Many great things are made from the maple tree: syrup, sugar, Canada…. so why not baseball bats? Apparently that’s the question baseball bat manufacturers asked themselves in the mid-1990s. Sure enough, rock maple baseball bats hit the scene during the days of Nirvana and Tupac, and they’ve dominated the professional market ever since.
Maple is often regarded as a player’s choice for a bat. Many factors contribute to this classification, including the hardness of the wood, the low forgiveness, and its popularity among professional players.
The dense structure and tight grains contribute to the “hardness” of the maple bat. Hardness gives the player that feeling of crushing the ball. There isn’t a noticeable ”trampoline” effect with maple bats. Instead, it compresses the ball and drives right through it. Due to its high density and tight grains, it does not display the same flex as ash or birch.
However, just because it’s the most popular choice among players, that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. Many factors come into play when choosing a maple bat over other options. The most noticeable difference is the loss of the extra forgiveness that more flexible woods offer. Less forgiveness means a smaller sweet spot, which translates to more mishits for amateur players. Personal preference also comes into play when choosing a maple bat over its competition. We highly suggest swinging and testing all types of bats before making a decision. The “pop” feeling upon the moment of impact with a maple bat is very different from that of a birch or ash bat.
There are also aesthetic reasons to choose a maple bat. The tight grains are less visible than the loose grains on ash and birch. This composition makes the maple bats perfect for engraving, painting, and trophy bats. If you are looking for a highly customizable and good-looking bat, then a maple bat may be the perfect choice for you.
Every bat has its advantages and drawbacks, so be sure to pick one that best fits your playing style and preferences. If you have any additional questions about maple bats, feel free to chat with us or use our bat selector tool. The pros here at Phoenix Bats take pride in producing and finding you your perfect bat!