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Of the various positions and responsibilities of players on a baseball field, the two that have the most influence (arguably) include the batter and the pitcher. This is where it all kicks off, which is why we’d like to take some time to look into the differences between an MLB batter vs pitcher and see what they actually need to do in their given roles. If you follow baseball, it’s likely you will be familiar with what each player needs to do, but we’ve gone into a little more depth than usual right here. Below, you’ll find our full discussion of what each role entails and what features the best players have for each role.
Differences in responsibilities for an MLB batter vs pitcher
Without wasting any time, let’s get started by looking what the responsibilities of an MLB batter are:
MLB batter tasks
When a batter steps up to the plate, the primary objective is to connect with the ball and score runs. However, the objectives can be a little different depending on how things are looking in the game. For example, if a team is well behind in the score and desperate for runs, a stronger hitter might step up and try to slog a home run. However, if it’s the turn of a batter who isn’t super confident or strong on the plate, they might choose to bunt the ball and try to get on base. The latter still requires a decent batting average, with anything over .200 being considered respectable.
MLB pitcher tasks
As for the scope of the pitcher\’s responsibilities, they are very different from the batter. Of course, the pitcher is actually trying to get the batter out – that’s usually the first concern in a game. Of course, each innings requires the pitcher to get three players out so that their team can step up to bat and hopefully score some runs. How this is done depends on the pitcher\’s preferred style of throwing the ball, although there’s another responsibility in the pitcher\’s hands too.
Rather than simply trying to get the batter out by throwing three strikes, the pitcher needs to also keep an eye out for what any on-base batters are doing. Given that they can creep ahead of their bases to gain an advantage regarding how long it takes to get to the next one, the pitchers can actually get them out by catching them off base. So in that respect, you could say that a pitcher needs to have their wits about them a little more than a batter does.
Both positions require skill and expertise, but there’s more to consider in this MLB batter vs pitcher debate. We also need to think about the features of each player to perform their duties successfully. This is outlined below.
Important player features for each role
As you’d expect, the physical attributes and skills required to be a good player in either role are quite different from one another. To highlight exactly what’s required, we’ve looked into these traits below:
MLB batter traits
Above all traits, we believe that an MLB batter needs to have phenomenal strength to slug the ball deep into the field. Obviously, the most ideal scenario is for a hit to extend all the way for a home run, but this isn’t always possible. Whenever the home run isn’t landed, it helps to drive it deep to allow more time for themselves and teammates to get around the bases and pick up runs. This involves strength in the shoulders, wrists, and core.
If a home run isn’t hit, the batter needs to get around the bases as quickly as possible. This is especially true concerning how quickly they can get to first base. And on that note, if we take Trea Turner as an example, the guy can run at speeds higher than 30 meters per second – now that’s lightning!
MLB pitcher traits
While the pitcher can get the hitter out by throwing down three strikes, they can also let the hitter grab a free shot at first base should they throw three foul balls. Of course, there is a set zone that the pitcher needs to be able to throw into, and since they are throwing the ball at considerable speeds here – it takes a skillful player to have the accuracy required.
- Quick decision making
As we touched upon before, the pitcher not only needs to throw down difficult pitches for the batter to hit, but they also have to stay alert to what is going on around them. If there is an opposing player creeping on base behind them, they almost need a sixth sense, and then they have to get the ball to the base to catch the player out. These decisions are made in split seconds!