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A right fielder, abbreviated RF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in right field. Right field is the area of the outfield to the right of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the right fielder is assigned the number 9.
Outfielders must cover large distances, so speed, instincts and quickness to react to the ball are key. They must be able to catch fly balls above their head and on the run, as well as prevent balls hit down the right field foul line from getting past them. Being situated 250–300 feet from home plate, they must be able to throw the ball accurately over a long distance to be effective. Of all outfield positions, the right fielder should have the strongest arm, because they are the farthest from third base. Hits to right field tend to curve toward the right field foul line, and right fielders must learn to adjust to that.
Amateur players may find it difficult to concentrate on the game, since they are so far from the more continuous action. Emphasizing the correct starting position gives outfield players something to concentrate on at each pitch. The right fielder tends to be a stronger offensive player than defensive, as right-handed batters, which are more common than left-handed ones, tend to pull the ball to left field.
As well as the requirements above, the right fielder backs up first base on all throws from the catcher and pitcher, and all bunted balls, since the catcher or the first baseman must be available for fielding the ball. The right fielder backs up second base on any ball thrown from the left side of the field, i.e. shortstop, third base, or foul line territory.
Right field has developed a reputation in Little League as being a position where less talented players can be "hidden" without damaging a team's defense in any significant way. Unlike the major league level, where hitters have the ability to drive the ball into the outfield in all directions, most little league batters are only able to pull the ball out of the infield with any regularity. Since most batters are right-handed, this means that the left fielder (and to some extent the center fielder) will have far more opportunities to make a play than the right fielder.
Notable current right fielders Edit
- Bobby Abreu
- Moises Alou
- J.D. Drew
- Jermaine Dye
- Juan Encarnacion
- Jeff Francoeur
- Shawn Green
- Vladimir Guerrero
- Jose Guillen
- Brad Hawpe
- Jacque Jones
- Austin Kearns
- Jason Lane
- Kevin Mench
- Xavier Nady
- Trot Nixon
- Magglio Ordóñez
- Alex Rios
- Reggie Sanders
- Gary Sheffield
- Ichiro Suzuki
|Outfielders:||Left field | Center field | Right field|
|Infielders:||3rd base | Shortstop | 2nd base | 1st base|