Choosing the right baseball bat for you is hard enough if you don't know what to consider and technical issues that will affect your bat swinging. The baseball bat weight is one of the technical factors that dictate how well you can swing with the bat.
In this article, you will learn about the weight of baseball bats, how baseball bat weight impacts your performance, and many exclusive tips that will help you choose the right baseball bat for your needs. So read up on this article and expand your baseball knowledge.
An Average Baseball Bat Weighs How Much?
A baseball bat's weight varies based on its length and material. If you want to know the correct mass of a baseball bat, you need to know the various bats used in baseball. A wooden baseball bat is the only type of bat used in MLB. In contrast, aluminum, composite, and hybrid baseball bats are used in the Minor League Baseball, high school, and college leagues. MLB baseball bats have different weights than those bats.
Materials-wise, there are four types of baseball bats, and every kind of bat has a different weight. However, according to the parts, there are only one-piece baseball bats and two-piece baseball bats. Therefore, while one-piece baseball bats are manufactured from the same materials, two-piece baseball bats may be constructed from two different materials.
Under MLB bat rules, a baseball bat must weigh at least 32 ounces or 2 pounds. Moreover, MLB does not permit aluminum or metal bats. Instead, they allow only solid wooden baseball bats with a diameter of 2.61 inches.
Heaviest Baseball Bat Used in MLB History
Though 32 ounces is the minimum weight for baseball bats, there have also been more heavy bats used in MLB history. For example, Babe Ruth, known as "Sultan of Swat" for his remarkable baseball home run hitting skills, uses the heaviest baseball bat in history.
A famous baseball bat manufacturer, Louisville Slugger's president, admitted that Edd Roush consistently used a heavy bat than Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth used a 42-ounce bat, whereas Edd Roush used a 48-ounce bat. In addition, Babe Ruth only used bats over 50 ounces for practice. However, Roush consistently uses heavy bats in the game.
As the year progressed, Babe Ruth used a 38-ounce bat. By the time he ended his baseball career, he had used 35 ounsces bat with his Boston Braves.
Baseball bats may not always be manufactured according to MLB rules, as there are league and practice issues to consider. Wooden baseball bats weigh 32 ounces and aluminum/composite bats weigh 18 ounces, which is the minimum weight.
However, some bats are designed specifically for baseball coaches and are called fungo bats. In this article, you can learn all about fungo bats.
Purpose of Bat Weight in Baseball
The proper grip, stance, and strength are not the only ways to swing the bat perfectly. Instead, baseball bats play a significant role in this scenario. A bat's length and weight have a direct impact on its performance. That's why multiple MLB players may use different sizes and weight bats.
By gripping a baseball bat correctly, you can achieve full swing. This is why you need to be aware of griping. Check out this article about baseball bat grips for clear instructions.
The term bat weight is deceiving since the actual term is drop weight that determines the bat's balance point.
The drop weight can be determined by subtracting the bat weight from the bat length. To determine drop weights, use the formula below:
Bat weight (oz) – Bat length (inch) = Drop weight.
If the bat weighs 31 ounces and measures 34 inches, drop weight will (-3). Dropping weight increases the bat's speed at which the ball travels by the sweet spot.
Drop weight is directly proportional to bat speed. Therefore, as the drop weight increases, the bat speed will increase gradually. (-3) is the standard drop weight for NCAA and NFHS rulebook since that league allows composite and aluminum bats.
MLB players might hollow out their bat and fill it with cork to achieve the same length-weight ratio as aluminum or composite bat. They might bake it in the oven, which will result in it breaking easily.
Weight of A Baseball Bat Impacts A Ball's Travel When It Is Hit?
The weight of the baseball bat has an indirect effect on how far the ball travels. How far a baseball will travel can determine by some key factors. Here are the results:
- Where does the baseball get hit by a bat? Whether it is dead center, under dead center, or over dead center will determine the traveling distance.
- Bat speed is technically more important than bat weight.
- A sweet spot near the end of the bat. Aluminum bats have twice as much sweet spots as wooden bats.
- Mechanical considerations for swing.
Heavy bats generate more power when they hit the ball. Eventually, the ball travels farther than the lighter bats. But it is more challenging to get a good swing with a heavy baseball bat than a lighter one. So when you improve your swing mechanics and bat speed, it will be worth using a heavy bat.
Meanwhile, a lighter bat will give you a better swing and greater speed, which will counteract the power of the heavy bats. The more the bat speeds, the longer the ball travels. The lighter bat is now the trend in this era. A composite material bat is used outside of Major League Baseball.
What Are The Preferences of Baseball Bats for Most Players? Is It Heavier or Lighter?
