If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve likely heard the term “assist” used more than once. In fact, chances are that if you’re reading this article right now, you know exactly what an assist entails and how it happens in real-time.
However, those who aren’t familiar with the term may not be quite as quick to grasp its meaning.
In this article, we will explore what an assist is in detail and how it occurs in baseball. We will also cover some of the most prominent assists in Major League Baseball history and discuss their significance.
What is an Assist in Baseball?
An assist is a statistic that indicates how many successful plays resulted in a runner advancing from one base to another. A base is advanced when a batter hits a fly ball that is caught by a fielder for an out and a runner is put on from where the fielder caught the ball.
If a runner is put on base because a fielder missed a fly ball, then the assist is negative. A fielder can receive an assist for a number of reasons, including a misplay, an error, a wild throw, and a batter hitting into a fielder.
Assists are an important component of a team’s offensive success. In fact, research has shown that an increase of one assist per game can result in a team gaining as many as 6 wins in a season.
The assist statistic is also an important part of a team’s defensive success. A team that effectively fields and tags out base runners is less likely to allow runs to score. Assists are also an important part of the overall run-scoring equation for a team.
The Importance of Assists in Baseball
Assists are so important to baseball that Major League Baseball (MLB) has even created a “World Series” trophy named the “Association World Series Most Valuable Player” (AWSMVP). This award is given to the player that leads the league in assists during the World Series. Assists are important for a number of reasons.
As we mentioned above, assists are a part of a team’s offensive success. A team that is effective at getting runners into scoring position and executing their at-bats will have a better chance of scoring runs.
Assists are also important for a team’s defensive success. A team that makes fewer errors will likely have fewer chances to allow runs to score. Assists are also an important part of the run-scoring equation. When a batter hits a fly ball, an assist is recorded if a fielder misses the catch.
If the ball is caught, an assist is recorded if the fielder fails to make the catch. Similarly, a base hit is recorded as an assist if a fielder fails to get the runner out at home plate. Assists are recorded when a batter or a runner hits into a fielder for an out. All of these types of assists are part of the run-scoring equation.
How Assists Happen in Baseball?
Assists occur when a runner successfully advances from one base to another without the assistance of a fielder. Assists are recorded on plays where a runner successfully advances to the next base without the assistance of a fielder.
When a runner hits the ball and advances to the next base without the assistance of a fielder, an assist is recorded. For example, let’s say the runner on second base is driven by a ground ball and makes it safely to third base.
The runner on first base then hits a fly ball that is caught by a fielder. Since the runner on second base made it to third base without the assistance of a fielder, an assist is recorded.