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Dec 3, 2008
How do you teach your corners to approach a sacrifice bunt, bunt for a hit, and slapper situations?

1. Do you have them start up close and stay still, or do you have them start back further and creep in? What does "up close" mean to you (how many steps)? If you have them creep in, do you have them come to a complete stop during the pitch... so that they can adjust to something hit harder than expected?

2. Do you have them come through the ball and throw on the run? Or do you have them come to the ball, and power slide (shuffle step) through their throw to first base?

When answering, please indicate what level you coach. I appreciate all input, but age reference helps. Thanks!

EDIT: Assume that you don't have the quickest corners out there.
Jan 23, 2009
I would like to ask the same question for my 10U team. My own DD has the arm to make the throw from 3rd but isn't the quickest.

Do I play her a step closer all the time?


Crazy Daddy
Oct 31, 2008
Interesting you would post this now.

I coach a first year 14U travel team and we are currently working on just this…

1) For bunt type situations, my corners start up close, 15 feet closer for 3rd base and about 10 for 1st base. Adjustments are made for when runners are on base. From this point they are creeping in. They are taught to creep and be ready to adjust.
2) The corners, pitcher and Catcher will all come through the ball and make the play on the run. Anything less is a safe Batter/Runner.
May 12, 2008
They will practically always give it away. Watch the eyes, the hands, the stance. A quick glance down toward third-maybe with just the eyes or a little different hand position from the first time up. My favorite F5 almost always knew. Develop the ability to look for the clues. Many times she would be charging into an apparent swing away situation and every time, the hitter would bunt. Develop this and you can play back further most of the time where you are safer and have more side to side range.
Aug 4, 2008
This works in the younger levels. But as Mark H posted watch for clues. At the older Levels you will get your 3B killed playing up this close. The problem as Mark H posted , is knowing the batter. If you have a bunter, slapper and power hitter. She is going to do what the defense gives her. Pick you poison. I try to take away, what is going to hurt me the worse. At 16U I know longer have my players playing in. like I did at 14U and under.
Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
Fake Bunt Slap or Fake Bunt-Hit Away puts the corners in serious danger as even at 30-35 feet from the plate, a batter turning on a pitch with today's bats can seriously hurt the corner playing tight. I work Fake-Bunt-Hit Away to draw corners and get middles out of position and tell our batters that we have a great advantage as corners have to back pedal and don't have range, and middles pull away from the middle making even weaker hit balls have an advantage for getting through. SBFAMILY is head-on, batters are taught today to read the defense and just take what they give you. Play up, we square back and hit away, stay back, we drop the bunt and put pressure on defense to move 30+ feet to the ball, then a good throw and a catch. Pressure on defense helps offense. If the defense makes all the plays, then congratulate them on being a good defense and continue to work for ways to score and limit their scoring.
*** I am fearful one day of getting a corner hurt with this strategy. It does weigh on me. I see corners, as well as pitchers more and more wearing masks, and I don't blame them. 60 foot base paths and batters working as hard as they do on driving the ball, vision drills, timing, etc, puts infielders in more jeapordy then ever before.
Jan 24, 2009
""I would like to ask the same question for my 10U team. My own DD has the arm to make the throw from 3rd but isn't the quickest.""

Jazz, at 10u, the fake bunt-pull-back-and-hit has a VERY low percentage success rate, so when bunt is shown, our 3B crashes the plate to smother a bunt. Those that do pull back and hit are behind 99% of the time so I want 1B to stay back and field that easy out.

Last season we had both corners crashing home. On the year, the first baseman fielded the ball and threw the batter out precisely zero times. It is awkward to stop, field, turn around, and throw. Low percentage play as opposed to probably 75% when 3B fielded. This year, we're having 1B stay put and take the throw instead of having second base cover first. This eliminates throwing to a moving, weaker glove who is out of position (2Bman).

So for us at 10u, we ideally want 3B to make the play and she is an animal. Short bunts are handled by the catcher. The pitcher can field up the middle if it was hit too far. Some bunts will simply be hits like a nice 10 footer up the 1B line.

Again my comments are age adjusted, but worth noting is that it is quite difficult to lay a bunt down first (RH batter). Righties in 10u usually put it down third or out front but can't go opposite or at least it's low percentage. This is another reason we chose to let 1B stay and set up for the throw.

Also, at this age, you get the out at first regardless of other baserunners. Outs are precious and you have to take the easy ones and let the runners advance. The exception would be the winning run on third very late in the game.

Good luck. VW
Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
Dead on. At 10U and even young 12U, you want OUTS..... MANY girls that Fake Bunt-Hit are RUSHING, cause they show bunt too late, then rush to get in a position to hit.
Defensively, IF your pitcher can hit location, and we are talking 10U, try and pitch middle to inside to get a bunt to 3B and IF you do have a 2B or 1B playing up, pitch High-Away when you are comfortable the batter is bunting to get that POPUP. I think if I were calling the pitch, I night just pitch High-IN to get a POPUP to 3B that is more sure handed, but I'd have to be comfortable my pitcher won't HIT the batter giving a free base on what we planned should be an out.

Offensively, in practice, make them take 5-7 Fake-Bunt-Hit Away EVERY time at bat. Key is show bunt when Pitcher PRESENTS.. you WANT to draw the corners and get middles to 1 step cheat, THEN IF the corners DO crash, pull back when the pitcher's arm reaches the TOP of her motion, this should give the batter a nice relaxed approach to being ready to swing away. Once the batters learn to show bunt EARLY and square back around to hit early enough too have PLENTY of time to track the ball from the hip to the bat. When the Corners STOP coming (they usually yell "Fake" or "Slap"), then lay down the bunt...... drives defenses NUTS!
*** ANOTHER GREAT ADVANTAGE of this is it helps batters that THINK too much to just swing using their athletic skills. No time to think about too much. Michigan used this the year they won the College World Series as a timing mechanism. I've had a lot of girls ask if the can ALWAYS use this, even when hitting away cause they feel it helps them.

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