What Is an Assist in Baseball?

What Is an Assist in Baseball?

Are you an avid baseball fan or aspiring athlete looking to improve your game? Developing a better understanding of the sport starts with learning the rules and associations with player plays. One such concept is the “assist” that denotes when a fielder helps put out another player while they are trying to make a play. In this blog post, we’ll break down what an assist in baseball means, how it’s awarded, and how these stats can give more insight into pitchers and fielders alike so you can cheer for your favorite players like never before!

Definition of an Assist in Baseball

In baseball, an assist is a statistic that awards a fielder credit for contributing to the out recorded on a batted ball. Every time a fielder makes contact with the ball before it goes to another fielder who records an out, it is officially recorded. All fielders, with the exception of pitchers who have their own set of statistics, can be rewarded with an assist for a job well done. The official scorer rules decide if an assist should be given or not based on how much involvement the fielder had in getting the out.

Assists are typically awarded for plays where a fielder catches a line drive, fields a ground ball cleanly, or makes a throw from the field directly to another player who records an out. A defensive player must have made contact with the baseball in some way to be eligible for an assist, and must have had a reasonable opportunity to complete the play. The official scorer decides if the player deserved credit based on these criteria, regardless of whether or not he successfully completed the play.

Assists are an important statistic when it comes to evaluating defensive players’ performances. They can show how many plays a fielder was involved in that resulted in outs throughout the course of the game, which can give insight into their overall efficiency as defenders. This is why assists are kept track of along with other fielding statistics such as putouts and errors. Together they form what is known as a fielder’s fielding percentage, which asserts how well a player fields his position compared to other players at his position. Assists are also important to pitchers, as they can help lower earned run averages (ERAs) if their defense is able to record outs in the process. [1]

Definition of an Assist in Baseball

What is a Putout in Baseball?

A putout, in baseball, is a statistic credited to a defensive player who records an out by throwing the ball to another fielder or tagging a runner with the ball. Putouts can occur in various ways depending on the position of the fielder making the play. A pitcher earns a putout when they record an out while pitching, usually by getting a batter to ground into a double play or strike out swinging. An infielder earns a putout when they catch (or trap) a line drive before it hits the ground or throw the ball to another fielder and tag the base for an out. Similarly, an outfielder will earn a putout when they catch (or trap) a flyball before it hits the ground.

The catcher also earns a putout when they record an out by throwing the ball to another fielder or tagging a runner with the ball. The first baseman earns a putout when they catch (or trap) a throw from any other fielder for an out or tag the base for an out. Putouts are credited to individual fielders and tallied as part of their stats at the end of each game.

Putouts are often confused with assists, which are similar but slightly different. An assist is credited to a defensive player who records an out by throwing the ball to another fielder in time for them to record the out, while a putout is awarded to the fielder that actually records the out.

How Does an Outfielder Get an Assist?

Outfielders usually get an assist when they make a successful throw to the infielder who tags out a runner. To be credited with an assist, the fielder must either record an out directly or prevent a runner from advancing one extra base. For example, if the outfielder catches the ball and throws it to a second baseman who fields it cleanly and then throws it home for an out, both players will receive assists in this play. Outfielders also get assists when they catch fly balls that retire runners on their own base.

In certain situations, outfielders can even receive an assist if they deflect the ball off their body while attempting to make a play. This applies only when another fielder is able to use the deflection to record an out. For instance, if a center fielder dives for the ball and deflects it away from the right fielder but into the glove of a shortstop, who tags out the runner, then both outfielders would receive assists on this play.

In some cases, an outfielder can get credited with multiple assists on a single play. This occurs when they field a ground ball or catch a fly ball and throw it to two different players who collaborate to record an out at home plate. In this instance, all three players involved in making the play will be given assists.

At the end of each game, teams review all plays that occurred during the game and assign assists to the fielding players accordingly. These stats are then compiled and used to judge player performance and highlight individuals who are particularly skilled fielders. In general, a player with a high number of assists is considered by coaches and scouts to be an adept fielder. [2]

How Does an Outfielder Get an Assist?

How Do You Calculate Assists?

