Sac Bunt, 1st & 2nd to 2nd & 3rd
This one is probably the biggest mistake of the three in youth baseball, because it reduces the team’s chances of having a BIG inning, and big innings often single-handedly win games. The reduction in run expectancy (RE) is only 0.06 runs, and so it basically wastes an out without improving the odds of scoring.
BUT – remember, that this is MLB data below, and the effect of the double play, which will wipe out a inning faster than anything, is very real. 1st and 2nd has the double play in order, whereas 2nd and 3rd does not.
In youth baseball, especially at 16U and below, this difference is especially important, as double plays are vastly less frequent. In the Major Leagues, when the double play is in order, a double play occurs about 15% of the time.
At youth levels, this might be 5% or lower, which means that 1st and 2nd will produce even more runs than we expect in the chart to our left, since a grounder to shortstop will most likely move the situation to 1st and 3rd with one out (RE = 1.13), rather than 3rd only with 2 outs (RE = 0.35 runs).
Getting the first two runners on is the exact thing we want in producing a big inning, and giving the opposition an out hurts that goal, even more so in youth baseball than MLB baseball.