Production's Blog: The role of wood density in the bat's pop
The density of the wood used to make a bat can be crucial in determining how much ‘pop’ the bat has, depending on the user. Before we get into the details, let’s define what ‘wood density’ means. Each billet used to make a bat has the exact same dimensions in terms of length (37 inches) and circumference (2.75 inches). The weight of each billet, however, can be drastically different. These billets can measure anywhere between 65 and over 100 ounces. This is due to the density of the wood. When making a bat, it’s important to select the right weight, or density of billet to obtain the requested length and weight.
A billet that is too dense will create a bat that is too heavy, and a wood not dense enough will yield a light bat. Bats with a smaller barrel, like the B271, B141, or B110 will require a denser billet than the bigger barrel models, like CarGo5 or B243c.
The force of the swing, combined with the density in the bat, determines how far a ball will travel after contact. Stronger players tend to hit the ball farther, so the density of the wood used to make the bat is offset by their strength. But what about the less physically developed hitter?
Mature players, like those in the Big Leagues, tend to use bats with a bigger barrel in order to take advantage of the larger hitting surface, and to use their obvious superior strength to create more whip, or bat speed. Amateurs require a bit more help in generating pop.
Higher density wood offers two distinct advantages to young players. The first, as we’ve already mentioned, is more pop for players who don’t have the advantage of physical strength.
The second advantage of high-density wood is that it creates a stronger bat. This is very important for amateurs unaccustomed to using wood bats. A stronger bat will be more forgiving to a hitter adjusting to the smaller sweet spot that the wood bat provides, resulting in a lower breakage rate. And that could be a money saver.
So, when deciding what model of wood bat to use, it’s important to be aware of your own physical strength and abilities, as well as your level of expertise as a hitter. If you’re a big, strong guy with lots of experience hitting with wood bats, then you have more options in choosing between a small or big barrel bat. But for the younger, less experienced player, it may be wise to select a smaller barrel bat. It could be good for your batting average, as well as your bank account.
Goefrey Tomlinson is the Retail Operations Manager at B45. He played professionnal baseball for 13 seasons, including 4 seasons in the Kansas City organization. He reached the AAA level in 2000. He has 10+ years of experience as a bat maker.