Baseball Bats

Baseball Bat

America's favorite pastime would not exist if it was not for the baseball bat. All levels of the game use some type of bat in order to play. Baseball bats come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Players take pride in customizing their bats to make them look stylish and feel more comfortable.


What are baseball bats used for?

Baseball bats are the main scoring instrument used in the sport. A baseball bat is a stick-shaped object used to hit the baseball. It is thicker at the top, also known as the barrel, and there is a knob at the bottom of the bat where players position their hands. A bat is used to both hit and bunt the ball while facing off against an opposing pitcher. On average, a major league player will order about 120 bats per season. While they might not use all of these bats, most players use a new bat after every ten at-bats. Outside of the game, baseball bats are frequently used for practices. Batting practice usually occurs before every game.

Things To Consider

When looking for a baseball bat, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What length and weight of the bat do you need?
  • What skill level of baseball are you playing?
  • How much money do you have to spend on a baseball bat?
  • Does your league have restrictions on bat types?

What are you looking for in a baseball bat?

  • To provide added pop to your swing
  • To be used during practices
  • To be used during games
  • To be lightweight
  • To follow adult league regulations
  • To follow youth league regulations
  • To be long-lasting

Types

Baseball bats vary depending on the level the game is being played at. In general, there are four types of baseball bats.

Wood Bats

Baseball Wood Bats

Wooden baseball bats are simple in the sense that they are made out of one material. The most common types of wood chosen for baseball bats are ash, maple, bamboo, and birch. Wooden bats also have the most options in terms of customization.

Pros:

  • Provides the best feedback of a swing compared to other materials
  • More affordable than aluminum/alloy and composite bats

Cons:

  • Has a smaller sweet spot for hitting the ball
  • Breaks easily compared to aluminum and composite alternatives

Aluminum or Alloy Bats

Baseball Aluminum Alloy Bats

Aluminum or alloy bats, also known as metal bats, are the oldest type of non-wooden bats. They have been around since the 1970s. Aluminum bats are most often used at the collegiate level.

Pros:

  • More durable than wood and composite bats
  • Great for use in the cold weather

Cons:

  • Heavier than composite bats
  • Tend to have smaller barrels
  • Can cause more serious injury than wooden bats

Composite Bats

Baseball Composite Bats

Composite bats are made out of a combination of lightweight materials. This is a great choice for younger baseball players because composite bats have larger sweet spots for hitting. These bats are easy to manipulate, allowing manufacturers to make advantageous adjustments.

Pros:

  • Longer barrel and great weight distribution
  • Not as much sting when missing the ball

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive bats on the market
  • Composite bats need 150-200 hits to break in

Hybrid Bats

Hybrid bats take the best features from both aluminum and composite bats to create a balanced product. Most hybrid bats feature a composite handle with an aluminum barrel. This bat is perfect for those who prefer durability but still rely on a lightweight feel to their bat.

Pros:

  • Easier to swing without lowering power
  • Similar price point to both aluminum and composite bats

Cons:

  • Not allowed in certain baseball leagues
  • Faces cracking and temperature issues

Plastic Bats (Kids)

Plastic bats are a great way to introduce someone to the game of baseball. These bats come in all shapes and sizes. In terms of competition, plastic bats are used for the game of wiffle ball, a variation of baseball with all plastic equipment. Plastic bats are also a great way to introduce young children to the sport due to their extremely lightweight design.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Very durable and does not need to be replaced often

Cons:

  • Does not produce much power or distance
  • Plastic bats do not provide much grip

Fungo

Fungo bats are used for fielding practice only, as they are not allowed to be used in any league for in-game play. Coaches use fungos to simulate fly and ground balls during practice, often swinging them with one hand. Fungos have a different design than other types of bats, with a slimmer barrel, lower weight, and longer length in order to make them easier for coaches to hit. They are typically made of wood, but some are made of aluminum or composite materials.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Longer length
  • Very inexpensive piece of practice equipment

Cons:

  • Only permitted for use in practice
  • Not useful for developing proper swing technique

Brands

There are tons of manufacturers that produce baseball bats; a few of the most highly regarded are Easton, Louisville Slugger, and Marucci..

Easton

Easton began making baseball bats in 1969 and is known as the leader of innovation in the industry. They have patented multiple technologies such as the Tri-Shell and ConneXion designs. Both of these developments have prioritized the durability and feel of all Easton bats, making them one of the most consistent manufacturers in the game.

Louisville Slugger

Louisville Slugger produces their bats through a vigorous 22 step process from raw wood all the way up to delivery. 1.8 million bats leave their main facility in Kentucky each year. The heaviest bat they have ever produced was 50 ounces, and was used by baseball legend Babe Ruth.

Marucci

Marucci is a company that was founded by two former major league players in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Started in 2004, the company produces both wooden and metal bats. Marucci also has a player advisory board, where some of baseball's best players provide feedback on their equipment so that their bats can get better every year.

FAQ

How do you know what size baseball bat to buy?

Buying a baseball bat is not hard, but there are two main figures that need to be measured. Most people can figure out what size bat they need by calculating their height and weight. Based on this, most manufacturers have charts on their website that will illustrate what size bat will fit best. Some baseball bats are classed by weight drop, which is the difference of bat length and bat weight. For example, if a bat is 33 inches long and weighs 30 ounces, the number would be -3. This can also be signified as DROP 3.

How much do baseball bats cost?

The price of baseball bats depends on what type of bat is being bought. Plastic bats are the cheapest since they are designed for kids. On the other hand, all competitive bats will cost a decent amount of money. Different brands have different prices for their bats, but wooden bats are often the cheapest. Most wooden bats do not cost more than $250. Aluminum, composite, and hybrid bats will generally cost more due to the amount of materials that are put into them. They all fall in a similar price range, with the most expensive bats being around $400, with not many under $200.

What are the best kinds of baseball bats for kids?

The best kinds of baseball bats for kids are either plastic, composite, or hybrid bats. If a kid is just getting started with baseball, working on their swing mechanics with a plastic bat will go a long way. This will get them comfortable with swinging correctly without having to hold a lot of weight. For more advanced youth players, both composite and hybrid are great options. This is because these bats have the biggest sweet spots, allowing kids to get used to hitting the ball. These types of bats are also very lightweight, easing kids into the game of baseball.