There are four basic types of materials that are used for bats. These four materials are wood, composite, alloy and aluminum.
Wooden bats are the only type that is used for major league play. The reason why wooden bats are used exclusively for baseball has to do with the players ability to hit the ball.
Aluminum / Alloy / Wooden Baseball Bats
Aluminum and alloy bats have a trampoline like effect that would give a player more power and a greater range with hits.
Wooden bats do not provide this type of advantage. Players that use a wooden bat will have to use their own energy, strength, power and skill to make home runs, big hits or simple hits into the outfield.
Major league rules require all wooden bats to be made out of a continuous piece of solid wood.
Alloy and aluminum bats are more frequently used in collegiate and little league games. These type of bats gives players extra hitting power because of their design. They are traditionally lighter than the heavier wooden bats and people can make bigger hits and plays by using them.
However, if a person is serious about their baseball training beyond the little leagues they will eventually have to start training with MLB styled wooden bats.
Keep in mind that alloy and aluminum shafts are also good for practice bats. This is especially true for younger players. Many younger players might not be physically strong enough to hold and properly swing a heavier wooden bat with ease. The lighter weighted aluminum and alloy bats can be used to develop their fundamentals before moving them on to the heavier wooden styled bats.
Composite Baseball Bats
Composite bats are a like a cross between the wooden and metal styled bats. They are made from two different types of materials that are usually graphite and carbon.
The bats are designed to provide batters with hitting power but they have durability issues. These bats are not good in cold weather conditions and they often do not stand up against repeated use. The material breaks over time and once it is worn out; the bat must be discarded.
Composite bats are great for pick up games of baseball or for local league games. However, they are not suited for minor or major league play.
Aluminum and alloy bats are perfect for kids who are first learning the game. They are also suited for inexperienced players that are developing their skills. Lighter bats can help a person to work on their batting stance and their swing. A heavier wooden bat could be used for this purpose but it will take players some time to learn how to properly handle them.
The Pros and Cons of Baseball Bats Made with Metal
The biggest drawback to the metal bats are the fact that they are hallow and they produce a stinging effect on a person’s hands. This is one reason why the top brand of metal bats have shock damper technology. The damping technology helps to remove the sting out of the swing or contact.
Manufacturers can eliminate the sting out of hollow metal bats by making them solid. However, they would be too heavy to swing and control. Metal base bats work best when they have a hallow inside and the sting is just a fact of how they have been produced.
Some metal based based have a tendency to receive dings and even dents. This usually happens over time but that does not mean that he bats do not last. The average life a metal bat is about 500 hits; some more and some less. Once a metal bat reaches this point it must be replaced otherwise it will lose its maximum exit speed velocity.
The average life span of a metal bat in terms of time is no more than two summers or 6 months. If a players uses them frequently then only expect 3 months of play out of them before they start to wear. Wooden bats can last for about two summers under normal conditions. Once again a person will have to take care of them to keep them functional.
How To Care Your Baseball Bats
An individiual can care for their bat by wiping them with alcohol after use, keeping them out of extreme temperatures and by rubbing out any dents or dings. A person should store their bat with the handle end facing up.
However, if a person frequently uses their bat, they should not expect to have them a long time. Most brands are great for game play and practice.