To match our ‘Bats of the Little League World Series‘ article, we put together this Major League World Series bats article. Bats at the Major League level are heavily regulated. Wood grain strength and size and weight measurements must meet minimum and maximum standards. However, that doesn’t keep a number of bat manufacturers from getting approval to be used in the Big Leagues. But some, as our analysis below points out, have much more traction than others.
Our Data’s Problem
The data compiled below is heavily dependent upon Getty Images and some conversations with bat manufacturers. We spent way more time then we would like to admit combing through the most recent images of these players at the plate.
We found, without surprise, many hitters for the Cubs and Indians use a different brand of bat sometimes within the same game. Albert Almora Jr, for example, uses a Marucci and Victus, what appeared, interchangeably. We also found images where Indian Tyler Naquin uses either Victus or Old Hickory. Each of the players in the big dance, we can assume, has used a different bat at least at some point. And nothing keeps them from using a completely different one in the Series.
This fact makes our aggregated data below a bit short of reality. Hitters sometimes use a list of bat brands, and our desire to force them into the certain category for the data’s sake makes this entire exercise arguably futile. But, with that problem clearly on the table, we push on.
2016 World Series Bat Usage By Brand
The Bats of the Major Leauge World Series
Where recent bat usage was exclusive to one brand, each brand below received one full point. Where 2 brands were found, each brand received a half a point. Adding the starting 9 for the Indians (counting DH Mike Napoli) and the starting 8 for the cubs, the bat brand totals in the MLB World series look like this:
Marucci, as has been the case for at least a few years now, is running away with a good portion of the MLB market. Slugger, once the king of the hill has clearly moved from first place in terms of ubiquity. Victus, with it’s Axe Shaped handle agreement with Baden Sports, is making serious strides. Chandler, Old Hickory and Sam Bat also have some play, and unlike a number of other wood bat brands allowed in the World Series, can at least say they made the big dance.
Surprisingly, or maybe not, the once ubiquitous Rawlings is nowhere to be found.
Can we make any sweeping claims about performance based on this data? No. But we can be certain that Marucci is dead serious about taking over the game, and has a model for pro players that works. We can also say that bat manufacturers no one heard of just a few short years ago are now in the hands of some of the best players on the best teams the game has to offer.
Cubs’ Bat Lineup
|8||Albert Almora Jr||Victus/Maruccci|
Indians’ Bat Lineup
|2||Jason Kipnis||Sam Bat|
|5||Jose Ramirez||Victus / Marucci|
|7||Coco Crisp||Louisville Slugger|
|8||Tyler Naquin||Victus / Old Hickory|