Hit-by-pitch (HBP)


A hit-by-pitch occurs when a batter is struck by a pitched ball without swinging at it. He is awarded first base as a result. Strikes supersede hit-by-pitches, meaning if the umpire rules that the pitch was in the strike zone or that the batter swung, the HBP is nullified.

A batter is awarded a hit-by-pitch, even if the ball only touches a portion of his uniform or protection (helmet, shin guard, etc.).

Most hit-by-pitches are unintentional. They often stem from pitchers trying to throw the ball inside but missing by a few inches. Pitchers will often throw inside to make the hitter wary, so they do not crowd the plate. However, a pitcher may sometimes throw at a hitter intentionally as a form of retaliation. If the home-plate umpire suspects this is the case, he has the right to eject the pitcher (and the manager of the pitching team) from the game.

A hit-by-pitch does not count as a hit, but it does count as a time on base for on-base percentage purposes. Certain hitters -- specifically those who stand very close to the plate -- have a knack for earning HBPs, which can obviously be helpful because the goal of any hitter is to reach base. But hit-by-pitches can also result in injury because most pitches are thrown 80 mph or faster. Per the rules, a batter must make an attempt to avoid being hit by a pitch in order to receive first base.

Pitchers with high HBP totals typically struggle with their control and will also walk a higher-than-normal number of hitters.


Watch: Jose Iglesias is hit by a pitch.

In A Call

"plunked," "drilled," "hit batter," "hit batsman"