In baseball, the batter who hits eighth in the lineup ahead of the pitcher. This term is only applicable to hitters in the National League, as the American League uses a designated hitter in the ninth spot.
The 8-hole hitter is traditionally one of the weaker, if not the weakest batting spots in the lineup, and is usually reserved for players who provide better defense than offense. Because pitchers tend to be very poor hitters, 8-hole hitters are often “pitched around” by the opposing pitcher, because the next batter is considered an easy out. However, if there are already two outs when the eighth place hitter comes to plate, the opposing team will often do the opposite—if the 8-hole hitter makes the third out of the inning, then they are often forced to lead off with the pitcher the next. For this reason, 8-hole hitters are often good contact hitters, as putting the ball in play might help ensure that the pitcher gets an at-bat before the inning is over.