Getting the bunt down
Once again I was up at Grand Slam USA for the afternoon. I was there for pitching lessons, but in between I was wandering around aimlessly as I am wont to do.
In one of the cages was a girl working on bunting. She assume a good position, and looked ready to lay it down. But each time as the pitch came in, she dropped the barrel of her bat below the handle and stabbed at the ball. Almost without exception the pitch went foul, or at least as foul as a bunt can go in a batting cage. Often they also went up, creating a little pop-up.
Keeping the barrel of the bat above the hands is essential to getting the bunt to go toward the ground. It definitely makes it easier to hit the top of the ball, which is what you need to do to get the bunt down. Dropping the barrel tends to make you hit the bottom of the ball.
Here again I make the case for bunting with the hands together. The girl was using split hands, which as I’ve said before tends to make it easier for hitters to drop the barrel. I’ve observed that phenomenon time and time again.
Ironically, she did use hands together for one technique. She would show bunt, then pull back to swing away, hands still up the handle. This makes no sense to me either. If you’re going to show bunt you need to show it the same way you actually bunt. Otherwise you’re not fooling anyone. It was odd — show the bunt, then full pull back with the hands up the bat, then swing away. Seems to me like all you’re going to do from there is ground out and not very well. People sure teach some strange things.