What is a Drop? And Other Common Baseball Bat Questions

As we have had close contact with the industry for nearly 20 years, we tend to get asked the same questions time and time again. This article intends to answer some of the most common bat questions. We are hopeful this list will serve some answer to those looking for information on baseball and softball bats.

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Common Bat Questions Questions

What is a Senior League Bat?

Technically, there are two types of Senior League bats. The first is a 2 5/8 travel ball youth barrel bat. These 2 5/8 barreled bats come in a variety of drops that range from 5 to 13. The drop, you will remember, is the numerical difference between the length of the bat in inches and the weight of the bat in ounces. The second Senior League bat is a bat made for a slowpitch softball league. That league is usually meant for older players and the bats tend to be hotter than the standard USSSA or ASA softball bats.

What is the best bat for baseball?

We answer that question on this site. Or, at least, we hope to. Of course, the best bat for some is not necessarily the best bat for all. As such, we caution you to be weary of bat lists which claim to know the best bats and do not admit they may very well be wrong. The best bat for baseball is dependent on the type of hitter you are and how much money you want to spend. As well, the right bat size should be considered too. Not all bats come in all sizes so be aware of that before becoming dead set on a certain brand or model.

What is the drop on a baseball bat?

The drop of a baseball bat is a reference to how much the bat weighs in relationship to its weight. It is, technically, the numerical difference between the length of your bat in inches and the weight of your bat in ounces. Do not confuse the drop of a bat with the bats swing weight. MOI, or swing weight, is not the same as the drop and bats with similar drops can have wildly different swing weights.

What is a BBCOR bat?

BBCOR stands for Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. It is, in short, a measurement of how a bat’s barrel responds to impact with a ball. Or, how a bat’s barrel restores after impact. As such, a BBCOR bat is really a .50 BBCOR bat. And a .50 BBCOR bat is the maximum allowable trampoline effect legal bats in Highschool and College can be. There is a huge market for BBCOR bats as this is what highschool and college players use. They are also drop 3 bats and all BBCOR bats are required to be a drop 3.

What is a composite bat made of?

Composite bats are made out of a plastic material. A more technical term for some plastics is composite. Engineers change the fiber structure in the composite bats to maximize performance, durability and barrel size.

Which is better wood or aluminum bats?

By almost all measures, aluminum BBCOR bats are better than wood bats. Not only Aluminum bats tend to have a longer sweet spot, but the metal allows for a lighter swing weight and a bigger barrel. As such, hitters can generate more bat speed and are given a better opportunity to get the bats maximum trampoline effect.

What is the MAKO bat made of?

The Easton MAKO is a two piece composite bat. Meaning, the bat is made of two different pieces of a plastic material that are set together to create one bat. This Easton MAKO is not to be confused with a wood bat that Easton also makes which they call the Mako. That wood MAKO bat is made from, it turns out, wood.

What temperature is it safe to use a composite bat on?

It is important to note that the temperature of the bat is not the issue but, rather, the temperature of the ball. When baseballs or softballs get cold they condense. And when they condense they get harder. Composite bats, nor aluminum for that matter, are not rated to hit balls that are too hard. Most manufacturers claim that anything below 55 Degrees is too cold for a composite bat.

How much is a baseball bat?

Bats range in price from $20 to $500. Those are for bats that are new in wrapper. On the secondary market some bats can reach several thousands of dollars if they are proven heroes. The dramatic shift in prices is simply a function of supply and demand. More expensive bats drive a higher price because it is believed, and they are right, the bats perform better.

What is the best wood bat on the market?

We think the Marucci wood bat lines are outstanding. They make some fantstic hard maple bats in all types of turns and drops. They are also the most preferred bat in the Major League baseball ranks. In the end, though, no wood bat company has a pattent on trees. And, as such, there are a lot of very good wood bat manufacturers out there.

What kind of bats do major league baseball players use?

Major League baseball players are required to use a wood bat. But the restrictions do not end there. The wood must be from certain types of trees that tend to be harder and break less. As well, the bats MLB players use must be under a certain size requirement (like under 34-inches). In 2017 the most popular wood bat for MLB players is Maple.

Are Aluminum Bats Allowed in the MLB?

No. Aluminum bats are not allowed in the MLB and we do not believe they ever will be. Although they can control the exit speed of aluminum bats to perform like wood, the length of the sweet spot would dramatically increase offensive production. That said, we would not be surprised if, at some future date, the MLB found a way to use Bamboo bats due to the fact they have no part in deforestation.

