Probably the thing that I see most incorrect from youth coaches today is the bunting technique that they teach. Those of us who played baseball in the 60′s, 70′s, or 80′s were taught the square bunt with the horizontal bat. Teaching such technique is not only antiquated, but downright dangerous. A fastball thrown right at a bunter in a square position gives him almost no chance to get out of the way.
If a player can do something well, I don’t usually try to change him, except when it comes to bunting, because the pivot bunt is simply so far superior to the square bunt technique.
In addition, at the youth level, any bunt is a chance to bunt for a hit so its rare when bunting is done purely for a sacrifice. Moreover, at the younger levels, where stealing percentage is high, a steal and a bunt to move a runner from second to third is usually a superior strategic move. Especially early in the season, teams will often not have had time to practice bunt defense so its a great time to use bunting as an offensive weapon.
- When the pitcher is about to release the ball, the hitter should pivot on his toes so that both feet are facing the pitcher.
- Knees should be slightly bent.
- Bat should be at an angle with the barrel of the bat at the armpit of the hitter.
- The batter will pinch the bat with the top hand to make sure that the fingers are protected from being hit with the pitch.
- Batter will bend at the knees to hit the low pitch. Never bend the back!
- The handle of the bat is used as a lever to drop the ball down the third base or first base side.
Helpful Bunting Tips
- With the barrel at the arm pit, a hitter should never go up to bunt a ball since that pitch is out of the strike zone.
- To bunt a low pitch, the batter should bend at the knees and never bend the back. I tell the players to “ride the elevator” to bunt the pitch that is lower than the bat.
- If the bat is kept at an angle, it is impossible to pop it up. Try it and you’ll agree. It simply can’t be done.
- The best place to bunt the ball is just above the sweet spot of the bat as this will deaden the ball more, especially on an aluminum bat.
- A lot of coaches will teach batters to sneak up in the batters’ box when the bunt is on. I disagree. The bunt is more likely to go right down the line for a hit if the batter is in the normal plate position in the batter’s box.