BB is an abbreviation for “base on balls,” which is also commonly known as a walk.
In baseball, a walk occurs when a pitcher throws four pitches that are outside of the strike zone, and the batter does not swing at them. The batter is then awarded first base without having to put the ball in play. This is also considered to be one of the ways to get on base, along with hits, hit by pitch, and errors.
Now that we know what BB means in baseball, let’s take a closer look at the ignificance of this statistic within the sport. Here are three key points to consider:
1. A Walk Can Be Advantageous for the Offense
Although a walk does not count as an official at-bat for the batter, it can still be a valuable outcome for the offensive team. By getting a free pass to first base, the batter puts pressure on the pitcher to throw more strikes, potentially leading to better pitches to hit for the following batters. Additionally, a walk can be particularly useful in situations where there are runners on base, as it can advance them without having to put the ball in play.
2. A High BB Count Can Be a Red Flag for Pitchers
On the other hand, walks can be a sign of trouble for pitchers. A high BB count indicates that the pitcher may be struggling with control or facing particularly patient batters who are willing to wait for their pitch. This can lead to higher pitch counts, shorter outings, and ultimately, a higher chance of giving up runs. As a result, minimizing walks is an important focus for many pitchers and pitching coaches.
3. BB Rate Can Be a Useful Statistic for Analyzing Players
Finally, BB rate, or the percentage of plate appearances that result in a walk, can be a useful statistic for evaluating players. A high BB rate can indicate that a batter has a good eye for the strike zone and is patient at the plate, which can lead to more opportunities to get on base and potentially score runs. Similarly, a low BB rate can suggest that a batter may be more prone to chasing bad pitches or lacking plate discipline.