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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where is the sweet spot on a bat?
A: The sweet spot (where you want to hit the ball consistently) is located about 2" in from the end of the barrel to about 7-8" in on an adult bat.
Q: What "side" of the bat should I hit the ball?
A: As you're swinging through the plate, with the bat perpendicular to your body about to hit the ball, the Phoenix label should be pointing towards the sky or towards the ground for all bats. That will way you'll be making contact with the area on the "side" of the bat where the grains are layered---the strongest "side" of the bat.
Now some of you may have noticed that big league players' maple and birch bats have the logo and engraving 45 degrees opposite. The reason for such was that in the Big Leagues...where a number of players want BIG barrels and thin handles...more bats were breaking (big barrel + small handle diameter = a much less durable bat). So the powers that be over the Big Leagues decided that in order to reduce the "violent" breakage of these big maple bats, pro players should hit on the opposite side of where we have all been taught and our parents and those before us have been taught. So, sure bats won't break as violently, they'll just break more often. Since the powers that be don't pay for the bats, who cares.
**PLEASE NOTE: If you have selected a baseball bat with "Pro Style logo placement", under the drop down "Ink Dot (Maple & Birch Only)", just use the ink dot as your point of reference. If the ink dot is facing the sky or the ground when striking the ball, you will be good to go!
We care about durability and we think our customers care as well. Therefore, we're doing what physics, history, and anyone with wood knowledge knows: the strongest part of the bat is on the side where the grains are stacked. When you couple this with quality wood made with the right dimensions, you get a durable bat....a Phoenix Bat!
Q: What is cupping?
A: The bowl-like indentation at top of bat, whose only purpose is to remove weight. Phoenix bats are cupped at 1.5" in diameter, leaving a thicker wall around the cup for enhanced structural integrity. Most competitors cup at 2", leaving a very thin wall around the cup, increasing the chance of breaking.
Most players who swing a full size bat prefer cuppping, but it's probably become more so because they see other players' bats cupped. It does move the sweet spot, the area where you want to make contact, slightly towards the handle, making it slightly less barrel weighted. The down side would only be creating a slightly less structurally strong bat when you hit off the end.
On the K240 and K455 youth bats, cupping is not needed; it's actually detrimental. This is a 2-1/4" barrel and cupping it would hurt the integrity of the bat. In addition, kids have a very nasty habit of banging the head of the bat on the ground, resulting in damage to the bat. We designed it to be properly weighted and distributed.
Q: How should I care for my bat?
A: Extreme moisture and prolonged exposure to heat or cold is not a bat's friend. Our recommendation is take your bat indoors (not just in to the garage!) after each time out. Lean it up against a corner in as vertical position as you can get.
Q: Balls in the batting machines eat up my bat, what should I do?
A: Those hard rubber balls are brutal on wood bats. If you have to hit rubber balls (which we strongly advise against), take some first aid tape and tape the barrel of the bat or use a protective sleeve. Tape is easy to remove and doesn't leave much residue. Some Windex should take off any residue, without harming the finish.
Q: What does the negative (-) mean next to the bat description?
A: It refers to the difference between the bat length and bat weight.
Ex.: a 34" bat with a -2 means it weighs 32 ounces
Normal range for bat lines:
Q: I'm not sure which the right bat is for me. How do I choose?
A: Start by viewing our "NEED BAT SELECTION HELP? CLICK HERE!" link. If still not sure, click the BAT SELECTOR FORM in the red box. We’re here to help insure you get the right bat for your game.
Q: At what age should I start swinging a wood bat?
A: If you are big enough to swing an aluminum bat then you are big enough to benefit from a wood bat. A player of any age that learns how to hit with a wood bat will be a better hitter, even when swinging aluminum, than a player who has never used wood. That's why many coaches have their kids swing wood in batting practice or in the cages.
Q: When should a child move from a youth bat to a professional series baseball bat?
A: We recommend that a child swings the K240, K455 or K271 youth bat through 11 years old. Then, at around age 12, the youth should transition to the DR100 or DR5S youth bat. The barrel size changes from 2-1/4" to 2-1/2", but the length-to-weight differential only goes from a -8 to a -5. This makes for a smoother transition to a professional series bat a year or two later. By 14 years old, we definitely expect to see a youth swinging one of our pro series baseball bats.
When ready to move up to a professional series bat, go with a -3 bat, which is required by most high school programs. The BB71 is a good choice, as well as it's sister the JK5 (same barrel but with a straighter transition in to the knob from the handle). A recommended length is normally 31", but it's available from 30" to 35". Just remember the golden rule is to swing whatever length you swing in metal as we want to see you transfer the great lessons from wood to whatever bat you swing.
Q: What will be the availability of ash bats due to the emerald ash borer?
A: While there is still ample supply of ash, there will be an increasing impact on ash availability in the next five years. Price will rise accordingly.
Q: How do ash, birch and maple compare to bamboo?
A: While bamboo (a grass) is very durable, it doesn't hit like a wood bat. None are single piece bats. Players who have tested bamboo bats have commented on the lack of pop versus maple and ash. Additionally, bamboo bats are not approved for use in the pros.
Q: Which is better: maple, birch or ash?
A: All make great baseball bats, but in different ways.
If you tend to take balls off the end of the bat a lot, we strongly recommend white ash. It's also a little bit more forgiving if you miss the sweet spot out at the end of the bat.
Maple is a very dense wood and will drive the ball a little bit better when you really nail the ball squarely. It's also a great choice versus ash if you tend to take balls off the handle or get jammed more often.
Birch, the new comer to wood bats, is a great choice for the player who is all over the place when mishitting. It is closer in hardness to maple (for the inside mishits) but has some of the flex that an ash bat (better for the barrel end mishits). It's our recommended choice for the high schooler, especially if he is just starting to swing wood.
Not all of our bats are available in all of the woods. Why? Because some bats will be too heavy for the type of wood bat play. We don’t want to see the great lessons that come from wood destroyed by an improperly weighted bat. We’ve selected the best woods for each, with durability and swingability in mind.
For more info on the woods, click here.
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The Phoenix Bat Company has been producing state of the art wood baseball bats for over 10 years in our custom manufacturing shop located right here in the United States. From professionals to little leaguers and everyone in between, we have over 30 wooden bats to fit your right need and circumstance. All of our premium wooden baseball bats including our rock maple bats and ash bats include free text engraving with every purchase, plus shipping is free on orders valued at $75 or more.