Are you swinging the right bat? If you play baseball this is a question you need to ask yourself. Why? Because most players are not swinging the right bat for their swing. Your bat is the most important piece of equipment in your bag and the right bat leads to increased ball exit speed and enhanced overall performance for a hitter.
How do you know you are swinging the right bat? By demoing bats! There is no other way. And there is a specific way to do an effective demo (More on that in later writing). As players transition from Little League to travel ball to -3BBCOR.50 adult bats something interesting happens. In Little League they are graduating sizes at a rapid pace increasing the bat length each year as they grow in physical stature. These are typically -10 bats. Travel ball players at the age of 12 or 13 typically begin swinging -8 and -5 bats as they start to look forward to the day must swing a -3 bat. And this day is coming sooner and sooner as more middle schools are moving to -3 bats. (On a side note, players need to start swinging the -3 as early as they can. Its more important to do the heavy lifting now than it is to have a great performance at this weekend’s tournament that no one is going to remember.) Players have been moving “up” in bat size for many years prior to the age where they need to start hitting with a -3 category bat but once you hit the -3 category you need to throw all of that moving up stuff out the window. Now you just hit the real baseball age and the only thing getting bigger is you. But just how big are you? Barry Bonds swung a 32 and choked up. Are you bigger than Barry Bonds? Tony Gwynn swung a 31. Are you bigger than Tony Gwynn?
When we were wrapping up our prototype testing of our -3BBCOR.50 Rude American MOAB bat we tested against every big name brand with independent players. We noticed that in the demo process most of them were not swinging the right bat for their swing. An example is in our last day of testing we had a young man named Josh who was a pretty big high school player. The prior season he was swinging a 34. He was testing our 33. We took our 33 from him and had him swing a 32. The next pitch Josh went yard. We asked Josh how often he hits the ball out in batting practice and his answer was “that’s the first time I ever hit one out!” Here’s a hint how strongly we feel about this. We don’t even make a 34. D1 players that used to swing a 34 are swinging our 33 now and performing better at the plate than ever before.
Moral of the story? Throw out the ego and try to get your best bat speed and control. Most players entering the -3BBCOR.50 category should be swinging a 31 but their egos won’t let them because they have been swinging a 32 prior but that was a drop 5, 8 or 10. Do yourself a favor and demo a 31. I’ll be writing soon about how we do a really effective demo to put you in the right bat