Often, we hear questions like “What position should I play in baseball?” For those just learning to play the game, choosing the best position to start with may be overwhelming.
This will depend on carefully assessing an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall skill set. Once defined, it would be easy to match them with suitable positions.
If you find yourself in the same situation, keep on reading. In this article, we’ll give you everything you need to choose the best position in baseball for you.
Table of Contents
- All Positions in Baseball
- How to Choose Your Baseball Position?
- Skills Needed for Each Position
- What is the Easiest and Hardest Position in Baseball?
- Tips to Determine Whether You’re Right or Left-handed
- Frequently Asked Questions
All Positions in Baseball
Baseball is a team sport. How many baseball positions are there? Well, each team consists of 9 players, each playing a different role in the game. However, unlike other sports, players’ positions in baseball can vary.
Apart from the pitcher and the catcher, there are no rules on the role of the remaining 7 players.
The coach can assign the team players to different positions depending on specific situations or game plans. Here’s a list of 9 main baseball positions for your reference:
- Left Field
- Center Field
- Right Field
- First Base
- Second Base
- Third Base
How to Choose Your Baseball Position?
Have you considered using an MLB position wheel because you don’t know which position you’ll be good at? Did you hope to find luck in whatever position the wheel lands on?
Instead of doing that, you can properly identify which position you can play.
Just like we mentioned above, the first step to answering “What position should I play in baseball?” is to assess your own skills.
You should know which areas you’re good at – these are your strengths. And you should also have an idea of which you need further improvement or your weaknesses.
To assess yourself properly, you should know all the skills needed to play baseball. These include:
- Arm Strength
- Soft Hands
For those new to baseball, it may be confusing to understand what’s behind these skills. We know that listing them like the above may not be enough for you to assess yourself.
To give you a closer look at how these skills will be applied in the game, we have dug deeper and made a comprehensive guide that’s helpful for newbies.
1. Catching Ability
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to baseball. At least once in your life, you must have played even a simple game of catch with a friend or family.
Good catching skills are essential for most player positions. It requires both physical strength and the ability to quickly assess and respond to the situation. Ask yourself if you’re good at it, and maybe you’re fit for a catcher!
2. Fielding Skills
If you have strong arms, can jump high, and are fast, then fielding positions may suit you. In fielding, your main responsibility would be catching the ball, whether it’s a fly ball or a ground ball.
Other than that, mental skills are required to be good at fielding, as you need to be agile and fast in making decisions.
3. Quickness on Foot
Baseball isn’t always about running. Still, it’s a skill that brings home the bacon. You can’t score a run without running!
A fast baseball player is a team’s advantage because they make the opposing team’s pitchers always on the lookout for them. This critical strategy can distract the opposing team’s play, ultimately preventing them from scoring.
So, check your running speed. If you think you’re not fast enough, don’t worry. It’s a skill that you can hone over time. Once you have impressive running speed, you may be fit for fielder positions.
4. Hitting Skills
Hitting is an essential and highly sought-after skill for baseball positions, especially for batters. At the end of the day, baseball is a game that centers around the art of hitting a ball with a bat.
If you want to know what position should you play in baseball Ask yourself if you can hit a ball or do it well.
Among the many characteristics of a good batter are having perfect timing, excellent control, and being mentally ready to hit the ball.
Assess if you’re confident in hitting the ball, even if all eyes are on you when you’re on the field. A strong grip and hand-eye coordination are needed to be a successful batter, so check if you already have these or if it’s time to practice.
5. Hand-eye Coordination
Hand-eye coordination is a skill that every baseball player should have. It allows you to rapidly swing the bat and make contact with a fast-moving ball at the precise moment.
You can have this skill already, but you can hone it the more you play in the field. To properly assess your hand-eye coordination skill, ask yourself how good you are at calculating throws, catches, and runs.
Skills Needed for Each Position
Now that you know the skills needed to play baseball, it’s time to match them to the corresponding positions that demand these skills.
To find where you’d fit in the position map, continue with the information about each player’s skill and baseball body type needed for each position.
Skills: Flexible, accurate, strong arm, mental toughness
Body Type: Tall, athletic
The most important position in baseball is the pitcher. A pitcher’s arm strength is needed for throwing fast. They also need to anticipate the hitter’s moves when in the field. Height is not everything, but tall pitchers have the potential for greater velocity.
Skills: Flexible, intelligent, strong and quick arm, soft hands, quick feet
Body Type: Medium height, flexible hips, and thick legs
Is catcher a good position in baseball for you based on the skills it demands? If you’re not a beginner and still ask, “What position should you play in baseball?” you may want to look into the catcher position.
