MOORHEAD, MINN. – The Board of Directors of the American Association has voted to institute pitch clocks as part of an effort to address pace of play. The change is effective for the 2023 season.
The American Association pitch clocks will follow the same rules being instituted in Major League Baseball in 2023. Those rules include:
- Pitchers will have 15 seconds to deliver a pitch with the bases empty.
- Pitchers will have 20 seconds to deliver a pitch with runners on base.
- The pitcher must begin his motion before the pitch clock expires or be charged with an automatic ball.
- Batters must be prepared to receive a pitch in the batter’s box with at least eight seconds remaining. Batters who violate the pitch clock will be charged with an automatic strike.
- There shall be a 30-second timer between batters.
- Pitchers will be allowed to step off the rubber or attempt a pick-off move twice per batter. If a third attempt to pick-off a runner is unsuccessful, the runner automatically advances one base.
- The step-off/pick-off limit resets if a runner or runners advance during the plate appearance.
In 2022, the American Association average game time reached three hours and eleven minutes (3:11) and has been on an upward trajectory for over a decade. Pitch clocks were utilized on a trial-basis throughout Minor League Baseball in 2022, which resulted in an average savings of 26 minutes per game.
“We believe a move to pitch clocks was a logical evolution based on the data gathered in affiliated baseball. We further believe this will return the game to what it once was when it became America’s pastime,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “As evidenced by the increased pace of play and little to no effect on on-field play, the rousing success in Minor League Baseball can be duplicated in the American Association. The fan experience is first and foremost on our minds at all times and our clubs are excited to begin instituting these new timers in their ballparks to provide the best fan experience.”
Each ballpark will be equipped with three Daktronics pitch clocks. Two will be located behind home plate. The third clock will be located in the outfield. The exact outfield installation location will be determined by each club.
The American Association is the premier MLB Partner League in North America. The 12-team circuit will open the 2023 season on May 11. For more information on the American Association, please visit www.aabaseball.com or our social media channels.