The sacrifice bunt is primarily used to advance base runners but may possibly score or at least get into a scoring position. A sacrifice bunt is no surprise and should be shown early. Showing the bunt early will usually bring in the first and third basemen closer to home plate. With nobody holding the base runners, they are now able to take a slightly larger lead. Now when the bunt is laid down and a play is made getting the batter out, the runner(s) can advance or even score if on third. If the fielders can’t make a play or holds the base runner(s) on, this also is to your advantage because you now have at least two base runners on.
The drag bunt is slightly different in you’re trying to trick the defense and bunt for a base hit. A drag bunt, unlike the sacrifice should surprise the defense, so you don’t want to show bunt too early. Instead, you want to wait until the last possible moment. This keeps the first and third basemen further away from home plate giving them more ground to cover to make a play. If there are no base runners on base, it is best to bunt down the third base line because this is the harder play for the defense. If there is a base runner on third however, bunting the ball down the first base line is optimal to cause the defense to make a decision to either get the out at first or hold the runner on third allowing the batter a bunt for a base hit.
Bunting is a great offensive tool to move runners, score runs, and can win a game! Bunting puts the team goals first, but you can bunt for base hits increasing your personal versatility at the plate. Every ball player needs to know how to bunt. Here are some tips to help learn how to properly and effectively bunt.
Tip #1: Visualize the bunt! All great players envision success before it happens. See yourself putting down the bunt before stepping into the batter’s box. Having your mind in the right mind-set will always give you an advantage.
Tip #2: Move to the front of the batter’s box. You want the head/barrel of the bat out in front of home plate. This is in case the ball goes straight down you will still have a fair ball and a hard play for the defense to make.
Tip #3: Hold the bat properly. Hold the bat head/barrel up and out in front of home plate. Hold the bat handle slightly lower than the head/barrel. This will help ensure you are on top of the ball and driving it down. You do not want to be under the ball and popping it up for an out. Your hands should be apart for better control. Your bottom hand should be firmly around the knob of the bat and your top hand (bat between your thumb and index finger) just below the head/barrel of the bat.
Tip #4: Use your body/legs when adjusting the bat level (up and down) to make contact with the ball. Do not use your hands! Using your hands will likely result in popping up.
Tip #5: Bunt only strikes. Pull the bat back out of the strike zone on bad pitches, bunting a bad pitch will likely result in popping up, fouling the ball off or getting a called strike when you miss.
Tip #6: Catch the ball with your bat. Do not try to push the bat into the ball.