Every defensive player (with the exception of the pitcher in leagues that use the designated hitter) is required to take a turn as a batter. The batting order is independent of the batters' fielding positions - i.e. the manager may have his players bat in whatever order he chooses - but once it is set, the batters must follow it in strict rotation. A batter who is caught batting out of order is automatically out.
While batters are allowed to hit from either side of the plate, only a comparatively small number of switch hitters routinely do so. Most batters pick a preferred side of the plate and always bat from that side. Most naturally right-handed people prefer to stand on the left (third base) side of the plate, and most naturally left-handed people prefer to stand on the right (first base) side. These natural tendencies are not universal, and batters can be trained to hit from the "wrong" side. Although batting tendencies aren't universal, batters' designated handedness is described as though they were. This means that batters who stand to the left of home plate are called right-handed, and those who stand to the right of home plate are called left-handed.
- F.C. Lane: Batting, The Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, 2001 (originally published in 1925). ISBN 0-910137-86-2
- Donald Honig: The Power Hitters, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, MO, 1989. ISBN 0892043024
- Charley Lau with Alfred Grossbrenner: The Art of Hitting .300, Penguin Books, New York, NY, 1992 (originally published in 1980).
- Frederick E. Taylor: The Runmakers: A New Way to Rate Baseball Players, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 2011.