Calculating assists in baseball is a simple process that can be done using either box score information or play-by-play data. To calculate assists, simply add up the number of times a fielder touched the ball before it was put out on a specific play. This includes throwing the ball to another fielder or scooping a ground ball and throwing it to first base. Any combination of fielders touching the ball before an out has been recorded is considered an assist.

It’s important to note that to get credit for an assist, the fielder must have handled the ball cleanly—if there were any errors or wild pitches on the play, then no one gets credited with an assist.

Additionally, if two players both touch the same ball and record an out, then both players are credited with an assist. For example, if a first baseman scoops a grounder and throws it to the shortstop, who then throws it to the catcher for the out, then both the first baseman and shortstop receive assists on that play.

Finally, even if no one records an out on a play but all fielders touched the ball before a runner was forced out due to tag-ups or other base running plays, they will still be awarded assists. [3]

How Does a Pitcher Get an Assist?

When a pitcher records an out, he typically receives credit for an assist. When the ball is put in play and the fielder throws it to another fielder for the out, the pitcher gets credit for an assist. An example of this would be if a batter hits a ground ball to the shortstop who then throws it to first base for the out; both the shortstop and pitcher will receive assists on that play. If there are multiple players involved in getting an out, usually only one player will get credited with an assist (the player who threw or fielded last before the final out was made). Assists are also awarded to pitchers when they field bunts, squeeze plays, pickoff attempts, and other plays at home plate.

Though assists are typically given to the pitcher, they can also be credited to other players. If a batter hits a fly ball and an outfielder catches it for the out, he will receive an assist (as well as the pitcher). Catchers may also get assists if they catch a runner attempting to steal a base or field a bunt. On any play where two players touch the ball before it is fielded for an out, both of those players will usually receive assists.

How Does a Pitcher Get an Assist?

What Position Gets The Most Assists?

In baseball, the position that typically gets the most assists is the shortstop. Shortstops usually get more assists because they have to field and throw a lot of ground balls. Additionally, shortstops are often between second base and third base when runners are trying to advance, giving them more opportunities to make plays in those situations as well.

Other positions with lots of chances for assists include second basemen and third basemen, who also handle plenty of grounders. Outfielders can sometimes make throws home from their positions on certain plays, which could lead to an assist as well. In summary, any player can potentially receive an assist if they help complete a play that results in an out or runner being thrown out at any base. However, shortstops usually end up with the most assists due to their positioning on the field.

It’s important to note that assists are not always credited properly in a box score. Assists can be missed or added incorrectly if an official scorer is confused about who made a certain play. This often happens when multiple players make plays at the same time and it’s difficult to decipher exactly who deserves credit for the assist. As such, many times you won’t find an accurate count of all assists in box scores from games. [4]

When Is An Assist Not Counted?

In baseball, an assist is not always counted. There are certain situations when a fielder’s participation in a play does not result in an assist being awarded. For instance, if the fielder fields the ball and throws it to a base but the runner was already out due to other circumstances (e.g. force play), then no assist will be recorded.

Similarly, if an outfielder throws to home plate while attempting to prevent a run from scoring, but the runner has already touched home plate before the throw arrives, then again no assist will be given. In general, any time that there is doubt as to whether or not the fielder had a direct influence over whether or not the runner was retired, no assist will be credited.

Additionally, if the fielder throws to a base and the ball is dropped by the fielder at that base, no assist will be recorded. This is because it is assumed that if he had thrown the ball accurately, then the out would have been made. Therefore, no credit can be given for an inaccurate throw.

Finally, if the fielder fields a ground ball but does not make any attempt to throw it to another base for an out or force play, then no assist will be awarded. The fielder must demonstrate his intent to record an out in order for an assist to be counted. [5]

When Is An Assist Not Counted?


What is considered an assist in baseball?

An assist in baseball is a statistic credited to a defensive player who fields or throws a batted or thrown ball in such a way that it puts out another runner. Generally, an assist is credited when the throw retires a runner on the bases and the fielder had no other involvement in the play. For a fielder to get credit for an assist, the ball must be placed into play by either being caught on a fly ball or by being fielded on a ground ball. In some cases, an error may be charged instead of an assist if it results in putting out another runner. Assists are not awarded for pickoff plays at any base or tagging out runners trying to advance from one base to another. Additionally, assists are not given for reaching on error or catching a foul fly ball.

