About three years ago, we reviewed a bat with an odd shaped handle. We were, like most, skeptical and a too quick to call it a gimmick, but in the end and after serious cage time, we praised the uniqueness of the handle and its ability to make happy hands and happy batters. Even today, we use our Axe handled fungo bat on a regular basis. That bat is far and away our favorite gift to give our kids’ coaches.
Since then, we’ve seen serious progress and uptake of the asymmetric handle and its accompanying bat made for one sided hitting. Today, even, Axe announces its first MLB player sign up for their wood bats.
Axe’s press release on the matter is found below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
All-Star Slugger Mookie Betts Joins Axe Bat Team
Red Sox outfielder becomes the first professional baseball player signed by Axe™ Bat; will provide input on product design and development
RENTON, Wash. (July 7, 2016) – Axe Bat, a division of Baden Sports, Inc., today announced a multiyear partnership with All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox. Already one of the game’s most exciting and dynamic players at just 23 years old, Betts ranks among the major league leaders in multiple offensive categories, including runs, hits, extra-base hits, RBIs, and total bases. He will start next week’s All-Star Game after finishing as one of the top three American League outfielders in fan voting.
Betts made history earlier this season becoming both the first leadoff hitter to hit five home runs in a two-game span, and the first player to homer in the first two innings of consecutive games. His five career multi-homer games as a leadoff hitter already tie for the most in Red Sox history.
Betts has swung the Axe Bat exclusively since last September, and for four of his five multi-homer games. He switched to the Axe Bat after experiencing much greater comfort and performance with the Axe knob over a conventional round knob. As the first professional baseball player signed by the brand, Betts will appear in advertisements and provide input on Axe Bat product design and development. He is featured prominently on the newly designed Axe Bat website (www.axebat.com), also unveiled today.
“The Axe Bat is the most comfortable bat I’ve ever swung. You feel the difference in your hands immediately,” Betts said. “A round knob provides an unnatural grip and added pressure on your hands and wrists. I don’t have to worry about that anymore, and my hands and swing feel better because of it. The design allows me to feel my best and the performance follows.”
Betts is one of more than a dozen players to swing the Axe Bat – which is produced for major league players by Victus Sports, an MLB-approved wood bat maker in Blackwood, N.J. – in major league games this season.
“We’re honored and excited to welcome Mookie Betts to the Axe Bat team. He is a special player, a true superstar, and embodies the passionate, performance-driven spirit of our company,” said Michael Schindler, CEO, Baden Sports. “We look forward to building his ideas and influence into all we do with the Axe Bat in the months and years ahead.”
The Axe Bat is engineered for the biomechanics of the swing and represents a significant leap forward in bat design. Its oval-shaped bottom, angled knob, and flush backside follow the natural contours of the wrist and palm, and provide a more comfortable, higher-performing alternative to traditional round-handled bats.
A study conducted using NCAA Division I baseball players concluded the Axe Bat improved bat control, increased grip stability, transferred power through the swing more efficiently, and provided hitters more space to accelerate the barrel for maximum bat speed, while also reducing the risk of common hand injuries (e.g., hamate bone fractures), compared to bats with conventional round knobs and handles.1 This spring, another independent study comparing performance data collected through a HitTrax system showed players achieved greater exit velocity on hard-hit balls with the Axe Bat than they did using bats with round handles.2
The Axe Bat is approved for play at all levels of baseball and softball. All Axe Bat models for baseball, fastpitch and slowpitch softball, as well as training products and accessories, can be purchased at www.axebat.com.
1Biomechanical Study of the New Axe Handle Baseball Bats and Comparison with Standard Round Knob Bats: http://axebat.com/wp-content/
2Baseball Prospectus: Tools of the Trade – Testing the Axe Bat’s Claims: http://www.baseballprospectus.