Bunt Coverage

We are thinking of going to a bunt coverage with pitcher covering one base line and only one fielder, either first or third, covering their base line. We have been sending both 1st and 3rd plus pitcher but have been out of position after fielding some bunts, especially 3rd. 1st and pitcher would cover with posible play at 3rd. and 3rd would cover when only play is at 1st.

I anticipate the offense attempting to bunt where the fielder ain't, so we'll try to pitch away from that.

Is it feasable to run this type of bunt defense? Is it too much ground for each of the 2 covering? Do you love it when another team does this?

What have you found?
Original Post
1. Pitcher may covers 3rd base line when there is a runner on 2nd base, the 3rd basemant cover 3rd base, but he has to be alert, if the bunt pass the pitcher he has to cover the bunt.

2. With runner on 2nd, thirdbaseman,
firstbaseman and pitcher cover the bunt, SS covers 3rd base, and secondbaseman covers first base.

3. Makes the pitcher cover the first base line keeping the 1rst baseman covering the bag is not communlly used, but in a situation when the hitter is a lefty with power and the bunt situation is not clear, may be used.

In all situations the defensive ability of the pitcher is a factor to take in consideration to desig the bunt's defensive play.

Don't try to do too much, if the other team is giving you an out take it!, only make the out of the advanced runner if it is a sure out.

"Peace is, the respect for the other people's rights".
Benito Juarez

Coach L,

Racab alluded to this prior. Depending on your assessment of the specific pitchers' fielding ability - you may want to use different rotations depending upon who is on the mound.
(Could also be true based upon the 1st and 3rd baseman's fielding ability as well.)

i.e. - In some cases you may have a very athletic pitcher who you can trust to field all line bunts - in other cases you may have one who is fine going to his left - but not his right. And so on and so on.

I think the rotation depends on your assessment of your players' fielding abilities.
Coach L we have used three basic bunt coverages for several years and have been very sucessfull with them. Of course it requires about 15 to 20 minutes each practice in order for us to be on top of our bunt-D game.

Bunt-1 Runner on first or no one on base. Third has line. Pitcher has middle. First has line. Ball bunted to pitcher first breaks back to first as soon as he sees its either right back to the pitcher or towards third just in case second is late covering. Ball is up first base line first takes it and second better be there.
Bunt-2 Runner on first and second or just second. Primary out is at third cant get third have to get him at first. First takes line. Pitcher takes line. Catcher takes middle. Third acts like hes coming but does not so we can either get the force at third or the tag. If the ball is bunted hard up the third base line the pitcher will never get there. Therefore we have third field anything hard up the line and give up third and get the out at first.
Bunt-3 Runner on second or runner on first and second and we have to get the out at third situation. Third plays in and has the line. Pitcher has the middle. First plays in and has the line. Short cheats towards third and breaks on the pitch towards third for the force or tag. Second fakes a break for second to act like a pick off play in order to freeze the runner at second. This allows the short stop to get to third in plenty of time ahead of the runner (hopefully).

Our bunt two is I think what you originally thinking about. It has worked well for us.
Coach L- You have to have bunt coverages where people stay home at times on the corners, or sneaky coaches like me will take advantage of it! For example, we run a fake bunt/steal of 3B when a team brings the 3B every time - works almost every time if the coaches hasn't trained his SS to talk!
Coach May,

One thing you may want to incorporate in #3 bunt play: Don't show the 3rd baseman charging too early. When the pitcher comes set have him looking at 2nd, the ss must jab toward 2nd like a pick off attempt(you can pick off here also)and then sprint to 3rd, when the pitcher sees daylight between the runner and ss the pitcher must deliver a STRIKE. As the pitcher starts to deliver the ball the 3rd baseman must break.
You can also work a pickoff with the 2nd baseman after the ss breaks.
Cats we do have the daylight pick off play. What we do is have short jab at second base then break away which tends to relax the runner. Then second comes in behind the runner and the throw is made right away. We usually try this before we make a pitch when we know that the bunt is on. Usually runners that know the bunt is on will get more secondary lead in order to make it to the next bag to beat the throw. We have had some success with it but it takes great timing and alot of work. Thanks for the suggestions.
The following has a lot of terminology that you might not understand because it applies to us but i think everyone will get most of it.

