Bunt To Advance Base Runners
A Very Special Part Of The Baseball Hitting Art....
Baseball Bunting should be practiced and practiced until the art and skill of bunting becomes second nature and is executed to perfection by the very best of hitters.
Ironically the physical makeup of a player plays very little or only a minor part in becoming a good small ball or bunting ball player.
Bunting is an art of bat control and mechanical movement more so than an exercised skill of power performance. The good bunter is simply a player who realizes that the team play and his teammates are depending on his ability to be johnny on the spot and come thru like a champ.
Much of the strategy, of consistent winning, more often than not boils down to the teams of players who can execute this bunting by the book advancing runners to scoring position.
Attitude is an essential element in developing into a top notch team player as a skilled hitter.. You see there is a little bit of pride, although it is misplaced pride, as some ball players only want to be long ball power hitting heroes.
For these players it is not within their heart or mind, that the best hitting tips and laying down the timely bunt provides the mojo capability for bunting the baseball and is a team effort for victories, and is more important than their vanity.
Being a really good bunter takes a lot of "want to".
Then there are those ball players who take tremendously great pride in their capability to lay down that perfectly executed bunt. That is my kind of player.
Honestly it is what a true baseball fan enjoys to watch and root for. Baseball fans get a great lift of pride in watching their team be really good at the basic fundamentals and executing with timely precision.
There are three basic (3) types of bunts. Each serves a specific and needed function in its particular place and time of the game and all can provide the team with that winning edge. Baseball bunting is employed almost without fail during every baseball game.
A. There is the "sacrifice bunt." B. There is the "suicide or squeeze bunt." C. There is the "drag bunt."
A. Sacrifice bunt is just as it is described. A player when bunting the baseball sacrifices, his turn at bat as an all out cracker jack hitter to make an out, while allowing his teammate to advance a base and to be put into scoring position.
The sacrifice bunt is the most often used of all the bunting strategies. Every team player should do his level best to be good at this effort.
It should be a cakewalk but it is really tricky in that the pitcher will try to out play the hitter. One universal rule all pitchers are taught, when a batter attempts or threatens a bunt, is to throw that pitch hard and high up into the strike zone.
A high pitch is hard to bunt because it disturbs our natural eye hand coordination element. The eye hand coordination is best at about the belt high level.
You will even find if you closely observe that even the professional major leaguers have their miscues trying this sacrifice bunt stunt. We can beat the odds with practice and proper technique and burning desire of "want to."
The professional or famous baseball hitters worth their salt should litterally be ashamed any time he fails to properly handle the sacrifice bunt.
B. Suicide or squeeze bunt is employed rarely and only when a runner is on third base. Normally such a bunt is attempted late in the game with less than two outs and again only then when you have two good elements in your favor.
The runner at third should be somewhat fleet footed and a very savvy baserunner. The hitter should be a player with known acumen and subtle but proven ability to put that bat on the ball.
The normal reason for even attempting a suicide or squeeze bunt is to provide for a go ahead run thus providing that winning edge late in the ball game.
One absolute must in this suicide or squeeze play is the hitter has to put the bat on that ball otherwise his teammate is a sitting duck.
On the pitch, the runner is coming home, if the hitter fails his part of the setup, then the runner doesn't have a ghost of a chance of being safe.
C. The surprise opportunistic Drag Bunt is a bunt to be executed (by a spontaneous act) by the hitter in an attempt to get on base safely. The drag bunt is an execution designed to outfox the opposing infielders and reach base safely and provide your team with a base runner who is sorely needed in a close game.
Bunt hit is simply taking advantage of a very lax play of the defensive play of your opponent. Baseball terminology simply takes what baseball offers and uses words to describe the action,
The bunt hit sometimes will take advantage of a third baseman playing too deep at third base and sofly letting his bat bunt hit the ball and outruns the inept defensive positioning of the player thus the ensuing late throw by the third baseman.
I did not list it as one of the standard three most used baseball bunting techniques but had to mention it. In all reality it is brought about by being invited and caused by the playing position of the defensive player. Instead of standing at the plate and taking a full swinging cut at the ball the hitter just taps the ball lightly with his bat and this bunt hit is as good as a line drive single.
The one thing of particular importance in becoming good at the bunting game hitting is to be naturally relaxed, concentrate on the incoming pitched ball and practice until it is second nature to plunk that ball softly onto the grass of the infield.
