Batting in baseball is one of the most basic and important parts of the game. Regardless of how well a team fields the ball, success will be hard to find if they don’t have hitters good enough to get on base. Players try a number of different things in an attempt to influence how well they hit the ball. This includes everything from altering the stance to buying expensive practice equipment. One of the most influential factors for batters, though, is the bat that they use. Baseball bats are manufactured with a number of different materials, and the type of bat used directly impacts a player’s overall batting skill.
Why Are There Batting Regulations?
For this reason, many organizations restrict the usage of bats. Most notably, Major League Baseball only allows its hitters to use bats made out of solid wood. At lower levels of the game, players are free to use any type of bat that they like. Aluminum bats are typically favored, although some players do opt to use wooden bats instead.
The popularity of aluminum bats for hitters dates all the way back to their creation in the 1970s. Because they are lighter than their wooden counterparts, aluminum bats tend to drive the ball farther than their wooden counterparts. This improves players’ batting averages, but it also makes the at-bat process easier for players. This ease of use doesn’t apply as much to college players, whose muscles are already developed. However, players in youth leagues or high school play do get a significant benefit from being able to use aluminum bats.
What Do Batters Prefer When Batting On Game Day?
Still, the fact that aluminum bats have achieved a high level of popularity doesn’t make them the only kind of bat worth using. For starters, many batters just prefer the feel of a wooden bat. Even cheap wood bats have sturdy construction. Batting with a wooden bat can also serve as a nice change of pace for a player who’s been slumping.
Furthermore, college players who are expecting to make the transition to the pros once their college career is over also sometimes choose to use wooden bats. The reasoning behind this is that the experience of using a wooden bat is so different, and a batter’s form needs to be so precise, that getting a head start on using a wooden bat can be beneficial to the player. For someone who’s used an aluminum bat all of their life, batting with a wooden one can be like learning how to bat all over again.
Is Baseball Batting Really That Complicated?
For this reason, a debate has sprung up about what types of bats players should be allowed to use at different levels of the game. Purists have argued that the use of aluminum bats by younger players degrades the players’ experience. These critics argue that, instead of learning to hit properly, batters instead rely on the technology of newer aluminum bats to help them drive the ball deeper. While a large contingent of analysts have voiced their support for batting in the college ranks to be restricted to wooden bats, there is less of an argument being made for youth players. Still, it would be interesting to see whether players who reach the pros and were required to use wooden bats would be at an advantage.
Regardless of what type of bat a player chooses to use, a quality brand is always recommended. Louisville Slugger bats, for instance, have been around for more than a hundred years and have perfected their engineering and construction techniques. By purchasing a bat from one of these quality manufacturers, players can be sure that they’ll be using a solid piece of equipment. Your overall batting results can depend on both talent and the bat, so players are wise not to short-change themselves on what bat they purchase.