The Bunt Double is on the brink of extinction

Timothy T. Ludwig, USA Today Sports

That’s something Joy Photo “The best thing about the game is matching the style of the game,” he said while serving as a guest commentator on a broadcast booth in Cincinnati in August. “The style of the game is changing.” He was talking about hitting, but his point lined up with one of my favorite baseball metaphors. I often think of the game as an ecosystem. The players who thrive are the ones who are designed or can adapt to the current game; Changes in style or rules will always favor some players over others.


The changes will also favor some plays over others. As the field became more prominent, routine shallow right field drills were fruitful and multiplied. Now that this shift has been banned, they are likely being driven to the brink of extinction, taking with them one of baseball’s most exciting games.

FanGraphs loves bunt doubles. This is the A short historical overview From bunt double by Jake Mailhot. This is the How-to guide A doubles bunt by Jeff Sullivan St. In fact, he wrote about my bunt doubles Type from a Much. As a changing ecosystem means that bunt doubles are likely to go the dodo’s way, it’s time to write the final chapter of their story.

This story may be older than you realize. in 1970And Willie McCovey led in Willie Mays With double bunt against shift. In 2013, James Gentile compiled a List of bunt doubles This is due to Jackie Robinson The year is 1951. Jake’s history was driven by this beautiful Matt Carpenter bunt against shift:

There have been four unusual pairings here since Carpenter’s masterpiece, and Statcast has rated three of them as anti-turnovers. Let’s take a look and see what we will be missing soon.

We’re starting very strong. If only Jake had held his shard for two months, he could have included a gem from Cavan Biggio. Helpfully, the Blue Jays broadcast shows the four-man pitch Biggio was facing. It’s a far cry from the traditional turnaround, but as of this year it will still be enough to send a team to baseball jail. The second baseman was positioned near the third base bag, presumably to keep speedy Biggio from bunting. Here’s why it didn’t happen that hot:

Biggio didn’t just put the ball up in the air; He ran the way to go and took the top from the defence. His line had a firing angle of 37 degrees; The average bunt is -17.5. She also walked 129 feet. According to Baseball Savant, only four balls have been pitched far in the Statcast era, and I suspect one or two may be misclassifications, because I’m not sure I’m ready to live in a world where 201 feet sacrifice. First baseman thing.

The next bunt double also came from Blue Jay. In August 2021, Rhys McGuire Worked 2 to 1 count Trevor Stefan Before painting that 99.4 mph tailor along the line to perfection. It wasn’t easy to do.

You can’t see it in the clip, but Cleveland was on a part shift. The shortstop was playing the first base side, but the second baseman and third baseman were still in a relatively normal position because of the first runner. These precautions did not help the defense at all. Jose Ramirez He charged the ball and attempted an unexpected play, allowing both runners to take an extra base on his sniff. forced it Amed Rosario to take off after the loose ball – which is good, He loves to run – and committed the baseball version of The NBA makes mistakes on me Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Personally, I think it would have been reasonable to score this play on its own and an error (with some light pass interference thrown in for good measure).

The last double strike versus transformation occurred on May 22, 2022, and generally followed the same rules of the game.

Yoán Moncada put a bunt down the third base line, and there was no one there to take it in. He sprinted to second, never getting close to top speed, the ball almost reaching the left fielder because there was absolutely nobody on the left side of the field. The Yankees were also playing in a four-man field. I pulled a screenshot, but the fourth player was so far out in the left field corner that he’s out of frame. I helped him bring it back for you.


That’s it. This is another game that doubles up against transformation, except for one thing. I mentioned earlier that there have been ben four bunt doubles since Jake’s article in 2019, and three of them were anti-shifting. Here is the fourth of 2021:

Well, that’s fun. Another ultra-aggressive third baseman goes for a do-or-die game, allowing two runs to score in the process. The clip doesn’t allow you to see the defensive setup, so I pulled a screenshot. The left player is out of frame again, but that’s not what I want you to see. Take a second and try to figure it out.

It would probably help a bit if I zoomed in a bit too far on the second baseman. I know he wasn’t really in on the play, but where are his little dotted heels?

They’re on the outside grass! It may not be a turnaround by 2021 standards, but by the 2023 rulebook it is – well, actually I’m not sure. I haven’t read the 2023 rulebook. I don’t think it’s available yet. One The article says attackers “must be within the outer bounds of the field”, whatever that means. another one He says they must have “bolts in the dirt”. The second baseman obviously has his toes in the dirt, so he’s probably fine; I don’t know if the whole foot should be in the dirt. But if that’s the case, all of the last four matings (and all of them doubling in the last four years) come in shifts.

As Jeff Sullivan points out in his guide, leveraging a shift isn’t the only way to get to second place, even if it’s the most popular way. You can hope that the attackers have a catastrophe, along the lines of the Three Stooges:

If causing cracks isn’t your cup of tea, that’s totally understandable; There are other options. You can always nudge the ball to third and hope the third baseman goes for the craftsman. It’s a popular move. Or you can continue Orlando ArciaHe steps up and hits the ball hard when players are playing shallow.

Compiling the various dates, there have been 54 double-doubles recorded in MLB history, as far as we know. It has long been an endangered species. I’m sure there are others lost to the Sands of Time, and I’m sure there will be another one at some point. New rules can affect rabbits in unexpected ways. Perhaps the takeoff limit, pitch clock, and larger bases could increase the speed value, resulting in more plates for players who attack more often. But for now, the path best for their survival was closed.

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