The next time you watch a hitter try to lay down a bunt notice he is unsure and nervous in his attempt to put the bat on the ball. Normally what you see is someone trying to punch the bat toward the ball in a herky jerky action.
If the hitter would simply relax let the ball come on into the stike zone and then deftly let the ball hit his loosely held bat. The result of this sure handed confident placement of bat on the ball lets little white baseball say, "ka plunk" right out onto the infield grass.
The ball will make a forward roll if the bat is placed onto the top part of the ball. This forward roll gets it out and away from the catcher to handle and is soft enough to keep the charging infielder from getting to it in time to double up the teammate advancing to the next base.
Hey good buddy put that bat onto the lower half or bottom part of the ball and what you get is a pop up and an easy put out for the catcher or the pitcher.
I will say without fear of a lot of contradiction, the art and skilled performance of most hitters being jam up good bunting hitters is more rare than common.
Almost every sport has one or two skilled playing actions which separates the All-Star player from the rest of the team.
In baseball that separating action is found in ones ability to be a good baseball bunting hitter. In basketball the separating action is the ability to shoot free throws at 80 percent or higher percentage all the time.
Although bunting is a seldom used offensive weapon, for most hitters, it is the difference maker for teams being able to grab that championship trophy or simply playing a season of baseball.
Be comfortable, be knowledgeable, be heads up, be intent, be a complete baseball player.
When I say be natural do not ignore the known proven good techniques but simply this-Be Natural.
If you will not master the "natural ability and want to" and the dedicated intensity of focus needed to put the bat on that ball then forget it.
You will never become the player the coach has confidence in, to call upon for execution of that bunt, with you at the bat.
Do not ignore this bunting and becoming a better baseball player. Have pride in being able to accomplish all things well.
Your teammates truly love and respect the all around baseball player. Your teammates are the ones who really know the difference you make to the team.
Then too I did not say we didn't need you on our team. You might be the best center fielder in the entire county and can knock the cover off that rock. You are simply, not the complete player you could be, if only you could handle that bunting. What technique are you recommending for being that good baseball player bunting the baseball?
Baseball playing rules come into play in this bunting of a baseball. One of the baseball game rules says, "Try to bunt on a third strike and the ball goes into foul territory you are out automatically as strike three."
Again there are volumes written on being a baseball hitter. Hitting and baseball bunting should be synonymous. The difference is simply a perception. Placing the bat onto the ball means concerted concentration superb bat control and great eye hand coordination.
This, believe me, comes with practice and more practice.
How to bunt:
Now given that this eye hand coordination takes practice, let's you and I do the right technique with our practicing. This technique thing can be complicated but let us keep it simple.
Be natural, there is a happy medium there somewhere that is just right.
Think of Goldilocks when it was just right, she took advantage of a good thing. If you are too loose that ball says ka-plunk and dies right there but where did you want to put that apple?
Now you are getting the hang of this baseball bunting. Practice on gripping the bat and making that ball dance to your tune. Too loose, Ka-Plunk and too tight, straight to the pitcher for an easy out.
We must practice and learn as we practice. When its right you betcha, we will know it.
Why in the postion of an X across your chest? But everybody always told me to hold my bat parallel to the ground when baseball bunting.
Yes, but they didn't always know into what part of the strike zone the pitcher would throw that pill.
Baseball bunting is a cat and mouse game between the hitter and the pitcher. The pitcher never tips his hand as to which pitch is coming. The hitter certainly in most cases wants to surprise all by his slick as a button Ka-plunk.
A talented baseball bunting player is feared by all opposing teams. He simply ruins their mind set.
Do not leave yet for there are a lot of little tips and nuances concerning this bunting game which can be shared.
For good eye hand coordination, it is 90 per cent easier to bring a bat down onto a ball than to raise it up and put that bat on the ball. Watch a youngster try to put that egg in an easter basket.
It is so natural for that youngster to bend over and place an egg into a basket sitting on a footstool than for him to reach up and lay it on that green easter straw in a basket on the table which is almost shoulder high.
The youngster will often let the egg slip out of his hands when the elevation takes that eye hand coordination out of range from the norm.
Take a hint baseball bunting requires practice and good eye hand coordination.
Stand in the normal upright position and tell me where your hands are. Are your hands above your head ? Are your hands level with your shoulders?
No, the best natural or normal eye hand coordination will be at our waist level (belt or belly button) or lower check it out. Our brain and nerve system tells our eyes to look down if we want to find our hands.
