Over the years and through the advent of technology, the baseball and softball bats have significantly changed particularly the design. Previous designs of bats were made from aluminum, but today most bats are made with composite materials.
Likewise, there are regulations set on which bats to use for each level. These changes have made buying softball or baseball bats overwhelming.
Thus, it is important to follow some guides on how to buy bats considering important details like types of bats, length and weight of bats suitable to the size of the user.
Anatomy of a Bat
- Barrel Size – Longer barrel has larger sweet spot that is ideal in making effective hits. Bats with smaller barrel is lightweight thus increases the swing speed. Big barrel bats are used for travel and Pony leagues.
- Grip – The grip refers to the covering on the handle of the bat that is sometimes wrapped with cloth or rubber. To ensure more reinforced grip, you can choose a bat that has leather covering. The rubber covering is perfect in reducing the sting as the player strikes the ball.
- Bat Taper – The diameter of the handle of a bat is called taper. If the diameter of the taper is larger it adds weight while reducing the ball shock. On the contrary, smaller taper reduces weight and allows quick wrist rotation.
Bat Weight and Length
In choosing the right weight and length you need to understand how it is measured. The weight is determined according to the drop weight that is the difference between the weight and length of the bat.
- Weight – The weight of the bat is gauged in ounces. If you want to make more power in hitting the ball, you should use heavier bats. For faster swing speeds you can use lightweight bats.
- Length – Obviously, longer bats offer greater reach in which it can connect with pitches. However, the added weight lessens the power and the swing speed.
- Drop – It is used in determining the measurement of the bat’s weight and length.
Picking the proper balance between the weight and length is important in making a perfect swing. Using lightweight, long bat enables the player to make swift swing, yet it does not increase the inertia. The inertia increases if the player will use short heavy bats.
Types of Bats
Choosing the type of bats is confusing as you need to consider the materials used in designing the bat. Professionals usually use the wooden bats specifically during practice and tournaments. Other types of bats to choose from are made from aluminum or alloy and the composite bats.
This type of bat is commonly used by non-professional baseball players. They prefer it due to its durability and lighter weight. It is less expensive as compared to composite bats and lasts longer. Even if the aluminum bat is damaged it can still be used because it does not crack, rather it tends to dent. If you want to buy aluminum bat that has longer sweet spot and better balance, then you should choose a bat that is made from expensive alloy. Features of the aluminum bat include:
- It offers greater rebound and power due to its double-layer construction.
- Made from different types of alloy that varies according to the weight and strength.
- Aluminum bat does not require break-in period.
This type of bats is manufactured integrating the innovation of technology. It is made from composite materials including resin, graphite and fiberglass. Composite bats are more expensive as compared to aluminum bats. Likewise, composite bats reduce the vibration to the hands and eventually lessen the sting. Here are some features of composite bats:
- Lighter than alloy bats and offers increasing power and swing speed.
- Composite bats have the best balance and largest sweet spot than other types of bats.
- Requires break-in period, yet the performance is not compromised rather improves over time.
- It is not recommended to be used during cold weather; otherwise the performance can be compromised.
Wood bats have become iconic and commonly used by professionals and leagues that are using this type of bat. Wooden bats offer the following:
- Wooden bats offer more selection in taper and shape that suits to the player’s swing.
- Great for training in achieving proper swing technique.
- Wood bats are not used in softball.
- It tends to break, less hitting power and smaller sweet spot.
This type of bats is used by baseball players in college level and high school level. This standard level of baseball bat ensures uniform performance as compared to metal baseball bats.
Knowing the important details regarding a softball or baseball bat can help in finding the best bat that you are comfortable to use. Hitting the ball depends on how comfortable the player to handle the bat in order to make a perfect hit, thus a homerun.