Many coaches are in favor of giving up an out by bunting a runner
over to second or even third base. I believe this is a bunting
strategy that should be determined by a number of factors.
1. Is it a close game
2. Is it late in the game
3. Can the runner steal second instead of being bunted over
4. How well can the hitter bunt
5. What is the batting average and on base percentage of the hitter
It really doesn't make any sense to me, to have a batter at the
plate with a high on base percentage or batting average and have
him make an out just to move a runner over one base, especially
I may give you in a very close game where one run will win it to
bunt a man over to third with no outs, then have a squeeze bunt if
the next hitter is a capable man who can get the job done.
In Pony baseball, the chances seem to be better in favor of attempting
a steal, but again factors such as the runners ability to get a
good jump and the catcher's arm come into play.
In most situations, bunting a runner over early in the game just
doesn't make a lot of sense unless you are fairly sure it will
be a close game.
There is also something to be said for scoring the first run giving
your team a psychological advantage. But before you bunt a man over
consider who is coming up: are the chances favorable he can get
the job done with a base hit or fly ball, or is the hitter weak
and bunting is probably the best option for him? Even so, you've
got to consider who is coming up after him whether they can
be counted on to get a hit or fly ball.
Here is one bunting strategy that works almost every time.
Runner on third, or runners on any other base. Less than two
outs. The batter at the plate is an average or less hitter,
with weaker hitters coming up behind him....and you really want
to get a run in.
The batter bunts the ball down on the ground towards the
third baseman. Have the runner on third follow the third baseman
down the line, staying back from him 10 feet or so.
When the player throws to first for the out, you've got yourself
an easy run. Do remember, if the shortstop is playing heads up
ball and the third baseman is in the game, there may be an out
at third, depends on how far the second base runner is advanced
and how far the ball is bunted. But the chances of this happening
are fairly slim, the odds are in the offenses favor.
There really are no hard and fast rules that are absolute, but
the one thing I'm not in favor of early in the game is to
bunt a man over with decent hitters at the plate.
Even though everyone should be able to lay down a bunt if called
upon, the better hitters in the lineup usually have little bunting
experience in the game and so as a general rule are not really
that good at bunting simply because in most games in their past,
they hit and didn't have to bunt.
Remember what Earl Waver said: "If you play for one run, that's
usually all you'll get."
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