The game's tiniest players have had almost as much of an influence as their taller rivals. Jose Altuve is the smallest player in baseball at 5-foot-6, although there are more than 100 MLB players under 6 feet. Paul Bunyan would not be out of place on a baseball field.
Babe Ruth was one of the biggest men to play baseball, weighing in at 250 pounds with a full head of hair. In today's game, some ballplayers are smaller than others - especially those who play second base or shortstop, the two most defensive-minded positions. A study by Baseball-Reference.com found that from 1969 to 2017, there have been only five men who have played more than 1,000 games at any position and measured less than 5 feet 11 inches tall: Mike Schmidt (5 feet 11 1/4 inches), Rod Carew (5 feet 10 7/8 inches), Bobby Grich (5 feet 10 3/4 inches), Tony Lazzeri (5 feet 10 1/4 inches), and Joe Panik (5 feet 10 inches).
There are also many big boys who don't fit the physical type of the game. Pitchers are required by law to wear gloves, so they tend to be small and fast-moving, like Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay.
Baseball Statistics show that the average height for a baseball player is 6 feet 1 1/2 inches (1.87 meters). Taller players in baseball typically have longer legs, which power pitchers employ to produce velocity, and a release point closer to the plate, which means the ball reaches the hitter faster. However, shorter players have better hand-eye coordination and can pick up pitches with more effectiveness.
The most successful hitters are usually around 6 feet 0 inches (1.8 m) or 6 feet 1 inch (1.9 m), while left-handed hitters tend to be on the smaller side, at 5 feet 11 inches (1.7 m) or less. Pitchers need to be able to reach high levels of heat to their arms without suffering long-term damage, so they generally stand about 6 feet 3 inches (1.9 m) or taller.
In conclusion, baseball players are typically between 5 feet 11 inches and 7 feet 1 inch when standing upright, with the average height being about 6 feet 1 1/2 inches (1.87 m). While there are no specific reasons why this is the case, it may have something to do with the size of the ball used in the game. As mentioned before, baseballs are large compared to other sports balls, so players who are not too short or too tall could have an advantage over their opponents due to size differences.
According to Baseball-Reference rosters, right-handed pitcher Frank Morrissey (5-4, 140 pounds) is the smallest player in Red Sox history. He's five inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter than Dustin Pedroia. Morrissey made his major league debut on August 5, 1995. He died at the age of 28 after suffering severe head injuries in a car accident.
In 2008, when Craig Breslow was with the Red Sox, he was listed as being 5 feet 10 inches tall and 155 pounds. Left-hander Brian Johnson is also 5 feet 10 inches tall. Both men weighed about 160 pounds at the time they played for the Red Sox.
Pedro Martinez was listed as being 6 feet 3 inches tall and 210 pounds during his time with the Red Sox. Right-hander Josh Beckett is also 6 feet 3 inches tall. Both men weighed around 235 pounds when they played for Boston.
Dustin Pedroia is listed as being 5 feet 11 inches tall on the Red Sox website. During his time with the team, he weighed between 180 and 185 pounds. First baseman Mike Lowell is also 5 feet 11 inches tall. Third baseman Adrian Beltre is listed as being 5 feet 10 inches tall on the Spanish website Sportnet.com. Shortstop Jose Iglesias is also 5 feet 10 inches tall.
We estimated that the smallest players on the field are the middle infielders (shortstop and second basemen). A few of these middle infielders do have very short careers -- they're likely to appear in only 100 or so games during their careers -- but most play into their late 20s or early 30s. For example, Mike Scioscia played until he was 49 years old; his career batting average was.272. Joe Morgan ended up playing until he was 48 years old; he had a career batting average of.276.
The longest-lasting positions in baseball are pitcher and catcher. Pitchers can continue to play into their 40s and 50s while catchers typically retire after they reach 35 or 36. For example, Miguel Castro played until he was 46 years old; he spent part of his career with the Chicago Cubs. He appeared in 1,024 games over the course of his career and had a batting average of.273. Tony Peña played until he was 47 years old; he appeared in 1,020 games over his career and had a batting average of.270.
Middle Infielder is the shortest-lived position in baseball. Only two middle infielders have played more than 1000 games at this level of baseball - Bobby Moore and Rod Carew.
Eddie Carl Gaedel Gaedel, Eddie Eddie Carl Gaedel, who is 3'7", is the smallest baseball player ever. He was born on January 4th, 1933, in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
He made his major league debut on April 17th, 1955, when he came out of the bullpen for the New York Yankees. The score was 1-1 after 12 innings, and there were two outs in the 13th when Joe DiMaggio hit a home run to give the Yanks a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians. Gaedel pitched a perfect 13th inning.
His career ended after one game when he collapsed while running the bases and died at the age of 27 years old. The cause of death was found to be acute monocytic leukemia.
Gaedel had three pitches: a slow curveball, a fast ball, and a splitter. In his only season, he finished with a 3-3 record and a 3.12 ERA in 46 games (24 starts). After his death, his family asked that no further mention be made of his height; however, it is still listed on most baseball websites as 3'7".
A seasoned major-league pitcher, While shorter pitchers have the same chance as taller pitchers of becoming successful major-league relief pitchers, taller pitchers have a better chance of becoming established major-league starting pitchers. There are only a few dozen short pitchers in the major leagues today, but they include several who were all starters at one time or another.
Short pitchers usually have an easier time reaching high velocity because there's more room for their arms in relation to their bodies. They also tend to have better control because there's less stress on their shoulders from having to keep their arm in front of them for so long. Finally, they can reach higher levels with their fastballs because they don't need to open up their shoulder range as much to generate enough power behind their pitches.
All in all, these are advantages that help shorten pitchers stay in the major leagues longer than they would if they were of average height or taller.
Here are the current leaders among active short pitchers in terms of years spent in the major leagues: Jason Grilli (Jorge DePaula/Getty Images), Ryan Franklin (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images), and Chris Young (Scott Halleran/Getty Images). All three were starters at one time or another during their careers and now work as relievers.