What is an Assist in Baseball Explained Easily

Assist in Baseball

The most common misconception that lies in Baseball rules is that putouts often used as “PO” is the same as “assist in baseball.” So, if that is a misconception, what is the actual definition for Assist in Baseball?

Assist in Baseball is considered when a fielder touches a ball that came straight from the hitter before passing it on to another one as an assistant to the second player.

The difference between Putout and Assist in Baseball

Although most people seem to think that putout and Assist in Baseball are synonymous, there is a difference.

Assist in Baseball is related to the putouts. This might confuse you, so let us break it down for you. There are some cases in putout where it requires an assist in Baseball. When there are multiple outs, that is the only situation where it is possible to have both put out and assist in Baseball together.

The difference lies in the fact that the credit for putout is only given to the fielder who is responsible for getting either the batter-runner or the runner “out.” The putout is a statistic that is a credit specifically to the fielder responsible.

However, an assist is when another fielder assists the other to get a player “out.” In this case, the fielder who helped is given credit for the “Assist in baseball.”

The difference could be listed as follows:

It is credited to that fielder responsible for getting an offensive player “Out.”This is credited to that fielder who assists in getting the offensive player “Out.”
It is not credited without getting a batter or runner “Out.”An assist can be credited even if there is no recorded “Out.”
The one who catches the throw made by the assisting fielder is credited.The one who makes the throw for the out gets the credit.

How is an Assist in Baseball awarded to a player?

How is an Assist in Baseball awarded to a player

When a player is given credit for the Assist in Baseball, it is displayed on the scoreboard with an “A,” which symbolizes the credit. The point for the assist is only credited after the fielder throws the ball to another fielder during the game.

But is it always an intentional move? No, actually. There are cases when the fielder may have touched the ball unintentionally, but even in that situation, he can assist.

A few things need to be noted for crediting a Player for assisting.

  • It is only allowed to credit only one player to get the credit for the assist per game.
  • Pitchers will not receive any assistance credits even if they establish “strikeouts.”

Can a player get credit for an assist even if the second fielder makes an error? This is a scenario that is quite commonly observed. Suppose a fielder in the “Shortstop” position throws the ball, but the fielder at the “First baseman” position fails to catch the ball. In this case, although the second fielder in the “first baseman” position gets an “error,” however the fielder who throws the ball is credited for the “Assist.”

baseball assist sportsalizer

Outfield Assist-What does it mean?

An outfield assist is often referred to by its acronym, “OFA.” This credit is given to the fielder in the outfield, and they throw a ball to a fielder in the infield, which ultimately results in an “OUT.”

You would be amazed to know that most of the assists that are credited are for the OFA or the “Outfield Assist.” Even this assistance can take place without the aid from the “infielder.” So how is that possible? The fielder from the outfield directly throws the ball to the base.

If you wonder how the outfielder is given the point for the assist, here is the answer. It is credited only when the infielder or the second fielder “cuts off the throw.” There is also a second scenario when the player in the outfield throws the ball directly to the base, which results in an “Out.” But here, in this case, if another outfielder had also touched the ball, both of the fielders shall be credited with an “assist.”

The “Top 3 Maestros” of Assist in Baseball

Every field has some “leaders” who perform exceptionally well. So here is a list of all those Major league Baseball players who executed the Assist in Baseball fantastically.

Rabbit Maranville

Rabbit Maranville

This renowned Baseball player is considered to be the “King of Assists.” Walter James Vincent’ Rabbit’ Maranville, also referred to as “Rabbit Maranville,” played in the “shortstop” position from 1912 to 1935. He was playing for Boston Braves at that time.

In his exceptionally well 23 year career in Baseball, Rabbit Maranville was credited for 8967 assists in Baseball, which is incredibly high.

Ozzie Smith

Ozzie Smith

This renowned baseball player also played n the “shortstop” position in Major League baseball. In his 18 years long career as a professional baseball player, he chose to play for only two teams: the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres.

Although it wasn’t as high as Rabbit Maranville, his number of assists was pretty close to him. Ozzie Smith was credited for 8375 assists in Baseball during his tenure in the MLB.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Cal Ripken, Jr. was a renowned Baseball player who played in the shortstop position for the Baltimore Orioles team. Unlike other players who change teams during their tenure as a professional players, cal Ripken, Jr. played for that single team throughout his 20 years in MLB as a professional Baseball player.

He garnered as high as 8214 assist credits during that period. His most significant advantage for getting those credits was his height, which helped him cover a greater distance than other fielders.

FAQs Related to Assist in Baseball

Give a case where an assist in Baseball is not credited.

There is a situation where a pitcher shall not be credited with an assist. It occurs when the pitcher is in the strikeout position. If the pitcher fields an uncaught third strike and then makes a throw, then in that situation, he is credited with a “putout” and not an “assist.”

Which baseball player has the most number of assists in 2021?

As an outfielder, Tris Speaker has the most number of assists of 449, as of 2021 data.

Is there a stat for assist in Baseball?

Yes, the assist in Baseball is a defensive statistic. This sport is one of the very few sports where the ball gets controlled by the defensive team.


In a nutshell, the assist in Baseball is credited in various aspects that may or may not be intentional with respect to the fielder. After reading through the article, we hope the difference between putout and assist in Baseball has been made clear and that both of them are not synonymous, although that might seem sometimes.

Each outfielder who throws or deflects a batted or thrown ball in such a way that put out results, or would have resulted but for a subsequent error by any fielder, receives an assist in Baseball from the Official Scorer.

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