The short stop’s positioning for standard and wheel bunt plays.

Shortstop’s Positioning for a Bunt Play

Bunt play positioning for a shortstop with a runner at 1st or 1st and 2nd:

  • Start at double play depth. If there is a runner at 2nd hold the runner close stand right behind him (1 or 2 feet away).
  • When the pitch is thrown hold your ground as long as possible so if the batter decides to pull back and swing you are not completely out of position.
  • Once the ball is about to be bunted get to the 2nd base bag. You will not have to be too quick since the 2nd base bag is only a few feet from where you would be holding the runner from. This is your responsibility on every standard, non-trick bunt play.
  • Watch for a throw from anyone who gets the ball, if it is a bad bunt the 1st baseman, pitcher, catcher, or 3rd baseman may come to you for a shot at a double play.

Wheel Bunt Play positioning for shortstop

On the wheel play (where both corner infielders charge and we want to get the out at 3rd base, with the shortstop covering), the shortstop and pitcher need to be on the same page.

  • This play is set up to start off of the shortstop. He stays behind the runner at 2nd and holds him close. Wait at least a second once the pitcher looks back at you and take off to third base.
  • This is a sprint, you have to beat the runner to third. But the pitcher can help you out by making sure you have a head start and the runner isn’t breaking also. If he does break the pitcher will step off and get him in a run down, or pick him off at second (depending on what the runner does).
  • Once you get to third base keep an athletic base so you can catch all throws, nothing can get by you or a run scores. Throws again will be coming from the 1st baseman, pitcher, catcher, or 3rd baseman.
  • Either make the force out or tag the runner. However this play is rarely called with just a runner at second base.
Read more about the author: Doug Bernier

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About Author

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. Where is he now? After batting .200 in 45 at-bats and fielding .950 during 2017 spring training with the Rangers, Doug was assigned to the Ranger’s AAA team the Round Rock Express. You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier

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