How to Choose a Wood Baseball Bat
Coach John Peter Most players today (other than those who are being paid to play) are new to the ways of wood baseball bats. I've included some basic knowledge on the subject for the serious player and hiscoaches who are realizing that to get to the next level you need to train with wood. Moreimportantly, here's some straight advice on how to choose the right bat and get the most for your money too. Let's start with some basics:
Most wood bats today are made from Northern White Ash generally harvested in Pennsylvaniaand Upstate New York. It is graded for quality with straight grain being the most importantcriteria. (Southern Ash grows too quickly and is not as dense). Major League grade is of course,the best and is also in short supply. Most of what you see that's labeled or sold as Pro-Stock or some similar name is actually Minor League wood or a lesser grade and generally is found for around $40. Of course, there are other levels of quality down to the $20. range. They are known by grades called high school, trophy and retail (don't expect to see the grades labeled). Generally,they are not of very good quality and only worth purchasing if money is an issue. (Better thannot having any wood at all). You won't find these on our site. We only work with quantities instraight ash.
Here is another material that has recently gained some Major League notoriety. They cost a bitmore, but when made properly AND from the right material known as Rock or Sugar Maple, it isabsolutely worth the extra money simply because it tends to outlast ash bats many times over. Soin the long run, because they last longer, they're less expensive.So why don't all major Leaguers use maple? Actually, as they are becoming more well known,more players are now using them. Just like in your own dugout, players will try out each other'snew bats. And since they have such good "feel", some players will switch while other playershaving the superstitions that many ballplayers tend to have, will never change even the color much less the type of bat that they use. Also, since Major leaguers aren't concerned with savingmoney on bat breakage, economy is not the issue that it is for the rest of us.
Here's a warning when considering a maple bat:
Because of it's recent good press, too many newcompanies have jumped on the bandwagon making bats out of inferior material such as red or silver maple, a soft maple that just won't hold up well enough in my opinion especially keepingin mind that they cost more than ash bats to begin with. So, don't buy unless you are sure you aregetting a hard maple bat!
(remember the names rock maple and sugar maple)
It's a great "stick", with some players saying that the ball just jumps off the bat a bit quicker. Itdoesn't flake (outer layers or pieces that chip off in flakes) like ash either. If there's a downside, it just costs more than many ash bats.Available lengths: 32", 33", 34" Weights are -1 & -2 oz.