Dewan: Bunting for a hit

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on December 15, 2011:

One of the projects we are working on here at Baseball Info Solutions for The Fielding Bible—Volume III is evaluating the effectiveness of defenders on bunt plays.  We currently have a method that does this, but we are developing a new method that takes into account the location of each bunt. As every baseball fan knows, the key to an effective bunt is its location. A bunt right back to the pitcher is pretty useless, whereas a bunt right on the third base line is excellent. What we can do now is quantify how effective various bunt locations are.

We’ve broken the field into six zones. We drew a line from home plate through the pitcher’s mound and through second base. We have three zones to the left of that line and three zones to the right, broken up into equal sizes. Think of them as pie slices with the center of the pie located at home plate. Zone 1 has all bunts that are along the first base line. Zone 2 is in the middle of the area between the line we drew through the pitcher’s mound and the first base line, and Zone 3 is the area closest to the pitcher on the first base side. Zones 4, 5 and 6 are to the left of the pitcher’s mound. Zone 4 is closest to the pitcher. Zone 5 is between the pitcher and the third base line. Zone 6 is along the third base line.

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Originally published: December 15, 2011. Last Updated: December 15, 2011.