The knob and the grip are responsible for security and controlled, comfortable handling when properly holding your bat. The barrel begins at the tapered end of the handle and goes to the wider part of the baseball bat, which houses the sweet spot – the optimal location for a ball to travel the furthest upon impact. The end cap is the flattened or rounded top piece of the bat that helps improve control and sometimes swing speed, depending on its weight.
Different Types of Baseball Bats
When we think of iconic baseball moments throughout the game’s history, they mostly revolve around wooden bats. However, baseball bats can be made from different types of materials, which may play a larger role in your overall performance at the plate.
Alloy bats (also referred to as aluminum alloy bats) offer a durable construction and a smaller sweet spot. Since aluminum alloy is not easily affected by temperature changes nor requires breaking in, these bats tend to be ready for immediate usage out of the box making them ideal training bats as well as in-game play through little league, high school, and college.
Composite baseball bats are crafted with materials such as reinforced carbon fiber polymer that reduce felt vibration and often tend to have larger sweet spots. Although they are less budget-conscious and usually require a break-in period of about 150 to 200 hits, but they are also temperature-sensitive (not recommended to use in weather 65°F or below). Due to the nature of their design, composite bats can put a lot of pop and power behind your swing.
Hybrids are crafted from a blend of aluminum alloy and composite components, working in tandem. These baseball bats deliver the best characteristics of alloy and composite bats by typically utilizing the composite handle’s knack for reducing felt vibration and complementing it with the alloy barrel’s no break-in period feature.
The most popular of the four types of bats are wooden bats. Wood baseball bats are mainly crafted from ash, maple, or birch wood. Wooden bats offer better balance for a more controlled swing as well as more natural power that aluminum or composite cannot compare to. Wood is also a better choice when developing a foundation for the fundamentals of the sport, including building muscle memory and developing better pitch discipline.
How to Size a Baseball Bat Size
Bat size is comprised of bat length, bat weight and bat weight drop measurements.
Bat length affects the swing mechanics such as your swing speed and plays a major part in the way that you cover the plate. To measure yourself in relation to adult baseball bats to find the correct length for you, there are 3 main ways to accomplish this:
- Position the bottom of the bat in the center of your chest and hold it parallel to your outstretched arm. If you can reach the top of the bat with your fingertips the bat is the right length for you.
- See if you can reach the barrel when the bottom of the bat is placed in the center of your chest extended outward. If this is possible then your bat is sized correctly.
- If the bat is standing at your side and you can reach the end of the barrel with the center of your palm, then you know that your baseball bat is the proper length for usage.