Baseball 101: The Positions and Responsibilities of Players

Batter hitting the ball

If you’re someone who knows little about baseball but needs to learn more about it fast because you’ve been put on the office or community baseball team, then you’ve come to the right place. Learn the basics of baseball player positions.

Pitcher

Often considered the most important position, the pitcher is the player standing in the middle of the diamond area. He starts every play by throwing the ball to the batter and has the main goal of taking the batter out of the play. Pitchers throw the ball in a variety of ways to confuse batters, but they usually deliver fastballs—the fastest kind of pitch. The best throwers can register over 100-mph speeds on a radar gun for baseball pitching.

Fielders

Fielders are composed of four infielders (1st, 2nd, and 3rd basemen, and a shortstop) and three outfielders (left, center, and right fielders). The infielders are generally positioned at the three bases—stations marked by white squares on the diamond field—whereas the outfielders are situated beyond the diamond. Though each fielder has a specific role, their goal as a group is to prevent the batter and runners from getting to the bases by catching and throwing the ball to one another.

Catcher

The player crouching behind the batter and wearing a mask and body protector is the catcher. He is the one who catches the ball a batter doesn’t hit. A catcher also signals what kind of throw the pitcher should make and sometimes calls the defensive plays for the infielders. Plus, because he’s positioned behind the home plate, which is technically the final base, he also functions as a fielder, throwing and catching the ball to protect the bases.

There you have it—the basics of baseball player positions. Now that you know them, why don’t you go practice and help your team win?