A walk occurs when a pitcher throws four pitches out of the strike zone, none of which are swung at by the hitter. After refraining from swinging at four pitches out of the zone, the batter is awarded first base.
As a stat, walks can be used to measure two of the game's most important skills: a pitcher's control and a hitter's eye (meaning his ability to tell whether a pitch is a strike or a ball and swing -- or not swing -- accordingly). Because both of these factors are extremely important in the process, walks are looked at as a stat for both pitchers and hitters.
The game's better hitters earn a higher number of walks because pitchers tend to avoid throwing them hittable pitches. Sometimes, a pitcher will opt not to pitch to a hitter altogether, purposely walking him. This is called an "intentional walk," though it still counts as a regular walk for record-keeping purposes.In the scorebook, a walk is denoted either by the letters BB or the letter W.
Watch: Asdrubal Cabrera draws a walk.
In A Call
"base on balls," "free pass," "put him on"