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Leadoff hitter: Wikis


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In baseball, a leadoff hitter is a batter who bats first in the lineup. It can also refer to any batter who bats first in an inning.


Leadoff hitters must possess certain traits to be successful: they must reach base at a proficient on-base percentage rate and be able to steal bases. Sabermetric analysis has indicated that stolen bases is often an overrated quality of leadoff hitters, however, but the leadoff hitter should still take a large lead at first and draw a throw from the pitcher. This is useful because it shows the team the pitcher's pick-off move. Many managers also wish their leadoff hitters to take a lot of pitches, to work high pitch counts, to give their teammates a feel for the opposing pitcher, as well as raising his pitch count. Another job, often unknown and unappreciated, is also the responsibility of the leadoff hitter. In the National League, after the pitcher bats (he usually drops a sacrifice bunt), the next hitter is usually the first man in the lineup. His responsibility is to take his time walking to the plate so the pitcher doesn't have to run back to the dugout, which would waste energy and risk unwanted injury.

Leadoff hitters tend to play defensively difficult positions, such as shortstop, second base, and center field. Many consider Rickey Henderson the prototypical leadoff hitter.

Major League Baseball leadoff hitters for the 2009 season

These players finished the 2009 season as their team's primary leadoff hitter.

NL East
Club Player
ATL Nate McLouth
FLA Chris Coghlan
NYM Ángel Pagán
PHI Jimmy Rollins
WAS Willie Harris
NL Central
Club Player
CHC Ryan Theriot
CIN Drew Stubbs
HOU Michael Bourn
MIL Felipe López
PIT Andrew McCutchen
STL Skip Schumaker
NL West
Club Player
ARI Stephen Drew
COL Dexter Fowler
LAD Rafael Furcal
SD Everth Cabrera
SF Eugenio Vélez
AL East
Club Player
BAL Brian Roberts
BOS Jacoby Ellsbury
NYY Derek Jeter
TB Jason Bartlett
TOR Marco Scutaro
AL Central
Club Player
CWS Scott Podsednik
CLE Grady Sizemore
DET Curtis Granderson
KC David DeJesus
MIN Denard Span
AL West
Club Player
LAA Chone Figgins
OAK Adam Kennedy
SEA Ichiro Suzuki
TEX Julio Borbon

Notable Major League Baseball leadoff hitters

(Bold names indicate players active going into 2009).



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