right-handed hitters tend to hit balls hard to the left side of the field.
  • Wheelhouse: Describes a pitch that is easy for the batter to make contact with, crossing the middle of the plate about waist-high
  • Sweet Spot: Describes the thick, center portion of the bat that tends to result in big hits when it contacts the ball.
  • Table Setter: The first batter in a team’s lineup, tasked with getting on base so that the following hitters can score runs.

Fielding Lingo

  • Double Play: A team’s fielders manage to record two outs at one time by tagging bases with the ball in hand before each runner manages to reach those bases.

Pitching Lingo

  • Southpaw: a pitcher who is left-handed.
  • Heater: A pitch that is accurate and possesses exceptional speed.
  • Closer: The pitcher who often enters the game in the ninth and final inning to preserve a small lead.
  • Painting the corners: When a pitcher throws a variety of pitches in the corners of the strike zone resulting in strikes for the batter.
  • Pick-Off: Instead of throwing a pitch, the pitcher quickly pivots and throws the ball to first base in an attempt to catch a runner before he is able to return to the base.

Lingo FAQ

What is a home run?

A home run in baseball is when a batter hits the pitch beyond the outfield and over the fence. For a home run to count, the ball must stay in fair territory, and the base runner must touch all of the bases in the correct order.

What does a strikeout mean?

A strikeout happens when the batter earns three strikes during the same at-bat. Foul balls do not result in an out, unless the batter hits a bunt into foul territory. The third strike must come from a swing and a miss for a strikeout to be called.

What is a fastball?

A fastball in baseball is a type of pitch thrown by the pitcher. Fastballs are the fastest type of pitch and are upwards of 95-100mph. The fastest pitch ever recorded was a 108mph fastball thrown by Nolan Ryan.