Bunting Fundamentals




WACO-  Texas at Baylor 3/20/21


There is much talk in baseball today about launch angles and exit velocities.  About how bunting is giving away outs.  “Never bunt.  Hit dingers.”  We only hit 3 homeruns as a team last year so we had to find other ways to score runs. 


In 2019, San Antonio Warren HS batted .251 as a team and scored 132 runs in 29 games (4.55 runs per game).  We were 25 for 31 scoring at least one run in an inning with a successful bunt.  50 out of 132 runs (38%) scored in an inning with at least one bunt.  Another way to look at it is, we only scored 82 runs last year without the help of a bunt (2.8 runs per game).


These statistics tell me the bunt was an offensive weapon for us.  I believe the main reason is it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on a high school infielder.  Most, if not all, 14-18 year olds will feel that pressure as they race to a bunt, field it cleanly and fire a strong accurate throw to a bag.  Something to think about regarding bunt statistics is the level infield play.  We aren’t bunting vs MLB or NCAA infielders and pitchers.


Bunting Fundamentals


Every player on the team needs to be able to sacrifice and suicide squeeze bunt.  Players with very good skills, good speed, and/or poor hitting skills need to practice and execute a drag bunt.  The safety squeeze must be learned, practiced and executed by the bunter and base runner before insertion.


All bunts have some similar fundamentals all starting with the sacrifice bunt.


Sacrifice Bunt



-Move up in the box and toward home plate.  Make sure contact is made in front of the plate.  It gives a better angle to help the bunt stay fair.  Teams do not easily recognize the movement.


-Look like you are going to hit.

-Do not give away that you are bunting until the pitcher’s hands separate.


-Square around when the pitcher’s hands separate.

1. Pivot your feet to point your toes to the pitcher or slightly to the opposite field.

2. Slight knee bend is important.  We have to be in an athletic position in case the ball is thrown at us.

3. Create a “pincher hand” with your top hand and place in a balanced position just below the barrel of the bat.

            a. To make a “pincher,” curl your fingers and pinch the second knuckle of your index finger with the          thumb.

            b. Find the balance point in the bat by holding it with only the “pincher hand”

            c. We pinch the bat to prevent the ball from smashing our fingers.

4. Choke up the bat approx. 1 inch with your bottom hand to create a “rudder.”

            a. Your rudder hand controls the direction you want to bunt the ball. (Example: RH batter pulls his left hand in to bunt the ball down the 3rd base line)

            b. Set the angle of the bat in the direction you want to bunt the ball before the pitch is thrown, not as the pitch is arriving.  This will prevent pushing the ball (we want to catch the ball on the barrell).

            c. The angles are hard to learn.  Start with bunting the ball back to the pitcher and work your way toward the lines.

5. Place the bat at the top of the strike zone (remember the zone has changed slightly with the knee bend) on a level plane.  Keep the bat in front of (not below) the eyes

            a. With the bat at the top of the strike zone we know that any ball above our bat we pull the bat back to take  the pitch.

            b. Most bunters want to place the bat too low (around the belt) and take their hands to the ball.  We want to bunt with our knees keeping the bat in front of our eyes.

            c. Make sure the bat is out over the plate.  Check by having the player square then drop the bat straight down in front of the plate.

            d. Unless the pitcher throws a ball (pull the bat back and take the pitch), the bat should stay at the top of the strike zone in front of the eyes.  For a strike thrown at the knees, simply bend the knees as far as they go and the player should be able to get the bat on a low pitch.

6. Arms should be almost fully extended out over the plate and toward the pitcher.

            a. Foul tips occur more often while bunting with bent arms.

            b. Do not fully extend the arms to a lock.  Player will look robotic/stiff.

7.  80% of the player’s weight needs to be on the back leg/back side.

            a. The more weight on the back the better the bunter.

            b. This allows patience and good pitch selection.

            c. Remember this is a SACRIFICE BUNT.  You are probably giving yourself up to move a runner, not        bunting for a base hit where you have to get out of the box quickly.

8. With a runner at first base, we bunt the ball down the first base line.

            a. Most teams will pull their 3rd baseman in for this situation.  Make the 1st baseman or pitcher field the bunt.

            b. If they run a different bunt coverage change the angle accordingly.  Or if they bring both corner infielders in, turn it into a slash.

9. With a runner at 2nd only or with runners at 1st and 2nd, bunt the ball down the 3rd base line.

            a. Most teams will pull their 1st baseman in for this situation.  Make the 3rd baseman or pitcher field this bunt.

            b. The same rules as above apply to a good bunter if the defense runs a different bunt coverage.

10. A hard grip will produce a hard bunt and a loose grip will produce a softly hit bunt.

            a. Use the pitcher’s velocity to your advantage.  There is no need to try and push or swing through the ball.

11. Do your job and move the runner(s)!

            a. If the pitcher walks you, you have done your job.

            b. EXECUTE



Article contributed by Brandon Bippert (Bio)