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How to Care for your Wood Bat

How to Care for your Wood Bat

Because we take so much care when we make your Rock Maple or Yellow Birch wood bat, we want to show you how to care for your bat and make it last:

  1. Never ever throw your wooden bat. MaxBats were not meant to be thrown, nor is any other piece of equipment except the baseball.
  2. Thin handled wood bats are not always your best option. The thinner the handle, the less mass it has. The majority of our wood bats feature a handle diameter of 15/16″ for feel, and strength, and it’s what most professionals want.  For most players a medium handle wood bat is the way to go!
  3. Practice with soft toss and tee work when you first use your new wood bat. This will help train your eye to ensure proper contact with the ball when facing live pitching.
  4. Always position the bat in your hands so the MaxBat logo is facing you (up), or that the logo is on the opposite side facing away from you (down). We take great care to place our MaxBat logo on top of the wood grain to ensure that when a pitched ball is struck, you will make contact with the wood bats strongest surface. The positioning of the label will help you find the “sweet spot” on your bat. Hitting the baseball squarely on the sweet spot will help you reach the fences and beyond!
  5. Don’t leave your wooden bat in the trunk on a hot day. Your car can become an oven. High heat can bake the moisture out of your bat causing it to become brittle. Long periods of exposure to heat is not good for any bat. This is why you want to avoid purchasing a bat from a sporting goods store window. Bats are like people, we want to be comfortable, not hot or cold.
  6. Don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail at info@maxbats.com with any of your questions. We love hearing from you.

The better you can take care of your wood bats, the longer they will last.

 

Wood Bats Protected in a bat case

MaxBat Wood Bats Protected in a bat case

Categories: Baseball Bats, Baseball Training, Birch Bats, Custom baseball bat, Maple Bats

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Offseason Hitting Drills

Offseason hitting drills

The offseason is where the work gets done to prepare us for game play. Once the grass starts to green up in Minnesota, we know that baseball season is just around the corner. In order to get ready for opening day, us northerners use a variety of offseason hitting drills to prepare. These drills can be done on our own, or with a teammate or two.  You can also seek specialized coaching from one of MN’s great training facilities. Let’s focus today on some drills that you can do on your own, with limited space, and that require limited resources.

Tee Work

As we all know, baseball is a game of repetition. The best hitters in the game didn’t get that way over night or by watching a “how-to video”. At its purest form, baseball is one of the most mechanical and fundamental sports. The more repetition, the more success you may find. A Batting Tee is a small tool that applies to all abilities of players. There is benefit for your “tee ball” players up to your Major Leaguer.  A batting tee allows you to breakdown your swing to the most miniscule of details. It focuses on areas of weakness, and allows you to get many swings in a short amount of time. A tee is portable! You can do it in your basement when it is 20 below zero. Also works fine in your garage with a small net! The ideal spot would be a batting cage, as it allows for instant feedback letting you know exactly where you hit the ball and if you hit it properly.  Check out the Tanner Tee, best in the business.  Tee work is one of the best offseason hitting drills you can do!

Basics- Ball placement on the Batting Tee

 Try and place the ball on the batting tee with purpose. The saying “keep your eye on the ball” is an important focus of tee work. Hitting different spots on the baseball will create different outcomes.

Figure 1. Hitting downward on the top seam will create backspin that will make the ball go further.

Figure 2. Hitting the inside seam (right hand hitter) will create a better path to the baseball while also creating backspin to drive the ball further.

Hitting downward on the top seam will create backspin that will make the ball go further.Hitting the inside seam (right hand hitter) will create a better path to the baseball while also creating backspin to drive the ball further.

Basic Batting Tee Work

Basic Batting Tee work consists of moving the tee around the plate to focus on hitting pitches in different locations. Keep your typical batting stance and set-up when attacking these locations. By hitting the outside pitch, it allows for the ball to travel deeper through the hitting zone with the same swing. Up the middle contact should be somewhere between your stomach and your front foot after stride. Attacking the inside pitch, you will want to make contact earlier and out front so your wood bat barrel can make contact without compromising your hands or your stride.

Tee placement for ideal contact

Top Hand/Bottom Hand Drills

 The purpose of one hand drills is to isolate weaknesses in your swing, discovering limitations by being dominate with your top or bottom hand, and creating balance. By isolating one hand, it will help to create power as well as finding your ideal swing path.

Top Hand only- by letting the elbow lead through the zone, it will help by getting the wood bat barrel on plane with the pitch more quickly while developing bat control and balance.

