Why Does MLB Only Use Wooden Bats?

baseball wood bats

Did you ever wonder why Major League Baseball players still used wooden bats? Not only is it only for tradition, but it is also for the safety of players and spectators. Below, we will go through all of the reasons why the MLB still uses wooden bats, and has forbidden metal bats.


Since the beginning, wooden bats have been the bats of choice in baseball. This tradition has been kept alive mainly to keep track of records made by players, such as the number of home runs a player hits in a season.

But, why does it matter if it is a wooden bat? Why not a metal one? If the MLB were to ever change to metal bats, they would not be able to compare previous records to current ones since the metal bats produce different outcomes when in play than wooden bats.

Since metal bats are lighter and have more impact on the ball, it is easier for players to hit home runs compared to wooden bats. So, if the MLB changed their bats to metal, any new player’s statistics on home runs hit could not be compared to past players, such as Babe Ruth.This is because a metal bat changes how easily a player can hit the ball for distance and velocity.

Metal vs. Wooden Bats

  • Inside of the bat is hollow
  • Can have an unpredictable trajectory
  • Creates remarkably quick hit velocity
  • Inside of the bat is solid
  • Has a predictable trajectory
  • Creates a less quick hit velocity


If the MLB were to use a metal bat, the speed at which players hit the balls would be a lot higher. This means that there would be less reaction time for the players trying to catch the ball, and the speed at which the ball is going could cause damage if the player cannot react in time.

Wooden bats have already caused injuries to players because of velocity, so if they switched to metal bats, the number of reported injuries in MLB would increase exponentially. Due to metal bats being less predictable with their trajectory, they can be dangerous for players and viewers. The occasional foul ball ends up flying backward into the stands towards viewers.

This can present a major injury risk for spectators, even though most stadiums today have some sort of barrier, mainly nets, to keep most balls from hitting the crowd. By using wooden bats, Major League Baseball decreases the velocity of batted balls, reducing the risk of serious injury.

MLB Bat Regulations

  • No colors may be added to the bat unless approved by the Rules Committee
  • Bat handles must not go above the 18-inch limitation
  • Bat handles cannot have any foreign material or treatment that improves the grip of the bat
  • Bats with indents at the top of the bat must not have an indent with a depth greater than one inch and a width of two inches
  • No prototype bats may be used until the Rules Committee approves
  • The bat must be a solid and single stick of wood that does not exceed two-and-a-quarter inches in diameter and 42 inches in length


What wood are MLB bats made out of?

The wood of an official MLB bat must be from a tree that is at least five decades old and put through the process of cutting, piecing, drying, and then shaping. The most common wood used is ash wood. However, other wood has been used, such as hickory, bamboo, and maple. 

Why does the MLB use wooden bats?

There are a few different reasons Major League Baseball uses wooden bats and not metal ones. For tradition, wooden baseball bats have been used in the MLB since the beginning, and refraining from incorporating metal bats keeps statistical comparisons consistent. In regards to safety, balls hit off wooden bats are more predictable and carry lower velocities, reducing the chance of a player or fan getting hit with a ball and suffering serious injuries.

Why are metal bats used in amateur baseball?

A metal bat is much lighter and makes it easier to hit the ball farther, which is why it is commonly used at amateur levels. Once you get to the professional level, to help make the game more challenging for players, they use wooden baseball bats to challenge players, among other reasons such as tradition and safety.