When first learning the game of baseball, you generally learn that you have two kinds of bunts: sacrifice bunts, and bunts for a base hit. In fact, there are a few more sorts of bunts than merely those two. I like to call these types of bunts specialty bunts, because they’re only used in a few specific situations if a player feels it is necessary. These bunts are not as easy to execute than the regular bunt, however, if you execute it correctly, it can pay off big time. These kinds of bunts tend to be used in very important situations during a game and therefore they need to be mastered so that if you are ever asked to perform, you are able to with certainty.
Drag Bunt: This particular bunt is largely used by left-handed hitters mainly because it is much more effective. Nonetheless, you can certainly make use of this bunt if you are right-handed, however it won’t be quite as effective. The goal of the drag bunt is to get on base, not to sacrifice a base runner to the next base. To perform this bunt, you need to wait until the very last split second possible to reveal your intention to bunt and bunt the ball to the same side as you bat (left-handed batters to the first base side, right-handed batters to the third base side). The trick (particularly for left-handed batters) is to start running in the direction of first base as you bunt the ball, which is much tougher than it appears to be! This movement helps save valuable time and can make the difference between you being safe and you being out at first base on a close play.
Push Bunt: Ordinarily, as soon as a bunt is shown, the second baseman will go and cover first base while the pitcher, 3rd baseman, and 1st baseman all attempt to field the ball. The goal of a push bunt is to get a base hit by bunting the ball hard past the charging fielders towards where the second baseman would usually be (but bear in mind, he is over covering first base, not covering his typical location). This leaves no one to field your bunt in time to get you out at first base if you are a half-decent runner. To perform this bunt, you need to push the ball as you’re bunting it. Normally this is a no-no while bunting because you are supposed to “catch” the ball with the bat, but in this case you need to put some power on the bunt to get it past the pitcher’s mound and towards the 2nd base position.
Suicide Squeeze: The goal of the suicide squeeze would be to score a base runner from third base, generally performed with one out. With this bunt, you do not care if you are called out or safe at first as long as the runner at third base scores. With this play, when the pitcher commits, the base runner at third must break to steal home and after that it is the batter’s task to get the bunt down preferably away from home so the baserunner trying to score can’t be tagged out. This bunt is a do-or-die. As the batter, in an effort to protect your base runner from almost certain doom, you need to get the bunt down, even if this means bunting a bad pitch.
Hopefully, by knowing (and practicing) these different types of bunts, you’ll be able to perform them during a game whenever your team needs you to. While bunting isn’t typically the thrilling part of hitting, it can be if you execute during the right moments. It’s all about doing what you are able to help your team win the game, and bunting is an important part of doing that. Being able to bunt properly is a great advantage that coaches and scouts try to find in a player. Be sure you don’t slack off and learn how to bunt properly, as it will be worth it later!