Drag Bunt in Baseball

We use affiliate links in this article. And, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support.

The art of the drag bunt holds a unique place in the world of baseball, defining moments with finesse and strategy rather than sheer power. This masterful technique serves as a tactical tool, blending skill, speed, and surprise to outmaneuver opponents on the field. Whether advancing a runner or securing a base, the drag bunt encapsulates a subtle yet impactful aspect of the game’s multifaceted nature.

What is a Drag Bunt?

In baseball, a drag bunt is a surprise tactic where the batter, often left-handed due to their position, starts running towards first base as the pitch is thrown. While running, they quickly square around and “catch” the ball with the bat, aiming to softly roll it down the third base line or towards the open space between the pitcher and the third baseman. The goal is to reach first base safely before the defense can field the ball. This unexpected maneuver can catch the defense off guard, allowing speedy players an opportunity to advance on the base paths. Additionally, it can disrupt the pitcher’s rhythm and throw them off their game.

On March 31, 2023 Andrés Giménez of the Cleveland Guardians executed a perfectly placed drag bunt down the third base line against the Chicago White Sox, showcasing his exceptional skills on the field.

Mastering the Drag Bunt in Baseball

Mastering the art of the drag bunt requires a combination of technique, timing, and practice. To execute a successful drag bunt, the batter must first master the stance and grip. The batter should hold the bat firmly at the base of the handle, using a split grip for better control. The key is to square the bat to the ball at the last possible moment to keep the element of surprise.

Timing is crucial; the batter should begin the motion as the pitcher commits to the pitch, using the momentum of the pitch to guide the ball gently towards the desired location. Instead of actively swinging at the ball, the goal is to ‘catch’ the ball with the bat, angling it so that the ball rolls softly into play, ideally along the third base line for a right-handed pitcher or the first base line for a left-handed pitcher.

Footwork also plays an essential role. The batter should pivot with their back foot, turning toe-first towards the mound as they begin to move out of the batter’s box. This pivot enables the batter to quickly start running towards first base while maintaining balance and control over the bunt.

Practice is key to perfecting the drag bunt. Batters should work on both the mechanics of the bunt and reading the game situation to recognize the optimal moments to attempt a drag bunt. Success relies not just on technical proficiency, but on the ability to catch the defense off guard, making it a strategic weapon in a batter’s arsenal.

Photo of author


James Arnold
I'm James, and I live in Stanislaus County, California. I'm playing Baseball for many years, and I love this sport so much that I also encourage my kids (Danny and Sara) to play Baseball & Softball.