A plate appearance refers to a batter's turn at the plate. Each completed turn batting is one plate appearance. Plate appearances can often be confused with at-bats. But unlike with at-bats -- which only occur on certain results -- a plate appearance takes into account every single time a batter comes up and a result between batter and pitcher is obtained.
Total plate appearances are used to determine which players have qualified for the batting title; at-bats are not used for this purpose, even though at-bats are used to decipher batting average. This rule is in place because not every plate appearance results in an at-bat, and some hitters -- those who walk and are hit by pitches more frequently -- might not qualify for certain statistical leaderboards if only their at-bats were considered.
The total plate appearances for a team in a game should equal its runs, men left on base and men put out. A batter does not receive a plate appearance if a runner is thrown out on the bases to end the inning while he is at bat, or if the game-winning run scores on a balk, wild pitch or passed ball while he is at bat.
Watch: Marc Krauss records his first plate appearance with his new team.
In A Call
"times to the plate," "appearances"