There are a number of factors that going into picking the perfect baseball bat. The following factors need to be addressed before purchasing a bat:
- Barrel Material (Composite vs. Aluminum Alloy)
- One piece vs. Two Piece
- Balanced vs. Top End Heavy
To guide you through the process of finding the best bat for the best price, we will tackle each one of the above factors that go into finding the perfect bat for you.
1. Bat Length
Choosing the correct length might be the most challenging aspect of picking a bat. As you get older, you start find out a certain length works best for you. It is combination of feel and performance. Some players like to swing a smaller bat, because it allows them to have a faster bat speed and more control through the zone. Whereas you might see stronger player swing a longer bat. He might do this because he is strong enough and a longer bat equals a larger barrel and greater force when making contact with the baseball.
The general role of thumb is that if you can hold the bat out in front of you with a straight arm, then the bat is acceptable to use. However, we do not like to use this test at BBCOR Bats HQ, because it doesn’t really test anything. Same goes for the charts that are available online, that suggests a bat length based upon the players’ height and weight. These charts or simple tests can be used to get a sense of what length works best, but does not compare to actually hitting baseballs with different lengths of bats. This will give you immediate feedback on whether it is the correct length for you. If you are able to barrel up the ball constantly then it is the correct length for you. If you are constantly getting jammed, the bat is most likely to long. If you are constantly hitting the ball on the end of the bat, the length might be too short.
2. Barrel Material-Composite vs. Aluminum/Alloy
The barrels of BBCOR bats are made out of two different types of metal; composite and aluminum alloy. Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should buy a composite or aluminum bat. It all comes down to personal preference. However, we have provided you with a comparison of composite and aluminum bats below. So that you can make a decision based upon which one you think will be a better fit for your abilities and price range.
- Balanced Feel
- Absorb the Sting
Composite bats are made out of woven fibers of carbon kevlar, graphite, fiber glass, or carbon fiber. Composite tends to be lighter and stronger allowing the bat maker to create a bat with a longer barrel(larger sweetspot) and lighter swing speed. However, if you go with a composite bbcor bat, you will need to “break it in”. Lucky for you, we have a complete guide on how to break in a composite bat. This will allow you to get the maximum performance from any composite bat.
Aluminum Alloy Benefits:
3. More Affordable
4. No Break in Time
Aluminum bats are made out of different alloys or types of metal. These vary depending upon the different bat companies. Aluminum bats tend to be more stiff and responsive. Meaning that when you make contact the bat is going to flex minimally and you will be able to feel whether you made hard contact or “just missed” it. Aluminum bats are also very durable and allow you to get great bang for your buck. It is also important to mention that aluminum bats do not require a break-in period. They can be taken right out of the box onto the playing field, unlike composite bats.
3. One-Piece vs. Two Piece
Now that you have determined what type of material you want your barrel to made out of, it is time to decided if you want a 1-piece or 2-piece bat. Each one offers unique performance improvements. Just like deciding between composite and aluminum alloy, there is no right or wrong answer here. Ultimately it is the players preference.
- More for Power Hitters
1-Piece bat is made out of either composite or aluminum alloy. 1-Piece bats tend to be stiffer and stronger. This means that when the bat makes contact with the ball, little to no energy is lost in the process. It also means that you have to be fairly strong to swing these bats through the zone, they have a little higher swing weight, but also drive the ball further. If you are strong and are a power hitter, I would recommend a 1-piece.
- Lighter Swing Weight
- Increased Bat Speed and Power
2-Piece bat is composed of a handle and a barrel that are bonded together. They can be made out of different materials. For instance the Easton Mako has a composite handle and a composite barrel, but the Easton S2 has a composite handle and an aluminum barrel. The materials of the barrels differ by bat companies. The 2-Piece design allows for the bat to flex during the swing, which will result in increased speed and power. The 2-Piece is more tailored to contact hitters that want a quicker bat speed and lighter swing weight.
4. Balanced vs. Top Heavy
This one is simple. If you are more of a contact hitter and want better bat control, go with a balanced bat. A balanced bat is the de facto choice, you can’t go wrong with it.
If you have strong wrist and forearms and are a power hitter, you might want to consider using an end-loaded bat or top heavy bat. The extra weight towards the end, will give you more force when making contact with the ball, which will lead to furthers distances.
This one is all about personal preference and feel. Each bat manufacturer has a different handle and grip. You want to select a bat that feels comfortable in your hands. You definitely do not want to be thinking about the handle or grip when your up to bat. Bat manufacturers will tell you that their grip will limit the sting of a batted ball, but hopefully you will be hitting all the balls on the barrel and won’t have to worry about the “sting”.
We all know that price is a determining factor when picking out a best BBCOR bat. It would be nice to have the money to buy whatever bat you like and if you don’t like it, buy another one. However, this is not a reality for most. That is why our staff has created this website, to provide all of the information to make an informed decision and to hopefully save money.
If you go to the Ultimate BBCOR Bat guide you will see a chart that can be organized by brand, make, barrel material, lengths, features, rating.