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10U Player Pitch: Do you coach fake bunt / bat waggle to distract pitcher?

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  • 10U Player Pitch: Do you coach fake bunt / bat waggle to distract pitcher?

    Moving back up the ranks with my oldest son, this is our first year in 10U Player Pitch. We had 2 kids in our league (on other teams) that came back to rec ball after spending a few years on the travel circuit. One actually made it to a World Series with his travel team last year. From Day 1, both of these guys would do an exaggerated fake bunt (waving the bat up/down over the plate, purposely trying to distract the pitcher's focus from the catcher's mitt) whenever the count went 2-0 or 3-0. Of course, all of these pitchers are pitching for only their first or second season, so it was pretty effective at breaking their concentration.

    By the end of the season, one of the travel baller's entire team had adopted the strategy and it was clearly being coached. It personally struck me as somewhat bush league, but I did start incorporating it into my practices to get our pitchers more accustomed to it. Obviously, it's not against the rules (like cutting the corner at 3B! LOL!) and can work to achieve the desired effect. Heading into all stars as head coach (and will now be coaching these 2 players), I'm debating whether to:
    A) put a stop to it
    B) let those who want to use it do so
    C) incorporate it across the team

    Continuing the discussion of our personal "gray areas" that came up in the thread on cutting 3B, I think in this situation, my personal threshold is this: I'm not offended by the thought of a batter showing bunt (for the same purpose of distraction), but waving the bat like you are swatting at flies with clearly no intent of bunting the ball, rubs me the wrong way.

    Opinions?

  • #2
    I wouldn't coach that. I think it is bush league, and practice time could be better spent teaching useful things....like how to actually bunt for instance.

    Comment


    • #3
      I not only don't teach it, but I discourage my players from doing it when I see it. Not sure if I'd go so far as calling it "bush league", but I definitely don't like it.
      In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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      • #4
        it's especially silly at 2-0. they should be swinging away at this count. also, if they're travel kids in rec, they should be looking to hit, not walk in my opinion.

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        • #5
          Does it promote the development of the batter or the pitcher? Not really. Stomp it out of your rec league!

          Comment


          • #6
            I have also seen girls place their bat in front of the catchers mask/eyeballs, while waggling. It's good for assisting a steal. :hyper:
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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            • #7
              Originally posted by UAME View Post
              I did start incorporating it into my practices to get our pitchers more accustomed to it.
              And if your pitchers can still throw strikes when confronted with this, it is the most effective way to put an end to it.

              I had one kid that would often balk, when a kid set up to bunt. It just got to him. And we had to practice our way through it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SOCOM Aggie View Post
                it's especially silly at 2-0. they should be swinging away at this count. also, if they're travel kids in rec, they should be looking to hit, not walk in my opinion.
                Great post. Agree with all of it. At 2-0 they should be salivating to hammer a good pitch.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by UAME View Post
                  Moving back up the ranks with my oldest son, this is our first year in 10U Player Pitch. We had 2 kids in our league (on other teams) that came back to rec ball after spending a few years on the travel circuit. One actually made it to a World Series with his travel team last year. From Day 1, both of these guys would do an exaggerated fake bunt (waving the bat up/down over the plate, purposely trying to distract the pitcher's focus from the catcher's mitt) whenever the count went 2-0 or 3-0. Of course, all of these pitchers are pitching for only their first or second season, so it was pretty effective at breaking their concentration.

                  By the end of the season, one of the travel baller's entire team had adopted the strategy and it was clearly being coached. It personally struck me as somewhat bush league, but I did start incorporating it into my practices to get our pitchers more accustomed to it. Obviously, it's not against the rules (like cutting the corner at 3B! LOL!) and can work to achieve the desired effect. Heading into all stars as head coach (and will now be coaching these 2 players), I'm debating whether to:
                  A) put a stop to it
                  B) let those who want to use it do so
                  C) incorporate it across the team

                  Continuing the discussion of our personal "gray areas" that came up in the thread on cutting 3B, I think in this situation, my personal threshold is this: I'm not offended by the thought of a batter showing bunt (for the same purpose of distraction), but waving the bat like you are swatting at flies with clearly no intent of bunting the ball, rubs me the wrong way.

                  Opinions?
                  Don't put your name on that one. More importantly don't waste time with automatic takes in certain counts which is basically what the hitters are doing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have never seen a quality hitter do this. On 2-0 I give a good hitter my "hit it a long, long, long .... long, way" sign. You can imagine what the gesture looks like.

                    I personally think it's stupid, but I have seen it "appear" to work, sometimes to the point where I've thought "I can't believe that is working".

                    To me, it gives the pitcher another thing to "aim at" in the strike zone.

                    But, if one batter does it and the next pitch is a ball, then the team will continue to do it for the duration.

                    I wonder if it affects the umpires tendency to call periphery pitches as strikes or balls. I'd rather have my batters have one more chance to "time" the pitcher, because if they get a pitch on 3-0, they're probably getting that same pitch on 3-1. On the 3-0 pitch, time it up so that on the 3-1 pitch you can knock a fielder down with a liner.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Our 13U travel team does it on occasion. The coach says that if it means we can draw a walk then so be it. I did this year in one game in league play and it drew a lot of walks.
                      Personally I don't see anything wrong with it since any decent pitcher who can throw a strike gets a freebie when the batter looks at a called strike.
                      The tournament team tried it on one team and all it did was start our batters 0-1.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
                        I have never seen a quality hitter do this. On 2-0 I give a good hitter my "hit it a long, long, long .... long, way" sign. You can imagine what the gesture looks like.

                        I personally think it's stupid, but I have seen it "appear" to work, sometimes to the point where I've thought "I can't believe that is working".

                        To me, it gives the pitcher another thing to "aim at" in the strike zone.

                        But, if one batter does it and the next pitch is a ball, then the team will continue to do it for the duration.

                        I wonder if it affects the umpires tendency to call periphery pitches as strikes or balls. I'd rather have my batters have one more chance to "time" the pitcher, because if they get a pitch on 3-0, they're probably getting that same pitch on 3-1. On the 3-0 pitch, time it up so that on the 3-1 pitch you can knock a fielder down with a liner.
                        I don't think of it as "bush," but certainly don't employ it myself for two reasons. First, I don't think it has any real affect on the pitcher and second, I do think it has an affect on the occasional umpire who doesn't like it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                          Our 13U travel team does it on occasion. The coach says that if it means we can draw a walk then so be it. I did this year in one game in league play and it drew a lot of walks.
                          Personally I don't see anything wrong with it since any decent pitcher who can throw a strike gets a freebie when the batter looks at a called strike.
                          The tournament team tried it on one team and all it did was start our batters 0-1.
                          By 13U the pitchers should be experienced enough to ignore it. I don't like it when 10U teams do it knowing there are inexperienced pitchers that will balk or get distracted.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by azmatsfan View Post
                            By 13U the pitchers should be experienced enough to ignore it. I don't like it when 10U teams do it knowing there are inexperienced pitchers that will balk or get distracted.
                            Yeah but how did that 13U pitcher gain the experience?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't teach it and tell my players not to do it. Some players come from a previous team that teaches, but its an easy habit to break.

                              I don't like it (but don't complain about it either) when other teams do it to my pitchers, but I use it as a teachable moment for our pitchers.

                              I tell them there are much worse distractions when they get older so they need to figure out how to ignore it now and eventually this tactic will go away.

                              Comment

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