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Sacrifice bunts, or “sac” bunts, are exactly what they sound like. The batter is sacrificing themselves to advance runner(s) on base. If a batter successfully advances runners on an attempted sac bunt, they have done their job. Below we will get into further detail regarding all things sacrifice bunts and will provide some key tips and tricks that will hopefully help you practice and perfect the sacrifice bunt. Remember, you cannot perform a sacrifice bunt without a baseball bat, and batting gloves never hurt either!
A sacrifice bunt Is best and most often performed to advance a runner(s) to the next base in order to prevent a double play being turned, and/or to get a runner into scoring position. Depending on where the runners are on base, you will need to bunt down either the first or third base line.
When a runner is on first base, you will want to sacrifice bunt down the first base line, as the first baseman must hold the runner on first base, and the third baseman and pitcher will be charging to make a play on the bunted ball.
On the other hand, when a runner is on first and second base, or only second base, you will want to bunt the ball down the third base line. The first baseman does not have to hold the runner on first base in this instance, so he will be charging the bunted ball with the pitcher. You will want to make the third baseman field the bunt in this case, because if the pitcher or first baseman field the bunt, they could potentially throw the runner on second out at third.
While laying down a sacrifice bunt may seem very simple and straightforward, there are some key steps you need to remember to make sure you are successful in your sacrifice attempt. These steps are as follows:
Now that we have discussed how and when to sacrifice bunt, let’s go over some of the more complicated and in-depth aspects of a sac bunt with some FAQ’s.
Simply put, a successfully performed sacrifice bunt does not count as an at bat. However, it does count as a plate appearance.
As long as there is a runner on third base, and a sacrifice bunt is attempted, it can be called a squeeze play. On the other hand, a sac bunt attempted while the runner on third attempts to steal home is called a suicide squeeze.
As long as the runner(s) successfully advance on the bases, the batter is rewarded with a sacrifice bunt, regardless of an error or fielder’s choice occurring.
Statistics will show that the sac bunt is indeed a dying art in Major League Baseball. Sac bunts per plate appearance has been on a steady decline over the past few years, which leads many baseball fans to believe bunting is not necessary in the game. While sac bunt percentage may be decreasing, the fact that there is not a need for them in the game is simply not true. Sacrifice bunts help keep teams on their toes in the field, can eliminate the chance for a double play on the bases, and can advance runners into scoring position. All of these “little things” can help greatly in giving teams that can execute a sac bunt an advantage over teams who cannot. Sac bunts may be a dying art statistically, but there will always be a place for them in the game of baseball.
Sacrifice bunts are an important part of the game and are something you need to practice a lot to make sure you have them perfected for game time. They can be crucial in moving runners over to prevent double plays and get runners in scoring position. If you require any further information, or would like some in-person advice, stop by your local MonkeySports superstores to talk to one of our expert baseball associates!
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