Bunt Coverage:

1. Standard get an out! Runner on first or first and second.
a. Explanation of the play:
i. As the runner squares to bunt, the 3rd baseman, 1st baseman and the catcher all come out to field the bunt. If the ball is bunted hard, then the throw is to second with the shortstop covering. If the ball is bunted softly, then get an out at first with the second baseman covering first. Be sure to have 3rd base covered by either the 3rd baseman or with running the exchange with the catcher.
ii. Something to think about - can have code for 1st baseman holding the runner and the second baseman charging and fielding the bunt. Rational, it might distract the batter. Also, if the ball is not bunted, it might cause the opposing coach to change their approach to advancing the runner via the bunt.
2. Runner on 3rd or 2nd and 3rd or for that matter - bases loaded. Possible squeeze.
a. Explanation of the play:
i. As the runner squares to bunt or even before, we pitch out. As the fielder gets ready for throw to the plate, the 3rd baseman, 1st baseman charge home. The shortstop breaks for 3rd and the second baseman breaks for 1st. If the ball is bunted, they should be in great fielding position. Now it is a pitchout. With the 3rd baseman leaving slightly early, we hope that the runner cheats more than they should and we can snap throw to 3rd for the out. If that fails, check 1st or 2nd. Oh, make sure that the outfield knows and are backing up each base.
ii. We can conventionally run this play as well. If so, we are hoping to field the ball and toss to the catcher before the runner gets to the plate.
3. Runner on 1st and 3rd.
a. Explanation of the play:
i. The pitcher will always cover 3rd if the 3rd baseman fields the ball. As the hitter squares around to bunt - possible safety squeeze, 1st and 3rd charge. Now, they must read the intent of the bunt. If it is to advance the runner to 2nd, then look the runner back to 3rd and throw to the 2nd baseman covering 1st. GET AN OUT! If it is bunted hard and a possible double play is in order turn it except if it involves allowing the lead run to cross the plate.
ii. Other - If the ball is thrown to second and the runner at 3rd had been forced to take a few steps back to 3rd. Seeing that the ss could not turn the double play, the ss can fake the throw to 1st and throw to 3rd or to home depending on the runner.
4. Runner on 2nd or 1st and 2nd.
a. Explanation of the play:
i. CRASH - The 3rd baseman fake charges home but no so far that the runner at second can steal 3rd. The pitcher steps off and admonishes the 3rd baseman for breaking early. The 1st baseman also charges. Now, the pitcher steps on the rubber again. The 3rd baseman fakes the charge again - once again, he doesn't go so far that the runner can steal 3rd. However, this time the SS breaks in behind the runner at second. This is to force the runner to break back to 2nd. As the runner breaks back, the pitcher throws the pitch. The 3rd baseman breaks back to cover 3rd and the pitcher has the 3rd baseline line. If the ball is fielded cleanly by the pitcher, catcher or for that matter, the 1st baseman they throw to 3rd for the out or force out.
ii. Other - Make sure of an out again. If all fails, get the out at first.
iii. Kill - Now, run the play again after the crisscross and have the 1st baseman leave way early. Do this only with left handed pitchers. Have the SS do the crisscross but he 2nd baseman breaks to cover 1st. The runner leads off too much with the 1st baseman leaving early and so pickoff!
5. Runner on 2nd or 1st and 2nd.
a. Explanation of the play:
i. Switch - The SS and the 2nd baseman run crisscross pick off play. Now, they run it again but this time, the SS continues to cover 3rd base. The 2nd baseman now has 2nd base. The 1st baseman must now cover 1st. The pitcher, catcher and 3rd baseman must field the bunt and throw to the appropriate base.
ii. Now, if the pickoff is there at 2nd, the 2nd baseman must be aware that we might throw the ball on the pickoff! Remind the pitcher that they can fake a pickoff to 2nd.
6. Runner on 2nd or 1st and 2nd.
a. Explanation of the play:
i. Circus - The SS runs a daylight play. If no daylight, the SS keeps going and the 2nd baseman now breaks like double fist. He keeps going. They run and exchange and on either circumstance, the pitcher throws to the plate if the runner dives back to the base. All other coverage is the same.

"There comes a time when you have to stop dreaming of the man you want to be and start being the man you have become." Bruce Springsteen

with a man on first and second we will sometimes run a bunt trap where the 1st baseman and ss charge as the pitcher gets set. they will "motor down" even with the mound. the object is to get the guy at third. works well.

with a man on 1st we will sometimes trap with the 2b and 3b to get the guy at second.

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