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Baseball

 

Bat Diameter

Newest craziness is bat diameter. Here's the low down, a 2 1/4" bat hits better has a much longer sweet spot than any big barrel bat every will. Reason big barrel bats do put the ball in play more normally as weak grounds or ugly pop-ups where as a 2 1/4 bat results in more foul backwards or in play line drives. 2 1/4 inch bats have less flex and more pop. The only thing big barrel has going for it is the confidence factor, young players and parents alike think it will be easier to hit the ball and it will be, for bad hit that is. The old saying goes "Its not the arrow its the Indian" but here's another thought for you, "Aim small miss small". So use a small barrel bat to learn to get on target of centerline of the ball, then no matter which bat you use you will be a better hitter or Indian.

As a coach, I get asked the question what is the right bat for my kid a lot, so here is the low down on picking a bat.

 Length is easy to do, your players weight and height chart below is the best way. The weight of the bat that is the one most important thing and it's a judgment call by watching the player swing a bat and adjusting to their style and strength of swing and speed of swing. As a coach I request the parents to not buy a bat in the beginning of the season, at least not until we figure out which bat is best and the fact that most good bats start around $150 - $300 price range and bats are only good for one or two years.

Determine Bat Length by Your Weight and Height

Your height (inches)

Your weight (pounds)

36-40

41-44

45-48

49-52

53-56

57-60

61-64

65-68

69-72

73+

Bat length

less than 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"

29"

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

Bats are measured in weight in ounces as well and 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 -3, -5, -6, -10 and as light as -13 etc. This basically means a 30-inch bat with a -10 ratio weighs 20 ounces. High school requires BBCOR .50 at a -3 with a 1.15 BPF. And Certified for the league you play for ie Pony Certified, USSSA Certified, etc. Pony doesn't allow 2 3/4" barrel but does allow 2 5/8" barrels, so check your leagues rules before buying a bat to make sure it's a legal bat for your league play.
Examples by ages; age 14 -3, age 13 -5, age 12 -5, age 11 - 8.5, age 10 -10, age 9 -12.

Here is one thing that I hear all the time, if the player can hold the bat straight out and level with one arm then that bat will be just fine....  ....This is just Hog Wash.... and here is one example of why this just doesn't work for all players, some players may have the upper body strength to hold the bat straight but they have a real slow swing.

Selecting weight really depends on two critical factors and only two--your players strength and swinging style. Style is determined by; speed of swing, levelness of swing and control of the swing.

To see this in action:

Pitch to your player, move the ball around in the strike zone, high pitches, low pitches, inside and out, increase speed (fast ball), decrease speed (change up or off speed).

If the bat is to heavy for your player they will not be able to adjust to changes in speed and location, lower the bat weight and/or shorten the bat length. Example: 29 inch bat -8 is to heavy then use a 29 inch -10 or 28 inch -8.

General Note

Lighter bat weights increases control and long bats increase range but decrease control. Confessing? Yes it's confessing and sometimes a best guess and as a coach the main reason I ask my parents to not buy their player a bat for games. I may depending on the pitcher move a players bat weight up or down depending on the speed at which a young pitcher is throwing the pitches (9-10 age).

A lot of times a coach just doesn't wish to deal with a parent that has spent good money on a bat and just lets them use the wrong bat all season long. This can hurt your player mentally and fiscally. A bat is a tool, and the right tool for the job makes all the difference in the world.

 

 

Last Update 03/09/17

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