No snot-nosed little kid ever stood in the box of a neighborhood park and pointed his finger toward the sliver of light between the second baseman and pitcher. No. Not even once has that happened. Instead that little shot caller, in iconic stance like the great Bambino, stood with stars in his eyes and pointed toward Venus.
Surely even the great base hitters of the game like Williams, Rose, Ichiro and Carew didn’t grow up hoping they’d get a bunch of base hits. We all want bombs—power-pouring, show-stopping, cover-ripping rockets sent to orbit the planet and then land on the moon.
But we learn, sometimes too slowly, that the laws of physics dampen dreams. When we finally come to grips with Newton’s facts we start looking for holes in the defense—places to drop a bloop, when to lay down a bunt, if the third baseman is playing too shallow. Then we shorten up our swing, learn how to push the ball to right field and find a bat that feels lighter. We begin to play, what this type of baseball has become known as, small-ball.
These small-ball tricks and tips work if they are executed timely and correctly. They move runners, they increase on base percentage and they score runs. No doubt about it. Most importantly, they win games.
There is, it must be said, something a little sad about that reality. We implemented these tricks and tips as a consolation prize for our boyhood dreams. We ultimately bunt not because it’s the sacrificial thing to do but because we can’t hit the ball to Venus. We look for a shallow third baseman only because putting the ball in orbit isn’t an option. We try and push the ball behind runners because bridging a ball into the Pacific Ocean isn’t feasible. We get lighter swinging bats because we’ve come to accept that it’s too difficult to to put the ball on the far side of the outfield fence.
Yet there are still dreamers. Those unwilling to submit to this so called small ball. Those unwilling to care how close 3rd is to the baseline or which outfielder has the lesser arm. Just give them a darned fastball on the inside third of the plate or hang your hook on his belt buckle and you’ll see—any time, any where, under any count—that his eyes still gleam. Just like they did when he pointed to Venus.
With that bit of drama out of the way, we’ve awarded our favorite heavy hitting bats for 2015. We’ve tested them all and thought we’d share for the power hitters among us. The rest of us can look elsewhere and keep practicing our bunts.
2015 Best Power Hitting Bats
It’s hard to decide between these two and the truth is it’s hard to go wrong either way. The 915 Slugger is a bit more expensive but it does have a bit heavier a swing weight AND the barrel is composite. The 2015 DeMarini Voodoo FT has aluminum and slightly smaller barrel but the bat veritably rakes.
Interesting enough, both bats are two piece models and there are probably more than just a couple out there who think one piece bats are really made for home run kings. Fair point indeed. However, the 2015 models of both these bats improved the stiffness in the transition point.
Slugger’s 915 accomplished that by increasing the strength of the Tru3 connective piece (basically a rubber slug in between the barrel and handle) and DeMarini added a flame tempered process on the connection (hence the FT in the name). Both bats, at least as we felt them and hit with them, have a stiffness to rival any one piece out there. And as a bonus, the two piece bat does help sting dampening and feel at contact.
This point should also be made: Just because a bat is end loaded doesn’t mean it also has a high swing weight (or sometimes referred to as MOI). Remember, the swing weight is more easily controlled by changing the length of the bat than it is by changing the type of bat. An end loaded 30/27, for example, may very well, and probably does, have a lower swing weight than a ‘balanced’ 33/30. Don’t confuse, as many vendors and youtube videos do, where the balance of the bat is felt with the MOI. They may be related, but they are by no means the same.
The 915 and the Voodoo FT are both end loaded. In their longer lengths (like 33 inches) they have the heavy swing weights in the BBCOR arena, making rock stars out of the dreamers who are still aiming for the other side of the outfield fence. Lock and load you lucky few. Get ready for take off.