MaxBat Blog

What is the proper way to hold a wood bat?

Posted on April 15, 2015 by MaxBat

We are frequently asked by customers “how should I hold a wood bat”?  It’s actually a good question, because with the variety of wood species to make wood bats, there’s a difference of opinion depending on what kind of wood bat you’re swinging.

Let’s start with how to hold the wood bat, and then we’ll get into the specifics.

First, hold your wood bat upright so the manufacturer’s logo (in this case, a MaxBat logo) is centered.  Which means you’re looking right at it.  Now, if you are a right-handed batter, slightly turn the wood bat in your hand so the MaxBat logo is facing your left shoulder.  If you are a left-handed batter, you would do just the opposite (slightly turn the wood bat in your hand so the MaxBat logo is facing your right shoulder.

But, why do we need to do this with wood bats, and not with aluminum?  Because wood bats have different flexes, and one side is harder than the other, etc., etc.  So, we want you to hold your wood bat in your hand, so that when you swing it, the hardest side of the wood bat barrel is making contact with the baseball.  By positioning the MaxBat logo to face your left shoulder (Right-Handed batter), or your right shoulder (Left-Handed batter), the MaxBat logo should be facing straight up to the sky when the wood bat barrel makes contact with the baseball.

So, what’s the big advantage to that?  We place the logo on either the Face-Grain (Ash Wood Bats), or Edge-Grain (Maple Wood Bats and Birch Wood Bats) so that when you position the wood bat in your hand correctly, you will be hitting the ball on the hardest side of the wood bat barrel.  Hitting the ball on this side of the wood bat barrel has been proven to extend the longevity of your wood bat.

Prior to 2009, it was believed that the manufacturer’s logo should always be placed on the face-grain of wood bats.  However, after extensive testing that was mandated by MLB, it was established that the manufacturer’s logo should be placed on the edge-grain of Maple wood bats and Birch wood bats.

So there you have it.  Just another tidbit on wood bats, from your friends at MaxBat.  Makers of the finest wood bats on the planet.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Birch bats, Maple bats, Metal bats

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Can kids use a wood bat in youth leagues?

Posted on March 24, 2015 by MaxBat

The question is, can kids use a wood bat in youth leagues, where metal bats are the norm?  Well, of course they can. A wood bat can be used in any kind of league or tournament play.

Some coaches will tell you that there is a disadvantage to swinging a wood bat in a game where most other kids are swinging metal bats. Is that the reason why some coaches frown on kids swinging wood bats, or is it because they don’t know the rules?

The answer could be both, but all you really need to know is that ALL wood bats are legal to use in baseball games, no matter the level.

We’ve heard parents say that their kid “has to swing a -10 this year”. What this means is, their METAL bat can’t be any lighter than a -10 weight drop. This DOESN’T mean that they cannot use a wood bat in their games. It also doesn’t mean that if they use a wood bat, that it has to be -10. They can swing a -5 metal bat if they want to, or a -7 wood bat.  Just remember that the lighter the wood bat, the weaker the wood.  It’s actually advantageous for some kids to swing a wood bat as opposed to a metal bat.  Why?  Because some of the metal bats are sooooo light, that the bat actually stops when making contact with the ball.  Because a wood bat has a solid barrel and more mass, contact with the ball does not impede the swing of a wood bat as much as it does with a metal bat.

Sometimes the rules completely omit the mention of wood bats in their list, but it’s necessary for everyone in baseball leagues across the country to know and understand that a wood bat is legal to use in all levels of baseball. Weight doesn’t even factor into the equation. If it’s wood, it’s good.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Metal bats

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What is the benefit of boning a wood bat barrel?

Posted on February 16, 2015 by MaxBat

Bone HardenedWhether you’re new to wood bats or not, you have probably heard players talk about boning their wood bat barrel.

Boning wood baseball bats has been around for a long time, and the simple definition is to compress the wood on the barrel in order to make a wood bat more dense.

Players back in the day used a large dried out bone to compress their bats, hence the phrase “boning” their bats.  The bone was bolted to a table or bench in the clubhouse, and the players would rub the wood bat barrel across the bone, while applying as much pressure as they could.  The outcome of this process was a wood bat barrel that had compressed grains/fibers, making the wood harder.

The obvious benefit to using a wood bat in which the barrel has gone through the bone hardening process, is that it will make that wood bat barrel even more dense than before.  A denser piece of wood is a harder piece of wood.  And using a wood bat with denser wood will make the ball come off the bat at a higher speed, and giving it more distance.

