What is the hardest position in baseball? You've probably had this debate before, whether you're a former player, current player, or just love the game.
Technically, there are nine baseball positions, which include: pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field, center field, and right field. For fun, the designated hitter will be considered a position too.
We aim to make a case for each position and then allow you--the readers--to determine the hardest position. Basically, let's have fun.
First Base: You better be flexible if you’re hoping to be a successful first baseman. Stretching, or even doing the splits, for throws are commonplace at first base, so height comes in handy. Concentration is key, as it guarantees that most plays during a game will occur at first base. But, admittedly, first basemen don't have much throwing responsibility. But, you better be able to catch.
Middle Infield: Shortstop and second base are the guardians of the middle infield, so let's discuss them together. As a shortstop, you better be extremely quick on your feet, both in terms of sprinting and lateral quickness, and be prepared to cover a wide range of the infield. The potential for a ground ball in the area of a shortstop is higher than any other player on the field. Also, the second and third will expect you to cover their base if need be.
As a second baseman, the area you must cover is a bit smaller in comparison, but it is an absolute must that you learn to turn a double play. Scared of hard slides by the opposition? Then even though the second base isn’t the position for you, it is certainly a contender for hardest position.
Third Base: Third base, also known as the ‘Hot Corner,’ is a tough position to play defensively. The margin of error is small when a third baseman has to make the longest infield throw to nail a runner at first base. And, if that wasn’t enough pressure, third basemen are also responsible for bunts down the third baseline. If you don’t have a quick reaction time, great reflexes, or a monster arm, then cross third base off your list of positions to play.
Pitcher: Pitching is one of the harder positions to gauge and rank because there are different categories within this position. You could be a starter, a reliever, or even a closer. This is one of the most physically demanding positions on your body, depending on whether you’re a starter or a reliever. Technically, a great pitcher could win a game without any of his fielders touching the ball if he or she was pitching well enough. So, the stress and demand of this position make it a favorite for the toughest position.
Outfield: You better learn to cover ground as an outfielder and fast. Centerfielders typically have to cover the most ground of any position, but all three positions have a large area to patrol. If you are in the outfield, arm strength is a top trait. It’s no secret that right fielders aren’t typically in the game for their defensive, but rather their bat, so please take that into consideration as well.
Catcher: Physical demands your barometer for the hardest position? Catchers have to squat for 2-5 hours each game. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the catcher to call the right pitches and make sure that nobody is trying to steal any bases. That is a lot of responsibility for one player, who also has to don heavy equipment.
DH: Let’s be honest. It’s every player’s dream to become a designated hitter. A majority of their time is spent on the bench rooting on teammates. But, before dismissing the position entirely, there is pressure involved. While the designated hitter holds no defensive responsibility, having to focus and be successful in one capacity is tough. Just ask a surgeon.
Now, it's your turn. Which position would you say is the hardest and why? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Meanwhile, if you ever have any baseball bat or softball bat-related questions, give our Bat Experts a call at 866-321-2287.