If you are unaware of the different bat materials it can be a challenging ordeal when choosing a baseball bat.
In theory the choice between a wooden bat and a non-wood bat is pretty straight forward.
The general rules is a that a wooden bat is only reserved for professionals, practice bats and tournaments. There are some states though, that do require that a wooden bat is used, so you should check this out for your state.
The biggest challenge will often arise when choosing a non-wood bat, because of the differing baseball bat materials. we have put together a guide to help you.
Composite Bats vs. Alloy Bats
Generally a composite bat will be made using a layered material which is most often like carbon fiber, this material is good for controlling the weight distribution of the bat.
Manufacturers will usually make 2 types of bats, which are
1.A balanced weight bat(weight is evenly distributed) or
2.An end-loaded (in this case bat will have more weight at the end of the barrel, which gives it an heavier swing weight), bat, which depends on the style.
The Benefits of Composite Bats
A composite bat is great for minimizing vibration on the hands. This is particularly good for minimizing sting which commonly happens during a miss-hit ball.
A composite bat will also generally have a larger sweet spot aswell as giving you more ”pop”.
Disadvantages of Composite Bats
A composite bat will often cost more than an alloy bat. This is generally because to manufacture a composite bat requires a much more complex procedure.
You will need to use a composite for some time to break it in.
You should be a aware that a composite bat will not give you the pop until it is broken in.
Ways to break your composite baseball bat in:
You should hit a regular baseball or softball upto 150 times with your bat or more. Avoid using a rubber batting cage ball.
When hitting the ball with your bat it is also essential that you rotate the bat. This will increase the life span of the bat and evenly break in the bat.
Use these types above to responsibly break in your baseball bat.
Hitting your bat on some a solid surface like against a tree or even rolling are not recommended methods, and are more likely to damage your bat than anything else. This act will also make your manufacturer warranty unusable.
An alloy bat is also known as a metal and aluminum bat. This type of bat has been around much longer than composite bats have been.
The Benefits of Alloy Bats
They are usually less expensive than buying a composite bat.
There’s no need to break in an alloy bat it’s ready to go straight out of the wrapper.
They generally are very durable and when then do get damaged, they usually dent instead of cracking.
The great thing about a dented bat is that it can still be used. but if the bat cracks, you can no longer get any use out of it.
The say that as long as a bat is not damage, to such an extent that a barrel ring is no longer able to fit around the barrel, you can still legally use the bat.
The Disadvantages of an Alloy Bat
An alloy bat often has a smaller sweet spot as well as less “pop”.
As a general rule, you’ll find that the more you have to pay for an alloy bat the longer the sweet spot tends to be. The bat is also better balanced as the price increases.
The In-Between Hybrid Bat
If you feel like you want a bat that has the qualities if both composite and an alloy bat it’s possible to get a hybrid bat.
A hybrid, or comp/alloy bat will have a composite handle and an alloy barrel.
The Benefits of a Hybrid Bat
With a hybrid bat you can benefit from less vibration when you strike the ball. The alloy barrel on the other hand has great performance and can save you money
A Look at the Differences a Between One Piece and Two Piece Bat.
The One Piece Bat:
A one piece bat is generally a stiffer and better balanced bat.
The down side is that the one piece design doesn’t handle vibration particularly well. This you should expect a lot of vibration any time you miss-hit a ball.
Two Piece Bats:
A bat that is two pieces tend to have more flex, and have less vibration.
A one piece bat is often most beneficial to a contact hitter, because of its better balance. On the other hand a two pieced is often most beneficial to a power hitter.
The bat you choose will be based on you personal choice and hitting style.