Updated: Jan 30
Hi everyone, it’s Joe from multi-sport mindset. Today I'm going to give you 10 baseball bunting tips so you can learn how to bunt a baseball.
Be sure watch the bunting video because I'm going to compete in a bunting challenge where if I fail I'm going to climb up, over, and down a big baseball fence while coach Orv tries to peg and knock me down with tennis balls.
Number one of my top 10 tips to become a better bunter is to move up in the batter’s box. When you move up in the batter’s box, you create way more fair territory and a larger margin for error when bunting. This way even if the ball is bunted straight down, it's still fair, whereas if you are at the back of the batter’s box, or even halfway back in the box, it's foul. Also, if you bunt the ball right down the foul line, you’ve still got two to three feet on both sides of fair territory to work with.
Number three is to get nice and low in an athletic stable position. As a right-handed batter you want to square up to first base as if you were fielding a ground ball coming from the first base area. This means that, as a right handed batter, you open up our front foot towards third base and move your back foot in towards first base with both feet pointing towards first base. As a left handed batter you want to square up as if we were fielding a ground ball from the third basemen. Now that you are in this stable position if somebody was to push you you’re not going to fall and are very stable. You can give your bunters a gentle push to see if they're in a good stable position.
Number four is that you want to predict where the pitcher is going to throw the ball and put your body in a good position to bunt that pitch. A good pitcher will most likely throw the ball down around your knees to get a weak ground ball, so you want to get your body nice and low to be able to bunt a good strike at your knees. Because your body is now in the strike zone if the ball is above you, you can take it because it's a ball or if the pitch is below you, you can take it because it's a ball. By getting low you are right where you need to be to bunt a quality pitch.
Number five is that you want to have the bat right in front of your eyes and getting low with your body allows you to do that. If you don’t have the bat right in front of your eyes you can't see the ball coming in for the last six to eight inches before contact. If you’re low and the bat's right in front of your eyes you can see the ball right into the bat, setting yourself up for a successful bunt.
Number six is that you want to have your bottom hand down near the knob of the bat and your top hand holding the barrel of the bat in a thumbs-up position just below the barrel. Now if the ball was to hit your top hand it's still going to hurt but your hand can come off because of the thumbs up position. If you have your fingers wrapped around and holding the barrel of the bat and the ball hits your hand it's going to crunch your fingers against the bat, hurt a lot, and potentially break a finger. Your bottom hand holding the knob is a steering hand or a rudder that allows you to angle the bat so you can bunt the ball in the direction you want.
Number seven is that you want to create and pre-set your angle before that ball is ever thrown. If you want to bunt the ball to first as a right handed batter, you push the knob away from yourself creating a perfect bat angle towards first base. As a left handed batter to bunt bunting to first base, you pull the knob of the bat towards yourself. If you want to bunt the ball to third base as a right handed batter, you pull the knob of the bat towards your nipple. As a left handed batter bunting to third base, you push the knob away from yourself. Because your angle is pre-set all the ball has got to do is hit that bat and the ball goes in the direction that you want it to.
Number eight is that you want to square around to bunt way earlier than you think because a well-placed bunt is way more important and crucial for getting on base than surprising the defense or getting out of the batter's box quickly. A well-placed bunt is always a difficult play to make. By squaring early and pre-setting your angle, you give yourself the best chance to lay down a quality bunt.
Number nine is to think about where you want to bunt the ball if there's a baserunner on base.
If there is a runner on first base, you want to bunt the ball to first because the third baseman is crashing early and the fielder at first has to hold the runner until the ball is bunted. In this scenario if you bunt the ball to third it's an easy play to first and potentially a double play. If you bunt the ball to first and make the first basemen field it they're probably only going to be able to get the out at first. With a runner at first, if the first baseman ever crashes early on a bunt you just pull your bat back and the runner at first base steals second because no one is holding them on anymore. If there's a runner at second, or first and second, you want to bunt the ball hard at third base so the third baseman has to field it. With a baserunner at second, or first and second, the third basemen isn’t able to crash early on a bunt play because if they do you pull the bat back and the runner steals third because no one is covering the base. In this scenario the first basemen will be crashing early because they don't need to hold the runner on as there is a baserunner ahead of them. By bunting the ball to the third baseman the runners can advance as the third basemen vacates the bag and makes the out at first base.
Number 10 is to think about what situations you want to bunt or use bunting to your advantage. If the third baseman has a weak arm and you bunt the ball to them you're probably going to get on base. If the third baseman or the first baseman is playing very deep in the infield a well-placed bunt gets you on base. Let's say that you’re a line drive and hard ground ball hitter and the fielders are playing you deep on the infield so they can increase their range and some of your hits aren't going through. If you bunt one time and it's a well-placed bunt now the infielders are forced to play shallower which gives them less range allowing you to get more hits on low liners and hard grounders over the course of the season. I can remember one specific example that I myself had was I was playing where I hit a home run my first at bat and in my next at bat the infield was playing deep so I bunted and got a hit. Nobody was expecting it. I later hit a ground ball between shortstop and third base for a another hit because the infield was shallow from the previous at bat when I bunted.
By adding bunting to your repertoire, you will get more hits over the course of a season and you will have more tools in your toolbox to defeat the other team with. Hitting is difficult but bunting the ball is simple because all you're trying to do is get the ball to make contact with your bat which has a pre-set angle and is already in the strike zone.