How to Bunt
You have come to this page to learn how to bunt.
I want to ask you question. Let's test your knowledge of the game of baseball or fastpitch softball.
What are the 2 reasons we want to bunt?
Think about it. Do you think you know?
So here are the answers about bunting:
1) To try to get a base hit
and more commonly
2) To sacrifice. You give up your chance of getting on base to move your teammate closer to scoring a run.
Many times, learning why you're doing something helps you on how to bunt or whatever it is you're learning.
The Sacrifice Bunt
Let's take the second one first, since it's the most common.
Bunting is the easiest way and most sure way of putting the bat on the ball, because in essence, all you're doing is catching the ball with the end of the bat.
So we're going to learn how to bunt in such a way that we do just that, everytime the coach wants us to.
The easiest and most sure method on how to bunt is to face the pitcher as if you were playing catch with him. Notice I said easiest and most sure method, not necessarily the way the majority of batters set up to bunt.
The majority of batters learn how to bunt by staying in their batting stance, perpendicular to the pitcher, and just twist their feet so their shoulders are square to the pitcher instead. This is done so the fielders won't know too soon that you want to bunt. Another reason for this is so the batters don't have to think of two different stances, one for hitting and another for bunting.
You might even get a base hit this way.
But again, if you absolutely want the best way to sacrifice it is to have both eyes facing the pitcher and in a position that is as natural as catching a ball. Since the goal is to put the ball on the ground and not worry about whether you get on base or not.
The more advanced players will know how to bunt the ball to a location that makes it difficult to throw the lead runner out. For example, if you're up and your team has a runner on second base and your coach gives you the bunt sign, it would normally be best to bunt it to the third baseman, since he'd have to turn all the way around and hope his shortstop is covering his base to get your other runner out. This way they throw to get you out and your teammate is only one base away from scoring.
Bunt for a base hit
If you're up at bat to sacrifice, it's just a bonus if you get a base hit.
But there are times when you come to bat, if you're watching for it, when the fielding team isn't ready for the bunt, that if you know how to bunt you can get a base hit.
These times include when the fielders are too far back at first or 3rd base or when the pitcher throws a pitch and leans too far to one side after he throws (you'd bunt it to the other side of him or her).
Or maybe you know enough about the other team from experience or just watching them warm up, that you know the fielders can't throw well or the fielders have trouble catching the ball, that you want to try the bunt to get on base.
This brings up the mechanical part of bunting. The how to bunt part of this page.
How to hold the bat
You want to grip the bat with your bottom hand holding the bat loosely near the knob of the bat (or where it normally is holding the bat).
Move your top hand up the bat and turn your hand into the position like you're pulling the trigger on a gun (three bottom fingers curled under your forefinger, while the thumb goes on top of the bat and the bat rests on the crooked forefinger). This will keep your fingers on the back side of the bat so if the ball hits the bat near your top hand it won't hit your hand.
The top hand finds the balance point of the bat to rest the bat on your trigger finger.
You want to hold the bat in front of you with the bat barrel slightly above the handle.
This is done to get the ball going to the ground as quick as possible. If you hold it flat or with the barrel down, it's more likely that your bunt attempt will hit the top of the bat, making the ball go up and this could result in the other team catching the fly ball and worse yet, catching it and then throwing it to get the your other teammate out.
How to bunt all strikes
Only bunt strikes. If the pitcher wants to walk you that will give your team more chances to score than if you get out on the sacrifice. Plus, if you are trying to move the runner up from first, a walk does this without giving up an out.
So position the bat at the top of the strike zone. This way if the ball goes over the bat, you pull it back, it's going to be a ball.
Then for any other pitch, just bend from that position you're already in, still just catching the ball at the meat part of the bat.
Once you've bent as far as you can comfortably, your bat will be at the bottom of the strike zone, and if it's lower than that, you'll pull the bat back and let it go for another ball.
That's all there is to it. You never move the bat to the ball, you just receive the ball to the bat.
Once you master these steps, there is more to learn about bunting, but this will cover 90% of what you need to know on how to bunt. You'll need to find other pages for things like drag bunting, slap hitting, etc.
Here's another resource on
how to bunt.
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