It’s crucial in baseball and calls for intelligence more than athletic skills. In pitching, you also manage the skills of your teammates.
Of course, you need flexibility and quickness to be a good pitcher. As you’ll spend most of your time in a deep squat, it’s favorable if you have the body type we mentioned above.
3. First Base
Skills: Hand-eye coordination, excellent vision, solid receiving skills, average arm strength
Body Type: Tall, long arms, right or left-handed
Consider this one if you’re interested in scoring an important infield position and have good hand-eye coordination.
Being a first baseman does not need fast-running skills! You may be fit as a first baseman if you have most of the skills we mentioned, like solid receiving skills and excellent vision.
4. Second Base
Skills: Lateral quickness, good hands, average arm strength, agile
Body Type: Short, athletic, and left-handed
If you’re looking for baseball positions for short players, then you should look into being a second baseman. Especially if you have good fielding skills and side-to-side quickness, the second baseman position may be worth considering.
5. Third Base
Skills: Accurate, strong arms, quick reflexes, lateral quickness
Body Type: Medium height, right-handed
The third baseman needs quickness due to the high frequency of hard-hit balls being directed toward him or her.
To be a third baseman, you don’t need much agility and range compared to other diamond positions, namely second base, first base, and shortstop.
Skills: Very athletic, strong arms, lateral quickness, fast, soft hands
Body Type: Medium build, right-handed
The shortstop is the most athletic position in baseball. They receive the most balls because of where they are in the field.
If you’re still wondering, “What Position Should I Play in Baseball?” and have the skills we mentioned, like strong arms and soft hands, and are medium-built and right-handed, you should consider being a shortstop.
7. Left Field
Skills: Fast, strong arms atms, fielding skills
Body Type: Variety of body types, right or left-handed
One of the most important outfield positions is the left fielder. The good thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of particular skills, which is good for beginners.
8. Center Field
Skills: Fast running, good arm, and vision, great instincts
Body Type: A variety of body types
Being in the center field means you cover the most outfield ground in terms of player numbers on the baseball field. If you’re fast, have good vision, and have great instincts, you must consider getting this position.
If you’ve assessed your skills and looked into these positions and found that they may be too tough, you may want to get the right fielder position instead. You don’t need to have a strong arm or be fast to be a good right fielder, making it easy for newbies.
9. Right Field
Skills: Fast, good arm, and hand-eye coordination
Body Type: A variety of body types
A right fielder often has one of the strongest throws on the team. To play this role well, one must be able to throw a baseball hard, far, and accurately. With left and center fielders, right fielders create a crucial barrier to winning the game.
What is the Easiest and Hardest Position in Baseball?
We want you to pick the best position you’ll fit in, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasonal player. Here, we’ll rank baseball positions by difficulty. We’ll list them from the hardest position to the least.
- Center Field
- Third Base
- Right Field
- Second Base
- Left Field
- First Base
You can see that the easiest positions include the basemen, so look into them if you’re starting out and know you still have to improve your skills.
Tips to Determine Whether You’re Right or Left-handed
When we discussed different positions in baseball and the skills they demand, we mentioned being left or right-handed. If you don’t know which is your dominant hand in baseball, here are some tips:
- It comes naturally: The key is not to overcomplicate things. Without thinking of anything, pick a ball and throw it. The hand you use should be your dominant hand.
- Which do you use when you write? The hand you use in writing can also be your dominant hand in baseball. Also, observe which hand you use in doing daily tasks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Height Matter in Baseball?
You’ve seen the position template and know the skills needed for each role. But what about your height? Truth be told, some positions need tall players. But some roles require short ones.
What Positions Do Skinny Players Play in Baseball?
Skinny players can play almost all positions on a baseball team. However, they are the best fit for a shortstop position.
Where Will I Be in the Field Once I Have a Position?
If you already know which position would fit you, you may wonder where you’ll stand based on the baseball field and positions.
First, you have to know the baseball field position numbers for each role:
From there, it’s easy to find where you’ll be based on this diagram of baseball positions!
From now on, there’s no need for you to ask, “What position should I play in baseball?” With all the skills we mentioned and the roles that demand them, it should be easy for you to start your baseball journey.
We hope that answering FAQs, providing tips, and showing the baseball position chart have motivated you more to start the game. Let us know if there’s anything baseball-related you want to see next. Good luck!
Rogers is a hardcore baseball enthusiast. He joined Nations Baseball as a writer to share his knowledge and help others realize their passions for the sport. Roger is striving towards becoming a coach at his local baseball club.