What Is A Putout In Baseball

What is a putout in baseball? You’ve probably heard of a shutout or strikeout. However, a putout can be confusing. Let’s discover it in the article below.


What is a putout in baseball? Baseball is widely seen as a sport of a miss. Actually, Ted Williams, one of the best players of all time, stated that baseball might be the only sport in which someone might succeed 3 out of 10 times and still be regarded as successful. 

What happens the remaining 7 times? The batter, on the other hand, is the putout victim. So, what is put out? Let’s find out now.

What is a putout in baseball

What Is A Putout In Baseball?

A putout happens when a defensive baseball player makes an out against a baserunner or a batter by tagging a base, tagging a runner, or capturing a fly ball. The first base position usually gets the most putouts because of ground balls. Meanwhile, the catcher position ranks second due to strikeouts.

At a glance, the definition of a putout appears basic and easy, and to a large extent. Yes, it is correct. But there’s more than it; we’ll inspect the putout thoroughly below.

What Is A Putout In Baseball - Easy Explanation

A Baseball putout

In Which Cases A Putout Occurs

A putout occurs when a player touches a base before the runner or the batter, tags a runner out, catches a fly ball, or catches a third strike. When a fielder is the closest defender and interference occurs, he could also be given a putout. With that in mind, we’ll go over each situation in depth.

A Force Play

When a runner must make it to a base, they may be forced out when a rival with the ball gets that base beforehand. The first force play situation includes a force. 

As almost force-out situations include a ground ball on the field, it is one of the most typical possibilities. The majority of these include many fielders, and they must be distinguished when giving putouts.

For instance, a batter hits a ground ball in the shortstop position. Then, the fielder tosses it to the first position to remove the batter. Thus, the first baseman is granted the putout. The shortstop will be given an assist, but we will discuss it later.

Many ground ball outs are recorded by other teammates rather than the person who fielded the first hit ball. But when the fielder reaches a base before the runner gets there on a force play, he will be credited with the putout.

A Tag Play

A tag out, also known as a tag, is when a fielder tags him with the ball. Our second scenario features a tag play. It’s true for every play that isn’t a force play. In this situation, a fielder tagging out a runner is awarded a putout. It appears to be straightforward.

Just like force play, there are also cases the player making the putout is not the player fielding the first hit ball. For example, runners may get tagged out on caught stealing or a pickoff attempt. It results in a putout for the one who made the tag on the baserunner.

Fly Balls 

A fly ball is a batted ball launched exceedingly high in the air. A fly ball can land in the foul or fair zone. However, the fielder attempts to grab the ball before it reaches the ground to record an out. 

It refers to all balls the fielder caught in the air, regardless of balls to line drives, outfield, or infield pop-ups. Flyball fielding is an important element of a defensive player’s duty in baseball. 

To effectively catch a fly ball, we must be able to evaluate the course of the ball as it travels in the air and rushes toward the area. Fielders should then strive to position themselves so the ball is directly in front of them. It allows them to move forward when catching and preparing to throw the ball.


The next scenario is strikeouts. Many strikeouts are straightforward. The catcher catches the final pitch. A catcher receives a putout for each strikeout recorded by a pitcher.

However, there are also exceptions. The dropped third strike was one of the exceptions. The catcher may not always handle a third strike properly, enabling a batter to try to reach first base.

However, there will be no putout when a catcher cannot make an out with a dropped third strike. 

Interference Call 

The final situation is the most unusual, an interference call. There are four types of interference, but just two of them may be recorded as outs. They are fan interference and offensive interference.

Offensive interference occurs when a hitter or runner prevents a fielder from performing a play. In that situation, the offensive player is ruled out, and that fielder will win credit for a putout.

Fan interference occurs when a spectator reaches over a barrier and touches a live ball. When an umpire judges that a spectator stepped on the field to prevent a ball from being caught, the player trying to get the catch is given a putout.

What Is The Difference Between A Putout And An Assist?

An assist has a specific definition. Let’s begin by defining certain terms. An assist occurs when a fielder contacts the ball before a different fielder finishes the play. Formally, a fielder may record an assist even if the touch was intended. 

An assist occurs when one fielder catches a ground ball and delivers it to another, who makes the out. There might even be 2 assists in case of a double play.

As previously defined, a putout occurs when the fielder is the one who accomplishes the play themself. An assist is not credited to that fielder. 

Who Are MLB Putout Leaders?

Naturally, the first base has more outs than any other spot on the baseball field. The Major League Baseball overall putout record is 23,767. It is held by first baseman Jake Beckley of the Hall of Fame. He played from around 1888 to 1907. 

Meanwhile, Jiggs Donahue established the single-season record at 1,846 for the 1907 Chicago White Sox. Since strikeouts were substantially lower in the beginning stages of baseball, there were larger putout totals in the field, particularly in the first base and infield. 

For the majority of the putouts resulting from strikeouts, It has steadily increased after World War II. Every one of the top 30 catchers debuted in 1955. Roberto Perez was the very first player to do a putout at a position apart from first base.

What Is A Putout In Baseball - Easy Explanation

first baseman Jake Beckley


What is a putout in baseball? It is just when a defensive player does an out against a baserunner or a batter. There are different cases to make a putout, including a force play, a tag play, and fly balls. You can see the examples above to understand it clearly.

Author: https://askmebaseball.com/

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