Just a few inches inches. That is all you have to create the most efficient collision between the bat and the ball. Hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports. As a hitter, you have very little margin for error and having the wrong bat just increases your likelihood of failing. To find the perfect bat, you need to factor in your league regulations, the type of hitter you have, and the size of the player using the bat.
Each league or tournament will have a governing body that decides which bats will be legal for play. For example you are playing in a USSSA tournament, you are required to have a bat with the USSSA stamp. If you are playing in pony league, you are required to have a bat with a USA stamp. High school players and above must have a bat with a BBCOR certified stamp.
Leagues will also regulate The drop of the bat a player must use. For example, USSSA recently required all 13u players to use a drop five (-5) bat. Using an unapproved bat would be an out for your team and could even lead to an ejection. Make sure to check with your coach, tournament director or league commissioner before you get a bat.
Are you a power, line drive or singles hitter? Knowing the type of hitter you are will help you find the perfect bat. Just because two bats may weigh the same, that does not mean they will feel the same. How the bat feels when you swing it is referred to as the swing weight and different types of hitters will need different swing weights.
Power hitters need a bat with a higher swing weight. This is referred to as end-loaded. End-loaded bats are made for power hitters because they typically have the ability to swing the end-loaded bat with high bat speed, and a lot of weight behind the swing means the ball will travel farther on solid contact. End-loaded bats will typically cause a higher swing and miss rate but increased power. The trick for power hitters is to find the end-loaded bat that the allows for the best combination of contact and distance. Remember that a 300 or 500 ft homer are worth the same on the scoreboard.
Players whose game is speed or have slower bat speed need the most balanced bat possible. A well balanced bat will have a lower swing weight, lead to increased bat speed and more contact. Balanced bats won’t have as much weight behind the swings but the increased bat speed with help increase exit speed of the ball.
Gap to Gap hitters are hitters that are looking to drive the ball into the outfield for a double or more. Gap to gap hitters make consistent solid contact and drive the ball into the outfield, with the occasional homerun. These type of hitters have the most flexibility with bats. Stronger hitters can get a bat with heavier swing weight, yet is still balanced which can help increase their power, or choose a slightly lower swing weight bat to increase contact.
As a player grows they are going to typically need a longer bat. You will need to also take into account arm length, how close they stand to the plate and how strong they are. These are all key to finding the right length bat in order to get the sweet spot of the bat through the contact zone.
Having the perfect bat is about being able to maximize your players performance. Major leaguers don’t just grab any bat from the bunch. They pick out the perfect bats for them because they know that increases their likelihood to succeed. Bat Club USA is here to help you get your player the competitive advantage of the perfect bat.