There are a lot of arguments by players about heavier and lighter bats for various reasons. The reasons are bat speed versus bat weight. A more lightweight bat is easier to swing and gets better speed than a heavy one. We see this scenario in college baseball that makes more home runs with an aluminum bat which is light.
The reason heavy bats are sometimes used might be the number of games in the season. 162 games in 6 months; that's a lot for any player.
However, many players prefer a lighter bat over a heavier bat because their swing is better. They use a lighter bat in practice and cage drills. Many MLB players hollow out their bat to make their wooden bat lighter and put the cork into it. MLB does not allow aluminum or composite bats for specific reasons. Find out here why MLB only uses wooden bats.
In general, lighter bats are the preferable bats by most players in any league. Aluminum bats are lighter than wooden bats. Furthermore, wooden bats break easily, and their cost is higher than aluminum bats. That's why many minor league baseball teams use aluminum bats. Please view this article for more information about the reasons for breaking wooden bats.
Do Bat Speeds Really Influence Home Runs?
In general, the more durable the bat, the more force will be delivered to the balls. The balls will eventually travel farther and get out of the plate. It is not always a good strategy for the game to increase bat speed. If it were, then there would be no bunting in baseballs.
Bunting is a batting technique in which hitters hold the bat loosely and intentionally tap the ball.
Even though a lighter bat can swing easily, its lower mass may offset the speed of the bat, resulting in unexpected results. Not every time, a lighter bat will deliver the desired results. Get a combination of bat weight and swing and hit the ball with a brutal swing. A heavier bat, on the other hand, maintains the bat better during collisions with the ball.
Reasons to Switch From Heavy to Lighter Bats
When the pitcher throws the ball at the hitter, he has only a millisecond to consider some factors that affect the hit. As follows:
- What types of pitches will be offered. Is it a fastball, knuckleball, curveball, or slider?
- Pitching speed.
- When the ball is in contact with the bat, whether it's a strike or a ball.
- Who gets the advantage at the moment of collision, pitchers or hitters?
- Pitching stance, since pitching speed is affected by whether the pitcher is winding up or stretching.
The reason for switching from a heavy to a lighter bat is the number of strikeouts and missed swings at pitches caused by the bat's weight. A baseball bat has a sweet spot of 3 inches. A batter who swings it correctly will get a multi-base hit.
With a heavy-weight baseball bat, it is hard to swing as easily as one with a lighter weight. That's why many players are switching to more lightweight bats from heavy bats.
Selecting The Right Bat
You now know the weight factor of a baseball bat, how it relates to the bat and the player's performance. So how do you choose the right one for you? In essence, selecting a baseball bat is all about the factors you consider. For example, it might be the length, weight, grips, or material. Nevertheless, you can determine the right one by keeping some factors in mind.
An excellent way to choose the perfect baseball bat is to test as many as you can. This will take a lot of time. If you want to find the right length of a baseball bat for you, consider the following:
- Put the bat down at your side upright. If the knob of the bat reaches the center of the palms of your hand, it's the correct length for you.
- Place the knob of the bat against your chest. If you can grab the barrel by the arms, then it's the right bat for you.
- Keep the bat knob beside the center of the chest and straighten your arms. When the barrel reaches the index finger of your arm, you will be at the right length.
That's how you can pick the correct length for you. However, if you're a power hitter, choose a heavy-weight bat that is still comfortable. On the other hand, contact hitters should choose lightweight bats.
Go to the batting cage and try a few out to determine the right bat for you. Try bats with slow-pitch speeds. If you are comfortable with the bat, you can contact it when you want, or it does not hurt your wrists; this bat is a good choice for you in terms of comfort.
The length of a baseball bat is 27 to 34 inches that you will find in the market. Youth baseball bat weight should be determined with care. If you still have trouble finding the right one, follow the standard bat chart, facilitating your decision.
Baseball Bat Weight Chart
Body weight of player
Less than 100 lbs
Up to 3’8”
101 lbs to 150 lbs
Up to 4’
Less than 180 lbs
Up to 5’4”
More than 61 lbs
Up to 5’8”
More than 80 lbs
At least 4’
More than 81 lbs
At least 5’
More than 121 lbs
At least 5’
More than 180 lbs
At least 5’9”
Even though this chart is only a recommendation for choosing the bat length, I suggest you choose two more bats that are one inch shorter and longer than the recommended chart.
Now that you have all the information about the weight of a baseball, I hope you can choose the perfect length and weight of the baseball bat that you need. By researching this article by players and real-life experience, we believe it will be extremely helpful to you.
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