Let’s take a look at the top 100 baseball terms and stat acronyms commonly used during games that every player and fan should know.
Have you ever been watching or listening to a baseball game and heard the announcer use a term that you didn’t understand? We have all been there. New baseball fans and old veterans alike can use an update on the ever-changing language of baseball.
If you are a coach or avid baseball fan, you should also learn how to score a baseball game.
Baseball Abbreviations and Acronyms Used for Pitching and Hitting Statistics
To start things off we are going to look at some of the acronyms used for both pitching and hitting statistics.
BB: Base on balls, also called a walk – when a pitcher throws four balls and the batter is entitled to walk to first base.
G/GP: Games/Games Played – the number of times a player has appeared in a game.
H: Hits – when a batter successfully hits the baseball into fair territory and reaches a base.
HR: Home runs, when a pitch results in the batter making a full circuit of the bases and scoring a run.
IBB: Intentional walks – occurs when a team intentionally puts a batter on first base instead of letting him hit.
K or ꓘ: Strikeouts – when a batter fails to successfully make a hit.
LOB: Left on base – the number of players left on bases at the end of an inning or left on base after an individual player is struck out.
R: Runs – when a player scores a run.
SB: Stolen bases – when a player advances a base when he is not eligible.
WAR: Wins Above Replacement – Sabermetric baseball statistic to sum up a player’s total contributions to his team based on batting runs, baserunning runs, fielding runs, positional adjustment runs and replacement level runs. Two of the most common WAR statistics are Baseball-Reference bWAR and Fangraphs fWAR.
Baseball Abbreviations and Acronyms for Pitching Statistics
There are a lot of statistics when it comes to pitching. Some of these terms are also commonly used by announcers when calling a game.
AO: Fly outs or air balls – when a batter hits the ball high into the air.
BF/TBF/BFP: Batters Faced – the number of batters who have faced the pitcher.
BK: Balk – when a pitcher makes an illegal motion or action.
CBO: Combined shutout – when a pitcher is part of a shutout even if they did not pitch the entire game.
CG: Complete game – when a pitcher pitches an entire game.
CGL: Complete game losses – when a pitcher pitches an entire game that ends in a loss.
ER: Earned Runs – any run scored against a pitcher.
ERA: Earned Run Average – the average number of runs earned against a pitcher through nine innings.
GF: Games Finished – the number of games where the pitcher is the last pitcher to pitch for his team.
GO: Groundouts – when the batter hits the ball on the ground and is tagged out before reaching first base.
GOAO: Groundouts/Fly Outs Ratio – the ratio of ground outs to fly outs.
GS: Games started – the number of times a pitcher has thrown the first pitch for his team.
HBP: Hits-by-pitch or hit batters – when a pitched ball hits the batter and the batter walks to first base.
IP: Innings pitched – the number of innings that the pitcher has remained in the game.
IRA: Inherited runs allowed – the number of players on base when a relief pitcher enters the game that later go on to score a run.
IPS: Innings per start – average number of innings pitched per game started.
L: Losses – the number of games pitched that resulted in a loss.
OBA: Opponents’ batting average – the batting average of all batters against a pitcher.
PA: Plate appearances – the number of pitches thrown per plate appearance.
RPF: Relief failures – the number of times a game ends in a loss where the pitcher is brought in as a relief pitcher.
RW: Relief wins – the number of times a game ends in a win where the pitcher is brought in as a relief pitcher.
S/SHO: Shutouts – the number of games the pitcher has pitched where the opposing team does not score a run.
SV: Saves – when a relief pitcher enters the game under certain circumstances and the game ends in a win.
SVO: Save opportunities – when a relief pitcher enters the game where they can earn a save.
TB: Total bases – the number of bases earned by runners against a pitcher.
W: Wins – the number of wins recorded by a pitcher.
WHIP: Walks + Hits/Innings Pitched – the number of walks and hits allowed by the pitcher over the innings they have pitched.
WP: Wild pitches – when a pitcher throws a pitch so wildly that the catcher cannot handle the ball and the batter makes it to first base.
Baseball Abbreviations and Acronyms for Offensive Statistics
Offensive players have several different statistics that are used to demonstrate how good or bad they are at hitting.
AB: At Bats – the number of times a player has been up to bat.
