Adult Baseball Bat Comparison
Adult Baseball Bat Buying Guide
There is a large variety of materials that are used to make baseball bats. Which one you use can play a part in how well you play the game. We have outlined the most common materials used in the bat manufacturing process.
1. Aluminum – Aluminum bats are also sometimes called metal or alloy bats. They have been around longer than composite style bats but not as long as wood. They are lighter in weight than a lot of the other choices and require no break-in time.
The player has greater control and bat speed, with an alloy bat, making balls travel father with aluminum that it does with any other type of bat. Some of the benefits to getting an aluminum bat include its durability and isn’t likely to crack or break.
Different alloys are used to create different bats and they all weigh something different. The sweet spot is usually increased with an aluminum bat. Even if an alloy bat gets damaged a little it can still be used because it doesn’t crack it usually just bends.
The determining factor is whether a barrel ring can still fit around the barrel. As long as it can, the bat is still legal. Alloy bats tend to have less pop than composite and wood and their sweet spot is usually a little smaller as well.
2. Composite – Composite bats are made up of layered materials that are similar to carbon fiber. Controlling the weight distribution of the bat is much easier with a composite bat. This makes it much easier for evenly weight distributed bats or end loaded bats to be made.
End loaded bats will have more weight at the end of the barrel. Composite bats minimize the sting that players experience from a miss-hit by reducing the amount of vibration the player experiences. Composite bats also have a larger sweet spot and players can get more pop from the bat than they can with alloy.
You will pay more for a composite bat because there is more to making them than there is with wood or metal bats. There is also a break-in period that players can expect to go through before you will really feel the pop. The break-in period is usually 150-200 hits, rotating the bat after every hit to ensure even break-in.
3. Wood – Wood bats are the classic bats that give that classic feel and sound from decades past. Wood bats tend to offer more choices in the way of shape and taper that can be adjusted to the individual player’s swing.
A bat with a long and wide grain means that the tree used to create it was older as well as denser. Some disadvantages to wood bats include the fact that they crack and break, they have reduced sweet spots on the barrel and wood bats have a lot less hitting power than the metal options do.
Ash is still a popular wood for bats among the big leagues and provides a lot of flexibility due to the grain structure it has. It is much more forgiving than maple and rarely fractures. Maple is preferred by most professional players and provides them with the ultimate in surface hardness as well as unmatched sound and feel. This is a harder wood and provides added strength at impact with the ball. The closed grains that maple has, prevents flaking which is a common occurrence among ash bats.
Relatively new on the scene is Birch and it is growing in popularity in leaps and bounds in the professional arena. It has the perfect matchup of hardness and flexibility which allows it to last much longer. The hardness, similar to maple wood bats, provides the player with great contact and sound. Birch bats are lighter than maple and allow the player a lighter swing weight.
Finding the Right Bat Weight
The majority of bats are weighted in ounces and not pounds. Finding the right weight for each individual is based on two major factors: the strength of the hitter and their hitting style. Personal preference in length and weight also play a part. Use the following guidelines to choose the right bat for your style.
- Bigger, stronger people will usually prefer heavier bats
- Smaller players will see more results from a lighter bat
- Younger players also do better with a lighter bat which will increase their control over the bat
The Right Barrel Size – The length of the top part of the bat and the diameter make up the barrel size. The longer a barrel is the larger the sweet spot is which is preferable for many players. The standard diameter of a barrel is 2/5” but there are many players that prefer a smaller barrel that provides them with more speed when swinging and also lightens the bat’s weight as well.
The Taper of the Bat – The diameter of the bat’s handle is called its taper. A standard bat is tapered 31/32 of an inch. Preference can alter this number larger or smaller depending on the feel you prefer. Larger bat tapers reduce the sting on the hands when the ball connects with the bat outside the sweet spot. Narrower tapers reduce the weight of the bat and allow the player to rotate their wrists faster when they are up to bat.
The Grip – The covering that a bat manufacturer uses on the handles of aluminum bats is called the grip. Rubber grips do a great job of absorbing the shock of the ball hitting the bat. If you want a more secure grip, opt for leather or synthetic leather. Some bats have a cushioned grip to reduce shock even more but some players may not like the “softer” feel to the cushioned bats.
There are several factors that are involved in choosing the right bat for a player’s needs. While it’s not a complicated process, it does take asking yourself some questions about certain preferences that you may have, and also involves having knowledge about the different aspects of a bat and how those aspects affect a baseball bat’s performance.
The information in this buyer’s guide is designed to help you find the best bat you can for the budget you have set. You will be able to enjoy better performance and results by using this information and applying it to the bat choices you make.
With the right knowledge you can be confident of the choice you make and feel the evidence in the results you get on the field. Whether you play in a college sports team or you just enjoy playing with your city league, you want to purchase a bat that helps your game and enhances your own playing skills.
- Louisville Slugger – http://www.slugger.com/en-us
- Easton – http://www.easton.com/
- Marucci – https://maruccisports.com/