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But Wait - Bat Weight is not as important as "Swing Weight" (moment-of-inertia)!

01-23-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

There is a big problem with the discussion of bat weight that I have summarized in this article. All of the physics used to derive the optimum mass and the batted ball speed assume that the ball hits the bat at its center-of-mass. This very rarely happens - hits at the sweet spot are several inches from the center-of-mass. There is another very important parameter of the bat which affects how quickly you can swing a bat, and what the final ball speed is. This parameter involves the distribution of mass along the length of the bat and how that mass distribution affects the motion of a rotating object. In physics we refer to this parameter as the moment of inertia. It turns out that the moment-of-inertia (or "swing weight") matters more than mass..
 

Rules of Thumb for Recommended Bat Weights

01-21-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

The plots above were obtained by using the Bat ChooserTM machine to determine the Ideal Bat WeightTM for a specific player. The data proves the point that bat weight affects both swing speed and batted ball velocity. But, how does an amateur player, without access to this machine, estimate his/her optimum (or ideal) bat weight in order to get the best batted ball speed and still maintain control over the bat? Using the results of a large database of measurements* from the Bat Chooser instrument, Bahill and his colleagues have come up with up set of basic rules of thumb which can help any player estimate the recommended bat weight he or she should be using in order to obtain the highest performance possible. If you want more detailed rules, or information about how Bahill and his colleagues arrived at these rules of thumb I would strongly recommend reading his book.[8](Note: For calculating bat weight from the formulas in the table, use height in inches, weight in pounds and age in years.)
 

Bat Weight, Swing Speed, and Batted Ball Velocity

01-13-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Anyone who has swung a bat knows that it is easier to swing a lighter bat than it is to swing a heavier bat. More importantly, it is possible to swing a lighter bat faster than a heavier bat. Exactly how the bat swing speed is related to bat weight for a given player is a little harder to determine. Terry Bahill[2,7,8] and his colleague have extensively studied the relationship between bat swing speeds and bat weights for a wide variety of players. Bahill developed the Bat ChooserTM machine to measure bat swing speed, and uses the results to determine the Ideal Bat WeightTM for an individual player. This device has been successfully used by numerous players who have greatly increased their batting averages after correctly choosing an appropriate weight bat, as well as by several college teams who have gone on to win championships after finding their correct bat weights. His data shows definitively that players cannot swing heavy bats as quickly as they can lighter bats, and the details vary somewhat from player to player and vary more considerably depending on the technical playing ability of the individual.
 

Bat Weight and Batted Ball Velocity

01-07-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »


To see the effects of bat weight and bat speed, here is a summary of an experiment that I found summarized in a 1980 high-school textbook, Physics of Sports developed by Florida State University.[6] For this experiment, the ball mass, pitch speed, and bat swing speed were all kept constant. Only the bat mass was changed.
 

Do Professional Players use Heavy or Light Bats?

01-01-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

The answer to that question is "both," though past players tend to have used heavier bats than do today's players. Baseball's "king of swat" Babe Ruth reportedly began his hitting career using a 54 ounce (1.5 kg) hickory bat, and is known to have used a 40oz bat in 1927 when he hit his 60 home runs.[1] Ty Cobb and Joe Di Maggio both played with 42oz bats and Rogers Hornsby used a 50oz piece of lumber. George Sisler, playing for the St. Louis Browns in the 1920's, made his bat heavier by hammering Victrola needles into the barrel of his bat.[2] In the 1950's Cincinnati Reds' Ted Kluszeski hammered tenpenny nails into his bat to make it heavier.

Other great hitters including Ted Williams, Rod Carew and Stan Musial used much lighter bats: 31-33oz.[1] Roger Maris used a 33oz bat to hit his 61 home runs in 1961. Many players have tried to make their bats lighter by drilling a hole in the barrel and filling it with cork. Detroit Tigers' Norm Cash admitted to using a corked bat in 1961 when he won the batting title with a .361 average (though he slumped to .243 the next year with the same corked bat).[2]

 

Bat Weight, Swing Speed and Ball Velocity

12-27-2013  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
A Little League player is looking for a new bat. Having decided on a certain length the player discovers that in addition to the choices of materials (wood, aluminum, or composite), and the various technologies (Vibration Reduction System, Nitrogen bladders, piezoelectric shock absorbers, double walled barrels, composite materials) there is also a wide selection of bat weights. Consider the following list of 30inch Little League bats which I currently have in the Acoustics Laboratory at Kettering University. Some of these bat models are older, and may be no longer be available, but the distribution of materials and weights are of interest.
 

A Note about Wood Softball Bats

12-09-2013  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »


There have been lots of questions from players switching from aluminum to wood softball bats as to what weight to order. Most try to get a –5 since they think the bat speed is important. They are accustomed to swinging the lightest aluminum bat possible since weight and mass behind the ball does not matter with aluminum bat barrels which provide all the pop by virtue of the material used and the thin walls.
 

Baseball bat weight vs. swing weight

12-02-2013  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »


What many new players don't seem to grasp is the concept of bat weight vs. swing weight. If you take a 34 inch, 32 ounce thin handled, big barreled bat and hold it by the handle, it feels very heavy because the weight is all at the end of the bat where the wood is. If you pick the same bat up and hold it by the barrel, it suddenly feels very light. You didn't change the weight of the bat, you changed the balance. Aluminum bats feel light because the barrels are hollow and the weight is in the handle. To get the swing weight feel of an aluminum bat in a wood bat, the wood bat would need to be a -8.
 

Light Bat Weights v Light Bats

11-24-2013  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »


The reason we make some models in -2 rather than -3 (and the truth is that no maple bats should be made as light as -3 period) is that we understand after getting feedback on tens of thousands of bats what parameters a bat model needs to both perform and hold up. Maple is a heavy, dense wood and thus far, the best performing wood for bats. However, when bats are made with billets that are too light, they perform more like ash and break more readily than ash. Maple is a less flexible wood than ash so light maple does not have the performance advantage over ash and breaks easier than ash due to it's stiffness. This is why the maple backlash in MLB has come about. Too many bat makers  are making light bats they have no business making. We refuse those orders from players but other bat makers do not. We have over 300 MLB players for a reason. We know what will work for them and what won't. We won't compromise our brand and reputation to make something we know won't perform and hold up.
 

Picking the right X Bat Youth Bat

11-24-2013  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
We find the most important thing with young players switching from metal bats to wood is to find a bat that has great balance.

Here's a little exercise to help demonstrate the concept.

Pickup any adult wood bat and hold it out with one hand. It feels heavy because you can feel the weight at the end of the bat because the weight is concentrated in the barrel. 

Now hold it by the barrel end. It feels much lighter. You didn't change the weight, though, you just changed the balance.
 

Wood, wood, wood……

11-19-2013  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
After more than five years of testing many kinds of woods for baseball and softball bats, we are adding some additional categories from which our customers can choose. We are adding Yellow Birch, a wood that fits between maple and ash for performance, feel and longevity. We found a hickory wood that makes what we feel is a “superbat”, harder and stronger than maple with better performance and more resistance to breakage. This can really change the playing field for wood bat performance and is unique to X Bats. After testing bamboo bats for years with mixed results, we have created a bamboo bat that lives up to the promise of durability that many players seek. Lastly, we have developed a composite bat that performs better than the composite choices on the market and it has all of the durable qualities players seek in a composite wood bat without sacrificing all the performance.
 

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