Bunt Coverage

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Jan 28, 2017
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Lead runner on 2nd and they are bunting with speed. Runner on 2nd can run also.

Fake bunt and steal- What can you do other than the SS cover 3rd and 3rd crash? Pitcher, 3rd, and 1st are average to a little below average speed.
 

Aug 20, 2017
1,007
83
If you feel very sure they are gonna bunt you can run the SS and 2B up inside the pitcher shading towards foul lines and leave 1B and 3B back. Have CF run in to cover 2B. Take away what they are trying to do
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
3,845
113
California
Anytime ss is covering 3rd on a runner stealing from second these things should be considered.
1. Runner leaves when pitched ball leaves the hand.
2. SS still has to wait to see what batter will do with the pitch OR VACATE POSITION immediatly...because
3. ss is then required to beat runners speed trying to get to 3rd...and
4. Not only get to 3rd BUT ALSO
get to the inside of the infield infront of runner to receive the throw.
5. To finally try and tag.

*in this scenario
the shortstop has to beat the runner and beat the runner getting in front of them to receive the throw, which leaves the runner's body in between the ss and the throw!!! very complex, doesnt have to be that difficult.

Leave 3rd base back.
Catcher can get bunts toward 3rd. And is going in direction with the ball and the play at 3rd will be close infront of them.

Prefer not have ss ever vacate their position early.
They hold a position on the field that is directly in the gap.
ie- batters have to hit over them to get hit to the gap.

*Prefer never having outfield run in to cover bases, leaves no one backing up the throw.

Prefer not having pitchers cover bases, avoid pitcher injury whenever possible!

Prefer not planning outfielders trying to come in to cover bases.
Much too much distance to run in. Again comming in behind runner. And the same timing issue of watching batter and or vacating position...befor sprinting to try and get to a base. Makes for unreliable timing.

*Catchers pop time is a valuable asset!
Utilize it more to get outs on the bases.
 
Last edited:
Apr 20, 2018
2,400
113
SoCal
This is where a pitcher that can hit spots becomes so valuable. I like switching up coverage during the AB. Messes with the coaches and hitters/bunters head. LH batter: 1st pitch, FB inside, 3rd base back, SS up, 1st base up, 2nd base cheating a little, usually results in a foul ball or a called strike. Now you have options based off pitch location.
 
May 29, 2019
257
63
A lot of variables to consider here...
Is it a tied game, bottom of seven with no outs?
Is it early, and you can concede the base and just worry about the out at 1st in the situation?
What type of hitter? Small baller, or can she drive a gap?

For fun, let's think the worst-case scenario. Assuming that it is a "track star" on 2nd and you need the out at 3rd, you would need to put some sort of shift on. I would play the corners "crashed". Then you need someone playing close to the 3rd base bag because you do not want your SS in a full-blown drag race with the track star moving away from the play. Either shift the SS pretty close to 3rd and bring an OF in to cover the hole, or leave the SS where she is and put an OF at the 3rd base position, whoever you are comfortable with in that situation. Shift the OF around accordingly, and put trust in your pitcher that she can hit her spots. Also, the common "slapper defense" comes to mind where the MIFs stuff the 3-4 and 5-6 holes, but don't bring in an extra outfielder. Whatever you do, there will be a huge hole somewhere that can leave you burnt. I typically don't like crazy shifts or "slapper D's", but when I do use them, it is to defeat the base runners and not the batter. This scenario was a worst case, where that runner is a game-ending threat.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
3,845
113
California
Or Try to avoid bunt scenario.

*By Utilizing back picks or get the runner on a straight steal.
*if they are super intending on bunting good possibility the runner will get an aggresive lead.
*aggresive lead off, Use your catcher and defense!

Can pitch incredibly horrible pitches to try and diswade bunt... Maybe get foul balls strikes.
(like pitch outs `ish )
Super high in/out
Super low.

Can generally do this plan for atleast 3 pitches until having to actually throw a strike/more in zone.

If anything, making a defensive statement could hold the runner back atleast a step in their lead off.
 
Last edited:
Oct 14, 2016
74
33
I use two bunt coverages. Well, three actually, but for this scenario I will describe two.
For simplicity, we will call them bunt 1, and bunt 3.

Bunt 1 is a wheel rotation toward third base. Third baseman crashes to the plate, shortstop covers third, second baseman covers second, first baseman stays at first. Pitcher covers bunts to first base side.
Useful in getting that out at first. Great for early game.

Bunt 3 is a wheel rotation toward first base. Third baseman stays at third, shortstop covers second, second baseman covers first, pitcher covers third base side.
Useful for getting the out at third base. Great when you have a left handed pitcher.

I agree with Rad, outfielders shouldn't have to cover bases. And we should protect the pitcher as much as possible and keep her far away from plays. (There is a reason they put a circle around her).
 
Jan 28, 2017
1,249
83
Little more info. Regional HS championship and down by a run. Their pitcher is a stud and not going to score many on them. They bunt all the time, with two outs, with two strikes, it doesn’t matter. Speed on 2nd and speed batting (9 hole). Leadoff is 2nd best hitter. Two outs
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,397
113
If 3B stays back, you're inviting an actual bunt down the 3B line. Move SS toward 3B a step or two, but 3B plays up and crashes unless you have a VERY agile pitcher/catcher combo. SS doesn't break for 3B until they see what the hitter does. Throw higher pitches over or lower pitches outside...tougher to bunt effectively. At any level, a fast runner on 2B with less than two outs is VERY likely to get to 3B no matter what you do. If the game is on the line, you focus on that runner when they're on their way Home. Otherwise, don't let that one runner distract from the necessity to get outs.
 
Oct 14, 2016
74
33
Little more info. Regional HS championship and down by a run. Their pitcher is a stud and not going to score many on them. They bunt all the time, with two outs, with two strikes, it doesn’t matter. Speed on 2nd and speed batting (9 hole). Leadoff is 2nd best hitter. Two outs
Two outs? Focus on the batter. Leave your middle at normal depth, bring corners in and focus on getting the out at one. Let the runner on two steal. Throw pitches up in the zone if you think they will bunt, otherwise work for ground ball.
 

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