MaxBat Blog

Greetings from Cardinals OF prospect Stephen Piscotty

Posted on February 22, 2014 by MaxBat – Leave a comment

Hello everyone.  My name is Stephen Piscotty, and I am an OF prospect in the Cardinals organization.

I recently arrived in Jupiter, FL for my first big league camp. Very excited to be in the same locker room as the big leaguers. There is a lot of experience and talent in the room. Got my first order of MaxBats for the season too! They feel great to swing, as always. Looking forward to a fun spring and 2014 season.

Be sure to check back from time to time, as I’ll try to share my experiences as a professional baseball player.

Thanks for reading my post.

-Stephen Piscotty

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What are the advantages of a cupped bat?

Posted on January 19, 2014 by MaxBat – Leave a comment

Cupped Bat EndsOften times we get asked about cupped vs. not-cupped, and many of those questions come from Major Leaguers. So, we’re here to give you some information as to the reasons why a bat is cupped and what are the benefits.

Back in the day, baseball bats did not have cupped ends. It wasn’t an option, and nobody had given any thought to the practice. So when did it start?

Well during Spring Training of 2005, HOF catcher Johnny Bench came over to our display at Reds camp in Sarasota, FL. He asked lots of questions about MaxBat, and picked up practically every model that we had with us to show to players. It was then that he said, “You know, I was the first player to swing a cupped bat in the Majors back in the ‘70s”. It was a very interesting comment, as you can imagine. Here stands a Hall Of Famer, and we’re going to hear how cupping started.

Johnny described how he wanted his bat to feel a little more balanced, and after some thinking, he came up with the idea to hollow out the very end of the barrel to remove a little bit of the bat’s end weight.

So there you have it……Johnny Bench. The cupped bat innovator.

Nowadays, players can get a cupped bat no matter who they are. However, many of them still do not know the advantages a cupped bat gives them as a hitter.

The first advantage is that (like Johnny Bench said) a cupped bat will make the bat a tad more balanced. This can be a great benefit if you’re facing a pitcher who is throwing gas, and you’re in the dog-days of Summer and you just don’t feel you’ve got the swing speed to catch up to the pitch. Most players understand this, and it’s for that reason that most players will request a cupped end.

However the most beneficial reason to order your bat cupped, is that as a bat manufacturer, we can use a higher density piece of wood to make your bat if we know ahead of time that we are going to cup the end during one of the final stages of production.

Follow me here…..the #1 thing a ballplayer wants from a wood bat is to get the hardest piece of wood they can. Harder wood equals stronger wood. Stronger wood equals more pop and more durability. When we cup a bat, we know that we can remove up to 7/10ths of an ounce off the overall weight of a bat. So if we know that we are going to remove that weight at the end of the process, one of our production members can first select a wood bat billet that is on the heavy side (heavier wood equals higher density wood). If we’re attempting to make the same exact bat model, but without a cup, our production team has to use a wood bat billet that is a shade lighter in weight (light wood equals lower density wood) due to the fact that we are not removing any weight by cupping. Make sense?

Some players think that the act of cupping a bat makes it weaker….or that the bat will break easier if it’s cupped. Well, a cupped bat is made from higher density wood, so it should be stronger and more durable, thus making it last longer.

One concern that players do have in regards to cupped ends is the chance of hitting a ball off the very end of the bat and the wood chipping away. MaxBat solved this problem years ago when we were first getting the business off the ground. If you’ll notice, our cup design features a thicker “wall” on the end, which gives it more strength to withstand those dreaded end-shots you might encounter when chasing an off-speed pitch.

So in summary, a cupped bat adds balance to your bat AND allows us to use a higher density (stronger/harder) wood bat billet to create your wood bat.

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Why you should train with a batting tee

Posted on January 19, 2014 by MaxBat – Leave a comment

Why you should train with a batting teeThe batting tee is perhaps the single best training aid a baseball player can use, and here are few reasons why:

1. Repetition is a key to greatness in baseball
The best hitters repeat a good baseball swing thousands of times until the correct fundamentals happen without thinking about them. Using a batting tee is one of the best ways to achieve this career-long process. This is why so many Major League baseball players still use the batting tee before games and during off-season – it’s not just for young players. The batting tee is a tool players should use from the youth leagues to the Major Leagues.

2. It cuts down on obstacles and distractions
This is the most important reason to use a tee. Using a batting tee allows you to isolate the aspect of your swing that you want to work on. A tee allows you to swing at 20% or 100%. You are in total control of your swing, which is important for working on weaknesses that make hitting off a live pitcher difficult. You can work on hitting a pitch in a specific location. You can also take a large number of swings in a relatively short amount of time.

3. It allows you to practice on your own time, without a partner or coach
Being a team game, baseball can be difficult to practice without other people around. Of course, it’s great for a coach to watch and critique as you hit off the tee, or to have someone reload the tee for you as you swing, but then you can also go to a cage and practice on your own. It’s a beautiful thing. Since baseball is a game of repetition, using a batting tee will help you achieve your perfect swing through hard work and quality repetition. It also enables you to groove your swing without needing someone throwing you batting practice.

4. A batting tee is portable
Most batting tees will fit in your equipment bag or the trunk of your car. Since it’s easy to bring with you to the baseball field, batting cage, or backyard net, you will have more opportunities to practice and perfect your game.

 

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Ink-spots on the bat handles of Maple and Birch

Posted on January 19, 2014 by MaxBat – Leave a comment

Ink-spots on the bat handles of Maple and BirchEver watch a game on TV and ask yourself, “What is that dot on the bat handle?”

That is an area left exposed during the finishing process for an ink-spot, administered by the bat manufacturer.  This is done as a quality control measure.  By placing a small drop of ink 12″-14″ up from the knob on the face grain of the wood, we are able to verify whether or not the grain is good.  The picture below shows a properly administered ink-test, and absolutely straight grain.  The straighter the grain, the better the performance.  If the grain were to seep into the wood and show a slope-of-grain of more than 3 degrees, that would indicate wood of a lower quality and greater chance of breaking in 2-pieces.

Because MaxBat uses wood that is split instead of sawn, we’re almost guaranteed that ink-testing reveals slope-of-grain of less than 2 degrees on any of our Maple or Birch bats.

It’s a question we frequently get asked, so we made the decision in November, 2013 to start ink-spotting all MaxBat Maple and Birch bats that are ordered by our online customers.

All MaxBats have always been treated as if they are being produced for a Major League Baseball player, and now each Maple and Birch MaxBat features a visible ink-spot on the face grain of the handle.  This ink-spot indicates that the bat has not only gone through the MLB slope-of-grain quality control test, but has also passed with a slope-of-grain less than 3 degrees (beware…some companies simply applying ink dots to the handles that clearly don’t pass).  The MaxBat logo has also been rotated 90 degrees and placed on the edge grain to conform to MLB rules (adopted in 2009) that only apply to Maple and Birch bats (logo previously placed on the face grain).  These steps ensure that you are swinging the same wood as our professional clients.

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