If you’re new to the game of baseball, or coaching for the first time, then you’re probably wondering what a lot of the new terms and sayings you’re hearing mean. With our Baseball 101 series, we’re here to help.
Today’s Baseball 101 question is:
What is a fungo and why do coaches use them?
A fungo is a light-weight bat that baseball coaches use to during practice. It is used to hit balls to players to work on their fielding. Fungo bats are most often longer and skinnier than a typical baseball bat. The most common lengths of fungo bats are between 34 inches and 36 inches. Shorter fungos are often used for infield ground balls. Longer fungo bats offer more leverage for hitting deep fly balls to outfielders. Fungo bats are most often made of wood, but there are also metal fungo bats available.
The word “fungo” can be used as a noun or a verb. It’s the name of the type of bat used for hitting practice fly balls and ground balls, but it is also the act of hitting those practice ground balls or fly balls. For example, you might hear someone say at practice,”I’ll go fungo to the outfielders.”
Want to impress your friends with the new baseball lingo you just learned? The next time you go check out a college or professional baseball game, try to get there early enough to watch batting practice. When you see the coaches hitting ground balls and fly balls to the to the infielders and outfielders, you can tell your friends, “Hey look, they’re hitting fungos!”
I’m a new coach. Why should I use a fungo bat?
The smaller barrel on a fungo bat allows for greater control and precision when hitting the ball. It also makes it less tiring for a coach who may hit hundreds of ground ball and fly balls throughout the course of a baseball practice.
If you’re new to coaching, I’d highly recommend getting a fungo. It will save your back and shoulders a lot of work at practice! Check out some great selections at great prices below.