What is a Putout in Baseball? – Beginners Tutorial

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what is a putout in baseball

One of the most common jargons used by commentators or announcers in baseball is the term “putout.” But what does it truly signify?

Simply put, a putout is a defensive action that results in an out. It serves as a fundamental metric to gauge a player’s defensive skills and is utilized by coaches and analysts to assess the team’s defensive strategy.

In this article, we’ll explore the nuances of putouts in baseball, including how they’re tallied and why they’re significant statistics in the sport. Read on to know the details on what is a putout in baseball.

Definition of a Putout in Baseball


Putout or PO baseball meaning is when a defensive player successfully records an out for their team. For your information, PO stands for putouts in baseball.

This can occur in several ways, including catching a fly ball or a third strike, tagging a base or baserunner, making an appeal play, or being positioned close enough to a base runner called out for interference.

Interestingly, for a catcher to be credited with a putout, he must be able to catch the third strike, a foul bunt after the second strike, or drop the third strike while still getting the out at first base.

Putouts are commonly observed in plays like catching routine fly balls or forcing out runners by throwing to second base.

Significance of Putouts in Baseball

1. Contribution to the game


The importance of putouts is evident in defensive strategies, where players are positioned to maximize their chances of making a po in baseball.

By preventing the offense from getting on base, advancing around the bases, or reaching home plate, the defense can prevent the opposing team from scoring runs and gaining momentum.

Moreover, putouts contribute to the success of the game, especially when recorded by infielders. A single putout can prevent the opposing team from scoring, while multiple putouts can shift the game’s momentum in favor of the defensive team.

In close games, putouts can make all the difference in determining the winner.

2. Importance in player statistics


Additionally, putouts are vital in evaluating player statistics, as they are used to measure defensive performance. A high number of putouts demonstrates a player’s ability to field their position effectively and contribute to their team’s success.

It is worth noting that the league’s best defensive players typically lead in putouts, underscoring the significance of this statistic in evaluating player performance.

How Putouts Work in Baseball


Putouts are categorized into different types based on how the ball is hit and caught.

  • Groundouts are the most common, where a fielder catches a ball hit along the ground and steps on or throws it to first base before the runner reaches it.
  • Flyouts occur when a player catches a ball hit in the air before it hits the ground or a fence, while popouts are similar but when the ball is hit straight up in the air.

The PO baseball position in baseball plays a significant role in the number and types of putouts recorded.

  • The first baseman is responsible for catching throws from other infielders and tagging the base before the runner reaches it, resulting in a high number of putouts.
  • Catchers also contribute significantly to putouts by catching pitches when on a strikeout and throwing out baserunners attempting to steal.
  • Although outfielders record fewer putouts than infielders and catchers, they tend to make more spectacular plays, such as leaping catches at the wall or diving catches in the gap.

The types and distribution of putouts across the fielding positions demonstrate the strategic importance of fielding positions in maximizing the effectiveness of defensive strategies.

Rules Governing Putouts in Baseball (Fielding, Throwing Rules)


An MLB putout is a statistic in baseball that is credited to a fielder for their role in causing the out of a batter-runner or runner. According to the rule book, there are various ways in which a fielder can be credited with a putout.

For example, if a fielder catches a ball in the air, whether it’s fair or foul, they will be credited with a putout. Additionally, if a fielder catches a batted or thrown ball and tags a base to put out a batter or runner, they will also be credited with a putout.

The catcher is automatically credited with a putout in certain situations, such as when the batter is called out on strikes or for an illegally batted ball.

There are also specific rules on how to credit automatic putouts, such as when a runner is called out for running out of line to avoid being tagged or interfering with a fielder.

How Putouts Are Recorded in Baseball Statistics


According to the MLB site that describes PO meaning baseball, putouts are achieved when a fielder catches a batted ball before it touches the ground or tags a runner before they reach the base.

Different positions have distinct roles in recording putouts. For instance, a first baseman can record a putout by catching a throw from the pitcher, while a catcher can get a putout by catching a pop-up or tagging a runner attempting to steal a base.

The regulations related to putouts in baseball are vital to ensure fair play. For instance, a fielder must catch the ball cleanly and touch the base with their foot to be credited with a putout.

Additionally, if a throw to the first base is missed by the first baseman, the putout is charged to the thrower rather than the first baseman.

In any case, putouts are recorded in a baseballer’s individual game log and aggregated for the season as well as career statistics. Each time the player makes a move that result in an out, they will be credited with a putout.

Top Players With the Most Putouts in Baseball History

Position Putouts in a Career Team/s Putouts in a Single Season Team/s
Pitcher Greg Maddux (530) Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Diego Dave Foutz (56) St. Louis
Catcher Ivan Rodriguez (14,863) Texas, Detroit, New York, Florida, Houston, Washington Johnny Edwards (1,135) Houston
First Base Jake Beckley (23,709) New York, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis Jiggs Donahue


Second Base Bid McPhee (6545) Cincinnati Bid McPhee (529) Cincinnati
Shortstop Rabbit Maranville (5,133) Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Brooklyn, St. Louis Hughie Jennings & Donnie Bush (425) Baltimore & Detroit, respectively
Third Base Brooks Robinson (2,697) Baltimore Jimmy Collins


Outfielders Willie Mays (7,095)  San Francisco, New York Taylor Douthit (547) St. Louis

How to Improve Your Putout Stats in Baseball


  • To increase your baseball stats PO is to improve your defensive skills. Familiarize yourself with the nuances of your fielding position to maximize your chances of making a putout.

For example, if you play first base, practice stretching and scooping balls in the dirt. If you play center field, work on reading fly balls and making accurate throws.

  • Another important aspect of recording putouts is throwing accuracy. Spend time practicing throwing to different bases and improving your arm strength and accuracy.
  • Anticipating where the ball will be hit is also crucial in making putouts. Study the batter’s tendencies and the game situation to anticipate the ball’s trajectory, allowing you to get into position to make a play.
  • Having good footwork is essential in quickly getting to the ball and making a strong throw. Practice moving your feet quickly and efficiently to get into position to make a play.
  • Lastly, practice consistently to improve your fielding and throwing skills.

Frequently Asked Question


Who holds the record for the most putouts in a single season in baseball?

The baseball player who holds the record for most putouts in a single season in baseball is Jiggs Donahue in 1907 with a putout statistic of 1846. His position is the first baseman and catcher of the Chicago White Sox.

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

A lot of baseball fans are confused about baseball putout vs assist. Simply put, a putout is an important defensive statistic that is credited to a fielder who successfully retires an opposing player and records the out.

On the other hand, an assist is a defensive statistic that is credited to fielders who contribute to an out being made.

Who leads MLB in putouts?

Currently, Jack Beckley is the one who leads MLB in terms of putouts. He has an all-time record of 23,767 when it comes to career putouts. However, the currently active player who leads MLB in putouts is Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, with a record of 17,617.

How does a pitcher get a putout?

Pitchers can get putouts by catching a ball or fielding it and stepping on the base. They can also help get a putout if the catcher drops the ball in a strikeout play. However, pitchers don’t get as many putouts as other players on the field.


The total chances baseball can give you to elevate your putout statistics is a lot. Now that we’ve answered your question, “What is a putout in baseball?” you’ll have a chance to be one of the greats that have cemented themselves in baseball history.

By recognizing the importance of putouts, fans and players can elevate their appreciation and performance in the game of baseball. It is a fundamental element that should not be overlooked, as it serves as a measure of a fielder’s skill and ability.

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