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Baseball Terms & Slanguage

Baseball is a language and the way we speak the game has evolved over the years. There are basic terms like ball, strike, out, etc., but with phrases like “worm burner” and “oppo taco,” you’ll need a full baseball glossary as soon as you step into the dugout.

Today, we are only going to focus on the most popular baseball terms. However, our friends over at Routine have a complete list of baseball terms for fans and players to enjoy.

Top Baseball Terms

Alloy – A traditional metal used to create bats. >>> Shop Alloy Bats

At-Bat – An official count of time a player creates action to conclude their plate appearance. Walks, sacrifices, and HBPs do not count towards this baseball stat. 

Backstop – The fence behind home. Can also be used as a nickname in reference to a catcher.

Balanced (Swing Weight) – A bat with a low MOI (Moment of Inertia). This style of bat is easier to swing and your best bet if you’re looking for a bat to increase your bat speed. >>> Shop Balanced Bats

Base on Balls (BB) – Another term for walk.

Bases Loaded – Base runners occupy every base (first, second, and third).

Battery - The combination of the pitcher and the catcher.

Batting Average – A hitter’s total hits divided by their total at-bats.

BBCOR - Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. The metal bat test and certification required for high school and college baseball. All BBCOR baseball bats are drop-3 in size. >>> Shop BBCOR Bats

Bullpen – An area on the field designated for pitchers to warm up before entering the game.

Can of Corn – An easy-to-catch fly ball.

Caught Looking – The baseball term used to describe a hitter that was called out on strikes without swinging.

Changeup – A pitch thrown slower than a fastball, but with the same arm action in an attempt to fool the batter.

Clean-Up Hitter – The hitter slotted fourth in the batting order. Typically a power hitter.

Coach Pitch - A common form of youth baseball in which a coach tosses pitches underhand for their team to hit. >>> Shop Coach Pitch Bats

Composite – A common carbon fiber blend used to make baseball bats. >>> Shop Composite Bats

Curveball – A breaking pitch thrown at a slower speed to create more movement.

Double Play – The term to describe the defense recording two outs in a single play.

Drop – A bat term that denotes the difference between the length and the weight of a baseball bat.

Dugout – The designated areas down the first and third baselines for teams during the game.

Earned Run – A run that scores without the benefit of a defensive error.

Earned Run Average (ERA) – A baseball statistic of a pitcher’s earned runs divided by innings pitched, multiplied by 9.

End-Loaded (Swing Weight) - A bat that has a higher MOI (Moment of Inertia), making it feel heavier to swing. Generally considered a better option for power hitters. >>> Shop End-Loaded Bats

Fastball – The hardest, straightest pitch thrown by a pitcher.

Fielder’s Choice – The play when a fielder throws the ball to an alternative base, other than first, in an attempt to record an out.

Force Out – An out recorded by a defensive player stepping on a base.

Frozen Rope – A line-drive hit noticeably hard.

Fungo - A lightweight bat created to be used by coaches to hit ground balls and fly balls during practices. >>> Shop Fungos

Gap – The two portions of the outfield in between the centerfielder and the corner outfielders. Sometimes referred to as “the alleys.”

Hit by Pitch (HBP) – A pitch that hits the batter.

Hybrid Bats - Multi-piece baseball bats that use both alloy and composite materials in their construction. >>> Shop Hybrid Bats

Intentional Walk – An act, typically called for by the manager, that intentionally places the hitter on first base via base on balls.

In the Hole – The hitter that follows the on-deck hitter in the batting lineup.

Left on Base (LOB) – The total number of base runners when an inning concludes.

Mitt – A glove without finger stalls, typically used by either first basemen or catchers.

On Deck – The hitter that follows the current hitter in the batting lineup.

Oppo-Taco - Refers to a home run hit to the opposite field.

Pickle – A base runner caught in between bases.

Plate Appearance – The baseball statistic that records the number of times a batter steps up to the plate. Walks, Sacrifices, and HBPs count towards this number.

Pop-Up – A ball hit softly into the air that generally stays on the infield.

Rally – Offensive momentum as a team strings together multiple successful outcomes within the same inning.

RBI - A baseball statistic that records runs scored directly from the result of a hitter’s plate appearance.

Sacrifice - An intentional act by the hitter to advance base runners while allowing the defense to get them out.

Slow Roller – A softly hit ground ball.

Tee Ball - The first level of youth baseball. Players hit the baseball off a tee to begin the action. >>> Shop Tee Ball Bats

Wood Bats - Made from either Ash, Birch, or Maple, wood bats are required at the professional level. >>> Shop Wood Bats

Worm Burner - A pitch that is in the dirt.


Those are a few of our favorite baseball terms to know. If you have any questions or would like some assistance with your next bat purchase, please contact our team of Bat Experts today. Until next time, we’re JustBats and we’re with you from Click to Hit!


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