How to Field, Hit, and Bunt
Do you love home runs and great plays on ground balls? If so here are some tips to improve your skills. Fielding, hitting and bunting are the three most important fundamentals to becoming a great baseball player.
Fielding is one of the most important aspects of the game. In the 10th inning of Game 6 Bill Buckner cost Boston the 1986 World Series when Mookie Wilson hit a ground ball to Buckner that went right through his legs. Bill Buckner’s career is known for the error to lose the world series to the New York Mets. Although not even the best fielders are perfect, it is very important to be able to field. The ability to field the ball is needed on a team to be able to win. You also need to have soft hands, but smooth footwork allows your hands to work freely. According to probaseballinsider.com “Many smooth infielders look like they have soft hands, but it is actually their feet that allow their hands to work so freely.” Be on balance when fielding and throwing the ball. Making just the routine plays can decide if you win or lose. One of the best fielders that ever played, Derek Jeter, talked about the importance of fielding the baseball and throwing quickly. You should attack the ball under control, don’t sit back and wait for it. Keep your glove extended out in front of you so it is always in your vision, and on a bad hop you still have room to react.
Being able to hit is very crucial in baseball. Since hitting is so important here are some tips to improve your swing. First the hitter needs to load as the pitcher starts his windup. He needs to have his back elbow up and a little bend at the knees. The swing should be level with the pitch. The batter should twist his hips for power, as he does this his back leg should be bent and his front leg should be straight. One of the most key things to a swing is balance. According to stack.com “Balance from the beginning through the finish of the swing is crucial for your ability to track the ball accurately.” “Keeping your hands back at the start of your swing will allow you to generate a lot of energy with your legs and core before bringing your hands through.” Keeping your hands back gives you a quick swing for power. If you don’t score any runs how would you win? According to fangraphs.com “designated hitters are the highest payed player in the major league.” Players in the MLB get paid millions to hit for them. The average starter salary is over 10 million for DH players and less for all other defensive positions.
At very big times bunting comes into play. If the batter is at the plate and his coach gives him the bunt sign his job is to get it down to advance the runner. If he advances the runner, his team has a better chance of scoring. In a suicide squeeze situation the runner on third is stealing home and the batter at the plate has to get the bunt down no matter where the pitch is. According to humankinetics.com “bunting is still an important technical skill in baseball, especially in high school baseball.” Although most players are not to thrilled about having to bunt, it is very important to get it down. Because it is so important, I will give you some points on how to do it. First the hitter needs to square up once the pitcher is in his windup and pivot both feet toward the pitcher. He should angle the barrel of his bat up a little bit. He should not move his bat, he should move up and down with his legs. Pull the bat back if it is not a strike unless it is a suicide squeeze, and be careful bunting with 2 strikes.
It is important to be able to do these skills because it could get your college paid for. It might even lead you to the major leagues. Without fielding, hitting, bunting baseball would be a mess, there would be no fundamentals and it would be boring to watch. These three aspects are most important in the game of baseball.