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What Are The Different Positions in Baseball?

There are 9 players on a baseball field:
Core Positions
  1. Pitcher. The pitcher's job is to throw the ball over to the plate in a way that it is difficult for the batter to hit. A pitcher should be able to throw fast pitches, but velocity is less important than control (the ability to throw strikes consistently and not issue a lot of bases on balls). A pitcher should be tough, smart, and keep his or her composure under pressure (such as throw strikes behind in the count or when there are people on base). The pitcher is the fifth infielder and needs to field his or her position on bunts, grounders, and pop ups, and back up the catcher on plays at the plate. Pitchers are often the best all-around athletes on the team.

  2. Catcher. Generally the team leader since he or she is the only player facing his or teammates. The catcher handles the pitcher, keeps track of balls and strikes (the count), reminds the other players about the number of outs, sets the defense, and backs up 1st base on every infield play. Catchers are usually the most rugged and quickest thinking players on the team. Once base stealing is permitted, a catcher should have a good throwing arm and the ability to get rid of the ball very quickly.
Infield players
Infielders must be able to react quickly toward a hit ball, and have good hand-eye coordination skills. Shortstops and third basemen should have good throwing arms, since they need to make longer throws to first. Playing the infield positions (other than first base) is easiest for right-handed players, since they do not have to turn as far to throw the ball to first.
  1. First base. The perfect place for a left-handed player who can catch the ball well, even when, as is often the case in youth baseball, it is thrown over his head, bounced in the dirt, or off line. Strength and size (particularly height) are important; a strong throwing arm is not. A first baseman needs to be able to concentrate, as he will potentially be involved in nearly every play.

  2. Second base. Size and stature are of little importance. Speed, quickness and good fielding ability are. A second baseman needs to know what to do when there are runners on base (such as to know that, if the ball is hit to him with a runner on first, to touch second base, or tag the runner, and then throw to first.

  3. Shortstop. This player has more ground to cover than any other player does and must be fast, quick, agile and have a strong throwing arm. The shortstop will potentially field more ground balls, in more off-balance positions, than any other player. Like the second baseman, the shortstop needs to be to think ahead.

  4. Third Base. This player should be able to charge the ball on bunts and slow grounders, and field the ball barehanded, and be able to move side to side quickly on balls hit hard down the line or to his left in the hole between third and short. Because the third baseman has the longest throw of all the infielders, he should have a good arm.
Outfielders must cover a lot of ground, so speed and quickness to react to the ball are important. They must be able to catch fly balls above their head and on the run and throw the ball a long distance and accurately. Younger players may find it difficult to concentrate on the game, since balls are not hit to the outfield as often as to the infield. Therefore, players need to be taught to get into the "ready" position (on the balls of their feet, in a slight crouch) before every pitch.
  1. Right Fielder. Needs to be able to think-ahead. This player backs up first base on all throws from the catcher and all bunted balls, since the catcher must be available for fielding the ball. They backup second on any ball thrown from the left of the diamond. I.e. shortstop, third base or foul territory.
  2. Center Fielder. This will be the player that has the best combination of speed and throwing distance. Like shortstop, they cover more 'grass' than any other player and, most likely, will catch the most fly balls. They must backup second on all bunts and throws from the catcher.
  3. Left Fielder. Of all outfield positions, this player can have the weakest arm, as they do not generally throw the ball as far. They still require good fielding and catching skills and backup third on pick-off attempts from the catcher or pitcher.