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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Baseball Coaching Digest: Situations for Bunting: Baseball's Most Underused Strategy

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Baseball Bunting: Baseball's Most Underused Offensive Strategy

By Guest Author: Dustin Peek

Bunting is the most underused strategy in the game of baseball. This especially applies to younger leagues where hitters haven't yet developed the skills or knowledge necessary to properly bunt a baseball. There are a number of situations where knowing when and how to bunt a baseball can be very beneficial to a baseball team. Read on to learn the most important situations for bunting a baseball.

Sacrifice Bunt

When attempting a sacrifice bunt, the hitter bunts the ball with the intention of being thrown out in order to move runners into scoring position. Statistics show that runners on second base and third base are much more likely to score a run than a runner on first base. Because of this, the sacrifice bunt can be one of the most important strategies used by teams to score runs.

A hitter should focus on a few key items when laying down a sacrifice bunt:

1. The hitter does not need to hide the fact that he is sacrifice bunting. The goal is moving runners, not getting on base.
2. The hitter should wait for a good strike to bunt.
3. The hitter should bunt down the first baseline to move a runner from first to second and down the third baseline to move a runner from second to third.

Bunting for a Hit

When a hitter tries to bunt for a hit, he is trying to get on base with the bunt. This can be especially difficult and is typically performed by the team's fastest runners.
A hitter should focus on these items when bunting for a hit:

1. The hitter should not let the defense know that he is bunting. The element of surprise is particularly important when bunting for a hit.
2. If the third baseman is playing back, the hitter should place the bunt down the third baseline.
3. A left-handed hitter can perform a drag bunt down the first baseline by starting to run to first base before contact is actually made with the baseball.
4. A push bunt can be used to push a hard bunt between the pitcher and first baseman.
5. A bunter should note whether the pitcher is right-handed or left-handed and bunt to the throwing arm side.
Squeeze Bunt

When a runner is on third base, a hitter can perform a suicide squeeze bunt to try to score the runner. To perform a squeeze play, the runner at third base actually begins running home before contact is made with the ball. The hitter bunts the ball and the runner scores.

These items should be considered when performing a squeeze bunt:

1. The hitter must make contact with the baseball regardless of where it is thrown to protect the runner.
2. The hitter should not let the defense know that he is bunting so that he catches them off guard.
3. The hitter should move out of the batter's box as soon as contact is made with the ball so that the runner has a clear path to score.
As described above, there are a number of different bunting situations and techniques in the game of baseball. These techniques can be learned by individuals and teams to improve performance and produce more runs.

Dustin Peek enjoys helping others learn the skills necessary to dominate on the baseball field. He is a former player and true fan of America's pastime. Click here to learn more about bunting baseballs or visit the Baseball Skills Center for even more baseball information.

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