Bat Selection...

Whether you play little league or college baseball, buying a bat is a personal decision.  New technology has delivered bats that not only enhance performance but also are tailored to an individual player's strengths.  It is essential that you select a bat that fits your unique body configuration and skill level, height, weight, and hitting strength.

Understanding Bat Materials

The world of bats now offers a large variety of choices in materials. These can be broken into three primary categories: aluminum, graphite/titanium lined, and wood. Each provides its own unique characteristics and advantages for today's players.

Aluminum
  Aluminum is lighter in weight which increases control and bat speed. Balls travel farther with aluminum over other metals.
  Despite generally higher costs than other materials, aluminum is durable and not prone to crack or break
  Aluminum bats come in a variety of alloys each with a different weight
  Lighter weight bats also increase the "sweet spot," the hitting zone on the bat's barrel that gives the maximum place to put metal to ball
  Aluminum bats, and those enhanced with other alloys, also come in single-layer or double-layer construction
  Double-layer bats offer more durability and power, since the ball rebounds off the bat with more authority
  Cryogenically treated aluminum - Alloy is frozen and reheated to provide greater durability, less vibration and 2-4% greater distance
  Generally, lighter aluminum alloys are thinner and more durable. The one thing these have in common is that they are all different combinations of Zinc, Copper, Magnesium and Aluminum. The following is a list of the different alloys and their benefits.
  7046:  This is the standard aluminum alloy used in most bats
  CU31/7050:  More durable than 7046, due to increased levels of zirconium, magnesium, and copper
  C405/7055:  Increased Zirconium content than 7050, giving higher strength
  C555:  7% stronger than C405, has traces of scandium, which increases strength
 
Graphite/Titanium
  Technology has enabled bat makers to use lighter, stronger materials. Graphite and titanium are just two of these.
  Both are usually added to thinner-wall aluminum bats, enabling bats to be lighter and increasing a player's swing speed
  These materials also increase durability and the batter's sweet spot
  Graphite and titanium also help reduce vibration and the sting of ball shock, the tingling feeling sent to the hands usually when you miss hitting the ball in the bat's sweet spot
 
Wood
  Wood bats offer a classic feel and sound
  Look for a grain that is long and wide, which indicates a tree's age and density
  Wood bats offer more choices in shape and taper that can be customized to a player's swing
 
Wood has three big disadvantages:
  Bats crack and break
  Reduced sweet spots on the barrel
  Far less hitting power than metal bats

Determine What Bat Fits Your Body

There are some standard rules of thumb in selecting the appropriate bat length. The charts below offer some guidelines based on age and weight and height.

Age

Using your age as a guide, use the chart below to determine the bat length that fits your body

Determine your bat length by age

age

5-7

8-9

10

11-12

13-14

15-16

length

24"-26"

26"-28"

28"-29"

30"-31"

31"-32"

32"-33"

Height and weight

These are usually better ways to determine what bat length may work best for you

WEIGHT
IN LBS.
HEIGHT
IN FEET AND INCHES
 

3'-3'4"

3'5"-3'8"

3'9"-4'

4'1"-4'4"

4'5"-4'8"

4'9"-5'

5'1"-5'4"

5'5"-5'8"

5'9"-6'

6'1"-over

under 60

26"

27"

28"

29"

29"

         
61-70

27"

27"

28"

29"

30"

30"

       
71-80  

28"

28"

29"

30"

30"

31"

     
81-90  

28"

29"

29"

30"

30"

31"

32"

   
91-100  

28"

29"

30"

30"

31"

31"

32"

   
101-110  

29"

29"

30"

30"

31"

31"

32"

   
111-120  

29"

29"

30"

30"

31"

31"

32"

   
121-130  

29"

30"

30"

30"

31"

32"

33"

33"

 
131-140  

29"

30"

30"

31"

31"

32"

33"

33"

 
141-150    

30"

30"

31"

31"

32"

33"

33"

 
151-160    

30"

31"

31"

32"

32"

33"

33"

33"

161-170      

31"

31"

32"

32"

33"

33"

34"

171-180          

32"

33"

33"

34"

34"

180+            

33"

33"

34"

34"

Determining the Right Bat Weight

Most bats are also weighted in ounces
Manufacturers have done a great job in balancing the bat's weight to its length
Many bats have a weight-to-length ratio, often shown as -4, -6, etc.
This basically means a 34-inch bat with a -6 ratio weighs 28 ounces
Selecting weight really depends on two critical factors--your strength and your hitting style
It also depends a lot on your personal preference in weight and length, so the following are simply guidelines to follow:
Bigger, stronger players generally prefer a heavier bat since they get the benefits of both the heft and swing power
Smaller players with less strength should consider a lighter bat to generate a quicker swing
Younger players, too, should consider that a lighter bat increases control--great for singles hitters, while also reducing the risk of injury

Understanding Bat Technology

Bat technology may seem a little confusing but it's not rocket-science. There are three essential elements to a bat: barrel size, bat taper and grip.

Barrel Size
  This includes both the length of the barrel -top part of the bat- and its diameter
  The longer the barrel, generally, the larger the sweet spot for hitting the ball
  As for diameter, the standard is 2 1/4, inches but many players prefer a smaller barrel that lightens weight and provides more swing speed
 
Taper
  This is the diameter of the bat's handle
  Standard bats are tapered 31/32 of an inch but can be slightly larger or smaller depending on whether you want a lighter or heavier bat
  You may prefer the feel of a bigger bat taper, which can also reduce the sting when a ball isn't struck on the sweet spot
  Some players like a narrower taper for the lighter weight and to rotate their wrists faster when hitting
 
Grip
  The grip is simply the covering that bat manufacturers use on the handle of aluminum bats
  Rubber grips absorb more of the shock
  Leather or synthetic leather gives a tackier feel for a surer grip
  Some bats come with a cushioned grip to decrease the shock even more

 

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