Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How Big League Bats Are Getting Harder Than Ever

Ted Williams looked for bats with knots in the barrel because, he thought, the compressed wood within the gnarls would return more energy upon impact with a pitched baseball. It’s the same reason that, dating back generations, players have worked over their bats by rubbing an animal bone lengthwise across the barrel, packing the raised grains of the wood and create a tight, level hitting surface.

It’s an ongoing quest for impermeability, which over recent years has led to the widespread use of maple bats — which are harder than traditional ash bats — and a variety of finishes. Never mind that testing has yet to draw conclusive results that this actually helps; the fact is Barry Bonds used a maple bat to swat 73 home runs in 2001, and a cavalcade of copycats quickly followed.

Now, Hillerich & Bradsby, maker of the famed Louisville Slugger, has upped the ante with its MLB Prime line, hitting stores Oct. 1. It called the Prime the hardest bat ever. In so doing, the company achieved two goals: It improved a product it provides to some 400 major leaguers, and it found a way to replicate the process en masse to make the bats commercially available.

It will be interesting to see what the effects (if any) of these bats are in in-game performance. There isn’t be anything in the article referencing any comparisions of exit speeds of balls off bats.

The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:45 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4247474)
How Big League Bats Are Getting Harder Than Ever
Viagra.
   2. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4247476)
That's what she said.
   3. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4247553)
Wonder who'll be the first player to use a bat made of lignum vitae?
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4248262)
Why, by rubbing a bone lengthwise, of course.
   5. Al Kaline Trio Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4248307)
I was told this is the strongest wood
   6. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4248313)
Wonder who'll be the first player to use a bat made of lignum vitae?


Lignum vitae is about twice as heavy by mass as ash, and ~75% heavier than maple. The modern trend has been towards lighter bats and higher bat speed and I doubt anyone would give that up for the harder wood. There's also this clause in the rules:

NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be used in a professional game (either championship season or exhibition games) until the manufacturer has secured approval from the Rules Committee of his design and methods of manufacture.


MLB would probably designate a lignum vitae bat as "experimental" and so not allowed.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Downtown Bookie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogESPN: Switch-Pitcher Venditte The Talk Of A's Camp
(7 - 10:29pm, Mar 01)
Last: Al Kaline Trio

Hall of Merit2016 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(84 - 9:44pm, Mar 01)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogThe career paths of Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto |
(21 - 9:33pm, Mar 01)
Last: Arbitol Dijaler

NewsblogOTP - March: You’re out, tobacco: Bill would ban products at all California baseball venues
(47 - 9:32pm, Mar 01)
Last: Curse of the Andino

NewsblogSunday Notes: Valentine on Hamilton, Acta & Keri on the Expos, Leathersich, more
(13 - 8:46pm, Mar 01)
Last: cercopithecus aethiops

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - February 2015
(1243 - 8:46pm, Mar 01)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogAlex Rodriguez Attends First-Base School, but a Key Item Is Absent
(17 - 8:10pm, Mar 01)
Last: Poster Nutbag

NewsblogWith Upton out, Braves can get good look at CF options | Atlanta Braves blog
(11 - 7:50pm, Mar 01)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogPhillies newcomer Francoeur becoming Howard's biggest fan
(2 - 7:46pm, Mar 01)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogWho Is Responsible For A Called Strike?
(9 - 7:42pm, Mar 01)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogMinnie Minoso Passes Away
(15 - 7:40pm, Mar 01)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogSeveral aces may need to adjust to a low zone loss. | SportsonEarth.com
(11 - 6:09pm, Mar 01)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(640 - 6:08pm, Mar 01)
Last: Chokeland Bill

NewsblogPlayers union sees potential bargaining issue with Cubs-like spending restrictions | Chicago
(16 - 6:01pm, Mar 01)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2015
(62 - 5:57pm, Mar 01)
Last: puck

Page rendered in 0.1692 seconds
48 querie(s) executed