Baseball Softball Holiday Gift Guide

Well, somehow the holidays are upon us once again. It’s time to make your list, check it twice, and decide who gets the best gifts. Unless, of course, they are a US Senator.

We’ve looked, read about and tested hundreds and hundreds of baseball and softball related gear this year. We also have children, lots of them. Such elements are the perfect combination for determining the best gifts for baseball and softball related gear this holiday season.

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Baseball & Softball Holiday Gift Guide

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Under $20

Lizard Skin Grip

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

Lizard Skin grips are super soft and tacky. They are also super popular. We suggest the 1.8mm version for just about everyone. If you want an athletic tape type feel then feel free to go to the 0.8mm or 1.1mm. These grips improve the hitting experience and customizes a player’s bat for something close to $12.

ProHitter Thumb Guard

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

The ProHitter is another rock solid gadget every player needs. That is, they need it once they know it exists. Look closely, and you will see that close to 50% of MLB players use the thumb protector.

What is the ProHitter? The ProHitter closes the gap between the natural shape of the top hand of your grip with your bat’s knob. In turn, better contact increases grip strength and means less pain on mishits. As well, some argue, the little item can help with more consistent swings. And $12 later, you’ve got yourself the perfect gift for the baseball or softball player. Especially those who thought they already had everything. $12

Wilson Premium Glove Oil

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

What says “I Love You” more than helping a player protect their $400 glove? Take it from us, everyone knows they should be conditioning both new and old gloves with oil to both work in and protect it, yet few really do it consistently. There are a lot of other oils on the market and we suspect some may be similar in premium quality. But, none we’ve ever seen also use a clever spray bottle like the Wilson Premium Glove Oil applicator. This Wilson Premium Glove Oil is the best applicator on the market and, at less than $10, makes the perfect little gift for any baseball or softball player, coach or parent.  $10.

Boombah Baseball Face Guard

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

When we were kids, a face guard on your helmet meant you had some problems. But, ever since Stanton and Baez in the pros got their own version of helmet face guards, the market has seen a steady rise. We are in love with Boombah’s new face guard. It is meant to attach directly to their helmet but, we have found it does work on several other helmets too. The three holes usually line up. If your helmet only has two holes it might still work too.

And, for all of $10? This may be the easiest gift on this entire list.

$20 to $50

Performance Batting Gloves

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

Almost any quality batting gloves will price you out between $20 and $50. Ones we like to recommend are the Pro Lite batting gloves from Marucci. They have a unique feature the camera can’t pick up. A breathable mesh on the back of the hand wicks away sweat. It really does feel like you are not wearing a glove at all. As a result, these are one of our most favorite batting glove designs of the year and, for the record, Jose Bautista of Blue Jays fame thinks so too.

Any player who has yet to use a real legit pair of batting gloves will never go back. At $49 they make a solid gift. $49.

EvoShield Wrist Guard

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

The Evoshield Wrist Wrap is a sweet grab for any serious baseball or softball player. Good news is, at least in some models, the wrist wrap is closer to $10. There are some colors and sizes in the $25 range. The wrap easily attaches to your bottom hand wrist and gives that added layer of security on the arm for errant pitches. It doesn’t hurt that wearing one looks pretty sweet and a number of pros use them too. At Most $25, Maybe $15.

BP Jackets

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

When you run a blog dedicated to baseball and softball bats you tend to see a number of bats, and maybe surprisingly, a number of batting practice jackets. Our far and away favorite is Marucci’s half sleeve jacket. It comes in a few different colors, and for around $30, we think every parent of serious baseball players on the planet should own one of these. It’s well constructed and feels great.

It is the perfect gift for a dad who spends a lot of time on the field, and if we didn’t already own it, you would find it on the top of our personal wish list. Turns out there are some youth versions of the jacket too. $29.

$50 to $75

Axe Composite Fungo

 

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

You don’t have to know what a fungo bat is to buy this for that favorite coach in your life. This Axe Maple Fungo is a very well crafted pure maple fungo bat with the famed Axe Grip. The bat, used for fielding practice, has a great balance and great control. We are also in love with the asymmetric handle on the bat.

If you don’t have a fungo bat in your bag and/or never used a true maple stick to hit with, we’d highly suggest this little gem move up on your list. $60.

