Are You a Baseball Lover? Here’s How to Choose the Best Bat

By  //  October 24, 2022

Baseball is America’s favorite sport, and it’s no wonder that so many people are passionate about the game. According to a report published in 2021, roughly 15 million people above six participated in sports at least once in their lifetime.

So, it’s no surprise that everyone wants to excel in baseball and be a pro, just like famous players. However, choosing the best bat for yourself can be a daunting task. Suppose you are just starting out in baseball. In that case, you may be overwhelmed by the massive number of bats available on the market.

Nothing is more disheartening than not being able to play to the best of your skills because your shots are way off. Similarly, if you use a bat that is too heavy, chances are you will mess up your game. Hence, choosing a bat that offers the right balance of weight and length is essential. Here’s how you can do that:

■ Purchase According to Your League Demands

Your league will define the parameters you need to purchase your bat. There are three governing bodies for baseball bats: USABat, USSSA, and BBCOR. The first entity manufactures lightweight wooden bats, making them ideal for swinging. If you are a teenager or young adult, picking from USA baseball bats will work in your favor. This bat will give you an excellent grip and enough weight to swing freely.

You can ask your coach the most appropriate choice for you, but generally, if you are a teenager, you will need a USA bat. On the other hand, USSSA (the United States Specialty Sports Association) is on the heavier end and preferred by players who are slightly more experienced than those new to the game. In contrast, the heaviest of the lot are BBCOR bats (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) that can give you a higher swing despite the weight.

■ Choosing The Material

Baseball bats are made of wood or metal. There are different trees from which a wooden bat can be made; these include Ash, maple, and birch. Certain manufacturers also make bamboo baseball bats. Maple bats are made from dense wood and have a tight grain structure. This makes the equipment stiff and prevents flaking, which allows higher energy transfers.

Consequently, maple bats are known for their density and durability. Whereas bats made from Ash are best known for their lightweight and flex. Ash’s porous material makes the ball jump off the bat with a more significant force. It is also ideal for players who want to switch from metal to wooden bats. Lastly, bats made from birch have the best qualities of maple and Ash. It is as durable as maple but good at flexing like birch. This bat can withstand more balls and doesn’t crack under pressure, so if you’re new at the game and still learning to swing, birch may be the suitable choice.

When it comes to alloy or aluminum baseball bats, you don’t need to break them in and start using them immediately. Metallic bats are far more durable and better performing than their wooden counterparts. While alloy bats are affordable, composite bats are not. These higher-end metallic-based baseball bats require a break-in of 150 to 200 balls before you can get the hang of it. But, these bats absorb vibrations, especially if you make poor contact with the ball, which prevents your hands from stinging. You can also browse through hybrid options, composite handled, and alloy barrels that minimize vibration but require more time for breaking in.

■ How Much Do Baseball Bats Costs?

Alloy, composite, and hybrid bats are highly durable but can come to be expensive. Of the three, composite bats are comparably costly, starting at $200, and can go higher. But if you buy a composite bat, you will get your money’s worth. This equipment has a massive sweet spot, making it easy to swing. Alloy bats can come as affordable as $50 and may go up to $300. When it comes to wooden bats, this can cost you about $200 and above. At the same time, they may not be as durable as metal, but they are durable enough to shape you into an experienced player.

■ Know The Right Length

The length of your bat impacts your game. If you pick out a long bat, you may find it hard to swing and control your speed. Simultaneously, a short bad can mess with your plate coverage and move you away from the strike zone. This is why you need to be sure the bat you choose complements your physique. A quick trick in ensuring your bat is optimal for you is to stand the bat against the side of your leg. If the end of this equipment reaches the center of your palm when you reach down, you make the right choice.

■ Picking According to Your Height and Weight

Your height and weight play a significant role when picking the right bat for yourself. If your height is between 5’1″ to 5’4”and weigh about 70 to 120 pounds, you need a bat that is about 31 inches long. Similarly, if you are about 121 pounds to 180 pounds, you need a 32-inch bat. But if your weight exceeds 180 pounds, you must get a 33-inch bat.

A 32-inch is excellent if you are about 101 and 140 pounds but have a height of 5’1″ and 5’8″. Finally, go for a 34-inch bat if you are about 5’9″ to 6′ while weighing about 121 pounds to 160 pounds.

■ Don’t Forget About Your Age

Players will need a lengthier bat when dealing with young adults like those in high school and college. Generally, players under seven should use a 24 to 26 inches long bat. Moving up the ladder, players between the ages of eight and nine can use a bat that has a length of 26 inches to 29 inches. Teenagers up to 15 are most suitable for bats that measure 31 inches in length. While those who are 18 can go over 32 to 34 inches.

Make sure your bat matches your stats, depending on what league you are playing for and your age group. It will help if you swing the bag as you decide the kind of bat you want to play with. If the bat feels too heavy to lift, it will be too heavy for you to swing. You can find out if you can handle the bat’s weight for more than 45 seconds, and you will adjust to the equipment.

Furthermore, look at the drop weight of your bat. A bat’s drop is determined by subtracting its weight from the length. For example, if a bat weighs about 20 ounces and has a length of 30 inches, it will drop -10. A high drop weight indicates a lighter bat. If you are a large player, you may want a bat with a lower drop weight, which may give you the power you need to make a shot. But, if you are on the smaller end, you need a bat with a more significant drop weight which adds to your speed.

Final Thoughts

As a baseball lover, it is only fitting you have the best bat that lets you play the game. A baseball player’s bat is what a car is to a racer; if the equipment is made for you, it will be hard for you to play. This is why you need to research immensely before making your choice.

When you have set your sights on the bat that is perfect for you, take it out for a trial run. This involves swinging the bag and gauging how it feels in your hands. Make sure you also account for your height, weight, and age, pivotal factors in finding your match. These include the league you play for, the material you want, and how much you are comfortable paying.