5 Most Common Situational Hitting Plays
There is no set age that hitters must learn situational hitting. Generally, around the time kids begin to play travel baseball is a good time for baseball coaches to introduce it and at least by the teenage baseball years.. Of course, youth baseball coaches cannot expect kids to situational hit without a good deal of practice, so coaches should implement situational hitting into batting practice, and into simulated game situations. Simulated games are just as they imply, where coaches simulate specific game situations and have hitters bat under those circumstances, with or without fielders and runners.
Situational Hitting Plays to Practice
- Bunting situations – where to bunt the ball depending on the game situation is important for coaches to teach. Unless, other circumstances dictate something different, players should bunt to first base side with runner on first, third base side with runners on first and second, and back to the pitcher on the suicide squeeze play.
- Fake bunt situations – players fake a bunt in order to give a base stealer a better chance of stealing or fake a bunt and slap at the ball to try to sneak one by the charging infielders.
- Hit and Run – players hit the ball on the ground somewhere as a player is stealing a base to avoid a double play and possibly lead to a first and third situation, or better.
- Get the runner over from second to third with nobody out – batters hit the ball to the right side of the field. Preferably, on the ground or with a deep fly ball to right field.
- Drive home runner from third base with less than two outs – Generally, the best way to do this is by trying to hit a ball to the outfield and deep enough to score runner even if ball is caught.
As players learn the key baseball situational hitting times and techniques, they begin to anticipate these coaching calls to better prepare them for coming through in those situations.