Batters stand a few inches to the right or left of home plate and attempt to put the ball in play against an opposing pitcher. Right-handed batters stand on the third-base side of home plate, and left-handed batters situate toward the first-base side of the plate.
Each team's lineup has nine batters, with each hitter receiving three to five plate appearances in a typical nine-inning game. Batters deliver optimum production when they record home runs -- which always result in the creation of one to four runs scored -- but they always offer value via base hits, extra-base hits, walks and sacrifices.
Batters wear helmets to protect their heads from pitches that badly miss the strike zone. They also wear batting gloves to protect their hands and, on occasion, don elbow pads and shin guards.