A Glossary of Baseball Positions and Their Abbreviations

By , Staff Editor
position names and their abbreviations from the article for a baseball team that is in the field
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Who’s on first? Baseball fans (and Abbott and Costello fans) know that this question isn’t easy to answer. The player who just hit the ball is probably the guy on first, but what about 1B — and where do the PH and PR come into play? Baseball position abbreviations help us understand where everyone is, and they’re not as tricky as they seem.

Abbreviations and Numbers for Baseball Field Positions

When one team is at bat, their opponent has nine players in the field. Each of these players holds a different position. For scorekeeping purposes, each of the main baseball positions is written as a standard number instead of an abbreviation.

Abbreviation

Position and Number

What Do They Do?

P

Pitcher (1)

Starts every play by throwing the ball; stands on the pitcher’s mound

C

Catcher (2)

Crouches behind home plate to catch pitches

1B

First Baseman (3)

Positioned closest to first base

2B

Second Baseman (4)

Positioned closest to second base

3B

Third Baseman (5)

Positioned closest to third base

SS

Shortstop (6)

Plays infield between second and third base

LF

Left Fielder (7)

Plays on left side of outfield

CF

Center Fielder (8)

Plays the middle of the outfield

RF

Right Fielder (9)

Plays on right side of outfield

IF

Infield

Square area inside the four bases

OF

Outfield

Playing area beyond the bases

SP

Starting Pitcher

Begins the game as pitcher

RP

Relief Pitcher

Takes over as pitcher

MRP

Middle Relief Pitcher

Takes over as pitcher in the middle of the game

LRP

Long Relief Pitcher

Relieves SP if he has to leave game early

CL/CP

Closer/Closing Pitcher

Comes in for final innings

Abbreviations for Baseball Hitters and Runners

When your team is up to bat, you’ll send nine players to the plate to take turns swinging at the ball. These batters are placed in a specific order based on their skills, and there are some special names for specific hitting positions too.

Abbreviation

Position

What Do They Do?

DH

Designated Hitter

Player allowed to bat instead of the pitcher

PH

Pinch Hitter

Replaces a batter

PR

Pinch Runner

Replaces a player on the base and runs for them

Softball Position Abbreviations

Softball is a modified form of baseball that uses a larger ball, fewer innings, and underhand pitching. Softball uses all the same abbreviations and numbers for the various positions that baseball uses. In many youth and slow-pitch softball leagues, there is also a number 10 position called the Extra Player, or EP.

Fantasy Baseball Positions

If you’re playing fantasy baseball, you might see a few different baseball position abbreviations. These abbreviations usually include a variety of positions for that spot on your team.

Abbreviation

Position

What Do They Do?

CI

Corner Infield

Any first or third baseman

MI

Middle Infield

Any second baseman or shortstop

Util

Utility

Any non-pitcher

Swing for the Fences

Baseball’s only fun if the guy on first eventually gets home (if he’s on the team you’re rooting for, that is). Learn more about the journey around the bases with basic baseball stats abbreviations. Curious about how this game even started? Check out these facts about baseball throughout history.