WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF WOOD BAT?
All bats are not created equal because not all hitters are created equal. At Phoenix Bats, we produce high quality wood bats forged from Maple, Yellow Birch and Northern White Ash to create the most durable wood bats on the market for every hitter out there.
WOOD BATSQUICK HITS AT A GLANCE
COMPARING WOOD BAT TYPES
How do you determine which type of wood versus another? Each hitter has different bat weight and/or dimension requirements, different swing mechanics, and different needs out of their bat. We’re here to help you know the general differences between the woods. Learn more about each type of wood bat species below!
WHY CHOOSE MAPLE WOOD BATS
Big league slugger Joe Carter is best known for sending a Mitch Williams fastball over the left field fence at the Skydome for a walk-off home run that would win the Blue Jays the 1993 World Championship. But a lesser-known fact that may be just as important is his status as a pioneer in baseball. Joe Carter was the first big leaguer to start using maple bats as his preferred piece of lumber. He actually used it illegally in a 1997 game, before it had been approved as a new type of wood bat.
- RECOMMENDED FOR:
- Sluggers and far-down the barrel miss-hitters
- Hardest wood, tightest grain
- Less give; more energy is transferred to propel the ball
- Extra power
- Adds 10-15 feet than less dense wood
- Best feeling of “crushing” the ball
- Crisp loud “pop” when ball is hit
- Engraving and colors really stands out
- "The" wood for the sharpest look
Take Away: Look great at the plate, and look better on your home trot after a new maple bat gives you the extra power you’ve been looking for.
- Not good for novice hitter
- Shortest sweet spot (width of area on barrel where you should hit)
- Not a good choice for hitters who miss-hit off end of the bat
- Strong but rigid - it offer the least “give” or “flex” that helps with end shots
- Hard to make a model lighter than original design
- Tends to come in at very specific weight by model type
Take Away: The hitter that doesn't like to crowd the plate or who drives more balls off the end of the barrel might want to explore other options that we provide at Phoenix Bats.
Setting The Record Straight About Maple
One common misconception is that maple bats are dangerous. Because of how dense and hard maple is, when it breaks a piece that comes loose may fly further. This is a controversial topic in the major leagues although it is still not widely believed that bats made from maple are the problem. There is much more proof linking bat dimensions and wood quality to breakage.
Neither is a concern with maple bats made here at Phoenix as we use straight grained, pro-graded Rock Maple in designs for all types of ball players. Even if you decide that a maple bat does not fit your hitting style, the Phoenix Risk Free Guarantee gives you the opportunity to return it within 10 days of your purchase.
WHY CHOOSE BIRCH WOOD BATS
There's been a recent rise in wood bat baseball, sprouting up more wood bat tournaments, new wood bat leagues, and increased wood bat training. Coupled with a change in metal bat standards, a new generation of players has emerged who have never swung wood before. Metal masked proper form, so the undisciplined player, who never really learned where to hit on a bat, needed a wood bat that would be a little more forgiving. Birch bats have helped fill this void for the player with ball marks up and down, and all-around, the barrel.
- RECOMMENDED FOR:
- First Time Hitters & All-over Miss Hitters
- Great for first-time wood bat swingers
- Falls between maple and ash for wood density
- Closer in strength to rock maple
- Good protection against inside pitches
- Still get some of the “flex” of an ash wood bat
- Protection against the cue-ball-off-the-end-of-the-bat mishit
Take Away: Consider birch your best insurance policy when you just don’t have the discipline yet on where to hit on a wood bat.
- Weights tend to be very similar to maple bats, eliminating it as a viable option on some youth bats.
- Must be hit for a little bit to “firm up” and reach maximum hardness.
- Not a good option for those who want increased bat speed while not giving up a bigger barrel.
- If you’re prone to mishitting off the end of the barrel, no bat will flex like an ash bat.
Take Away: While birch bats provide the best solution for the player who miss-hits all over the place on his bat, it doesn't deliver all the benefits associated with a maple bat or with an ash bat. All that said, we believe our Yellow Birch should be a strong consideration for any player, especially the player new to wood bats.
WHY CHOSE ASH WOOD BATS
Since the early days of baseball, wooden bats have been evolving. The earliest pieces of lumber that were crafted into the tools of America's past-time were made out of hickory. These very thick and heavy bats were a pitcher's dream. But invention soon turned towards the side of the hitter when ash bats became the staple in bat racks. Ash bats provided the opportunity for players to swing faster, connecting with the ball more often, as weights in almost every model became more manageable.
- RECOMMENDED FOR:
- Barrel-end Miss-hitters & Vintage Ball
- Super-sized sweet spot ideal for hitters that tend to spray the ball all over the field.
- Delivers a “trampoline” effect that feels like the ball is jumping off the bat.
- Lightest of the three approved woods.
- Provides greater bat speed for hitters used to fighting off fastballs with bigger bats.
- Naturally porous, making the bat very forgiving.
- Beautiful grains that give the bat a highly natural look.
Take Away: The game is gravitating back towards its roots and more and more wooden bat leagues are popping up. With it have come new requirements for heavier bats than players are used to with their super-light metal bats. Ash allows for more wood bat models to be made at lighter weights, upon request. Just remember, go too light and yo give up more durability.
- Not as hard as maple bats so less distance is to be expected when you hit it right.
- More likely to break in the handle when a player is “jammed” by inside pitches that they hit down the handle, away from the barrel of the bat.
- Flexes in one direction, but not so much when hit on the side of the engraving or the side opposite the engraving.
Take Away: Ash bats crafted by Phoenix Bats have straighter grains from end to end than what you'll find at your big box store. Straight grain equals more durability. But a hitter must have the most discipline with an ash bat as to hitting the ball on the proper "side" of the bat (with logo facing the sky upon contact). Even if you decide that an ash bat does not fit your hitting style, the Phoenix Risk Free Guarantee gives you the opportunity to return it within 10 days of your purchase.
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FACING ASH BATS
The bigger problem facing ash bats may go back to their roots, literally. Ash trees are starting to disappear from the North American landscape because of a pesky insect known as the Emerald Ash Borer, which is spreading and killing ash trees from Mississippi to Michigan. However, as long as Northern White Ash trees continue to grow, Phoenix will continue to make high quality ash bats because of the benefits they provide hitters of all skill levels.
New to the game? Can't decide which bat to go with?
Click links below for our handy bat selection model comparison chart