AVG/BA: Batting average – the ratio of hits to at bats.
CS: Caught stealing – when a runner tries to steal a base but is tagged out before reaching the base.
GIDP: Ground into double plays – when a batter hits a ground ball that results in multiple outs.
GRSL: Grand slams – occurs when a batter hits a home run while the bases are loaded, resulting in four runs scored.
HRr: Home run ratio – home runs scored per plate appearance.
ISO: Isolated power – the computed measurement of a batter’s raw power.
OBP: On-base percentage – the average number of times a batter reaches a base per plate appearance.
OPS: On-base plus slugging – the sum of a players on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
RBI: Runs batted in – when a batter hits a pitch that results in a teammate scoring a run.
SF: Sacrifice fly – when a fly-ball is hit to the outfield or foul territory that results in a run scored.
SH: Sacrifice hits or bunts – when a batter advances at least once runner with a bunt hit.
S/1B: Single – when a batter makes a successful hit and reaches first base.
SLG: Slugging percentage – average number of bases recorded per at-bat.
SB%: Stolen-base percentage – the number of times a player successfully steals a base to the number of steal attempts.
SBR: Stolen base runs – the number of runs scored as the result of a player stealing bases.
TB: Total bases – the number of bases gained by a hitter through his at-bats.
3B: Triples – occurs when a batter makes a successful hit and reaches third base.
Baseball Abbreviations and Acronyms for Defensive Statistics
Defensive players are not to be overlooked. They are incredibly important to the game and have multiple statistics with matching acronyms. View their position numbers to understand how to score defensive plays.
A: Assists – when a fielder helps in a putout.
DP: Double plays – when two runners are ruled out on the same play.
E: Error – when a fielder fails to convert an out that he otherwise should have.
OFA: Outfield assist – when an outfielder assists in scoring an out.
PB: Passed ball – when a catcher cannot keep control of a pitch that he otherwise should have.
PK: Pickoff – when a pitcher throws the ball to a fielder that eventually results in scoring a baserunner out.
PO: Putout – when a fielder records a baserunner out.
TC: Total chances – the number of times a player has the opportunity to record an out.
TP: Triple plays – when a team records three outs in a single play.
Common Baseball Slang Terms
There are a lot of terms used during an average baseball game. Here are some of the most commonly used baseball terms that players and fans should know.
Ace: The team’s number one starting pitcher.
Ahead in the count: Signifies who has the advantage in an at-bat, the hitter or the pitcher.
Air mail: When a player throws the ball over the head of another player.
Alley: The area between two outfield players.
Around the horn: A double play where the third baseman throws the ball to second and then the second baseman throws to first for two outs.
Backdoor: Usually a breaking pitch that looks like it will be outside the strike zone but then breaks back over home plate.
Bad hop: When a groundball makes an unpredictable jump or change in direction.
Bag or Sack: A base.
Bandbox: A smaller ballpark that usually results in a lot of home runs.
Bang-Bang play: A play where the runner arrives at the base a split-second before the ball.
Barrel it up: Hitting the baseball with the sweet spot of the bat.
Base knock: When a batter hits a single.
Bases loaded: When there are runners on first, second, and third base.
Bat flip: A celebration from a batter usually after hitting a home run where the batter throws their bat in the air.
Battery or Battermates: A pitcher and catcher pair.
Bender: Another word used to describe a curveball.
Big fly: A home run.
Bigs or Big Leagues: A term used to refer to the major leagues.
Blistered: When a ball is hit exceptionally hard.
Blue: An umpire, refers to their dark blue uniform.
Bomb: Another word used for a home run.
Bonus baseball or Free baseball: Occurs when a game goes beyond the normal nine innings.
Bump: The pitcher’s mound.
Bunt: When a hitter holds the baseball bat in front of him to lightly hit the ball instead of taking a full swing.
Cannon: A powerful throwing arm.
Caught looking: When the batter does not swing on the third strike out.
Cellar: A team that is currently last place in their division.
Changeup: A type of pitch that is meant to look faster than it is.
Cheese: Another word for a fastball.
Circus catch: When an outfitter makes an acrobatic catch.
Cleanup batter: Refers to the fourth batter in the batting lineup. Usually a power hitter that has the opportunity to hit with more players on base.
Clear the bases: When a hit results in all the baserunners scoring.
