What are the multiple aspects of the drag bunt?

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The drag bunt can be an extremely effective tool in the arsenal of a speedy left-handed hitter when executed properly. It gets its name from the appearance that the ball follows the batter up the line, being “dragged” behind him after he bunts the ball.

Primarily used when bunting for a base hit, when properly placed it takes a near-perfect play from the defense, usually the pitcher, to record the out.

Use the pitcher’s natural follow-through to improve your chances of success.

A true drag bunt can only be executed by a left-handed hitter, as his objective is to drag the bunt behind himself to the right side of the infield as he runs down the first base line.

The most effective method to achieve success using this bunt type is to implement the play against a left-handed pitcher. This is due to the fact that many left-handed pitchers naturally fall off the mound toward the third base side.

With the pitcher following through toward 3rd base, he not only finds himself farther away from the bunt itself, but the pitcher must also stop and reverse his natural direction in order to attempt to make a play on the ball.

Having to reverse his direction takes precious seconds, making it likely he’ll either not reach the ball in time, or will be late in making the throw to first.

What are the multiple aspects of the drag bunt?

Start with your normal stance. Surprise with the pivot stance.

The drag bunt starts with your normal stance in the batter’s box, with the exception that you might have more weight initially distributed to your front foot rather than your back foot. This setup allows you to quickly swing your back leg around and into position at the very last moment, surprising the fielders.

With the pitch on the way, you must quickly convert from your batting stance into a typical bunt pivot stance. Keep in mind that the element of surprise for the drag bunt is crucial to its success. Don’t tip off your interests prior to the pitcher releasing the pitch.

Don’t forget your running start. Be aggressive.

As the pitch is thrown, the objective of the drag bunt is not to wait for the pitch, but rather aggressively react toward it while beginning your running motion toward first base.

At the point of contact you should already be well into your first stride toward first with your back foot crossing over your front foot and your body now squarely facing first base. Your arms and bat should be trailing behind your body to complete the contact with the ball.

Few changes to typical fundamentals.

Be sure to review the bunting fundamentals associated with the pivot stance. Other than the running start, many of the steps necessary to implement the drag bunt include pivot stance techniques.

One exception, other than the running component, is that as you’re starting your running motion toward first base, your bat should be angled slightly more than normal. The head of the bat should be distinctively higher than its handle. This helps to naturally pull the ball down the first base line behind you.

The best pitch … the inside pitch.

The easiest pitch to handle when implementing a drag bunt is the inside pitch, as this location makes it more likely you’ll pull the ball down the first base line. Unfortunately, since you must start this bunt in motion before you can judge where the pitch will be, you’re likely to find yourself having to deal with a pitch location that isn’t going to be easy to handle. So, you must be prepared.

Making contact with extremely high or low pitches will also cause problems, as you must fight against your own motion toward first to move your arms and hands.

The change in viewing angle of the pitch may also cause depth perception problems, as far as being able to accurately judge the height and distance of the ball as your body is in motion.

Keeping your feet in the box.

One last thing to remember about the drag bunt is that you must keep both feet inside the batter’s box when you make contact with the ball. This can be extremely difficult given the fact that you’re starting your bunt attempt on the run – a running start that can often be the difference between being called safe or out.

For this reason, begin your stance with your feet in the middle to back end of the batter’s box. This will help to keep your first strides within the confines of the batter’s box. If you should make contact with the ball with one or both of your feet outside of the batter’s box, you will be called out.