What Is An Assist In The Game Of Baseball?
In baseball, an assist is a defensive statistic that credit a fielder for putting out a baserunner. Assists can be awarded to any fielder, including the pitcher, who throws a ball to another fielder, who then puts out a baserunner with a single throw.
An assist is not awarded if the putout is made by means other than a throw, such as by tagging a runner out or forcing him out at second base. The Official Baseball Rules define an assist as “defensive statistical credit given to any fielder who handles the ball before the putout of a runner.” There are generally three types of assists in baseball: the force out, the tag out, and the unassisted play.
The Force Out
The force out is the most common assist and is credited to a fielder who throws out a runner at his base. For example, if a first baseman fields a ground ball and then throws it to the second baseman to force out the runner at second base, he would be credited with an assist.
The Tag Out
A tag out is when a fielder tags a runner with the ball to put him out. This can happen on either fly balls or line drives. For example, if an outfielder catches a fly ball and tags the runner out at third base, he would be credited with an assist.
The unassisted play is when a fielder makes a putout without the help of another fielder. For example, if an outfielder catches a fly ball and then throws to the first baseman to double up the runner at first base, he would be credited with an unassisted double play. This can happen on either fly balls or ground balls.