Baseball bats come in various shapes, sizes, and materials and you may want to assess which bat suits you the best. Different types of bats can bring a different hype to the game.
So consider what type of hitter you want to be, your preferred weight to the bat, your league in which you’ll join, and how perfect the bat is to hit and pop the ball off.
Are all baseball bats the same? Certainly, no! As it turns out, there are five types of baseball bats out there. Each of these types is fashioned in a way that the material and design of the bat are suited to your style.
Since the sport’s earliest days, wooden baseball bats are used in every professional league. Minor and major baseball leagues around the world exclusively utilized wooden baseball bats in training and batting-cage sessions.
Simply put, these baseball bats are the classic types of bats used in every baseball game. Some of the most common types of wood chosen for baseball bats are bamboo, birch, and maple. This wooden material allows baseball bats to be fashioned in any way that the player or coach wants them to be.
The types of wood used in baseball bats differ from each league and from each brand. For example, the infamous Louisville Slugger produced the Major League Baseball bats that are only made of white ash wood. In turn, this gives the bat a thick and dense composition.
Over time, professional leagues have chosen to use maple wood in their baseball bats. These bats are much lighter but have a tendency to break or fall apart after regular use. Now, bamboo and hickory wood has increased in popularity in crafting baseball bats. But, most professional leagues do not sanction these types of wood to be crafted into baseball bats.
Aluminum or alloy bats are aptly called metal bats. These bats are one of the oldest types of baseball bats used aside from the wooden ones. Since the 1970s, aluminum bats have had a fair share in every professional league in high school and college.
Aluminum is lighter and more durable than wood and it gives the bats a lighter and swifter swing. If you’re a rookie or a new player of the baseball game, aluminum bats are ideal to accompany you in learning the basic mechanics of baseball.
Younger players tend to lack the strength and accuracy in hitting the ball, but using an aluminum bat compensates for that case because it impacts the ball with greater strength and speed. As aluminum bats are often used at the collegiate level, these are also great during the cold weather. Please be extra careful though, because aluminum bats cause more serious injury than wooden bats.
As its name suggests, composite bats are made from quite a few materials like graphite, plastic, and sometimes titanium.
Simply put, these bats are made out of lightweight materials. If you are a young player in the game, composite bats give you an added advantage as these are even lighter than aluminum bats. However, these bats are more expensive compared to the wooden and aluminum ones. But, the pay-off surely outweighs the price.
Composite bats have larger sweet spots for hitting and popping the ball off. And, what’s good is that these are easier to carry and manipulate.
Some manufacturers make adjustments in composite bats allowing a more personalized baseball bat. But, in the long run, composite bats cannot withstand too much force between their handle and barrel. These baseball bats can sustain 150-200 hits to break it off.
When you combine the strength and durability of aluminum and composite bats, the result is a hybrid one. Oftentimes, hybrid bats are constructed with an aluminum handle and spine giving the bat an overall strength and composition.
The barrel is pressurized from composite materials such as graphite, plastic, and titanium. The hybrid bat’s greatest advantage is that its durability provides strong resistance from any dents or defects sustained from playing. Also, one of its pros is that it is easier to swing without even lowering your arm strength. Another thing to consider is that hybrid bats have a similar price point to both aluminum and composite ones.
One of the drawbacks of these bats is that they are not sanctioned in some professional leagues. In some competitive leagues, hybrid bats are not even allowed to be used by a player. Over time, these bats face cracks and dents when there is a constant change in temperature.
Unlike those other types of bats mentioned above, fungo bats are only used during fielding practice. These bats are not allowed to be used in professional leagues and in-game plays. Oftentimes, coaches use fungo bats to simulate swinging the bat with one hand.
Fungos, as these bats are often called, have a different design compared to other bats. These ones have a slimmer barrel, lesser weight, and longer length to make the job easier for coaches to hit and pop the ball off.
Typically, fungo bats are made of wood, aluminum, and composite materials. You’ve probably used these bats in every field practice you have before the professional league. And, these bats are inexpensive practice equipment you can use without the fear of breaking or denting them. Just try to practice with this bat as it is lightweight and has a longer length that is great for training sessions.
The choice you need to make when buying a baseball bat is easy as all you need to know is what you need the bat for. If you are a beginner and want to start learning, a cheap beginner bat is more than enough but as soon as you step up a level, you will need to consider upgrading to a more expensive one. At the end of the day, as with most equipment in any sport, you get what you pay for.