Sandy Alomar Fielding a Bunt.
must be able to anticipate multiple situations. One of these situations is
fielding a bunt. There are several factors that must be taken into consideration
before a hitter even steps into the box. The catcher must recognize the
speed of the runner, the athlete on the mound, the condition of the playing
surface, the game situation (tied, up, down, early in the game or late
in the game), and eventually factor in the speed of the bunted baseball
before deciding which base to throw to.|
A catcher should attempt to field all bunted balls. The entire field
is in front of him and he can make a quick, early decision. If the ball
is bunted down the first base line or towards the middle of the field,
the catcher should take a direct line to the baseball, rake the ball in
with both the hand and glove, set his feet, stay low and athletic, and
make a strong and accurate throw to the intended base.
If a ball is bunted down the third base line the catcher
can use one of two
forms of footwork. One method is to stay on the inside of the ball (opposite
of the foul line - catcher's back towards first base), step over the ball, rake, spin
his head and body, locate
the base to throw to, plant his feet and make a strong and accurate throw.
The other method is to round the baseball, staying on the outside (on or
near the foul line - catcher's back towards visitor's dugout), rake, plant and throw. The
step-over technique is the most natural and
recommended form of fielding bunts down the third base line. However, there
are some individuals who have the ability to quickly round the ball, field
it, and make a strong throw. A coach needs to be flexible. If the catcher
can perform this skill he should be allowed to use it.