Wooden baseball bats have been used since the beginning of the game. The first wood that was widely used across the game was ash. It was used because it is one of the most widely available woods back when baseball first started. It was also easier to chop and cut compared to other species of wood. Many modern players, like Derek Jeter, used Ash for their entire careers. Today, though, maple wood bats are far and away the most popular. Some have stayed with Ash and we make the case for Ash Wood bats here.
Ash is a very light and flexible wood. It has wide and loose grains. The grains allow the bat to flex, creating a great amount of give for a wood bat, which can be compared to the new USA and BBCOR bats. The bats are lighter because there is space in the grains of the wood. However, the space and flexibility of the grains leads to the wood splintering and breaking easier than other woods. The large grains also provide for a very large sweet spot compared to other species of wood, they also will not hurt as bad as other species with balls hit off the end. They can come in any color, but they are the only species that are able to be made in the famous ‘flame’ finish.
The light swing weight makes Ash bats a very popular option across all levels of play. It is used from pro ball, all the way down to little league. The pop also is a very large factor in the large usage of Ash bats.
Ash bats are relatively cheap compared to other kinds of wood. It grows widely across the world, so there is no shortage of it. This helps leads to low prices and high availability of ash wood bats.
Since Ash bats splinter easily, there are a few things that are recommended to do to extend the life of the bat. You can either bone rub, or tape the bat. Bone rubbing is the process of rubbing the bat along an old bone, up and down the barrel to compress the grains and keep them from coming apart. Taping consists of wrapping the barrel in athletic tape, so that the grains cannot come apart.
Many different companies make Ash wood bats. With ash bats, each company is relatively the same, and that is where personal preference comes in.
Slugger is one of the oldest names in the game. They provide high quality wood bats at a range of prices from $20 to $150. Their ash is high quality, and very easy to find, because they sell the same amount of maple and ash bats. The wood from the top of the price range to the bottom is well worth any price the buyer is willing to pay. Shop Slugger ash wood bats.
Marucci is another big name in the wood bat game. Their bats are priced at around $140, but are well worth the price, if you want a very high quality ash bat that can last close to the same amount of time as a maple bat. However, they have a smaller selection of ash bats compared to other companies, so they might have to be found online before they are found in store. Shop Marucci ash wood bats.
Phoenix wood bats are new to the ash bat game, but have made a big splash already. They came onto the market with maple bats, and have now branched out into ash. Their ash is also very high quality. Their bats start at $109 and are well worth that price. Shop Phoenix ash wood bats.
Overall, Ash bats are great wood bats. They have a great amount of pop, have a light swing weight, come for a low price, hurt less on mis-hits than other species and can be used at all levels of baseball. Their low prices and high availability make them a very popular choice.