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Multiple facets on learning how to bunt

Elvis Elvis

When learning how to bunt, it is good to learn bunting motives and the various approaches necessary for each of those motives, as there are several bunting methods.

How to bunt for both surprise and anticipated situations.

If you’re intending to advance a base runner, you should be less concerned with trying to hide your bunt, and more concerned about bunting the ball to a location that makes it difficult for the fielders to throw that runner out. In this instance, the element of surprise is typically not a vital part of the baseball strategy, as the fielders are likely anticipating and prepared for the bunt.

Instead, you should set yourself up into a good bunting position well in advance of the pitch reaching you, perhaps incorporating the square-around stance. This can be as early as when the pitcher is about to begin his windup. This gives you a chance to settle in and prepare to bunt that pitch exactly where you want to, rather than attempting a precise bunt at the last moment with little time to prepare.

This is different than when you attempt to bunt the baseball for a base hit. When learning how to bunt for a base hit, you want to hold off on squaring around to bunt until the last possible moment in an effort to surprise the infielders. For these instances, the pivot stance is likely to be your bunt stance of choice.

Waiting for the last moment to set up for the bunt has its disadvantages, such as your stance not being refined, or preventing you from gaining the best view of the pitch as it’s released from the pitcher’s hand. However, if able to drop that bunt regardless of these drawbacks, the element of surprising the fielders goes a long way to helping you reach base.

Multiple facets on learning how to bunt

Step up in the box and bend your knees for a better bunt position.

When learning how to bunt, regardless of the situation, some key elements should always be followed. First, you should plant your feet as far forward in the batter’s box as is permissible. However, if attempting to be deceptive, be careful not to give away your intentions by moving too far from your normal batting stance feet location.

The benefits of being closer to the pitcher are two-fold. It is much easier to get a ball down in fair territory from the front position of the box, even when catching a ball at a poor angle. Also, you’re a couple of steps closer to first base for when you break out of the box.

When getting ready to bunt the ball, stand straight with your knees slightly bent. Your bent knees help you adjust your balance and quickly move your upper body up or down depending on the pitch location. You do this by straightening or bending at the knees more from your set position.

Having bent knees also allows you to spring out of the box quickly and in a good running position.

When learning how to bunt, watch out for the high fastball!

When learning how to bunt, be sure to set your objective to bunting the ball immediately downward. The ideal landing position of the ball is just beyond the ring of dirt surrounding the batting area, right on the grass. The ball should be placed where it will have just enough roll that the catcher shouldn’t have a play on it, and at an angle that the pitcher too shouldn’t be able to easily field it.

Naturally, you should always attempt to bunt middle to low pitches, as they are the easiest to bunt downward. High pitches, particularly high fastballs, are extremely difficult to bunt and often cause you to pop the ball into the air for an easy pop out. So, try to avoid bunting the high pitches if the situation allows.

If sacrificing a runner, and the runner is taking off on the pitch, you may not have the option of choosing which pitch to bunt. In the event of a high pitch in these situations, do whatever it takes to get the ball down, even if it means using some extreme body language to get over the ball with the bat, knocking the bunt downward.

Avoid the called strike.

When the defense suspects a sacrifice or bunt play is on, the pitcher is likely to throw high pitches, particularly fastballs, to make it difficult for you to bunt the ball.

When learning how to bunt, practice pulling the bat head away from any pitch you don’t want to attempt to bunt in an effort to avoid these types of pitches (if the situation allows). If unable to do so in a real game situation, a strike will be called even if you don’t actively make an effort at making contact with the ball.