Catching Skills

Fielding Bunts


Sandy Alomar Fielding a Bunt.
A catcher 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.

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