Jun 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin (2) bunts during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Lack of Bunting
Baseball now a day seems to totally frown upon bunting and I don’t understand why. You see guys have these gigantic shifts that they constantly hit into, when they could just lay down a bunt and take the free base hits they are handing to them. Martin was known to be a willing bunter, someone who would lay down a bunt and let his speed take care of the rest. But this year he hasn’t been so willing.
Bunting for base hits can get hitters out of slumps and more importantly, they can get hitters going. You often hear that hitting is contagious and at the big league level, you’ll take a base knock no matter how you get it. Last year Leonys Martin attempted 36 bunts over 533 PA, or roughly 7% of his at bats. More importantly for Martin, he reached base on 50% of those bunt attempts, collecting 18 bunts for base hits. In 2015, Martin has only attempted to bunt 14 times, or roughly 5% of his at bats. Not only is he bunting less, but he is less successful in doing so as he has only six bunts for base hits which is good for a 43% success rate.
Bunts are easy hits, they get players going and give them confidence heading into the rest of their at bats in the game. It’s a lot easier to relax knowing you are 1-3 instead of 0-3, and for a guy like Martin the ball doesn’t have to go past 20 feet to make it happen.
Next: Too Many Fly Balls