The entire mechanics of our body system is managed by that magical brain and electrical system that tells every part of our body where all the other parts are all the time, 100 per cent of the time. That's the magic of this eye hand coordination I want you to fully understand.
Baseball bunting is talent and a learned habit because our bodies nerve and brain systems are in control.
Check me out-- the butcher the baker and the candle stick maker would not all be wrong. Look at the apron of a bucther and the apron of the baker forget the candle stick maker. Edison messed up the act when he invented the light bulb.
Anyway, what you will find is that their work effort shows on their aprons right about belly button level. Most likely this is the area where their eye hand coordination is the most comfortable.
Just for kicks if you have to have some major surgery would you dare tell your surgeon "Hey Doc, I'm tired of being low down so if you don't mind raise your operating table about 18 inches when you do my surgery."
You wouldn't dare, because that is not the natural comfort zone for eye hand coordination is it? Now I think you get my drift. Let's not tinker with our natural internal controls for learning to put that bat on the ball.
Soon and very soon you are going to be baseball bunting better than the men playing in the Big Show.
The rules of baseball i.e the strike zone is basically the area across the plate and from the knees to the arm pits (shirt letters) a small rectangular box. The pitcher for a strike must throw into that box so we know there is where the ball is normally.
Now what we need to conquer by practice is those pitches that come into the top 1/3 of that zone or rectangular box. The ball coming belly button to arm pit or top of the letters of our shirt are the hardest to put the bat on. It is just a fuzz above our eye hand comfort level.
Balls pitched and coming belt high to knee level are a cakewalk.
We will eat them up every time, right? At least let's pretend we have the savvy and "want to". Our practice makes baseball bunting of balls in that zone kindergarten stuff.
Here is what we have learned to be good and successful baseball bunting ball player. Lean slightly, reachout and eureka this bunting thing is easy as pie. Not so fast, hotshot, that pitcher out there is going to fog that rock in there high and hard.
Okay, now try to lay that apple down gently. You must be patient, and let some pitches go, being a success in baseball bunting of that pitch which is high in the strike zone is doubly hard.
The only exception to this, let it go, is when we are into the suicide or squeeze bunting.
It will take practice and a lot of "want to", in being that baseball bunting teammate the team needs for that winning edge.
When baseball bunting you want to control that bat and place it onto the ball, being firm or soft with grip of the bat then gingerly place that ole hosshide, like an easter egg, onto that soft green infield.
Find that natural grip which allows the bat control to be a soft give or a firm push, holding that bat across the letters, away from your body. You will be begging little brother to throw some more so you can practice longer.
Practice pepper with any of the small fry you can round up in the neighborhood. Now practice this bunting thing until you become a coaches dream of a complete baseball bunting player. Baseball Bunting is a specific and precise practiced art of hitting which every great hitter will master.
The super baseball bunting player will not receive the local paper headlines. As a matter of fact he is not even mentioned in the superlatives of how the game was won.
You must be able to overcome such a shortsighted view of the media and the general public, however, coaches know and your teammates know who was the one responsible for the win.
A timely well executed baseball bunt moving runners into scoring position is a team players delight. In due time every baseball player schooled and delivering that much needed and timely bunt are the toast of all true baseball fans.
Bunting the baseball is an extension of your hitting skills and should be a dominant aspect toward achieving and being a really good hitter.
Practice and do it till it becomes second nature and be proud of being the most feared hitter to step into that batters box. Hitters who can pop that well placed bunt onto that diamond is repected by all opposing pitchers.
Baseball bunting and baseball hitting, baseball hitting and baseball bunting it is one and the same. To place the baseball short and soft onto the infield we call a bunt.
There are times we want to hit the baseball with a certain control or placement of the ball. In situational times where our team is having significant hard time for generating scores and hits because we are facing a fireball ace out there on the opponents mound calls for calculated strategy.
With our hitter at the plate noted for getting wood on the ball with real consistency we may call him over and tell him, "Get wood on the ball, be positive to hit the ball, but keep the ball on the ground." Our strategy is to advance an on base runner with a better probablilty of the hitter getting a hit rather than the a sacrifice of a bunt.
A strategy of a semi bunt and a bat control hit was just presented to you but to really explain all the nuances involved would be exhaustive. I will try to cover at another time.
Click here and go back to review my take on the the skills of Baseball Hitting since baseball bunting is a unique part of Baseball Hitting.
Studying and practicing all five essential elements for Hitting should be repeated until it is natural and automatic reflex instead of a must do this or that.
Batter Up----Let's Play Ball....
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