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All About Fielder’s Choice in Baseball: Rules Scoring and Strategy

A Guide to Fielder’s Choice in Baseball: Definition, Rule, and Scoring

Baseball is a sport of strategy, teamwork, and skill. A lot is happening on the field at the same time, and understanding all the rules and terminology can be daunting for a newcomer.

If you are wondering what a fielder’s choice is in baseball, how it’s ruled, scored, and its impact on batting average, this guide has got you covered. What is a Fielder’s Choice in Baseball?

A fielder’s choice is a play in which a fielder chooses to put out a runner instead of attempting to put out the batter. Typically, a fielder’s choice happens when there is more than one runner on base, and a ground ball is hit to an infielder.

The infielder has to decide which runner to try to get out, the one running towards the next base or the one already occupying the base. The infielder then throws the ball to the corresponding base to retire the runner.

The batter is not credited with a hit because the fielder had a choice to put out the runner instead of the batter. Rule on Fielder’s Choice

According to Major League Baseball (MLB) rules, a fielder’s choice is a type of putout that is recorded when a defensive player forces a runner to advance or remain on a base other than the one he or she previously occupied.

A fielder’s choice can happen in a force play when the batter hits a ground ball, and the defensive team has the ball. The defender has a choice of play because there is a runner on base.

If the defender throws the ball to first base to retire the batter, but another runner is forced out at second base, the putout is recorded as a fielders choice. In non-force situations, a fielder’s choice can happen when there is no time to put out the batter, and the defender decides to retire a runner who is closer to the next base.

For example, if there are runners on first and third base, and a ground ball is hit to the shortstop, the shortstop may decide to throw the ball to second base to retire the runner going to second instead of throwing to first base to retire the batter. Scoring a Fielder’s Choice

Scoring in baseball is recorded in a box score that summarizes the game’s events.

A fielder’s choice is scored as FC in the shorthand notation. The play does not count as a hit in the batter’s statistics, even if he or she reaches first base safely.

A batter can only be credited with a hit if the ball is hit into open space and not caught in the air or grabbed by a fielder on the bounce. In a fielder’s choice, the batter is deemed to have made an out at first base, even if he or she reaches safely if the fielder had a chance to put out a runner but chose to put out the batter.

Does a Fielder’s Choice Count Against Batting Average? A fielder’s choice does not count against a batter’s batting average.

However, it does affect the number of at-bats a batter has had. An at-bat (AB) is recorded when a batter faces a pitcher and does not walk, sacrifice, or get replaced by another batter.

In a fielder’s choice, the batter is not charged with an at-bat even though an out is recorded. Thus, a batter’s batting average is calculated by dividing the number of hits with the number of official at-bats.

Since a fielder’s choice does not count as an official at-bat, it does not affect a batter’s batting average. A batter’s on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG) will also not be affected by a fielder’s choice if he or she reaches first base safely.

The OBP is calculated by dividing the number of times a batter reaches base (hits plus walks plus hit-by-pitched-balls) by the number of official at-bats plus walks plus hit-by-pitched-balls plus sacrifice flies. The SLG is calculated by dividing the total number of bases reached on hits by the number of official at-bats.

Reasoning Behind Scoring

The reason why a fielder’s choice does not count towards a batter’s batting average is that it is not the batter’s skill that resulted in the play. Instead, it was the fielder’s decision to put out a runner that created the play.

The fielder had a choice to put out the runner, and it was not a situation where the batter hit the ball and created an opening for a base runner to advance. Therefore, the fielder’s choice recording is a reflection of the fielder’s decision and not the batter’s skill.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the rules and terminology of baseball can be challenging. A fielder’s choice is a play in which the fielder chooses to put out a runner instead of attempting to put out the batter.

Scoring in baseball is recorded in a box score that summarizes the game’s events. A fielder’s choice does not count against a batter’s batting average, and it is not credited with a hit.

It is essential to understand these rules to accurately interpret the game’s statistics and appreciate the intricacies of baseball’s strategy and gameplay. Can a Batter Earn an RBI on a Fielder’s Choice?

