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Bat Weight, Swing Speed and Ball Velocity

12-27-2013 / By: X Bats

NOTE (3/27/08): This article is a summary of the published literature concerning batted-ball speed and bat WEIGHT. However, a great deal of recent research clearly indicates that the distribution of weight (as measured by the moment-of-inertia) is far more important than the weight itself. As a result, some of the conclusions summarized below are no longer entirely realistic. I am currently writing an article summarizing the influence of moment-of-inertia (MOI) on bat swing speed and batted-ball speed.


Variety in bat weights

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.

Model

Material

Weight

Bombat 9000Q

Aluminum

27oz

Louisville Slugger 225YB

Ash (wood)

26oz

X Bat Model 10

Maple (wood)

26oz

Hoosier Bat HB6000 Dream®

Ash-Hickory-Maple

26oz

Louisville Slugger YB8

Aluminum

23oz

YardstickTM

Ash (wood)

23oz

Louisville Slugger 225YB

Ash (wood)

23oz

Easton LK20

Aluminum

21oz

Louisville Slugger 225YB

Ash (wood)

20oz

Easton LX10E Black Magic

Aluminum (V.R.S.)

20oz

Combat CB-YB1

Composite

18oz


Some of the Little League bats I have tested in 
Kettering University's Acoustics Laboratory.
Bats in photo do not exactly match list in table.

It is interesting to note that the heaviest bat in this collection is an aluminum bat, not wood. Furthermore, there are different types of wood bats and aluminum bats at almost every weight. I'll deal with the issues of different wood typesmetal-vs-wood and composite-vs-aluminum elsewhere on this website. For now let's assume that the material from which the bat is made does not matter, and focus solely on the issue of bat weight. Which would be better: a heavy bat which packs more punch or a lighter bat which a young player can swing easier? We might start by looking at whether professional players use heavy or light bats.


 

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