How do I break in my new baseball bat or softball bat?
There are several methods to break in your new baseball bat or softball bat. The key to breaking in a bat is simply to use the bat. Typically, batting practice or hitting off of a tee is recommended to make your bat game ready. Since bats are designed specifically for official baseball or softball game balls, make sure to use those when breaking in your bat.
What is the difference between "One-Piece Bats" and "Two-Piece Bats"?
One-piece baseball bats use the same material throughout the entire design. The advantage of the one-piece design is that you get a stronger, stiffer bat that is favored by power hitters looking for as little flex as possible. In two-piece baseball bats, you'll find that the handle is a separate piece from the barrel and that the two are bonded together. The advantage to a two-piece bat is that its design allows the barrel to flex at the point of contact creating a trampoline effect off the barrel. Two-piece bats have less vibration in the handle than one-piece bats due to the separation of the handle and barrel.
1) Bat Weight
As a general rule, bigger, stronger players usually prefer a heavier bat for maximum power. Smaller players usually benefit from a lighter bat that allows greater bat speed. To determine the weight that’s right for you, swing a variety of bats and find the weight that is comfortable for you. High school and college players will be required to swing a BBCOR bat, which will always be a -3 model. Younger players will want something more controllable like the common -10 sized bat.
2) Bat Length
Length and weight combine for peak performance. A longer bat gives you greater reach, allowing you to hit balls on the other side of the plate. But remember that a longer bat may be heavier, and the extra weight could slow you down. Like checking the weight, you need to swing bats of different lengths to decide what length best suits you.
3) League Requirements
All Adult Baseball Bats are required to meet the BBCOR Certification, which makes the bat approved for High School and College level play. Senior League (Youth Big Barrel) Bats are bats that are designed for players between 13 and 15 years of age, as well as younger players whose leagues allow bat diameters larger than 2”. While Youth Baseball Bats are bats that are approved by ALL youth leagues (especially Little League Baseball) that require 2 barrel diameters. All softball bats will be required to have a 2.25” barrel diameter, but the certification stamps required may vary (and not every bat carries every stamp).
* To avoid costly surprises, make sure you know all league requirements before you go bat shopping. *
The negative numbers under the bat size categories are the length to weight ratio. This means if you take the length of the bat you are searching for (e.g. 32 inches) and the size it comes in (e.g. -8), your bat would weigh 24 ounces.