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Why Some Players Prefer Metal Bats

Why Some Players Prefer Metal Bats

Depending on league regulations, a player may be able to choose to play with bats made of different materials and offer more flexibility in whether players can select and practice with either a wood bat, a composite bat or a metal bat.

Generally speaking, composite and alloy bats (metal bats) offer higher resilience and durability combined with a higher bat performance factor than their wood counterparts. Why then, would some players actively choose a wooden bat?

Why Some Players Might Actively Choose Wooden Bats

For one thing, many players may choose to practice or play with wood baseball bats because their league requires it. Among the reasons that professional players use wood is because wood is actually more demanding than alloy and composite bats and, all things considered, offers generally lower performance.

The bat performance factor of a wood bat, which gives an indication of how much force can be redirected into a pitch and thereby how far and hard a player can hit the ball, is typically lower in wooden bats. Wooden bats, for their part, also have smaller sweet spots, which makes them less forgiving. In an attempt to make the bats harder and combat this, some manufacturers “bone rub” their bats to make the wood harder and denser.

Wood bats are also unforgiving of mishits and are prone to shattering and cracking with fatigue as well. The flipside of this is that wood bats provide excellent feedback and sensitivity, which some players prefer.

However, because of these factors, some players that have professional aspirations or are seeking to fine tune their skills actively play with wooden bats - but that still leaves the question of metal bats and their performance to be discussed.

Why Metal Bats Are Sometimes Preferable

In contrast to wooden bats, the features of which are tied to the innate traits of the wood from which they are made, metal bats can be engineered to exhibit variance in weight and weight drop, while incorporating other technology like advanced end caps and grips. This gives players who prefer metal bats more choice, but it does not paint the entire picture.

One of the greatest advantages of alloy bats is their durability. Since some of them are effectively made from a single piece of aluminum or another alloy, they’re not prone to cracking, splintering, or breaking. Actually, they’re effectively indestructible, which gives them a much longer lifespan when compared to other bats like wood.

In fact, even composite bats, which are made out of a matrix of interlocking fibers, and which are known for their durability, can break. This is a particular concern when it is very cold out, as low temperature and impacts can come together to cause composite bats to crack or break. Metal bats, by contrast, are much tougher.

Additionally, metal bats can offer performance that most wooden bats can’t match. Because the thinness and construction of a bat’s walls can be altered to create a bigger sweet spot and increased trampoline effect, the BPF of the bat can be increased. Players can achieve more impressive hits with metal bats that are very difficult to achieve with a wooden bat.

Metal bats will also tolerate hits further out on the barrel that would probably break most wooden bats, resulting in designs that are overall more forgiving. A mishit might destroy a wooden bat, but it only creates a less startling learning experience with a metal bat - it might even result in a hit that gets a player on base.

Another factor to consider with metal bats is that, since the weight of the barrel can easily be manipulated during design and manufacturing, lighter, longer bats can be more easily produced. This makes it possible to create a long, thin bat with a perfect swing weight and weight drop which will enable a batter to deliver faster swings and harder hits.

What it ultimately boils down to is a balance of factors that makes it possible for metal bats to offer generally better performance to players than wooden bats. They can be engineered with wider, larger sweet spots, with barrels that have improved trampoline effects that can allow for higher swing speeds. It’s a nice bonus that alloy bats also don’t break, which gives them a longer useful lifespan.

These factors have made metal bats the bat of choice for many players in leagues under the professionals. Many little league players, high school players, and even college players may prefer a metal bat, where allowed. Nonetheless, those who are looking to refine their skills may choose to play with a wood bat, specifically because wooden bats are more demanding.

We’ll Help You Pick the Right Bat

If you’re allowed a little flexibility in the material you’re allowed to choose in a bat, contact our customer service team to learn more and we’ll help you pick the right bat. You can contact us at 1-888-540-BATS for additional help or information - give us a call today.

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