Boombah SuperPack Roller Bag

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

We tested every roller bag we could find a few months back and, while there were plenty good ones, we settled on the Rolling Superpack from Boombah as our favorite. Great design and very durable, the roller bag allows for you to store the contents of a small apartment as well as several bats and myriad baseball and softball related gear.

Boombah is a direct to consumer related company so their site is the only place you can pick them up. They come in a multitude of colors and camo designs. Last we checked there were something like 60 different designs. If you’re in need of a roller bag this is an easy decision. $69.

The $75 to $100 Category

Series 9 Slugger Bat Pack

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

Easily our most favorite bat pack in all of baseball. The Series 9 Louisville Slugger Bat Pack looks great, feels perfect, and carries everything you could imagine. The bag is breathable to help with odors. It uses 4 neoprene bat holders to protect the sticks, a hard case to hold breakables (like a phone) and a number of little side pockets which are easily accessible.

The only downside may be the fact it only comes in the steel grey look. Luckily we love that color for a top shelf bat bag. If you really need other colors, Slugger makes a Series 7 version with fewer bell and whistles but a lot more colors. It will also save you about $30.$79.

Custom Pure Maple Sam Bat

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

If you are looking for a real unique solution to your holiday gift woes this year then may we suggest a custom maple bat from Sam Bat, the original maple bat company? The bats are gorgeous and game ready and come in a number of sizes and options for all. You can even make trophy or memorabilia bats as keepsakes.

The bats from Sam Bat are made to professional standards. In fact, they are made on the very same lathes, and with the very same wood, that MLB players use day in and day out. They do take a couple weeks for production and delivery. So, get your order in sooner rather than later. $95.

$100 to $200

MLB TV Subscription

Baseball softball Holiday Gift Guide

There isn’t an easier decision on this entire list. MLB.tv changes the game and continues to be the leading service among all professional sports content providers. It’s app available on whatever device you have and gives you access to games and data you would never see otherwise.

The only real caveat is the blackout restrictions found in your area. Depending on where you live, local teams are blacked out for live use on the service. Meaning, if you’re a huge Yankees fan and live where Yankees games are often broadcast, then it is unlikely you’ll be able to watch on the app. But if you live outside a major market or want to follow a team or set of teams outside your TV market, then this service comes 100% recommended.

The $200 to $400 Category

The Best Infield Glove

If you want to impress even the largest Grinches then why not buy them the best infield glove on the market today. That is the Wilson A2000 in a 1786 pattern. This 11.5 inch middle infield and utility glove comes in Twix type colors and is absolutley BEAUTIFUL. Take it from us, this thing is smoking hot and any player and dad will drool over this bad boy. $249

Easton MAKO Beast

Most Popular Bats

As long as you’re not buying BBCOR, you can get what may be considered the best baseball or softball bat for 2017 this holiday season. The Easton MAKO Beast is a proven workhorse. It is often rated the best bat by those who claim to know. And any trip to the ball park will prove the bat to be everywhere. The BBCOR version of the Beast is over $400 brand new, but if you are buying anything but that version then you’ll be closer to $349. Expect some deals on this bat as the holidays get closer too.

Boombah DEFCON Cather’s Gear

Baseball Softball Holiday Gift Guide

We reviewed a few types of youth catcher’s gear. This year we fell in love with the price point, look, and quality of Boombah’s DEFCON Catcher’s Gear Set. It comes in Red, Black and Gray as well as this Navy Blue Color. It’s a quality product rivaling any catcher’s gear on the market. And, compared to some, it comes at a fraction of the price. It runs About $240 for the entire set.

The $400 to $600 Category

Custom Wilson Glove

Baseball Softball Holiday Gift Guides

The Custom Glove site from Wilson is a beautiful thing and anyone who plays or coaches the game would love, and we mean LOVE, a custom made A2000 or A2K from Wilson. The glove itself is a top of the line construction made with decades of experience. The combination of colors and designs are straight out off the chain.

Money is No Object

Hack Attack

Baseball Softball Holiday Gift Guides

The Hack Attack is a three wheeled pitching machine that can pitch any type of pitch you can imagine. For a machine, it treats real baseballs relatively nicely and can be adjusted to shoot softballs too. That softball extension is an additional cost. The Three Wheel Attack has great top end speed and allows the hitter to see the ball well before it’s delivered through the shoot. Also, you can add an automatic ball feeder. It moves easily with roller wheels attached to the front for easy storage. If your cage is less than 50 feet from mound to plate we’d suggest the Junior Hack Attack to save a few bucks. Around $3000.