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Bunting - Sacrifice

Square around

With the square around method, you will want to again pivot on the front foot but instead of using a jab step with the back foot, you will move the back foot forward, even or slightly forward of your pivot foot. This will square up your shoulders toward the pitcher. The advantage to using this method is that it's easier to bunt the inside pitch. The disadvantages are that it takes longer to get in position and you must be careful not to step out of the batters box or worse on the plate.

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Whether you square around or pivot, you want to make sure you are in a comfortable and athletic position to bunt the ball. Your knees should be bent and your bat should be held out in front of your body. The barrel of the bat should be at the same height as your eyes and at the top of the strike zone.

As the ball approaches use your knees to adjust to the height of the pitch. Many people believe it's difficult to bunt a high pitch. In actuality, the opposite is true. If you remember not to bunt any ball that is higher than the bat, then you are in great position to bunt the high strike. The lower pitch on the other hand requires you to drop down to be able to bunt it. To keep the barrel of the bat higher than the grip of the bat, you must use your knees to adjust to the low pitch. Never drop the bat head to bunt the ball. Use your knees and both arms to put the bat in the proper position to bunt the low pitch.

While a left-handed hitter may find it more comfortable to jab forward with the back foot, the right-handed hitter may find it more comfortable to drop the back foot. Again the most important thing is comfort and balance.

Making Contact

Focus on the top half of the ball as it approaches. Many people will talk about deadening the ball with bat as you make contact. All this means is that you will allow your arms to act as shock absorbers as contact is made. This is something to work on as you become more confident, but is secondary to being able to lay the bunt down in the direction you want. Determine the direction of the bunt with your lower hand. This keeps the location of the barrel of the bat in the same approximate location, no matter where you are going to bunt. This will help for consistency. If you're a right-handed hitter and you want the bunt to go towards third base, then pull your lower hand in towards you to provide the proper angle. For first base, push your lower hand out towards the mound to give the bat the proper angle.

Finally, be sure to always bunt the ball first and then run. When a sacrifice bunt is called, your job is to move the runner not to get a base hit. Lay down a good bunt and then run.

Player Tip

Keys to Sacrifice Bunting

  1. Move up slightly in the batters box. This will give you more fair territory to work with.
  2. Start your bat at the top of the strike zone. Take any pitch that is higher then you bat.
  3. Angle your bat so the barrel is higher than the grip. That way any foul will be fouled off to the side and not straight back towards the catcher.
  4. Bend your knees to adjust to the height of the pitch, don't drop your bat head to meet the ball. The barrel of the bat should always be kept higher than the grip even when bunting a pitch lower in the strike zone.
  5. Bunt the ball out in front of your body.
  6. Only bunt strikes.


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