Covering First Base On a Bunt in Youth Baseball

Youth baseball

Based in Chicago, Michael Bulmash is an experienced mortgage professional who has served Destiny Mortgage Group as an underwriting manager since 2008. When he is not reviewing mortgage applications and loan packages on behalf of clients, Michael Bulmash spends time coaching Chicago youth baseball and basketball teams.

Youth baseball coaches are primarily tasked with maintaining a safe, fun environment for children and teaching youth players the fundamentals of the sport. One important lesson for youth players involves how to effectively cover first base on a bunt attempt. In some cases, a bunt may travel directly to the pitcher or third baseman, in which case the play should be treated as a normal hit. However, if the ball travels near or along the first base line, the first baseman may be drawn out of position, complicating the play.

Adequate coverage of first base is crucial, as bunts are often utilized to move another base runner along, making for an easy out at first. To begin, first basemen should be taught only to charge at bunts hit towards them. First base should only be left open, temporarily, if infielders have no other option, meaning the catcher, third baseman, and pitcher have no play on the ball. In the event that the first baseman fields the ball, the second baseman should immediately move to first and wait for the throw.

Some youth coaches prefer to have pitchers cover first base, as the second baseman may need to remain close to their bag in certain defensive situations. Because bunts can create hectic base running and coverage situations, it is important for right fielders to back up any throw to first, or potentially cover the bag in instances of missed coverage.