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
Chicago Joe
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogFriars show interest in dealing for Bruce | MLB.com
(13 - 5:34pm, Nov 22)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(4155 - 5:34pm, Nov 22)
Last: SteveF

NewsblogOT - November 2014 College Football thread
(523 - 5:33pm, Nov 22)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogPirates DFA Ike Davis, clear path for Pedro Alvarez - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(1 - 5:29pm, Nov 22)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogESPN Suspends Keith Law From Twitter For Defending Evolution
(85 - 5:29pm, Nov 22)
Last: tfbg9

NewsblogMatthews: Cashman sleeps on the street, says all is quiet on the free-agent front
(20 - 5:23pm, Nov 22)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogBraves shopping Justin Upton at a steep price | New York Post
(15 - 4:58pm, Nov 22)
Last: Brian White

NewsblogMike Schmidt: Marlins' Stanton too rich too early? | www.palmbeachpost.com
(22 - 4:53pm, Nov 22)
Last: Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(407 - 4:51pm, Nov 22)
Last: Howling John Shade

NewsblogKemp drawing interest, raising chance he's the Dodgers OF dealt - CBSSports.com
(7 - 4:37pm, Nov 22)
Last: zachtoma

NewsblogMLB.com: White Sox Land Adam LaRoche With 2 Year/$25M Deal
(18 - 4:14pm, Nov 22)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2014
(955 - 4:09pm, Nov 22)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogJosh Lueke and the Ways of Anger
(11 - 3:55pm, Nov 22)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

NewsblogFemale Sportswriter Asks: 'Why Are All My Twitter Followers Men?' | ThinkProgress
(131 - 3:45pm, Nov 22)
Last: Danny

NewsblogRays name managerial finalists: Cash, Ibanez, Wakamatsu | Tampa Bay Times
(8 - 3:32pm, Nov 22)
Last: Bourbon Samurai

Page rendered in 0.0868 seconds
52 querie(s) executed