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There’s no sound more exhilarating in sports than the CRACK! of a wood bat. It sounds like summertime and big games, all rolled into one. The best part is, wooden bats aren’t just reserved for professionals. No matter what age or skill level you play at, in many leagues you can choose to use the same bats as the pros. What would be greater than popping a home run with one of the best wood bats around?
When you start to shop, it’s important to recognize that not all bats are created equal. The best wood baseball bats are made with greater craftsmanship than run-of-the-mill bats. Sure, you may pay a little more, but when you feel the ball fly off the sweet spot, it’ll be worth it.
If you’re wondering where you should go to find the best wood bats, look no further. This simple guide will help you out. We’ve done the dirty work for you and picked out some of the best wood bats on the market.
Up first is a quick buyers guide with features and benefits to look for while you’re making your decision.
5 Best Wood Bats of 2020
Now that you know a little about the best wood bats, here’s a list of a few of the better ones out there. You can do research on your own as well if you’re not sure which sounds best to you.
This is one of the best wood bats out there. Crafted from gorgeous maple, it’s consistently one of the best-reviewed bats every year, and there’s a good reason for it. Marucci offers this bat for both adult and youth players. You’ll see both a ‘Youth’ and ‘Pro’ model with the label directly on the barrel of the bat as pictured above. On top of that, you’ll find this wood bat in a variety of sizes so you can get exactly what you need.
The CU26 provides power and has great durability. After all, it’s named after Chase Utley! It rarely shows any wear-and-tear, even after a full season of hitting with it, and it has great balance.
The bat feels a little heavy to some hitters, so if you aren’t already a power hitter, you may find it difficult to swing. But when you connect in the sweet spot, you’ll know it.
It doesn’t get much better than a genuine birch bat and MLB Authentic Cut from Louisville Slugger. The rich history of this baseball brand + the quality craftsmanship offers a winning combination.
This is a great choice if you want to try the middle-ground approach and give birch a try. Not only does it look great with an black and burgundy finish, it has great “pop” that will send the ball flying.
It’s very lightweight so you won’t get the power that you would with maple, but it allows you better bat speed and control. Because of these characteristics, this is a perfect choice for youth leagues.
If ash is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the Velo for youth players. It’s perfect for players hitting growth spurts that will be moving on to other models after a year or two. Its handmade and has a cool, eye-catching look to it. When you step up to the plate with this bat, everyone knows you mean business.
Just remember that ash bats may not be as durable as others, but they have great forgiveness and will get you on base. It is definitely one of the best youth wood bats made from a softer wood like ash.
If money isn’t an issue, why not get this hardy maple bat from Louisville Slugger. Available in a wide number of finishes and sizes, the Prime Maple Wood series baseball bats (Model C271) are a dream come true. Seamless decals and MLB-grade wood from the top 3% of harvest means you’re getting one of the best wood bats money can buy. Louisville’s proprietary Exoarmor Finish outperforms guaranteeing maximum hardness and showcases their engineering prowess.
Want to get a little crazy? Try this bamboo bat by one of the most trusted names in baseball. Bamboo lathes are tied together and laminated to form one bat. This means that professionals in the United States can’t use it, but youth leagues and adult leagues allow it.
Bamboo gives great pop like maple but it’s lighter, so you can have good control as well. And the Elite comes in an awesome black, white, and gold finish that will make you stand out on the diamond.
Why Choose Wood?
For the purity of the game of course!
Well, that’s not the only reason, but there are distinct differences between metal and wood bats.
Metal bats have become popular because mishits aren’t as big of a deal. The entire bat is basically a sweet spot, so you can swing at more pitches, even if they aren’t good ones. With wood, you have to hit the sweet spot or else you’ll be punished for swinging at bad pitches. This can be a great motivator to get better at hitting. And this, in turn, will lead to you becoming a better baseball player.
Because of this difference between wood and metal, metal bats are outlawed in the pros and there are some youth leagues that have begun using wood only, for the safety of the players. So if you want to play like the pros, then wood is definitely for you.
What Wood Makes the Best Wood Bats?
Wood bats are typically made from three types of wood: maple, birch, and ash. The best wood bat brands make a variety of bats in all of these kinds of woods and more to give you high quality in the material you are most comfortable with.
Maple is the strongest of the three kinds of wood. This means there is less give and it’s a stiffer choice.
Its benefits, however, are pretty good. This is the choice of most pros because it has the best “pop” and, since it’s a dense wood, it gives great inside pitch protection.
Birch is the “middle of the road” bat. It’s more flexible than maple, but it’s a lot stiffer than ash. It has pretty good forgiveness for any mishits as well, so it’s a great choice for someone new to wood.
Ash is the softest of the three kinds of wood, so it has a lot of flex. It is also very forgiving with mishits, which allows a wider range of pitches you can go after. The best thing about ash, however, is the sweet spot. It has the largest of all three, meaning that you have a better chance at dinging one deep.
So what does all this mean? It means you need to think about your game and how you swing. You should try out all three and see which one works best for you. In the end, it’s all about feel.
The Bottom Line
Whichever bat you end going with, take your time to think about what your game needs and which wood sounds right for you. If you can, try different ones out and get a feel for each.
Baseball is a great sport, but there’s a lot to it! Check out our other services and blogs and keep practicing!