Composite vs. Alloy Bats
With all the different brands and types of bats that you can choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming. There are two-piece and one-piece bats, composite, half-n-half, and even solid alloy. But the real question is this: what bat is right for you? When it comes down to it, there are two elements we need to look at when it comes to choosing bats, and they do not have anything to do with the design or the dollar amount associated with the bat. We need to break it down to the game’s basic two pieces of technology: Composite and Alloy.
Let’s start with the composite side of things. There has been a rumor going around the baseball world for some time now stating that composite bats perform better than traditional alloy bats. Well, as good as that may sound, it’s not necessarily true. Sure, there are some benefits to using a composite bat, such as less vibrations, bigger sweet spot (due to most composite bats having a bigger barrel), and more flex. But to say that they are better than alloy bats would be a flat out lie. Both perform well in different areas and are neck and neck in most areas when you step to the plate. If you look at the stats, most kids from age 8-16 will use composite or two-piece bats simply due to the bigger barrel size. When kids are learning and perfecting their swing, some alloy bats have smaller sweet spots. So, it would make sense to give a kid working on his swing a bat with a bigger sweet spot to enhance his chances of squaring up a baseball and getting a hit. This is also why most USSSA and USA bats are mostly composite or two piece bats. Some great choices would be the Marucci 2023 CatX Composite or the Axe 2023 Avenge Pro.
As we move into the alloy side of things, I will start off by saying that not all kids over the age of 16 need to change everything and start swinging an alloy bat. If you find a bat that is composite and you have confidence at the plate with it, keep rolling with it. But, if you wanted to compare performances, look at the higher levels of baseball. Most high school and college kids are using one-piece alloy bats. If we look back at the 2022 Men’s College World Series, many people were using the Marucci Cat X, Easton Black Magic, and the highly-rated DeMarini Voodoo One. Most people enjoy these bats simply due to their extremely balanced swing weight, which helps produce more bat speed and efficiency when facing higher-caliber pitching. One downside to these bats is the slightly smaller sweet spot, but that’s not reason to turn away from one. Although these bats are used by a majority of hitters, you will still see many 3 hole or power hitters using two-piece bats such as DeMarini’s The Goods or Louisville Slugger’s Meta. But then again, regardless of what you see or read, it all comes down to one thing and one thing only: what feels good and what your preference is.
As a coach myself, I really try to tell parents to leave the dollar sign out of the equation when picking a bat. I’ve seen kids stroke baseballs with a bat that costs $199 and I have seen parents throw the book out for a $499 bat, only to have their son hate that bat and borrow their friend’s bat that cost a fraction of the price. But then again, I have seen the reverse as well. Let me make one thing clear, as a player, I have a love for all brands and their products. I was never a brand loyal player, and I was switching bats out every year depending on what bat felt the best at that particular time in the season. I say this to say that just because you spend an egregious amount of money on a bat, doesn’t mean you’ll become an all star at the plate. You still have to hit the ball and what matter is how you feel when you do hit it.
If you are still looking to see what bat is right for you, if you’re in the St. Louis area, we will be having a Demo Day at the Bud Dome! You can come by and swing some of the hottest bats on the market from Easton, Marucci, Warstic, and more! For more information, click here.