Are there any other ways to get an assist?

Yes, there are other ways to get credited with an assist that do not involve fielding the ball. For instance, if a runner is thrown out at home plate following a fielder’s throw from the outfield and it was determined that the outfielder’s accurate throw caused the runner to be tagged out, then the outfielder would be credited with an assist. Additionally, if a fielder takes part in a double play by either catching and throwing or tossing the ball to another defensive player who then throws out a runner at first base, then both players involved in the putout will receive assists. Finally, if two fielders combine to put out a runner at any base, both will be credited with assists.

What is the maximum number of assists a player can get in one game?

The maximum number of assists a player can receive in one game is three. This is because an assist is only given for putting out runners on the bases and there are only three bases that must be defended. So if a fielder puts out two runners on one play (such as on a double-play), he or she will still only receive credit for one assist.  Additionally, if multiple players are involved in putting out a runner, then each player will only receive one assist even though more than one was involved in the putout. Therefore, it is very rare for an individual player to receive more than three assists in a single game.

What is the difference between a putout and an assist in baseball?

A putout is when a fielder touches the ball and puts an opposing runner out, which results in an out. An assist is when a fielder throws or fields the ball to another fielder who then records the putout. Assists are recorded for all outs except strikeouts, double plays, and caught-stealings. In these cases, only the player making the final out is credited with a putout. For example, if a shortstop fields a ground ball and throws it to first base for an out, they would be credited with an assist while the first baseman would receive credit for the putout. A pitcher who strikes out a batter receives credit for both an inning pitched and a strikeout (K). Assists can also be credited after catches made by outfielders, and they are typically credited when a fielder throws out an opposing runner attempting to steal a base.

How many dribbles is an assist?

An assist in baseball is a statistic awarded to a fielder or pitcher who helps put out the batter, but it is not directly related to dribbles. Instead, an assist is given when a fielder touches the ball before recording an out on that play. This usually occurs when a fielder throws the ball to another fielder for them to catch and record an out. So, while assists may involve dribbling, they are mainly rewarded for throwing accuracy and speed. Additionally, an assist can also be awarded for catching pop-ups in foul territory. Regardless of how many times the ball is touched or how it was deflected, as long as the end result of the play involves one player throwing or catching it from another, then an assist will be recorded.

How many dribbles is an assist?

Can 2 players get an assist?

Yes, two players can get an assist for the same play. This usually occurs when the first fielder throws or catches the ball to another player, who then throws it to another player to record an out. In such cases, each fielder involved would be credited with an assist. However, if a fielder simply deflected the ball without actually throwing it and didn’t help put out any runners, then they wouldn’t be awarded with an assist. In conclusion, assists are awarded for helping put out batters when fielding or pitching and involve either throwing or catching the ball from another player before recording a putout.

Useful Video: What Is An Assist In Baseball? Let’s find out!


An assist in baseball is an important statistic that is used to measure a fielder’s performance. It can be awarded to any player who touches the ball before it reaches its intended destination and helps to record their contribution to a successful play. Assists allow us to quantify the skill of players and provide insight into which fielders are most effective in their roles. They also give fans and coaches a better understanding of how well certain players are making plays on defense, allowing for adjustments in strategy if necessary. With assists, we can ensure that every fielder gets the credit they deserve for helping make great defensive plays!

In conclusion, assists in baseball are an invaluable statistic that help accurately measure each fielder’s effectiveness while playing defense. They can help to recognize and reward players for their skill and allow us to track the progress of the players more accurately. With assists, we can ensure that no player goes unrecognized and make sure they get credit where it is due. Assists are a key component in evaluating the performance of any fielders play defense!

Thank you for taking the time to learn about assists in baseball!


  1. https://baseballscoring.wordpress.com/site-index/putouts-and-assists/
  2. https://gsportszone.com/what-is-an-assist-in-baseball/
  3. https://24hourtopics.com/what-is-an-assist-in-baseball/
  4. https://baseballrulesacademy.com/official-rule/mlb/9-10-assists/
  5. https://sportsalizer.com/assist-in-baseball/