Experiments have always been there with the baseball bats and perhaps this is why we have come across so many different types of it. Not only in terms of size and shapes but, from the perspective of used materials as well, there are numbers of types for baseball bats. It may turn out to be little confusing for a novice to decide which bat he/she should opt for. However, after the popularity of aluminum or wooden bats, we have seen composite baseball bats, which incorporates reinforced carbon fiber polymer for the construction, has set new standards.
The types of composite bats
Composite bats are manufactured with either full or partial use of the material. Bats that are entirely made with the polymer are called composite bats. And there are the second type too where the polymer is used partially and the rest is made with aluminum or woods, these are called composite hybrid bats.
Now let me put some light on the basic differences between the wooden bats, aluminum bats and the composite bats. The composite bats have got advantages over the two others in terms of durability, weight distribution, improved trampoline effects and higher damping rate.
Here, I would also like to state that the trampoline effects of the composite bats can be improved with specific construction and this actually put this bat for a further scrutiny by the NCAA. Probably, this had paved the way of the new standard called – BBCOR.
People who are unfamiliar with the term must be looking for some advanced and relevant information and I have tried to explain the different aspects of what is BBCOR bat.
What is BBCOR and what it stands for?
This abbreviated form actually stands for – Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. I know hardly anything is explained with this! So, this is actually a standard that keeps the measurement of how much energy is lost when the baseball bat is making contact with the ball. The higher the number a bat registers the greater the trampoline effect is. Now there are some rules, decided by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) and it states that the maximum BBCOR value that a bat could achieve is 0.50 and not more. It is slightly higher than that of what a wooden bat would achieve. That’s not the end! There are some other criteria included in this standard which describes – the barrel diameter cannot be greater than 2 ⅝”, the length should not exceed 36” and the length-weight ratio shouldn’t be greater than 3.
So, now you know the prime aspects of BBCOR standard. The new standard was put in place in the year 2011 and from the beginning of the very next year (2012) all the HS baseball bats actually followed the rules and having the BBCOR stamp on the bat was mandatory. Initially, like most others, I also had some questions in mind that how effective this would be and will this eventually work or not.
Time has answers of all queries
It is rightly said that – “We grown in time to trust the future.”
Time has answers for all our queries. I can remember the time when aluminum bats were first introduced in the early 70s. The aluminum bats were heavy and that made the balls to hardly jump off the bat. “Unbreakable”, yes this was the only advantage of using a metal bat at those days. But, after around 4 decades, we can see that the bats are used in different tournaments and leagues. BBCOR standard bats are not as heavy but those are light weight. This helps an easy swing and the best thing about the bats is the large sweet spot. So, over the last few years, we have seen that BBCOR bats have become an inevitable part for the HS baseball leagues.
Do I really need a BBCOR bat?
This question was pretty obvious to come. Leagues that follow NFHS and NCAA rules must have the BBCOR certified bats. Moreover, the older divisions of major youth baseball organizations have also allowed the BBCOR bats. The reason being some of these divisions use players from the High Schools or who will begin the High School next year. Because of this age range, using BBCOR bats is the requirement. This often stem for some confusion for the young players since different divisions have different bat rules. I would suggest a consultation with the league representative. This will clear the confusions about the bats.
Now that we know what is BBCOR bats, I think this is very critical and essential too to recognize a BBCOR bat. All the non wood BBCOR bats will carry a mark stated – BBCOR Certified .50. Even though if you are not really sure about the certification, you can refer to the Washington State University’s list of NCAA certified baseball bats. For your convenience, here is the standard rule for you:
Wood bats that are made from one piece of solid wood, excluding Bamboo, will not require a BBCOR certification mark for NCAA and NFHS play. Wood bats that are constructed from a combination of woods, contain composite materials, or are made of Bamboo, will require the BBCOR certification mark.
For your further convenience, I’ve made a list of top 5 BBCOR bats from the previous year. Approximately, 39 different BBCOR bats were released last year and I’ve tested of them all through extensive hitting. I’ve narrowed down a list of 6. Although I must say that the given order has nothing to do with it.
- Marucci CAT 6: In my opinion, it is the best pre-season bat with a great one piece feel and this drives so much power to it. There is an added sting resistance in the knob which is preferred by the rope-makers. The formation is beautiful.
- Louisville Slugger’s 915: I saw this bat on Jr. Home Run Derby and many know that it received such rave reviews after that. The barrel is just perfectly shaped with wide swing spot. Made for excellent hitting!
- Easton’s 2015 Mako: All the list of best BBCOR bat 2015 must include this one! This is one of the most sold bats in the previous year. The barrel size is just perfect and the swing weight is precisely calculated for hard hitting. The two piece construction is just flawless.
- RIP-IT Helium BBCOR bat: It is randomly positioned at 4 in the list. I find this unique because it is pressurized with Helium. It offers light swing and it is well constructed. The barrel hits well and smooth. This BBCOR bat is going to set new standards.
- 2015 BBCOR Axe Avenge: Last in this top 5 list but not least at all. This is an end loaded freak with an exceptional barrel manufactured only for one sided hitting. The handle and the barrel are rightly sized for strong hitting. Those who have hit with this bat and confident enough to get accustomed with its axe shaped grip. This BBCOR bat is recommended for all high school players.