B45 Bats is famous for the advent of Yellow Birch in MLB level wood bats. Based in Québec City, Canada they make a number of turn models in all types of sizes.
B45 is one of those companies that, if you’ve never checked out their website or heard of them, will shock you. Their brand is remarkably prevalent—they make all types of gear including gloves, apparel and softball bats. Well over 100 pro players use their B45 Bats. We review many of their marquee bats below.
Best Place to Buy B45
B45 has good distribution. You can find most of their models with searches like this on Amazon. The largest selection of products is found directly on their website. Major vendors tend to carry at least a couple models in the B45 Bats line, but they are sometimes hit and miss.
B45 Advantage: Yellow Birch
Wood Bat History 101
In the middle to late part of the 1900’s Ash bats were all the rage.
Enter Barry Bonds and Sam Bats (another Canadian wood bat company) and Maple began its dominance. Yet, many players (like Jeter) held on to their Ash bat well into the 2000’s. They liked the more flexible feel and swing weight that came with a bat made of Ash. Others, in the age of 95+mph day in and day out, liked the stronger, stiffer and more durable feel of Maple.
Today, many wood bat companies, especially the smaller ones, make ONLY maple wood bats.
Despite that trend, the need for a more flexible bat continues to exist. Enter, in 2004-ish, B45 Bats and Yellow Birch. Yellow Birch maintains the unique quality of long fibers to maintain flexibility yet a certain density to remain hard. Some consider it the perfect blend between an Ash and a Maple Bat.
CARGO5 B45 Bats Review
In 20015 B45 was purchased by Eric Gagné, a former MLB pitcher from Canada. He used his connections in the league to bring on a few serious ambassadors for the quality of Yellow Birch and B45 Bats. Carlos Gonzalez is the most notable, although there are others.
An entire line of bats in the B45 line is named after Gonzales: The CARGO5. B45’s Cargo5 is designed by Carlos and what he prefers. It has an endload, larger taper on the knob for more girth in the hands and a barrel profile built for better control.
The Cargo5 comes in just about every model version B45 produces. That is, you can find it in Youth, Pro and Premium models. As well, you can find it in just about every color imaginable.
JL20r B45 Bats Review
Compared to the Cargo5 above, the Jonathan Lucroy’s B45 bat has a faster taper on the knob, a slightly skinnier handle and a slightly larger barrel profile.
You can also find this bat in any number of colors and model options including the Pro Select and Youth options.
B45 Bats Company Interview
We sent over a number of questions to B45 bats and they were kind enough to respond. If you are thinking of B45 bats and have some trepidation about who and what they stand for, read below.
We’ve reviewed a lot of wood bats on the site—from real high end stuff like Chandler or Victus to low end stuff that are blem wood bats that folks buy in bulk. Where do you see B45 bats fitting into to market in terms of the type of player should appeal to?
Being used by over 50 Big Leaguers now, and more than 400 pro players, I would say that we make a very high-end product, but at a price that stays affordable for the quality that we offer.
And we certainly want to keep the same level of quality no matter what type of player we sell to. We believe that every ball player deserves to swing a quality wood bat and that’s what our production staff – all former or active ball players – are committed to every day.
How is B45 different than other serious, quality wood bat producers?
We were the first company to ever make a yellow birch baseball bat more than 15 years, so I would that’s where our distinction comes from. We kind of “invented” this type of baseball bats and we improved our process over the years, so I think it’s safe to say that we are making the best yellow birch bats on the market.
We are also proud to say that all our production staff members are former or even active ball players, so they know what it takes to obtain a top quality baseball bat. If a bat leaves our factory, it’s because it would have been used in a game by everyone that touched during the production.
If you were a consumer of a wood bat, what time of year would you buy and what avenue would you go about buying? Amazon? eBay? Local Sporting Good shop? email list?
Our bats are available all year long on many channels : website, Amazon, but also in various retail locations across USA and Canada.
More than a couple MLB guys use B45, tell us a bit about getting into the MLB market and what that requires on a smaller companies size. We can’t imagine it is anything but a lot of work.
It requires a lot of time and energy to break out the professional market. We are approved for Professional Play since 2007 and we’re growing our presence on the biggest stage every year.
But the competition is fierce out there and the number of approved suppliers keeps increasing. But it’s still a fun part of our operations: being able to make a bat that you will see on TV in next couple days remains such a pride for our staff. We also love the feedback that our ambassadors and customers are giving us, as it helps us to keep improving the product throughout the season.
Tell us about the first time you realized you might have something special with B45 bats.
Guys that are there since the beginning of the company, like our Production Manager and co-founder Olivier Lepine, would say, “right from the start!” By creating this new type of bats, we believed that we had something special that could change how people see the baseball bat industry. It was not just about a hard piece of wood that hit baseballs anymore.
I think we came up with a comprehension of the science behind wood bats (our company was co-founder by forest engineers) and with a product that was durable and performing at the same time. And you can see now that many brands started to make yellow birch bats since then, so we think it’s the proof that we came up with something special.
If we should buy anything BESIDES a bat from the B45 website, what product do you think we should look at?
Definitely our Baseball Gloves! In the past months, we launched our glove builder for both fielding gloves and catcher’s mitt. I think we offer a great customizable solution at a great price with our three series of gloves, the Diamond, the Pro and the Elite Series. Many of our pro ambassadors have tested the products and their response was amazing.
Plus, they gave us some feedback that helped us to improve the product right away. In the next months, we’ll be coming with new stock gloves options and some upgrades to our custom glove builder.
Carlos Gonzales uses B45, right? Ever get any feedback from his as to why he chooses your bat over others?
Yes, Carlos Gonzalez’s story with B45 is really cool! Back two years ago, he took one of his teammates’ B45 bats and had a great weekend with it. Some days later, he ordered his own bats with us and finished the season on a great streak.
Prior to the 2016 season, we offered him to become an ambassador with us, which he accepted with great pleasure. That year, he was invited to his 3rd All-Star game, using his yellow birch bats, and he also saw his breakage rate go down drastically.
In 2017, he decided to invest in the company and joined our Chairman and Cy Young Award Winner Eric Gagne on the Board of Directors.
You can find a cool series of videos we made with him right here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuGLS0Clf7PYo3rxFhbybyEkVy4HEqteW
Is there anything unique about Canada, and Quebec in particular, that give you an advantage in wood bats?
Our yellow birch will grow at the 45th parallel, so it will grow during our tough winters, which makes it very resilient. Plus being close to our wood sourcing, it helps to react fast when we need new supplies.
Canads is known for its great wood supplies and I think we can translate that into great baseball bats. Also, it may not seems like it, but our province has a great baseball background, having seen great ball players play here in the past 100 years.
The Expos were very important in the culture here and hopefully they will be back soon. Amateur baseball in Canada, especially in Quebec, is stronger than ever, which makes our country a great environment to make baseball bats.
Birch? We thought everyone loved maple nowadays…What gives?
Durable and performing would describe our favourite species.
I think you will find all the answers in this article by our Production Manager on why we love yellow birch: https://www.b45baseball.com/blogs/news/we-love-yellow-birch-baseball-bats
What is your favorite product that B45 produces and sells?
We increased the number of products that we sell in the past years (batting gloves, gloves, pine tar, etc.), but it remains that our baseball bats are the stars of our lineup.
We worked a lot on our finish in the past months, so our bats have never looked so good, while keeping their incredible performance qualities. Our production people put so much efforts into making great products that every single bats that leaves our factory is a unique masterpiece of its own.