Selecting a good Baseball Bat or Softball Bat
Whether you are in the market for a baseball bat or a softball bat your choices seem endless. You're probably wondering what is the best bat to choose. Right?
Is there a difference from the $50 bats I see to the $300 - $400 bats.
What's the difference between a wood bat and an aluminum bat? Does Titanium and/or cyrogenic freezing add anything to your hitting other than just adding to the price?
Good Hitting Mechanics are most important
Check back to our page on keys to great hitting before choosing a baseball bat or a softball bat
In other words, before you spend $200 - $400 for the perfect bat, you'd be better served buying the cheaper models and putting your money into hitting lessons from a
good hitting coach.
I'm back off my soap box. Now that you know how I feel about hitting correctly before you go about the business of purchasing a bat, I will attempt to steer you in the right direction.
Let me interject a little physics in here for a moment. What good hitting is all about besides contacting the ball squarely, is bat speed. If you want the ball you're hitting to travel farther and faster, you need to develop quick bat speed. This is done again with good mechanics, but this can be coupled up with a bat you can control quickly. This will require a lighter weight bat than you might originally have thought, especially if you are using a linear swing.
What the negative numbers mean on a baseball bat or softball bat
A couple of other things. The number that you see on bats refers to the length of the bat (in inches) subtracted from the weight (in ounces). So if you have a bat that's 28 inches long that weighs 20 ounces you'd have a -8 bat. For boys' baseball, they will eventually need to go to a -3 bat once they get older and play at higher levels of competition, but at the younger ages they can use anything the bat manufacturers can produce, like the girls softball bats.
The current lightest weight differential is -13. These allow you to get a longer bat in lighter weights.
Generally it requires higher technology to produce these bats, thus raising the price for them. Because they are so light they are also susceptible to denting (especially in cold weather) making them illegal to use (if dented). They do help create faster bat speed and also have larger sweet spots, which is why people are willing to take the risks and invest the higher dollars.
Choosing a baseball bat or softball bat is mostly in the mind
As far as choosing one, a lot of it is psychological, i.e. which ever one the kid thinks has the most hits in it probably does :)
Just make sure they can control it. This is done by watching a swing and making sure there isn't a big hitch in their swing and another way is to have the kid hold a bat out in front of them with one hand. If they can hold the bat out for 20 - 30 seconds without having the hands drop it will be okay.
The bat companies may have some recommendations as far as kid size to bat size, but I think my general guidelines will serve you fine.
Feel free to e-mail me with specific questions regarding a bat or any other hitting questions.
But before you do, why not look over a year's worth of answers to questions similar to the one you have
by following this link to a page of questions and answers on how to choose a baseball bat .