Use DATA to determine the best bat size!
Gone are the days of having your son or daughter hold their bat against the side of the hip and measure with the height of the knob, I never really understood that method anyway.
Now there is a much better, more accurate way that uses data to make the proper determination.
A few things to consider in a bat choice
BAT SPEED, EXIT VELOCITY, WEIGHT & LENGTH OF BAT
First, let's explore this relationship because it is crucial to pick the right weight.
BAT SPEED traditionally is the measurement of the barrel speed at impact, but today's sensor technology allows measures at various points of the path to the ball. However, for this conversation, we will stick to how fast the bat is traveling at impact.
Why is it important?
It can correlate to how hard or far a ball is hit.
A faster bat means more time to decide on a good or bad pitch. Creates a more adjustable swing
A faster bat establishes the ability to hit higher velocity pitching.
EXIT VELOCITY is a post-impact measurement of how fast the ball comes off the bat.
Why is it important?
All hitters, regardless of style, can benefit from higher velocity hit balls
Harder hit balls leave the yard more
Harder hit balls get the ground in fair territory quicker, resulting in more base hits
WEIGHT OF BAT - Conventional wisdom suggests swinging the heaviest bat one can handle, or at least that's what my coaches told me. However, you must understand the relationship between the bat speed and its force on a hit ball. Also, it would help if you established what the goal of the hitter is. For example, is the hitter focused on increased power and distance or maybe more barrel control and adjustability at the plate?
LENGTH OF BAT - Length will have a more significant effect on adjustability and plate coverage. But it can also diminish the potential "hot" spot or the part with the most compression or pop, with the trade-off being a larger surface to hit on which also has value. For example, a true power hitter may want to limit the length, but a young player or perhaps a contact slapper may want increased plate coverage.
So this leads us to the point of this blog, how to determine a proper bat?
For this, you need a few tools. (if you don't have these tools contact me for help- firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pocket Radar, Rapsodo or comparable radar unit
Barrel Speed test units such as a Blast or Diamond Kinetics sensor
Several bats in range of player needs.
Now you want to test barrel speed (BS) and exit-velo (EV) with multiple bats. You are looking for the highest exit-velo possible with the highest bat speed. For example, if you test a 31-21 and BS is 60mph, and then a 33-23 and BS is 55mph, then that's significant so now test EV, if its basically the same, consider using the smaller bat. However, if you lose more than 2 or 3% of EV then try a different bat OR consider the players goals as a hitter and what you are trying to accomplish.
GENERALLY SPEAKING, you want the highest exit-velo possible coupled with the highest bat speed. A smaller bat may give you more speed but less Velo where is a heavier bat may increase velo with a small sacrifice in bat speed.
Feel free to let me know if you have questions or if you would like to set up a data session with me to help determine you players needs I am happy to help!
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