Daily Archives: January 19, 2009
One of the most fun short game techniques is the slug bunt, also known as the fake bunt and slap. You show bunt, getting the corners to come crashing in. You then pull back and slap the ball into play, past the corners crashing in and into one of the holes where one of the middle infielders used to be. Properly executed it can create all kinds of havoc, getting runners in motion and possibly scoring runs where they might not have been scored otherwise. It can also create some nice momentum that could result in a big inning.
Of course in order to get all of that you first have to be able to execute the skill. That can be more of a challenge than you might think. It seems easy as you describe it — show bunt, pull the bat back to your shoulder (without turning your body), then slap the ball when it comes in. Yet I’ve noticed that a lot of hitters seem to have trouble figuring out exactly how to do the actual slap.
I think it’s because there’s a difference between slapping like this and standard hitting. From what I’ve observed, hitters try to use the same technique for both. But there’s a critical difference in what the hands do. In a standard hit, when it’s time to launch the hands you pull the bottom hand, then drive the top hand through. But in a slap or slug bunt, it’s all top hand. Pulling the bottom hand first puts the hands too far out in front and doesn’t allow for a good, strong, quick slap.
Once the bat head is back to the shoulder, have your hitters launch the bat using the top hand only. It should snap forward smartly. The bottom hand just rides along to help balance the bat.
One other thing. Many hitters have a tendency to start too low, even on a regular bunt. On the slug bunt it’s death. You need to hit the ball down. It’s better to start out higher and chase the ball down if needed. The hitter will at least be headed in the right direct, and will be more likely to hit the top half of the ball.