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What Does RHP Mean in Baseball & How Do Pitchers Stand Out

what does rhp mean in baseball

By its mechanics alone, baseball is already a challenging play. Interacting within the game is another layer of a challenge, especially if you are not aware of the slang, abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon involved.

Perhaps you have come across the acronym RHP in baseball. It comes more often when you are playing the role or position of a pitcher. The RHP, among the several other abbreviations in the game, warrants full knowledge and understanding among pitchers.

Knowing the answer to “what does RHP mean in baseball” surely helps the pitcher take control of his pitching techniques and the scoring opportunities.

Read on to learn more about RHP.

What Does RHP Stand for?

The abbreviation RHP stands for a right-handed pitcher. A right-handed pitcher is a pitcher who pitches/throws using his right hand. The opposite of RHP is LHP or left-handed pitcher.

It would be safe to say, based on normal circumstances, that RHP mainly comprises baseball’s pitching lineup. Unsurprisingly, right-handedness is a default for most people in general. And because of that, the left-handed unnecessarily had to go through some point of a forced transfer of hand.

Fortunately, modern studies on baseball (and many other disciplines) reveal that left-handed pitchers display a unique set of pitching skills not found among right-handed pitchers.

Outside the RHP meaning in baseball, this article will further examine the different skills between right-handed and left-handed pitchers.

Nevertheless, this article shall not dwell on who is better than the other: right-handed or left-handed pitcher. Despite proven claims that LHP has more advantages than RHP, the individual control reigns as the ultimate arbiter in pitching.

The article, instead, aims to bring out an in-depth understanding and analysis of the two hemispheres in pitching control. In the end, we hope to lay down an informative guide for helping baseball pitchers better understand their abilities.

How Do Right-handed Pitchers Stand Out

rhp-meaning-in-baseball

Here are essential points on how and what RHP stand for in player advantage:

  • Platoon advantage: As an RHP, you are sure to be assigned a pitcher role against a right-handed batter, at least in the demands for platoon advantage.
  • Within the rules of platoon advantage, the act of pitching yields better results through same-handed pair-ups. Logically, since more right-handed batters comprise either team, you are sure to be drafted if only to satisfy the platoon advantage.
  • Traditionality: When you are right-handed, you would obviously play the traditional way. Thus, you will not have to go through the struggles a left-handed pitcher has to go through. In a way, you can consider yourself to be lucky to be born into an evolution that favors right-handedness.
  • The structure and working of things fall into your favor because the standard setting is generally biased towards right-handed people. And there is no further question about that.
  • Slider and sinker techniques: The two best pitching techniques a righty (right-handed) pitcher can exploit against a right-handed batter are the slider and sinker techniques.
  • According to this professional opinion, the sinker and slider pitches are lethal trick strategies for throwing the batter off his wits. Combined, both should deliver 100% success results at most times.
  • The difference between a sinker and a slider lies in either trajectory and speed. The sinker is a type of fastball that goes head-on before diving down in the nick of time, becoming a ground ball, causing the batter to miss the ball.
  • The slider is not a fastball; it is slower. But it cannot be slower than a curveball. The main characteristic of the slider involves an extremely deceptive move wherein the ball moves on a smooth straight path only to slide sharply to the side when close to the bat.
  • If you are a righty (RHP baseball abbreviation), you have the advantage of combining the two pitching types and, thus, dominate your right-handed batter.
  • Ball’s spin strength and speed: According to statistics, righties can easily generate the ball’s spin power/strength/rate. Experts add that righties have a naturally strong hand and fingers for controlling the ball’s speed. Coincidentally, the speed of the released ball causes its spin to increase.
  • On the other hand, the right hand possesses the natural ability, comfort, and ease for generating a fastball pitch necessary for throwing batters off. With such an intrinsic advantage, a righty can easily imbibe some known pre-pitching strategies.

How Do Left-handed Pitchers Stand Out

rhp-in-baseball

Between the LHP and RHP in baseball, here are points on how the LHP (lefty) stand out:

  • Advantage of unfamiliarity: The general advantage a lefty has lies in his weakness: his scarcity. Because only a few LHP exist in the baseball environment, the chances are that the hitters and batters are not prepared to counter their unusual throw (physicalized by the unusual left direction of the ball).
  • Beyond the statistics, actual batters confirm the “familiarity bonus” phenomenon that continues to benefit lefty pitchers but troubles hitters to this day. That surprise caused by the unexpected turn of the ball catches the hitters off-guard, reducing their reaction time in the long run.
  • Awareness and sensitivity to space: Science has since proven that LHP players or people (known scientifically as ambidextrous) usually use the right hemisphere of their brain; the right side of the brain is responsible for looking into the dimension, depth, and peripheries in space.
  • This natural edge of the lefty makes him highly aware and calculative of the elements within his space. So although he tends to be weaker and slower in generating a throw, he has solid potentials for precision and accuracy.
  • Advantage on changeup: You might come to think how the lefty’s slowness in pitching can be an advantage. Indeed, a lefty can turn this weakness into strength as the successful LHP players did in the past.
  • The picture of a successfully-utilized slowness in pitching is the changeup. Many batters admit being thrown out by the changeup technique, perhaps the slowest pitching speed in baseball. Rightfully so, a changeup is mainly designed for a successful deception.

Conclusion

Baseball is indeed a challenging discipline. And learning the answer to the question: what does RHP mean in baseball is only one of the steps to take when you are a pitcher.

As stated herein, the RHP means right-handed pitcher. The right-handed pitcher comprises mainly a baseball team. On the other side, the LHP or left-handed pitcher achieves almost equal feats with the RHP.

But in the end, discipline, focus, and control determine a pitcher’s success in the field.

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