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Rules and Exceptions
Bunting for a base hit is a common trait of a handful of leadoff hitters. At the beginning of many games, the viewer might notice that a leadoff hitter occasionally will show bunt for one pitch in the beginning of the at bat, but not actually bunt the ball. Showing bunt can help the hitter in two ways: one, he could drop down a bunt. Secondly, one of the only ways to prevent a bunt from being executed is to throw way, way inside. So if a pitcher senses that a hitter will try to lay down a bunt, he may throw inside, increasing the chances of being hit by a pitch. Thus, showing bunt for a pitch could either win a player a bunt hit or a hit by pitch.
It does take a properly placed pitch to lay down a good, solid bunt. A pitch up in the strike zone that is bunted may have too much downward force, causing the ball to bounce. Unless you are Wee Willy Keeler, who used to bounce the ball in front of the plate and scamper off to first, this bunt will be unsuccessful. A bunt that has some nice traction, especially right up the line, may be the best kind, because a bunt of this kind is far away from the pitcher, catcher, and any infielder, and does not roll very far. An outside pitch may be the best to bunt the ball 'to the opposite field', but a pitch on the inner half would be hard to bunt, period. Because of this, the 'pull' bunt would require a pitch middle in, but not too far in. The speed of the pitch also influences the location of the bunt: for example, a 70mph changeup can allow the hitter to get the barrel around and bunt the ball to the pull field. A 100-mph fastball won't give the hitter as much time to get the barrel through the zone as fast, so a bunt in this case may be better off placed to the opposite field. A hitter must be careful that a bunt laid down the first-base line doesn't hit himself when he is running to first: this results in an out.
Left handed hitters have a big advantage when it comes to bunting for hits. Because they are naturally situated down the first base line, they can bunt the ball and simultaneously dash to first.
A hitter that can bunt for a hit, bunt for a sacrifice or just show bunt to throw off the pitcher is a valuable addition to any team in the 1st, 2nd, or 8th or 9th spots in the lineup.
Rob Campbell==Players Known for Being Able to Bunt for Base Hits==