Aluminum Baseball Bats Shady Online Expertise Getting YOU Down?
The first rule of baseball bats is...
1. "It's NOT the bat that makes a great hitter, it's the hitter that makes a great hitter." - Yours Truly
AND the second one is...
2. "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog." -Mark Twain
So, there really is NO difference in performance between the newest model aluminum bat than from a 3 year old model, except demand. Bat making companies have to stay in business, so much of the demand is created through creative marketing techniques and hot new colors.
As you'll see later with BESR certifications.
As the second quote above says, you don't have to be 6"5", 225 pounds to hit home runs; there's still hope for the vertically and gravitationally challenged.
This article on baseball bats addresses the highly debated, and often controversial, topics asked about aluminum online. This is my favorite Q&A section of the Swing Smarter site!
What would win in a fight Wood OR Aluminum bats? We'll answer with another question, are you looking for a more noble weapon that's tried and true, or would you prefer a stick resembling more of a lightning rod?
Wood bats are excellent training tools, disciplining yourself to hit the ball on a 2-3 inch sweet spot will enhance your output damage when wielding an aluminum bat. The sound of wood striking a baseball is like Mozart's symphony, and the cost compared to its metal counterpart is a drop in the bucket ($60 as opposed to $300).
Unfortunately, wood doesn't last long and seems to break depending on the amount of use and quality of the swinger. The nail in the coffin is that warranties are virtually non-existent with wood.
So in battle, if you want a tool with reinforced metal walls, has a 1 year warranty, and actually trampolines the ball farther, then aluminum baseball bats are the way to go.
On the contrary, wood does have its place as an important piece of training equipment, and should be had by any serious ballplayer with any realistic goals of playing at a higher level.
Where to find CHEAP good quality aluminum bats? , Craigslist, Baseball Express's Clearance Items, and your own local sporting goods stores. Buy, exchange, barter for 2-3 year old models OR look into closeout bins. You don't always NEED to have the most shiny newest of models, unless you're a poser, then you must revisit the first quote above.
I don't mean to hurt any feelings, I know some people are hardwired to have the newest things, but keep in mind, the difference between two modern aluminum baseball bats has nothing to do with a player's On Base or Slugging Percentage, and you'll see why with BESR standards below.
Another cool feature of an aluminum bat is they typically come with a 1 year warranty, so if it cracks, dents, or breaks from normal use, you can send it back to the company and they'll replace it for FREE. Don't believe me? Call up Easton or Louisville and see for yourself.
How do I choose the right size and/or model of bat? This is all about personal preference, but if the hitter is a bigger stronger power hitter, then choosing a bat where the balance point is farther from the handle is key...on the other hand, for a purely contact hitter, selecting a bat having a balance point closer to the handle would suffice.
As for length, the hitter can take the bottom hand in the swing (for righties, their left hand), hold the bat at the bottom of the handle, straight out in front of the chest with the bat laying horizontal (end cap running away from the left index finger).
If the player can comfortably hold the bat in this position for 30 seconds or so, without the barrel dipping, then the bat length should work. The batter should be able to control the bat with their bottom hand because for most this will be their less dominant grasp.
Why aren't aluminum baseball bats used in the Big Leagues & why are they still being used in college? To address the first question...we'll get into this more in following, but because of the trampoline effect of metal, the best of the best, in Major Leaguers, would put everyone in the stadium at risk of skull crushing brain hemorrhages.
Big Leaguers hit the ball way too hard. Plus, as if you haven't noticed or have been living on some other green planet for a stretch, baseball is an insanely traditional sport and is very slow to change. Like the latest record shattering steroid craze, all offensive records would be in jeopardy with a professional tap-out to aluminum bats.
Yes, the change would be cheaper on franchises, but what would that do to the history of the sport?
They're still being used in college, in my opinion, because one of two issues, or both,
The schools don't have enough money to support the use of wood over a season,
Aluminum bat manufacturers would lobby every dollar to keep the status quo, so they can stay in business.
Although, college semi-pro leagues, such as in Alaska or the Cape Cod, use wood bats during the summer.
What goes father, a batted ball from wood OR aluminum baseball bats? Physics, mathematics, and science all point to aluminum. I did my own amateur experiment with a buddy in the 4th grade...we took out our wood and aluminum baseball bats, pitched to each other, smacked cowhide all over the yard, and measured results with our feet.
The conclusive data?
I think the wood bat actually one in that project, and we ended up with a C grade on the project because we missed isolating a couple variables...ya think?!
Aluminum bats today are made with double walls increasing the springiness effect, last a lot longer than wood, and are super expensive. Besides our 4th grade study, there have been more precise scientific research and testing on this issue from way smarter egg-heads than my friend and I, decisively coming up with the unequivocal answer, aluminum just plain hits harder and farther than wood bats.
Let me put it in words today's baseball enthusiast can understand...aluminum is wood on steroids!!
How do you clean aluminum baseball bats? You can use soapy water to clean dirt and other earth silt, rubbing alcohol or GoofOff! to get off pine tar, and olive oil to clean old tape residue.
Although, it IS an unwritten rule to NOT clean your weapon of choice because it shows courage, experience, and wisdom. Martial Artists don't wash their ranking belts, so the blood, sweat, and tears they've put into training shows, literally, when the belt starts turning a different color.
What is the best bat? I'm partial to Louisville, but you can't go wrong with Easton either...online the Louisville TPX Series Air Expo, EXO-Grid, and Catalyst Composites are pretty popular, AND the Easton Stealth is good on the dark side of the moon.
Composites have come a long way, I would have never swung them as a gift back in the day, but now they're made with carbon fiber inserts that are suppose to flex when struck by a ball giving more of a trampoline effect than regular aluminum.
What do the letters BESR stand for on aluminum baseball bats? They stand for Bat Exit Speed Ratio, which is a certification all aluminum must meet nowadays, meaning the ball is legally allowed to leave the bat at a certain speed of contact.
As long as aluminum baseball bats meet BESR standards, all certified sticks produce the same hit ball distance, give or take 6-10 feet, so you're really only buying product quality and how it makes you feel, NOT more performance.
How do I know if my aluminum bat is dead? One of 4 ways:
Tap Test - tapping the knob on the ground, resulting in an awkward low octave sound,
Shake Test - shake the bat up and down, and you'll here a rattling on the inside,
Dent Test - if you see noticeable dents or stress marks on the barrel, chances are your bat is on the verge of croaking, and
Checking its pulse! Yuk, Yuk, Yuk
Remember to save your receipt of purchase because if the bat goes bad from normal use within the first year of buying it, then you can send it back to the manufacturer and they'll replace it for FREE!
I hope this article on aluminum baseball bats was helpful, Karl Marx said religion was the opiate for the masses, well, I think baseball is more like it. I can't wait for the season to start, GO A's!