Choosing a baseball bat isn’t as easy as heading to the sporting goods store and picking one out. Instead, you should decide which type of wood suits your playing style. Since most baseball leagues only allow wooden bats, you will probably find yourself choosing between a bat made of either maple or ash. While both are considered to be great choices, there are some things that you should know before buying either one:
Introduced in the late 1800s, ash bats were the go-to bat for professional players in the major leagues. Allowing more swing speeds and power, the ash bat eventually took over the hickory bat. Made from a white ash tree, here are a few pros and cons to know about:
- Ash wood tends to be very light. Due to its weight, players find that their swing speed is faster compared to any other material.
- Younger players that have used a metal bat their whole lives will find that transitioning to an ash bat is the easiest way to go.
- Players looking for a distinctive look will find that most ash bats have a lot of detail and classic grain look.
- Compared to a maple bat, ash tends to have a larger sweet spot.
- Tends not to hit the ball as far as a maple.
- As the bat ages, the wood tends to soften, making them less durable.
- It can be break easy when a player is jammed during a game.
Why Consider Ash
An ash bat is a great bat for players that are looking for a fast swing that connects with the ball easier. While this type of bat doesn’t have as much power, most models on the market tend to be perfect for contact.
Starting in the late 1990s, major league ball players began using maple bats. With companies such as Louisville Slugger manufacturing them, Major League Baseball soon found that most of their powerful players used this type of bat. Less flexible than ash, these bats tend to be shinier in appearance. This not only makes a great bat for those who want to look stylish, it’s a great bat for players looking to improve their power.
- Due to maple being a harder wood, the ball tends to travel a lot further.
- With more energy traveling through the bat, contact hitters can increase their power by more than 15 percent.
- With a smaller sweet spot, players find that hitting the sweet spot can be a challenge.
- If the bat breaks, larger pieces can shatter causing major safety concerns.
- This type of bat is ideally designed for players that are stronger.
- Maple tends to be more for a professional player, and novices should steer clear.
Why Consider Maple
Maple bats are designed for heavy sluggers that have played baseball for years. Designed to hit balls out of the park, this is a bat that is perfect for players who have a lot of strength. You will find that most of the power hitters in professional leagues always choose a bat made of maple.
No matter what bat you want to choose, it’s always best to pick up a few at a local sporting goods store. Take a few swings, and see if you like how it feels. As long as you feel comfortable, there’s no reason you shouldn’t feel that way during the game.