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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Play Better - Winning Techniques For Baseball Players
By Ruth Cracknell
Bunting is an aspect of hitting which baseball players need to master. It is an important weapon for the team at bat.
Bunting For The Hit
The right and left hand batter moves differently when bunting to get on base but both need the element of surprise to be successful. The right-hander, at the last possible moment, draws back his right foot and puts his weight on it. At the same time, he brings both hands diagonally down and to the left until they are in front of the left hip. He then pulls the left hand back, letting the bat slide through the right until just before it reaches the label.
The bat is now level with the ground with the end extending into the strike zone. The left hand is close to the left hip, but above and in back of it. The right hand is about eight inches in front and above the left hip. The batter is now in position to "chase" the ball. He pushes off the back foot and goes after it with the left foot leading. The ball should make contact with the bat at just about the time the left foot strikes the ground. The batter then keeps going for 1st base.
the pitcher's arm is coming down. Just before the ball reaches the plate, the batter rocks back on his right foot, drops the bat, steps toward it with the left foot, bunts and keeps going. If the ball is wide, he faces the bat toward 1st and, in a sense, tries to keep contact with it as he runs toward 1st. If it's an inside pitch, he makes his step toward 3rd to bunt the ball.
The left hand batter, also striving for surprise, brings the bat down and takes his step with a single motion. The right hand drops to a point just above the right hip; the bat slides through the left until just before it reaches the label. The first step is also made with the back foot-but it's a cross over-step as the body pivots right. The left foot crosses in front of the right and toward 1st base if the pitch is inside, toward the mound if outside.
After the ball is bunted, of course, the baseball player keeps running. As the left hand batter gets more proficient with the "drag" bunt, he can start concentrating on just where to place it. He should try to put the ball at the first baseman's extreme right and the pitcher's extreme left in the bunting area.
If he can force the first baseman, or even the second baseman, to field the ball in this area, he has a base hit. If the first baseman ignores the bunt, it will take both the second baseman and pitcher too long to get to the ball to make the put-out.
If the first baseman fields the ball, the second baseman or pitcher will have to cover 1st base, which will be very difficult.
One more thought: The batter should remember that he doesn't have to bunt the ball. Actually, he should bunt the pitch he likes best. Many right hand bunters like the ball low and outside. Left hand batters usually like the inside pitch between the waist and the shoulders.
This technique should be practiced faithfully by every baseball player.
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Baseball Coaching Journal
Posted by Coach's Profile: at 4:20 AM