There are many terms in baseball that can be confusing to beginners. One of them is PO. PO stands for Put Out in baseball, which is a defensive statistic. It’s an abbreviation for when the ball is thrown and the player catches it while holding the glove in front of them. In this blog, I’ll give you all the information you need to understand what does PO mean in baseball?
There are two types of Putouts:
When a fielder catches a batted ball on one bounce before it touches the ground.
When a fielder catches an uncaught batted ball that was hit fair or foul and held their glove in front of them at chest or shoulder height to make such catch, with both feet on the ground, not touching any base.
Summary of Content
- What is a PO in Baseball?
- Put Out vs Assist
- Who Has the Most POs in MLB History?
- Final Words
What is a PO in Baseball?
A Put Out is when a fielder catches a batted ball without contact with the player on first base, on which they are. It’s when the fielder catches the ball before it is put down by the batter, or base runner. This means that the fielder did not reach for the ball because of instinct or position. What I’m talking about here would be like if another player were to catch a football in mid-air and pop it into his hands without touching it.
In baseball, PO is based on three factors.
#1 The Position of the Fielder
The position of the fielder who catches the ball. If it’s catching a line drive or fly ball, that fielder should have taken an average amount of steps towards the infield to catch it. If a fielder goes above and beyond throughout the game to make great plays, then they deserve credit for what they do on the field.
#2 The Importance of the Fielding Position
The importance of the fielding position (meaning how far the baserunner was from scoring). For instance, if there was a chance from the base runner to score and they didn’t go all out for it because their arm pulled in, it’s not an automatic put-out.
#3 The Fielding Position
The fielding position (meaning what the fielder needs to do to catch the ball). For example, if a shortstop is covering second base and there are no other players between him and first base, then he may be able to still have PO even though he might not have had much of a chance catching that ball.
They only count in-game situations. If the player on the first base is out, then they are not eligible for PO. If the runner on second base is safe, then there doesn’t need to be another out before they can score.
PO is not based on how often the fielders get them. It’s how often they should get it. The third baseman should almost always have a PO if they throw the ball to home plate and get the batter/runner out. If they throw to first base and still get the batter out, then that’s a good PO for them. Sometimes it’s just not possible for fielders to have PO based on the situation of the game or how the batter hit that ball.
Put Out vs Assist
These 2 terms are different but they’re related to each other. An Assist is credited to a fielder who throws (or bats) the ball to get a batter out. PO is credited to a fielder who catches the ball. So, if there were runners on second and third bases it would be 3 PO with nobody out, but only 2 Assists.
In short, a Force is not considered PO because it isn’t caught by the player on first base (the fielder). It doesn’t count as an assist either. A catch counts as both PO and Assist at the same time. And an Assist is not awarded for the pitcher if it’s a strikeout.
Who Has the Most POs in MLB History?
There are some outstanding players who have the most Put Out in baseball history.
#1 Jake Beckley
His full name was Jacob Peter Beckley. He was one of the first American basemen. He was nicknamed Lucky. He played from 1888 to 1907. He had 23,743 PO during his career. He played for the New York Giants, then Cincinnati Reds. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
#2 Cap Anson
Cap Anson was one of the most famous basemen of the 19th century. He was called Anson’s Colts by his teammates. He played for the Chicago Cubs most of his career and he spent his retirement life there. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. He had 21,695 Putouts, which means he made a ton of great plays during his career.
#3 Ed Konetchy
Ed Kenetchy came from Wisconsin. He was nicknamed Big Ed because he caught 1,442 consecutive games. He had a record with 21,361 PO. Obviously, he played long years in the NL before it was broken. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
#4 Eddie Murray
Eddie Murray was an excellent hitter and a good fielder. He played for the Baltimore Orioles most of his career. He won the Gold Glove Award 9 times, which is 5 more than any other NL catcher of all time. He is also a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. He ended his career with 21,255 POs.
#1 Does PO Mean ‘Pitcher Only’?
Yes, in some circumstances only. But, it’s not a rule. It means “Pitcher Only” in college baseball by coaches.
In professional leagues, it refers to Put Out, which is based on the pitching speed. It might be a ‘pitch to contact’ put out. Sometimes a fielder has to make a decision whether to throw the ball or not as they catch it (in which case they have no other choice). Also, POs aren’t awarded for outs made by fielders on both teams.
#2 What is a PO in High School Baseball?
Like in college baseball, it’s called Pitcher Only, whose expertise in pitching. Many people said that a baseman should know all the aspects of the game instead of focusing on 1 particular skill.
#3 What Does SO Mean in Baseball?
A Strikeout is called SO. It’s when a batter (or any baserunner) is put out by the pitcher on strikes. It occurs when the batter has three strikes, that’s why it’s called a strikeout, and no runners are on base. SO is a type of PO as well.
To conclude, this is not a hard question to ask, but not everyone knows the answer. It’s understandable because there are numerous ways that POs can be awarded. This includes the three big leagues (MLB, NCAA, and HS), an answer is dependent on its definition and how it’s applied.
However, the term ‘Put Out’ is rather simple to remember since it has one syllable, unlike some other major baseball terms.