Closer: A relief pitcher that is regularly used to finish games.
Cookie: A pitch that is easy to hit.
Corked bat: An illegal bat that often has a cork core in the wooden barrel.
Count: The number of balls and strikes on a batter.
Crackerjack: Refers to a skilled player with a lot of power.
Dig it out: When a fielder picks up a low ball.
Dinger: A home run.
Double: When a batter makes a successful hit and reaches second base.
Drilled: When a batter is hit by a pitch.
Ducks on the pond: When the bases are loaded or at least two players in scoring position.
Find a gap: Hitting the ball between the gap between infielders.
Find a gap: hitting the ball between the gap in the outfielders.
Fishing: When a player at-bat swings at a ball that is outside of the strike zone.
Flashing the leather: When a fielder makes a terrific play.
Flutterball: A knuckleball that “flutters” over home plate.
Fly ball or Pop fly: When a batter hits a ball high into the air.
Foul ball: When the baseball is hit outside of the field of play.
Full count: A full count of 3 balls and 2 strikes, the next ball will result in a walk while another strike will result in a strikeout.
Gas: A word used to describe a fastball.
Going yard: Hitting a home run.
Golden sombrero: Four strikeouts from a batter in one game.
Golfing: Taking a swing at a low pitch, especially one that is in the dirt.
Goose egg: Having zero points.
Ground ball or Grounder: When a baseball is hit on the ground.
Hack: When a batter takes a big swing.
Hard 90: Refers to the 90 feet between bases and is used to describe when a batter runs hard to a base.
Hat trick: Three strikeouts from a batter in one game.
Heater: Another word used for a fastball.
Hot corner: Another word for the third base.
Infielder: Players who play first base, second base, third base, or the shortstop positions.
Jack: Is another term for a home run.
Lead runner: Refers to the baserunner that is closest to home plate when there is more than one baserunner.
Lineup: The order in which players go up to bat.
Long strike: A long foul ball that is close to being fair and would likely result in a home run if it were hit within the field of play.
Lumber: A baseball bat that is made of wood.
Meatball: A pitch that is easy to hit.
Mendoza line: Named after Mario Mendoza, is a batting average of .200.
Moonshot: A soaring fly ball that usually results a home run.
No-hitter: A game where the pitcher does not give up any hits.
O-fer: When a batter does not score a hit.
On-deck: Refers to the next player up to bat.
Outfielder: Players who play the left field, right field, or center field positions.
Pinch hitter: A substitute batter.
Pine tar: A sticky substance that batters often use to increase their grip on the baseball bat.
Punch-out: Another word for a strikeout.
Rake: A player who can hit the ball well to all areas of the field.
Relief pitcher: A pitcher that enters the game to relieve the starting pitcher.
Ribbie: A nickname for a run batted in.
Rubber arm: A pitcher that can throw a lot of pitches without getting tired.
Runners at the corners: When there are runners on first and third base.
Shot: Describes a hard-hit ball or a home run.
Single: When a batter makes a successful hit and reaches first base.
Slugger: A power hitter.
Southpaw: Refers to a left-handed player.
Switch-hitter: A batter than can hit from both the left and right side of the plate.
Take the hill: When a pitcher steps onto the pitching mound.
Tater: Another word for a home run.
Tossed: When a player or coach is ejected from the game.
Triple: When a batter makes a successful hit on the ball and reaches third base.
Uncle Charlie: Another word used for a curveball.
Utility player: A player that can play multiple positions.
Wheelhouse: A hitter’s power zone.
Wheels: Refers to a runner’s legs usually when he is moving extremely fast.
Window shopping: When a batter is looking for a hit but gets a third strike.
Yak: Another word for a home run.
Yard: The baseball field.
Yiketty: Another word for a home run.
Zip: Usually refers to the zip on a fastball.
There you have it, 100 of the most used baseball terms and stat acronyms that every player and fan should know. Hopefully, this list was helpful in helping you understand baseball lingo a little better. You are now ready to talk ball with the best of them.
Want to learn the entire language of baseball? The Dickson Baseball Dictionary has become an invaluable resource for those who love the game. Drawing on dozens of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century periodicals, as well as contemporary sources, Dickson’s brilliant, illuminating definitions trace the earliest appearances of terms both well known and obscure.