It helps to think about it from the hitters perspective. A right handed hitter would prefer the ball to be coming from an angle that is closer to first base (a lefty pitcher). This allows more room to “pull” the ball.
In baseball, the lefty-righty switch is a maneuver by which a player that struggles against left-handed or right-handed players is replaced by a player who excels in the situation, usually only for the duration of the situation in question.
A catcher and shortstop’s mobility is limited by being left-handed. While a right-handed thrower will naturally be in the position to get the ball where it needs to be, a left-handed thrower’s awkward range of motion and form adds precious milliseconds to a play in a game where every tiny thing counts.
Around 35% of all 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) batters were left-handed, compared to 10% left-handers in the general population.
Why Does a Left-Handed Pitcher Have an Advantage? Both left-handed pitchers and batters do better in baseball. Since the majority of hitters are right-handed, lefty pitchers are considered valuable. A curveball from a left-hander breaks inside on a righty – a harder pitch to hit.
The favorable angles lefties allow them to throw the ball more quickly across the diamond to second, third and home. Just being different: “Because only 10 percent of the population is left-handed, kids grow up and mature in baseball seeing a left-hander just 10 percent of the time they bat,” he points out.
Left-handed throwers actually have an advantage playing first base because the only difficult throws that the first baseman usually makes are to third or second base in an attempt to force out a baserunner.
While right-handed throwers can be found at any of the nine positions on a baseball field, left-handers are, in practice, restricted to five of them. You won’t find a lefty at catcher, second base, shortstop or third base.
Right-handers do throw much harder than left-handers, as major league pitchers. The reason is that, in a counter-clockwise game, being left-handed is a significant advantage.
Players who take a lot of heat, like catchers and infielders, often like to keep their index finger on the outside of the glove. It gives an extra layer of protection between the ball and their finger - which would sit inside the glove right at the spot where the ball most often makes contact.
In addition, second basemen are usually right-handed; only four left-handed throwing players have ever played second base in Major League Baseball since 1950. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the second baseman is assigned the number 4.
Why do catchers wear nail polish in baseball? Baseball catchers use nail polish or nail stickers to make their fingers more visible to the pitcher. A different color on the catcher’s fingertips makes it easier for the pitcher and catcher to communicate on what pitch is coming next.
The last left-handed catcher to play in the big leagues was Benny Distefano, who caught three games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1989. Before Distefano, there had only been a handful: Jack Clements, Dale Long and Mike Squires to name a few. Why so few lefties behind the dish?
You are right on that lefties should not play baseball shortstop or 3rd base. The only positions lefty baseball players should play are pitcher, firstbase and outfield positions.
First base is the only position where having a left-handed player is preferred. The left-handed first baseman’s glove is on his right hand and that puts him closer to the fielders when a ball is thrown. It also gives him a better angle when it comes to stretching for the ball and picking up errant throws in the dirt.
So a lefty gets to first base about 1/6th of a second faster, translating into more hits and a higher batting average. For lefty pitchers on the mound, they stand automatically facing a runner on first, making a pickoff far easier."
Left-handedness occurs in about 8% of the human population. It runs in families and an adoption study suggests a genetic rather than an environmental origin; however, monozygotic twins show substantial discordance.
Left-handers as a whole comprise about 10-12 percent of the world’s population and of the 538 NBA players who attempted at least one single shot last season, just 49 were lefties (9.1%), according to Stathead.com.
But righty pitchers have gone from … 17% in 2002 to just over 23% in 2019.
Researchers have identified, for the first time, the genetic differences between right-handed and left-handed people. In left-handed people, both sides of the brain tend to communicate more effectively. This means that left-handed people may have superior language and verbal ability.
The complete list of left-handed third basemen in MLB history: Anthony Rizzo, Mario Valdez, Don Mattingly, Terry Francona, Mike Squires (14 times), Charlie Grimm, and George Sisler.
and throws lefty. But for reasons he doesn’t quite understand, Cowgill throws with his left hand—a quirk that puts him in one of the strangest and most exclusive clubs in baseball. Since 1876, there have been just 56 position players listed as throwing left-handed and batting exclusively right-handed.
The study, which re-analyzed data from a similar 1982 study and incorporated new data from every major-league player from 1871 through 2016, finds that only 2% of the general population throws righty and bats lefty, but 12% of major-leaguers do so.