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How to surprise the infielders using the push bunt?

Elvis Elvis

The ‘push bunt’ is a bunt style designed to use the element of surprise in order to get a base hit. It may also be used in sacrifice bunt situations, but more often than not is used in unconventional situations, where the defense is not expecting a sacrifice and playing a good distance back.

Deception and aggressiveness, with a little oomph!

Like the pivot stance, this bunt type relies on deception. Therefore, hiding your intentions and quickly implementing your actions is very important.

The push bunt is sometimes referred to as a swinging bunt, as this is the visual deception you want to achieve. Using many of the techniques associated with the pivot stance, what differentiates the push bunt is that rather than waiting for the ball and softening its contact with the bat, as the hitter you should aggressively go after the ball.

The goal of the push bunt is to bunt the ball to the left or right side of the pitcher’s mound with enough oomph to get the ball past the pitcher. While needing to bunt the ball hard, this should not be done with so much power that the corner or middle infielders will be able to reach the ball with enough time to throw you out.

How to surprise the infielders using the push bunt?

One quick motion right into your first running steps to first base.

Start out using your traditional batting stance in the batter’s box, although you may wish to spread your feet apart slightly more than normal. That is unless your stance is already wide. However, unlike typical bunting stances’, moving forward in the box is not necessary. Your forward motion when aggressively attacking the ball will naturally lead you to make contact out in front of the plate.

As the pitch approaches, shift your weight forward and pivot on your front foot, while at the same time sliding your hand up the bat’s barrel. Your weight shift to your front foot is the start of your running motion to first base, using your pivot foot to push off from. This should all be accomplished in one quick motion.

Once contact has been made, your body motion should be leading you right into your running stride. But, before taking off down the first base line with this running start, be sure to make contact with the ball. If you’re a right-handed hitter, starting out of the box too soon and missing the bunt could result in you being hit by the pitch, and not being granted first base because of your “swing” at the ball.

A cross between a bunt and a full swing.

Though the bat is still held in a traditional pivot stance style upon contact, with your lead hand well up the bat’s barrel, your body motion should have the effect of bringing your arms down through the strike zone and ball – somewhat similar to your normal hitting swing.

The primary difference between the push bunt and your normal swing, other than the hand positioning, is that your wrists shouldn’t roll over. The bat remains stationary when making contact with the ball, leading to just the right amount of power transferred to the ball to push it past the pitcher.

Locating the push bunt.

Your goal should be to push the ball with your natural body motion, so left-handed hitters should attempt to push the ball to the third base side of the pitcher’s mound, while right-handed hitters down the first base side of the mound.

Ideally, your best chance to do this is to make contact with a middle to outside part of the plate pitch. Having an outside pitch to work with helps you to better push the ball to the opposite side of the mound from your hitting side. Of course, with only one shot at keeping your actions a surprise, you have to make due with what you get.