Ultimate Wood Bat Guide

Ultimate Wood Bat Guide

Jun 11th 2018

First wood bat purchase? Want to try something new? Need help keeping your bat in one piece? We have the answers and information you need to choose the right bat for you.

Whether you’ve been swinging wood bats for a while, or you’re shopping for your first one, you’ve noticed the wide variety and multitude of options. We’re here to make that process simpler for you.

THE MARUCCI DIFFERENCE

Consistency and craftsmanship built Marucci’s reputation throughout Big League clubhouses, a reputation we uphold through dedication to superior quality and understanding players’ needs.

After years of perfecting our process and delivering consistent bats to some of the game’s best players, Marucci is the No. 1 bat in the Big Leagues. Marucci partners Buster PoseyAnthony Rizzo, and Andrew McCutchen have been loyal users of our bats for years and rave about the quality and consistency. We handcraft that same Big League-trusted quality and understanding into every wood bat we produce.

From wood selection to handcrafted finishing and packaging, every Marucci wood baseball bat, regardless of model or customer, passes through 16 sets of hands that individually assessed for perfection at each stage of the wood bat process.

Quality and attention to detail are givens with Marucci, but there are a few more variables when selecting the perfect wood baseball bat for you based on experience level and individual preference.

Marucci Pro Model wood bats reflect that player's exact specs from the knob through the barrel. Every bat is bone rubbed, and all maples are ink dot certified for slope of grain, just like our Big League-issued models.

Every Marucci Pro Model can be customized with your choice of wood type, size, colors, and personalization to create the ultimate gamer that's uniquely your own.

WOOD BATS FOR BEGINNERS

One of the most recommended training exercises for young baseball and softball players is hitting with a wood bat. Unlike aluminum, the sweet spot of a wood bat is much smaller, so players must be much more precise with their contact and hand-eye coordination.

Typically, wood bats are also heavier than metal bats, so training with wood can also help increase hand, wrist, and forearm strength and lead to faster swing speeds.

Marucci offers several custom and stock youth wood bats for younger players that are cut with the same specs as the full-size adult models, scaled down with a 2 ¼ inch barrel and lower drop weights.

For those players who swing 31” and above, there are certain wood bat models whose cut and specs are more conducive to beginners with thicker tapers between the handle and barrel, the site of most wood bat breaks.

These models can be swung by players of any experience and ability level, however for beginners the JoeyBats19VW10, and DO34 provide the balance and thick taper that are more forgiving as hitters transition from aluminum to wood bats.

BALANCED VS. END-LOADED BATS

Like aluminum bats, wood bats can be classified as balanced vs. end-loaded. Also like metal bats, the “feel” of the bat is totally based on preference and hitting style.

Oftentimes power hitters prefer bats with an end-loaded, or top-heavy feel. It makes sense, as barrels tend to be larger on these models, and more mass equals more force, but there is a trade-off. With more mass in the barrel, that means there is less in the taper and handle where bats are more likely to break. This is why end-loaded models are not recommended for transitioning players until they get comfortable consistently barreling up tough pitches.

End-loaded models from Marucci include the popular AP5CB15, and Posey28 pro models. The Posey28 model is considered end-loaded, but only slightly as his cup is deeper than most, which takes some of the weight out of the end of the bat without losing barrel diameter. Watch Posey describe what he loves about his individual model here.

Balanced bats, on the other hand, are usually preferred by contact or power hitters, as they offer more control and often greater swing speeds. The trade-off with balanced models is usually thinner barrel profiles and diameters.

However, the Cutch22 model has a large barrel, but a thick tapered handle and knob to give it more of a balanced feel by adding weight to the hands versus removing size from the barrel. See what else Andrew McCutchen loves about his trusted pro model here.

Other balanced models include the CU26JB19Lindy12Rizz44, and JR7.

After balance point, models can be distinguished by knob type (traditional, tapered, or flared) and handle type (thin, medium, thick). Again, these specs are a matter of individual preference.

Get a model-by-model breakdown of Marucci's balanced vs. end-loaded bats.

WOOD BAT CARE

After choosing your model, determining maple vs. ash, and customizing it with your choice of colors and finishes, you want to be sure you keep it in one piece as long as possible.

We understand that wood is a natural product, and even Big Leaguers break bone-rubbed maple bats; it’s just part of the game. There are some things that can be done, however, to help increase the life of your wood bat.

One of the biggest factors that can lead to a longer life for your bat is choosing the correct model. We’ve mentioned above that certain models are better suited for beginners because of the reinforced high-breakage areas. The more comfortable and consistent you are with hitting the sweet spot of the barrel, the less likely your wood bat will meet an early demise.

Additionally, respecting the elements is key in protecting your bat. Keep your bat dry, out of extreme heat for prolonged periods of time to cut down on moisture absorption that can affect the weight of the bat and integrity of the grains.

Thirdly, watch the label. We recommend the Marucci label be placed on the shoulder or facing out from the shoulder before swinging. This placement ensures the strongest grains of the barrel are making contact with the ball. Persistent contact on the weaker grains can lead to breakage. Also, the area from the end of the label to about one inch from the cup is the ideal area for the best contact.

To read in more detail about how to extend the life of your wood bat, click here.

Having the most knowledge about selecting and maintaining your wood bat will allow you to make the right decision and help you maximize your performance at the plate. Whether you’re using wood as a training tool or a gamer, Marucci’s quality, attention to detail, and wide range of model options ensure we have the right wood baseball bat for you.