Baseball Positions by Number

Baseball position chart.  Did you ever wonder “What is a 6-4-3 double play”? Or the what the “3-4 hole” refers to? This article clarifies that sometimes mysterious baseball lingo with a diagram and descriptions of the baseball positions by number.

Which positions are represented by which numbers? Did you ever wonder “What do the numbers before a double or triple play mean?” or “What is a 6-4-3 double play”? Or the what the “3-4 hole” refers to?

There are nine numbered positions on a baseball field. The numbers are most typically used, rather than writing the player’s name or the name of the position, when keeping a scorecard.  Here is the list of baseball positions by number:

Baseball Positions by Number


baseball positions by number.  PBI is free baseball tips


1. Pitcher (P)
2. Catcher (C)
3. 1st Base (1B)
4. 2nd Base (2B)
5. 3rd Base (3B)
6. Shortstop (SS)
7. Left Field (LF)
8. Center Field (CF)
9. Right Field (RF)

So, as an example, a 6 4 3 double play means the shortstop fielded the ball and threw it to the second baseman, who turned the double play by throwing it to first base.

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I have been shocked to find how many charts in so-called baseball reference works get this wrong.

Just the other day, I was reading a baseball book in Barnes N Noble, and was surprised that the numbers for 2nd base and shortstop were mixed up. “This must be a typo,” I thought at first, but the mistake was repeated throughout the entire book.

Well, have no fear. Let me put to rest any doubts with the baseball position chart above.

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Questions? Feel free to leave a comment, and we’ll try to get you an answer ASAP


  1. Koratta Campese on

    Is it appropriate to use baseball positions by number when practicing or in game play as apposed to saying watch the runner on first, or “throw to second then go for the out at first”

    Would it be more appropriate to say to the team ” try and go for the 4 -3 double”

    One coach said you never use the 1 -9 numbering designations when coaching, or practicing with the team. It’s only for sports casters and never used in MLB play among the players.

    Is this true?


    • Koratta,
      Thanks for the question. Usually the numbers are used for keeping score and you will see them on lineup cards that are placed in the dugouts, in each managers possession, and the home plate umpire. Other than that the numbers aren’t used much. We just call the positions by their name (shortstop, centerfield, etc) and the bases by first, second, third, and home. Hope that helps and thanks for your question.


    • Dana,
      Thanks for your question. The number represents the defensive position on the baseball diamond.
      Pitcher 1
      Catcher 2
      1st baseman 3
      2nd baseman 4
      shortstop 6
      3rd base 5
      left field 7
      center field 8
      right field 9
      For example the 5 hole (sometimes referred to as the 5-6 hole) is the area between the shortstop and the third baseman. The 4 hole (or sometimes referred to as the 3-4 hole) is the area between the second baseman and the first baseman. Those are the only two holes that are described this way. Hope this helps, thanks again for your question.

      Doug Bernier

    • Hi, Teri. It looks like you have a nice facility. I don’t have a problem with using our articles in your newsletter. It goes out through email, correct? I would only ask that you leave in a link and credit to our website.

      It’s a little different if you were to put them on your website. I wouldn’t want it to be an exact copy of our articles, since duplicate content on the web can be a problem. If you wanted something for the website, we could provide you with a unique article or two, in exchange for credit and a link back to our site. For the newsletter though, it shouldn’t be a problem. Thanks for asking, and best wishes to the Strike Zone facility!

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About Author

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 13 years. Most recently, Doug signed with the Minnesota Twins in 2013, where he logged time at every infield position except 1st base in 33 Major League games. Currently Doug is with the Twins' AAA team in Rochester, NY