A run batted in (RBI) is a statistic credited to a batter when the batter hits a ball that allows a run to score. In a fielder’s choice, the batter did not get a hit, but it resulted in a runner scoring a run.

Therefore, the question arises: Can a batter earn an RBI on a fielder’s choice?

Conditions for an Earned RBI

The answer is yes. A batter can earn an RBI on a fielder’s choice if the run scores because of the batter’s action.

The official scorer determines whether the batter earns an RBI based on the following conditions:

1. The run scored as a result of the batter putting the ball into play and not due to an error by the fielder.

2. The batter did not ground into a double play.

3. If the batter hits a ground ball that results in a force out, then the runner from third base scores, an RBI is awarded to the batter.

In the case of a fielder’s choice, if a fielder chooses to throw out the runner at home plate instead of trying to put out the batter, the batter is still credited with an RBI if the runner from third base scores.

Comparison to Grounding into a Double Play

On the other hand, if the fielder chooses to throw the ball to second base instead of first to get the runner going to the next base, and the throw gets there in time to put out the runner trying to score, the batter is not credited with an RBI. This scenario is similar to grounding into a double play.

Grounding into a double play is when a runner is put out at both second base and first base in the same play, with the batter not getting on base. An RBI is not awarded if the batter grounds into a double play, even if a runner scores.

Therefore, the major difference between the two scenarios is that the batter can be awarded an RBI on a fielder’s choice, while in a double play scenario, the batter does not earn an RBI. The reason for this is that the batter’s action in a fielder’s choice sets up the play, whereas the batter’s action in a double play results in taking two runners off the basepath.

Productivity of a Fielder’s Choice

The interpretation of a fielder’s choice can be seen both positively and negatively. If a player hits into a fielder’s choice and no runners are on base, it is seen as an unproductive out.

If a player hits into a fielder’s choice with runners on base, it is viewed as a productive out because the batter made contact with the ball, and it resulted in a runner scoring. In essence, whether or not a fielder’s choice is a productive play depends on the number of outs, the number of runners on base, and the final outcome of the play.

If a fielder’s choice is the only way a team can score a run, then it is better than not scoring at all, but if there are better scoring opportunities to take advantage of, then a fielder’s choice may not be seen as a productive play. Glass Half-Full or Glass Half-Empty?

In conclusion, a fielder’s choice is a nuanced play in baseball that is dependent on many factors. Whether a batter gets credited with an RBI depends on the circumstances surrounding the play.

A fielder’s choice is neither a bad play nor a great one on its own. It can be seen in a positive light or a negative one, depending on the outcome.

Some would say it’s half-full, while others may say it’s half-empty. Regardless of how it’s viewed, a fielder’s choice is an essential play in baseball for both the offensive and defensive strategies of the game.

In summary, a fielder’s choice in baseball is a play in which a fielder chooses to put out a runner instead of the batter, and a batter can earn an RBI if the run scores because of the batter’s action. The outcome of a fielder’s choice depends on the circumstances surrounding the play, and it is neither a good nor a bad play on its own.

Understanding the rules and terminology surrounding fielder’s choice helps to accurately interpret the game and appreciate the intricacies of baseball.

FAQs:

1.

Can a batter earn an RBI on a fielder’s choice? Yes, a batter can earn an RBI on a fielder’s choice if the run scores because of the batter’s action, and the fielder did not make an error.

2. Does a fielder’s choice count against a batter’s batting average?

No, a fielder’s choice does not count against a batter’s batting average. 3.

What is a productive fielder’s choice? A fielder’s choice is productive if it results in a runner scoring or if it’s the only way a team can score a run.

4. What’s the difference between earning an RBI on a fielder’s choice and grounding into a double play?

Earning an RBI on a fielder’s choice is possible if a runner scores because of the batter’s action, while grounding into a double play does not result in an RBI credited to the batter.

5.

Why is understanding fielder’s choice important in baseball? Understanding fielder’s choice helps to accurately interpret the game’s statistics and appreciate the intricacies of baseball’s strategy and gameplay.

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