Any species of wood bat can be boned.  In the early days it was limited to hickory and ash, because those were the only two wood species used in wood bat production at the time.  Boning the barrels of hickory wood bats and ash wood bats would help prevent flaking and chipping of the grains.

At MaxBat, we designed and custom-built an automated boning machine to compress and harden each and every wood bat that we produce.  Just another way that we take your wood bat and make it extra special.

Categories: Maple bats, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood bat, Wood Bats

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Wood bats. When should kids start swinging them?

Posted on January 23, 2015 by MaxBat

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Look at any ballfield across the country, and you’re bound to see more kids swinging metal bats vs. wood bats. The simple reason is that metal bats are more prevalent in sporting goods stores than wood bats, with the major reason being that there are fewer wood bat leagues for youth baseball players.

So, when and why should you have your young ballplayer swing a wood bat? The answer is AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Swinging with a wood bat at an early age has a tremendous amount of benefits.

  1. The Ballplayer will become stronger – Metal bats are lighter than wood bats, because the barrel of a metal bat is hollow, whereas the barrel of a wood bat is solid. Swinging a wood bat over and over again is going to develop muscles in the hands, wrists, and forearms that can’t be duplicated by swinging a metal bat.
  2. The Ballplayer will ultimately develop better mechanics – Because metal bats are lighter than wood bats, younger players can swing them with more ease.  In order to send the baseball flying using a wood bat, a batter needs to get the legs and hips involved with the swing (or swinging with proper mechanics).
  3. The Ballplayer should develop a better eye – Because the sweet spot of a wood bat is smaller than a metal bat, a batter needs to hone in on the wood bat barrel’s sweet spot when hitting.  By practicing off of a batting tee, a player using a wood bat will be able to train their muscles AND their eyes before stepping foot into a batter’s box to face live pitching.

Those are just a few of the benefits of swinging a wood bat at an early age.  The list goes on and on.

The common perception is that kids can hit a baseball farther with a metal baseball bat than a wood baseball bat.  Makes sense…..the wood baseball bat is a little heavier than a metal bat, thus the swing speed will be a little slower.  However, if a wood baseball bat is swung with the proper mechanics, a baseball will be sent just as far with a wood bat, as with a metal bat.  Why?  Because the barrel of a wood bat has more solid mass.  It is this solid mass that will propel the baseball away from the bat after contact.  Striking a baseball with a solid wood bat can most definitely result in ball speed and distance that equals that of a metal bat.

Wood bat popularity is at an all-time high around the globe.  There are wood bat tournaments being held in youth leagues in almost every state.  The fact is, that kids love playing with wood bats.  It’s baseball at it’s purest form.  And there is nothing better in sports than hitting a baseball off the sweet spot of a wood baseball bat.  Ask anyone who has played, and they’ll have a hard time describing it to someone who has never hit with wood bats.

To help you find the appropriate wood bat for your ballpalyer, click the following link for more information: http://www.maxbats.com/bats/find-your-max/

 

Categories: Baseball Bats, Baseball Training, Metal bats, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood bat, Wood Bats

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Differences between Maple Bats and Birch Bats

Posted on January 5, 2015 by MaxBat

Wood bats give you options that metal bats do not. And the most obvious option, is that you can get a wood bat in a number of wood species…..Maple, Birch, and Ash are the 3 most common.

Recent numbers show that MLB players prefer Maple Bats over the rest, but you might be surprised to find out that Birch Bats have taken over the 2nd spot over Ash Bats in what pro players use in games.

So what’s the difference between the 3 species? First, let’s go over Maple Bats vs. Ash Bats. Maple bats are very rigid, and this gives them tremendous pop. Ash has more flex, and some players like this because the ash wood bat can feel like it gives them a little more whip. The downfall with ash is that it can break down with repeated use, and that’s simply because of the nature of the wood grains.

Now, explaining the differences between Maple Bats and Birch Bats is a little more difficult to do because the two species are so similar. Both species are GREAT for making wood bats. One species is NOT going to be lighter than the other, as a lot of people think…..but what is lighter? A pound of bricks, or a pound of feathers? They both weigh a pound folks. Same with Maple and Birch.

The biggest difference between a Maple Bat and a Birch Bat is the flex. Many players say that a Birch Bat is the perfect mix of a Maple Bat and an Ash Bat, because it has the hardness of Maple, but the flex of Ash. However, it’s really not that simple. Birch definitely has more flex than Maple, but it doesn’t compare to the flex of Ash.

So, what’s the best wood bat for you? That’s going to be your own personal preference. But now you know a little bit more about the wood species options when choosing a wood bat.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Birch bats, Maple bats, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood bat, Wood bat company, Wood Bats

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