Bunting - Drag Bunt

I've ran into some confusion between coaches on what is considered a drag bunt and what is considered a push bunt. For this instruction a drag bunt will be any bunt down either line that is meant to not be bunted past a player. A push bunt is any bunt where you want to push the bunted ball past the pitcher in order to get the ball into an area of the infield where the infielders will not have time to get the ball.

The drag bunt is difficult for young players to master but can be a great weapon for a player with good eye hand coordination and good speed. What makes it difficult is that in order to use the element of surprise, the player needs to wait as long as possible to show the bunt. This means that the player must be able to move quickly and still get in a good position to bunt the ball down the line.

Right-Handed Hitter

I think the easiest way for a right-handed hitter to drag bunt is to simply drop the right foot back while sliding the right hand up the barrel of the bat and pointing the barrel end of the bat towards first base. This puts the bat in the correct angle to bunt the ball down the third base line. Inside pitches can be difficult to bunt as that pitch forces you to lean back and prevents you from getting a good jump. Take any pitch that is higher than your current bat position. The best pitch for a drag bunt is from the middle to the outside part of the plate.

Left-Handed Hitter

Many left-handed hitters will learn to begin crossing the left foot over the right as they bring the bat forward. This can give them a quick start out of the box but it can be difficult for young players to time properly and there is a tendency to pull out of the box to quickly and miss the ball. I teach my youth players to either stay in their current position or move their back foot forward a couple inches to promote good balance. the pitcher while moving your left hand up the bat and bringing the bat forward. Point the barrel of the bat toward third base and be out in front of your body on contact. Look for a pitch from the middle of the plate in to bunt. A common mistake is to crossover and try to get a great jump while bunting the ball. Again, bunting the ball accurately is more important than getting a great jump.

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