Top 5 Tips for Bunting a Baseball

Top 5 Tips for Bunting a Baseball

Bunting is an absolutely critical part of the game of baseball. It can be used in a number of different situations such as moving runners by sacrificing the hitter, bunting for a hit, or using squeeze plays to score a run. Proper technique is necessary for bunting in baseball, and every player should learn this skill at a young age. The below tips are the top five things that every player should know about bunting.

  • 1. Know the Situation
  • Every situation calls for a different bunting approach, so you need to make note of the defense and what you are trying to accomplish. When evaluating the defense, you want to make note of the first and third basemen positions, the quickness and arm strength of the catcher, pitcher, and third and first basemen, and whether the pitcher is left or right handed. You also want to consider the goal of the current situation. For a bunt-for-a-hit, you want to delay showing bunt as long a possible to catch the defense off guard. For a suicide squeeze, you want to make sure that you absolutely make contact with the ball at all costs. Every situation has a slightly different approach.

  • 2. Hold the Bat Correctly
  • The bat should be held with the lower hand at the bottom of the bat near the knob. You should slide the top hand just over half way down the bat and grip it between your thumb and curled index finger. The fingers of the top hand should always be behind the bat to prevent them from being hit by the ball. The bat should be kept as level as possible as a tilted bat can often result in a pop-up.

  • 3. Use Your Legs
  • After you have squared around to bunt, you want to use your legs to move your body and the bat vertically up or down to make contact with the ball. If you use your arms instead, the tendency is to tilt the barrel of the bat up or down which can easily result in a pop up.

  • 4. Only Bunt Strikes
  • For many players, bunting is something that is rarely attempted during games. When players finally do get the bunt sign, they often get so involved in the process of bunting that they can forget that they still have the option to pull the bat back if the pitch is not a strike. This can result in poorly bunted balls or complete misses. With regard to evaluating balls and strikes, bunting should be no different than other at-bats, and hitters should keep this in mind.

  • 5. Use Your Hands as a Cushion
  • When contact is made with the ball, you want the ball to roll slowly down one of the baselines. If the ball is bunted with too much force, it can give the defense a chance to make a play. To prevent bunting a ball with too much force, you want to “give” a little with your hands upon contact. Some people call this “catching the ball with the bat.” It can take some of the speed off the ball and prevent the defense from making a play.

    Use these tips in any bunting situation to increase your chances of success. If they are understood and practiced, it can drastically improve your game.