Analysis

Pirates are Actually Terrible Bunters

Pirates are Actually Terrible Bunters

Bunting is a relatively big talking point in baseball circles. Saberists continue to point to data that shows bunting does more harm than good except in very specific situations.  Elsewhere, many have advocated bunting as a method of beating the shift.  And of course, botched bunts are always a popular subject for post game rage.

Pirates fans have plenty to complain about when it comes to bunting. As outlined on this very site last year, Clint Hurdle and the Pirates are not very good at deciding when to bunt. As it turns out, the Pirates are also not very good at bunting in general.

In 2005, current Pirates Director of Baseball Systems Development, Dan Fox, wrote a piece on bunting in the Hardball Times.  Among the many fascinating findings in the article, was research on how often sacrifice bunts were successful.  Success meant that the play resulted in a sacrifice, a hit, a fielder’s choice-all safe, an error, or other rarer possibilities. Fielder’s choices, double plays, pop-u...

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