Baseball Vocabulary

As the rules and tactics in baseball are relatively difficult to follow, it is also important to try and grasp the most common slang and vocabulary that are used, so that you are always aware of what is going on in the game.

  • .500 – Wins & Losses are calculated as a percentage – a .500 team has won as many as they have lost. A .666 team has won two games for every defeat and so on.
  • 1B – Singles or singles allowed.
  • 2B – Doubles or doubles allowed.
  • 3B – Triples or triples allowed.
  • Ahead In The Count – When a batter or pitcher has the advantage at an at-bat. If the pitcher throws more strikes than balls to a batter in an at-bat then he or she is ahead in the count. If the pitcher throws more balls than strikes, then the batter is ahead in the count. If the pitcher is ahead in the count, the batter is in increasing danger of striking out. If the batter is ahead, the pitcher is in increasing danger of walking him.
  • Around The Horn – When the infielders throw the ball to each other after a batter or baserunner is caught out. It is also slang for a 5-4-3 Double Play.
  • Aspirin Tablet – Slang for fastball.
  • At-Bats – When the batter makes a plate appearance but does not run, gets hit by the pitch, or is interfered with by the catcher.
  • At’em Ball – Slang for a ball batted directly at defender.
  • AVG – Batting average.
  • B1R – Singles per plate appearance.
  • B2R – Doubles per plate appearance.
  • B3R – Triples per plate appearance.
  • Bad-ball Hitter – A hitter who often hits balls outside the strike zone.
  • Bad Hop – A ball that bounces in front of the fielder in an unexpected way.
  • Baltimore Chop – A swing which tries to make the ball rebound off the home plate.
  • Banjo Player – Used to describe a player who hits lack power.
  • Bazooka – Used to describe a fielder with a strong throwing arm.
  • Beanball – A pitch which is thrown with the intention of hitting the batter if he or she does not move out the way.
  • Bread And Butter – The player’s best skill.
  • Brush-back – A pitch which is thrown to intentionally intimidate the batter.
  • Bunt – To hit the ball deliberately weakly to a certain area in the field. This tactic is used to allow the baserunners to advance around the diamond, or when the infielders are playing back away from the batter.
  • BFP – Batters paced pitching.
  • BS – Blown saves. When a pitcher is called in to save a situation but surrenders the lead at any point during his appearance.
  • Campaign – Season.
  • Can of corn – Easily caught fly ball.
  • Catcher’s Interference – When the catcher gets in the way of the batter swinging for the ball.
  • Category 1 Start – Start when pitcher throws 100 pitches or less.
  • Category 2 Start – Start when pitcher throws 101 – 109 pitches.
  • Category 3 Start – Start when pitcher throws 110 – 121 pitches.
  • Category 4 Start – Start when pitcher throws 122 – 132 pitches.
  • Category 5 Start – Start when pitcher throws 133 pitches or more.
  • Caught Napping – When a base runner is tagged out because they were not paying attention.
  • Charging The Mound – When the batter assaults the pitcher after being hit by the pitch.
  • Chopper – A batted ball the straight away hits the ground in front of the home plate.
  • Crossed Up – When a pitcher throws a different type of ball than the one that has been called by the catcher.
  • Dinger – Slang for a home run.
  • Doctoring The Ball – When a foreign substance, such as Vaseline or saliva, is applied to the ball, giving it an unnatural spin or pitch. This became illegal in 1920.
  • Double Play – When two players are put out.
  • Double Switch – Player substitution. Allows the manager to make a pitching and fielding substitution, while improving the batting line up at the same time.
  • Double Header – When two games are played by the same teams in one day.
  • Drop Rate – Percentage chance that a player will not have any major league plate appearances in a season.
  • Full Count – When the count is 3 balls and 2 strikes, meaning that another strike will result in a strikeout, whereas another ball with result in a walk.
  • G/F – Ratio of ground balls to fly balls.
  • Get On One’s Horse – When the fielder runs as fast as possible to catch the ball.
  • Going Yard – To hit a home run.
  • Grand Slam – When a home run is hit and all the bases are occupied.
  • Horsehide – The ball.
  • Hurler – Slang for the pitcher.
  • Jeremy Giambi Effect – Correlation between playing time and quality of performance.
  • Knuckleball – Ball thrown without any spin.
  • Line-up – Batting order.
  • Men In Blue – Slang for the umpires.
  • NP – Total number of pitches thrown.
  • Northpaw – Right-handed hitter.
  • Out Of Baseball – A tag which is given to a player when his drop rate is more than 66.7%
  • Park adjustment – This is an adjustment given due to the fact that it is easier to hit in some parks than others.
  • Passed Ball (PB) – A catcher is charged with a PB when he or she fails to catch, hold or control a batted ball which the umpire believes he or she could have caught, held or controlled.
  • Pearl – Slang for baseball.
  • Pinch Hitter – A substitute batter.
  • Punch & Judy Hitter – A hit with very little power.
  • Run batted in (RBI) – Run that is scored due to a hit.
  • Scrubs & Stars Chart – This is a chart which shows the probability that a player will show a given level of performance throughout the season.
  • Senior Circuit – Term used to refer to the National League, as it is the older of the two.
  • Series – A set of games held between two teams.
  • Southpaw – Left-handed hitter.
  • Switch Hitter – A batter who can hit both right- and left-handed.
  • TTO – Stands for three true outcomes. Measures the home runs, walks and strikeouts.
  • Uncle Charlie – Slang for a curveball.
  • Wild Pitch – A pitch that would be impossible for the catcher to catch with normal effort.