Here at Marucci, we understand the love you have for your wood bat; we share that same passion. The time and attention to detail we invest, from our specially selected forests, to our wood mill, to our Baton Rouge facility, creates a personal connection to every bat we ship out. The pride we take in each one of our handcrafted bats is unmatched. With that being said, no one is more devastated when one of our beauties meets its demise than we are.
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.
1. Choose the right model
When in the market for a wood bat, you fall into one of two categories: you’re either experienced using wood, or you’re not. It’s okay to be inexperienced. Understanding your experience level can help you to select the right model, thus helping to extend the life of your bat. We’d say the cutoff is at least a season consistently swinging wood bats (and not going through more than one). Additionally, if you’re unsure of the purpose of the label, constantly get jammed, or always wonder why so many bats break on you, then you may want to try a model designed as a transition bat.
As our Pro Models go, we have four models that we consider to be good transition bats for those who aren’t used to swinging wood: CU26, JoeyBats19, and VW10. These bats are great for experienced hitters too, if you prefer the feel.
Our other models, the AP5, Cutch22, CB15, and Rizz44, are designed for those who have experience using wood. Additionally, because of the random bundling of our Pro Cuts, those are best suited for experienced hitters as well.
Also, regardless of the model used, drop weight should be considered if you’re shopping for a Custom Wood bat. The standard drop weight on our Pro Model bats is -2, and if you’re swinging at least a -3 aluminum, you shouldn’t be swinging a lighter wood bat than that.
2. Respect the elements
Wood is a porous material; it can absorb moisture much like a sponge and requires the same care you’d give anything else that isn’t supposed to get too wet or too hot. Would you leave your phone in the heat, or outside in the rain? Moisture absorption, both by water or extreme heat, affects the weight of the bat and can compromise the strength of the grains leaving you with waterlog, literally.
Additionally, and this should go without saying, you should avoid throwing the bat, beating on your cleats, or slamming the bat in disgust. Emotions can get the best of us, but trying to keep the impact limited to dingers and liners will also help extend your bat’s life.
3. Hitting the sweet spot
Aluminum bats are the staple for young hitters for a reason. They’re the perfect teaching bat. Hits off the handle and the cap are usually met with sting through the hands (though the Marucci CAT8 has a patented anti-vibration knob), reminding hitters to barrel up the next one. Over time, many hitters learn the barrel is the ideal point of contact, and train themselves to hit there more often than not. Still, we get jammed, or we cap one every now and then. Again, it’s just part of the game. With wood though, those jams and caps can be deadly for your bat. It’s almost an obvious point, but more barrel shots equals longer life for your wood bat.
More specifically, there are certain parts of the barrel that should absorb the brunt of the contact. Firstly, 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. Maple bats have a smaller sweet spot than ash, but the label placement rule should be followed on both. Also, the area from the end of the label to about one inch from the cup is the ideal area for the best contact.
The most you can do to extend the life of your wood bat is to make sure you start with the right model, take care of the thing, and keep it on the barrel. Sometimes bad things happen to even the best hitters, and for that reason, we offer a 30-day warranty on our wood bats, which can be found only at warranty.maruccisports.com.