In baseball, batting is the act of facing the opposing pitcher and trying to produce offense for one's team. A batter or hitter is a person whose turn it is to face the pitcher.
The three main goals of batters are:
- to become a baserunner,
- drive runners home, or
- advance runners along the bases for others to drive home.
In general, batters try to get hits. However, their primary objective is to avoid making an out, and helping their team to score runs. There are several ways they can help their team score runs. They may draw a walk if they receive and do not swing the bat at four pitches located outside the strike zone. In cases when there is a runner on third and fewer than two outs, they can attempt to hit a sacrifice fly to drive the runner in by allowing the runner on third to tag up and score. When there are fewer than two outs and runners on base, they can try to sacrifice bunt to advance the runner(s) or, with a runner on first or with runners on first and third, they can try a hit and run play, also designed to advance the runner(s). They might even be hit by a pitch, reach on an error or—if first is empty or there are two outs—on a dropped third strike.
The defense attempts to get the batter out. The pitcher's main role in this is to throw the ball in such a way that the batter either strikes out or cannot hit it cleanly so that the defense can get him or her out.
→ Main article:Batting order
The lineup or batting order is a list of the nine baseball players for a team in the order they will bat during the game. During the game the only way to change the lineup is via substitution, as batting out of turn is not allowed. Once the ninth person in the lineup finishes batting, the first person bats again; this is the top of the order.
Types of hitters
- Power hitters: power hitters, or sluggers, are batters who drive the ball, often hitting home runs and other extra-base hits, but tend to strike out more often than contact hitters. See also slugging average.
- Pull Hitters: batters who tend to hit the ball to the same side of the field as the side of the plate they are standing on.
- Notable player: Maezono Kenta
- Opposite Field Hitters: batters who are able to delay their swing by a fraction of a second so as to drive the ball in the side of the field opposite from the side of the plate they are standing on.
- Contact hitters: batters who do not strike out often and are able to put the ball in play very often. Because of this, they tend to hit fewer home runs than power hitters.
- Slap hitters: slap hitters are batters who rarely try to drive the ball; instead these hitters simply try to "slap" the ball through the infielders to reach base.
- Complete hitters: players who can not only slap the ball, but can come up with extra base hits.
- Switch hitters: capable of batting left or right-handed.
- Notable player: Kuramochi Youichi
- Pinch hitters: a substitute hitter for the scheduled batter in the lineup. Once a pinch hitter bats, he will replace the previous batter in the lineup unless a substitution is made.
- Notable player: Kominato Haruichi