We’ve never quite understood why the name Fungo is applied to a certain type of hitting bat made for coaches to do infield and outfield practice. Sure, we understand what a fungo bat is and does, but we why such an obscure name that has no meaning whatsoever to most? That changed, at least a bit, when we wrote our Axe Composite Fungo Bat Review.
We discuss our favorite fungo bats here.
We learned, at least some think the word originates with the combination of the words “fun” and “go”. As in, have fun when you need to go for this ball I’m about to hit a nautical mile. Or, I’ll have fun drilling these balls all over the place while you go and pick them up. The bat speed you can generate from a long and slender lightweight bat made of a hard maple or composite is, as we learned, plenty of fun. Now go read the rest of this.
From a pure performance and name brand standpoint, the SSK Fungo is the preferred Fungo of most MLB teams. It’s a smooth feeling pure ash bat that a serious coach can drop ball on a dime with. Hard to say there is a better Fungo than that—although you will pay for the name brand and reputation of the SSK Fungo.
However, if you need more durability than name brand then we’d guess the composite Axe Maple Fungo should be under serious consideration. The Axe handle, we’d also argue, makes for a better experience for hand fatigue but to each his own.
Compared to the Fungodelic from DeMarini it’s probably sizes by way of comparisons. If you’d like to try out an axe shaped handle the clearly the Axe Maple is the way to go. (We’ll warn you now that you’ll fall in love with it). If you’re looking for something with a more unique design and some solid reviews overall then the it’s probably hard to go wrong with the Fungodelic too.
We’d prefer the Axe Composite Maple Fungo over the Rawlings Composite Wood Fungo due to it’s shorter length and the fact we mostly coach little league. It could be that professional coaches may prefer the Rawlings due to the added length and power.
There are two other serious competitors to the Axe Composite Maple Fungo. The one from Rawlings has a longer fungo in a 36 inch that has a similar construction as the Axe (without, obviously, the axe shaped handle). There aren’t particularly amazing reviews out there on the Rawlings Composite but our experience was a positive one.
The fungo from DeMarini uses a composite handle and sting with a wood barrel attached to the end. They refer to this as the fungodelic and is a fun hit. It does not, however, have the axe shaped handle. It also looks rather odd—but so do all Fungo bats.
Like most fungo bats, the Axe Maple Fungo comes in one size: a 35 inch. The weight, as we measured, is right around 23 ounces.
The Axe Maple Fungo is a composite maple hard wood mix of a bat. Meaning, the insides of the bat are reinforced with carbon fiber (aka plastic) to give it serious durability although it’s thin. The outside of the bat and some pieces on the inside are made of traditional hard maple. Much like the Composite Maple bat Axe makes for games, the Axe maple is a good combination of light swing weight, durability from the composite, and pop and sound from the traditional maple.
Our first major take away from reviewing a number of fungo bat is that most little league coaches (and maybe some highschool ones) who don’t use a fungo are missing out. It really changes your ability to deliver the right type of hit to the player who needs the practice.
Second, we found that for the amateur in all of us, most fungo bats work just fine for our needs. We do think the Axe Composite Maple Fungo and the SSK have particular benefits for sure.
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