Whether we want to admit it or not, Christmas is right around the corner. While that is an exhilarating time for most kids, it can be a time that is filled with uncertainty for parents looking for gift ideas.
That said, nearly every baseball player out there would love to see a new bat under the tree. With as expensive as baseball bats are, though, it can be an uncomfortable purchase for parents. There are so many options out there and such little guidance to help you figure out what your son needs.
What ends up happening is parents opt for a more expensive bat, because they assume that it is better. Personally, I can't blame them for making this assumption. We often make a subconscious connection between price and quality... If it costs that much, it must be good, right?
When it comes down to it, though, there are a lot of variables to consider when selecting a new bat. If you looking at wood bats, it comes down to the type of wood you want, the length, the model, the finish, etc. The options are no fewer when looking for a BBCOR bat, either.
I can't go over everything you need to know in a short blog post, but there are few things to remember...
Don't get hung up on price. There is usually some correlation in price and quality, but it isn't concrete. For instance, many of the wood bat manufacturers buy their wood from the same saw mills, so the wood itself is often very similar. As long as you are working with a bat maker who believes in doing things right, you're probably getting a decent bat.
With BBCOR, you'll run into alloy, composite, single-piece, two-piece, hybrid, etc. Getting lost in the myriad of options is completely understandable. With all of these options, you'll find really good bats priced from $199 to $499, so which one do you need?
Players with faster bat speeds tend to do better with stiffer bats (often single-piece alloys). While younger players tend to like the more forgiving feel of the two-piece composites (even though the feel may not be consistent with performance).
Beyond the aforementioned, alloy bats tend to hold up better in colder weather, and they are hotter out of the package. However, composite bats tend to perform best from about 500 impacts to about 1,200 impacts, then their performance drops off some.
Which is best for you? That answer is found somewhere in the complexity of all the options. Everything doesn't need to be a mystery, though.
The piece of the puzzle that is consistent is that understanding your optimal swing weight will help you perform better. Whether you are using a stiffer one-piece alloy, a two-piece composite, or one of our wood bats, knowing the swing weight that gives you the greatest Power Efficiency will help maximize output.