What is a DH in Baseball?

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2023)

DH is a shorthand for the designated hitter and is the player who bats instead on the pitching side of the MLB lineup. The pitcher is not batted, while the designated hitter is not able to play in a defensive position.

This is the only rule in baseball that allows the player to bat in the game, but does not need to be assigned an area of defense. This can benefit players and teams in many ways. We will examine the rules that are in place as well as the historical background of the DH. We will also look at the reasons the DH is in place and what advantages are of this rule has.


  • The designated hitter law allows an individual to take over the place of a pitcher within the lineup of offensive players at no cost.
  • The designated hitter should be picked before the start of the game and is indicated by the player’s lineup cards.
  • A designated player is employed in the majority of professional baseball leagues across North America however it is completely up to the teams to utilize one.

The Designated Hitter Rule

What is a DH in Baseball? The rule of designated hitters allows batters to take the place of a pitcher in the offensive lineup at no cost. In baseball, when the player is batting for someone who is playing defensively, the defensive player must be removed completely from the game.

In contrast, the designated hitter permits the pitcher to play in the game, without needing to bat. However, the designated hitter has to be selected before the game begins and identified by the player’s lineup cards. Whoever is chosen as the designated hitter before when the game starts will be occupying just one position in the lineup for the duration of the entire game.

Read More: What is a Walk-off in Baseball?

When can you use a Designated Hatter?

You can use the designated hitter in the majority of professional baseball leagues throughout North America. However, you should inform the team before the start to the start of your game you’re planning to use designated hitters in your roster card. If you’re in amateur baseball, the rules differ on the time and date you are allowed to utilize designated hitters.

It is the NCAA rule that is like the designated hitter rules in professional baseball, but it also allows you to allow your starter pitcher to remain in the game as a designated hitter once his removed from the game in the role of a pitcher.

The high school rules on the designated hitter differ in the sense that it permits the designated player to be able to hit every defensive player who is playing the game, not just the pitcher. Furthermore, this rule in high schools has changed to allow designated hitters DH to play on the field, without losing the DH position within the line-up. The rule is generally used by colleges that follow the DH rule.

The designated hitter is available. Managers and coaches don’t have to employ the designated batter if they do not want to. However that the data show an increase in offensive efficiency generally when teams do employ designated hitters.

Why is there a designated hitter for Baseball?

The rationale behind the rule of designated hitters in baseball is that it boosts the amount of offense. The designated hitter in general increases offensive stats. This is because the rule permits teams to eliminate weak-hitting players in their lineups and then replace them with a better offensive player while permitting the player who was originally designated to stay on defense without penalty.

The Importance of a DH

The DH is vital as it improves the chance of scoring runs. If you choose to use the designated hitter, your total production as an offensive team increases. This has been proved by the statistics of over 100 years. Pitching is such a specific field that offensive statistics aren’t very impressive.

It also allows you to increase your lineup by hitting your designated hitter at any position of the lineup so the player is identified before the game in the roster card. Perhaps the designated hitter has plenty of power. In this situation, it might make sense to put your designated hitter at mid-range of your lineup in the time that most of the players are on base. This can help your team generate more runs as the designated hitter has the potential to drive scores in.

Can a Designated Hitter Play the Field?

The rules for Major League Baseball and other professional leagues the designated hitter can’t be on the field. The designated hitter can play for the pitcher of these leagues. In the NCAA as well as high school designated hitter rules are somewhat more complex and allow in certain circumstances that the designated hitter can be a part of the field.

It is the NCAA rule is like the designated hitter rule that is used in professional baseball, however, it allows you to keep your pitcher in the game as a designated hitter once being removed from the game in the role of a pitcher.

The high school rule regarding designated hitters differs in the sense that it permits designated hitters the ability to play for all defensive players playing in the game, not just the pitcher. In addition, this rule in high schools has changed to allow designated hitters DH to play on the field, without losing the DH place on the roster. It is usually used similarly to that of the university DH rule.


When Was the Designated Hitter Introduced?

A designated hitter became added to the League. In the beginning, the designated hitter was initially introduced by the American League. Within a decade, the designated hitter became a part of various organizations, including the NCAA and numerous amateur leagues. The most recent example is the National League introduced the designated player in 2020. It will fully implement the rule in 2022.

Which League Uses a Designated Hitter?

In the past, it was the American League was the only league within the MLB that had the option of using the designation hitter. In the meantime, however, the National League recently introduced the designated hitter in 2020 and is now fully adopting the rule in 2022.

Why Doesn’t the NL Have a DH?

The National League recently introduced the designated hitter rule in 2020. The league has now fully adopted the rule starting in 2022.

Can you utilize a designated hitter?

You are only allowed to utilize the designated hitter in only one position on the line-up.

How do I know the difference Between a Pinch Hitter as well as a DH player?

The distinction in the case of the designated hitter and pinch one is the difference that the designated hitter acts only as a substitute for the pitcher. In this case, the designated hitter can bat for the pitcher, without being removed from the game on defense. A pinch-hitter can substitute as a batter for any player, however, the pinch-hitter is in the lineup of who he batted against and the player who bats for him is exiled from the game.

Who is the Best Designated Hitter of All Time?

The most effective designated player of all time is open to discussion. Many believe the fact that David Ortiz, Frank Thomas, Harold Baines, and Edgar Martinez are the best-designated players ever. Paul Molitor is another designated player who made it his way into the Hall of Fame and is widely considered to be among the top designated hitters in history.