Bottom Hand only- the bottom hand, even though most will be top hand dominant, will truly help you understand your swing path as a whole. Your lead hand will start the motion of pulling towards the baseball. Once you can control hitting line drives with one hand, the easier it will be with two. A couple training aids most popularly used are our one-handed trainer and the Hammer!

High Batting Tee Drill

We all have been in that funk where we start popping balls up and dropping our back shoulder. Here is a solution that will help you by driving down on the ball and generating that backspin with more line drives. By elevating the batting tee to somewhere between your eyes and your chest, it will create a bat path forcing you to stay on top of the ball through the zone while not allowing you to drop your backside shoulder. By setting your batting tee on a chair or bucket, it will allow you to achieve that ideal height for the tee. The ideal location to hit the ball is right back up the middle at head height. The focus is to square up the ball, where our Hand/Eye Trainer is ideal for hitting that sweet spot with immediate feedback.

Step Through Drill

Bat speed and Launch Angle are commonplace terminology within baseball and its developing at younger ages. This drill focuses on that as well as using our legs to generate power. The Step Through will also aid in keeping your hands back while we stride and get our front foot down first. While doing this you need to keep the bat back in the zone longer to swing at better pitches. The set-up will include starting at the back of the batter’s box facing straight towards the pitcher. The first step is taken with your right foot if you are a right-handed hitter towards the tee set-up in the front-middle portion of the plate. The left leg follows through as your stride leg into your hitting position.  After the swing the step through is the back leg finishing off on the ground or on your back toe. This is all controlled movement as to prevent “squashing the bug” as we are looking to generate back spin and more power!

Why Train with a wood bat?

Offseason hitting drills pared with a wood bat will really help you improve your game.  Swinging a wood bat has many benefits for the young player.  Wood bats give instant feedback. You will feel it if you don’t square one up on the barrel. If you hit one off the end or off the handle, the hands will feel the vibration off the bat. Simply swinging a wood bat can really help hitters develop faster. First off, wooden bats tend to be weighted differently than aluminum / metal bats.  This doesn’t always mean that a wood bat is heavier.  It means that because the barrel of wood bat is solid (instead of hollow like an aluminum bat), the weight distribution is going to be/feel different. This difference alone helps hitters develop the muscles they use to swing.  It really builds bat speed faster than just working with aluminum. Plate discipline and learning to swing at better quality pitches will essentially make you focus on hitting the sweet spot of the wood barrel and make your wood bat last longer. Wood is the bat for players looking to play at the next level!

Categories: Baseball Bats, Baseball Training, Bat Swing Speed, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood Bat, Wood bat company, Wood Bats

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TownBall Parks Of MN

With over 300 amateur baseball teams in Minnesota, the opportunity to play at some of the nicest “TownBall Parks of MN” seems to be more and more of a routine occurrence. The time and money dedicated to these baseball diamonds is spent on the playing surfaces themselves. A great deal of effort is also put into the amenities. The great play and amenities make it a welcoming event for the purest of fans and the fans just looking for a burger and a beer on a Sunday afternoon.

The bar is set high, as hosting a state tournament is the pinnacle spectacle for your facility. In 2020, the state tournament was held outstate of the metro area in the small towns of Springfield and Milroy. The playing surfaces were pristine, the grass perfectly striped, with beautiful grandstands and party decks accommodating 48 different teams in 3 weekends.

SpringField                                                                     Milroy       
SpringField Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MNMilroy Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

Ranking the Top Parks

The state is home to many of these “Sistine Chapels”. Most recently, for those of you on Twitter, Bob Greeley (@bob_greeley76) took the time to rank the top 100 ballparks in amateur baseball in MN. The criteria was based on: playing surfaces, grandstands, dugouts, concession stands and the overall ambience created for the total fan experience. These sanctuaries have been featured in multiple state tournament host sites and many featured on state news tours with Fox9. They host high school, legion and amateur games. The top 10 on Bob’s list is nothing short of ballparks any fan in MN must see, or take the opportunity to play at.

Top Ten TownBall Parks of MN:

10. Chanhassen
Chanhassen Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

9. Dundas
Dundas Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

8. Chaska
Chaska Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN
7. New Ulm
New Ulm Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

6. Cold Spring
Cold Spring Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

5. Shakopee
Shakopee Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

4. Jordan
Jordan Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

3. Dassel
Dassel Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

2. Miesville
Miesville Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

1. Delano
Delano Baseball Field - TownBall Fields of MN

In Conclusion

As you can see,  TownBall Parks Of MN all have the same things in common. Time and dedication are the key ingredients along with some dedicated volunteers it takes to keep their holy grails in immaculate condition. And they do it because baseball is a passion inside of us all and the success of this game for the future generations continues to grow. Over the course of time, the caretakers have changed, the equipment has been upgraded, and the technology has advanced. But one thing will always remain the same, amateur baseball players and teams take pride in their hometown diamonds.

https://twitter.com/bob_greeley76?lang=en

Categories: Baseball Bats, Maple Bats, ProXR, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood Bat, Wood bat manufacturer

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MaxBat ProXR vs. other Non Traditional Knobs

MaxBat ProXR vs. axe Style Handles.

