WHAT TYPE OF WOOD BAT DO I NEED?

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

Wood Species Solidness Grains Pros
Rock Maple
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  • Strongest all around
  • Most dense
  • Not much “give”
  • Less visible
  • Engraves best
  • Most pop for biggest hits
  • Best inside pitch protection
  • Used by more pros
Yellow Birch
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  • Closer to maple
  • Provides some of the flex of “ash”
  • Less visible
    (Similar to maple)
  • Best if miss-hit all over bat
  • Closer to maple’s pop
  • Good choice if new to wood
Northern White Ash
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  • Less dense/strong
  • Allows wood to “flex” more
  • Very visible
  • Longest sweet spot
  • More forgiving on miss-hits off end
  • Only wood that can get the “flame” finish

COMPARING WOOD BATS

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 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
Pros:
Lightweight
Less give; more energy is transferred to propel the ball
Extra power
Adds 10-15 feet than less dense wood
Unmistakable crisp loud “pop” when ball is hit
Smooth, tight grain structure
Less visible grain structures
Trophy shine
Easily engraved
Provides feeling of “crushing” the ball

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.

Cons:
Not good for novice hitter
Smaller sweet spot
Not a good choice for hitters who drive ball off end of the bat
Strong, but lacks the “give” or “flex”,
Maple bats tend to come in at very specific weights 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 YELLOW 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
Pros:
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.

Cons:
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 a nice solution for the player who mishits 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 is an up-and-comer and should be a strong consideration for any player.

WHY NORTHERN WHITE 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:
Vintage League Players
Pros:
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 bats are a hitter’s choice to adjust to the wood bat game.

Cons:
Not as hard as maple bats
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: A hitter should know that an ash bat crafted by Phoenix Bats is going to have straighter grains from end to end and better spacing between grains than what you'll find at your big box store. Straight grain equals more durability. Even if you decide that an ash bat does not fit your hitting style, the Phoenix Challenge 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

Baseball BatsSoftball BatsYouth BatsVintage Bats

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877-598-2287