Why is the ProXR angled knob the best in baseball, let us explain. The swing of an actual axe (chopping wood), which the competitors’ product is based on, has a linear swing path. Meaning it drives the hands to the point of contact.  This is probably the most important point…the swing of an axe always ends at contact. This is critical. The oval shape and general configuration of an axe handle evolved over thousands of years specifically to drive the axe head to the point of contact. This also applies to swords, hammers and other linear-path swing implements. The oval shape locks the hands into alignment with the swing path. This PREVENTS the hands from deviating from that swing path.

Round Knob is Key

In sharp contrast, the MaxBat ProXR knob is round and you know a baseball swing is rotational.  Meaning the bat must rotate around the batters’ body and the hands MUST roll over the central axis of the bat to compete the swing. This gives hitters the ability to both, make adjustments during the swing and complete the rotational swing path. Putting an oval axe handle on a baseball bat is in direct conflict with the requirements of a rotational baseball swing. Imagine trying to adjust your swing on a breaking ball or change-up when the shape of the handle is resisting those adjustments.

ProXR was designed from the ground-up specifically for a rotational baseball bat swing. It reduces compression in the hands and gives batters improved performance. Additionally, we tested our designs before we went to market and continue to do ongoing research and testing. As a side note, ProXR is the only angled knob technology that uses a round knob shape to help create a smoother swing.

In terms of game performance,  ProXR performs very well.  Every professional player who swung ProXR in 2018-19 had career hardest hits as measured by StatCast. We have not yet assessed the 2020 data.

You can add the ProXR knob to any custom MaxBat wood bat.  Check it out under the “knob” section of the custom bat builder… https://www.maxbats.com/shop/bats/custom/141/5 

The ProXR round knob versus axe style handles oval knob.

The round ProXR knob allows the bat to follow the natural swing path of a baseball bat. The oval knob shape fights the natural swing path.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Bat Swing Speed, Custom baseball bat, Maple Bats, ProXR, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood Bat, Wood Bats

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Wood bat purchasing decisions. What is an X-OUT wood bat?

“What’s wrong with them?” is most often the first question asked when players consider purchasing an X-OUT wood bat.

Many things might cause a wood bat getting kicked out of the regular production process and being deemed an X-OUT.

First and foremost, we probably employ the pickiest staff who custom craft your wood bat.  And that’s a good thing (actually a GREAT thing).

We consider quality control a priority during our wood bat production.  Each order is scrutinized, no matter the customer.

  • Grain structure
    • We examine every inch of the wood bat billet to determine which end is best suited for the handle.
  • Proper weight
    • MaxBats are weighed at least 6 times throughout the production process.  If the bat is off in weight, it’s simply deemed an X-OUT, even though there is nothing structurally wrong with the wood.
  • Appearance (mineral streaks)
    • Sometimes a dark brown, black, or gray streak can run the length of a wood bat barrel after the billet is turned.  This is caused by minerals in the soil in which the tree grew.  It’s nothing more than a stain. IF the wood bat order called for a light colored barrel, it will probably now become an X-OUT wood bat.
  • Straightness of grain
    • Even if we choose a wood bat billet that appears to have the straightest of grains, after a billet is turned into a wood bat, slight imperfections in the grain might cause the staff to reject it.  This doesn’t happen too often because of the way the logs are processed and turned into wood bat billets, but we still rely on a number of quality control measures to ensure that your wood bat is what you’re expecting from MaxBat.

Another question about our X-OUTS is “what models are they?”.  The models will vary, as they are a result of normal wood bat production.  They could be one of our more popular wood bat models on our website, or they could be a completely new wood bat profile being drawn up for one of our professional clients.  Most of the wood bat models that we make have a common 15/16″ medium handle, so most of the X-OUTS will feature that handle size as well.

So, is purchasing an X-OUT a viable option for an individual player or a team? Absolutely. Most players who purchase them are looking for a wood bat to use in the batting cage, ore perhaps aren’t too comfortable swinging a wood bat yet.  Many of our customers who have purchased our X-OUTS no longer ask “What’s wrong with them?”, but instead tell us, “I don’t know why you guys call these X-OUTS…..they’re perfect”.

 

Categories: Wood Baseball Bats, Wood Bat, Wood Bats

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