If you found yourself here it’s likely you’ve been looking at buying baseball bats for a long time. I assume this because no one actually searches for 2015 Rude American Bats Review until they’ve waded through hoards of marketing dollars by huge marketing companies that also happen to sale baseball bats. Rude American Bats, you may have already realized this, isn’t one of them. They, and I’m sure they’d appreciate this categorization, are a baseball bat company first that also happens to do a bit of marketing and, by the way, make one heck of an inflatable batting cage.
In other words, finding you here, in the throes of the Internets, would then mean you’ve waded through a significant amount of big company carpet-bomb marketing to find a bat that virtually no one knew existed. The good news is you’ve found yourself in a good place.
Rude American offers a number of single piece aluminum alloy bats split into two categories. Speed and Power.
Our Experience with the Rude American MOAB
From our near endless hours in the cage with Rude American Bats and the other 16 or so manufacturers vying for the public’s dollar, we’ve noticed that most players who prefer a single piece aluminum bat also prefer a bat which has an end load. It is a rare occasion that a single piece aluminum alloy bat lover wishes for a balanced swing.
There are many, on the other hand, who prefer a balanced or light swing and like the hot out of the wrapper performance as well as the ping sound of an aluminum barrel. But those almost always, at least it has been or observation, prefer a two piece hybrid bat with a composite handle and aluminum barrel instead of the one piece bat with it’s accompanying hand sting.
This is probably a long way of pointing out why we tend to prefer the Power Engineered versions of the Rude American MOAB over the Speed. It wasn’t so much the Speed lacked any prowess or ability at the plate—by all measurements we took it’s a legit bat with solid out of the wrapper performance. But, players who need a light swing also tend to often prefer the sting dampening that comes from two piece bats and the added barrel size composite barrels usually offer.
Our Recommendations for the Rude American MOAB
As such, we’d recommend the Power Engineered MOAB, especially in the drop 5 and BBCOR, to any player looking for serious power that is capable of wielding a bat with serious gumption. Do know the bat will come with the requisite potential for feedback on the hands (i.e. sting) but such is a small price to pay for those looking to get the best transfer of energy to the ball in a single piece aluminum bat.
The Speed Engineered bats should find a home in the unique case of a hitter looking for as much power as possible—and can deal with the feedback—but lacks the strength to swing the Power versions. In fact, we’d probably suggest they look at a shorter sized Power to see if that swing weight is more in their wheel house than a longer sized Speed.
The speed engineered bat’s swing weight is very similar to the Marucci CAT 6. They should be classified as balanced bats. We suspect that most players will gravitate more towards these. The BBCOR (Green) was our favorite bat of the bunch.
The power engineered bats from Rude American swing with a weight more like the DeMarini Insane. These should be considered moderately endloaded bats built for the hitter who appreciates the balance of the bat more towards the end cap of the barrel during swing. The 2 5/8 senior barrel (second one down) was our favorite in this bunch.
Rude American’s New Drop 5: Speed and Power
In early 2016 Rude American added two drop 5 bats in the senior league space to their offering. We’ve now spent several hours in the cage with the end loaded version (Power Engineered) and balanced version (Speed Engineered) of the drop 5 Rude American MOAB and are pretty confident in claiming they are our favorite bats in the lineup. It’s as if single piece aluminum bats were made to be a drop 5 in the senior league or big barrel space.
We dare say anyone in the drop 5 space looking for as much power as possible and are okay, or maybe even prefer, the hand sting associated with a single piece bat should check out the drop 5 in the Power Engineered (Black) version of the bat.
Rude American’s Dilemma
The big companies in the bat space are so ubiquitous most would be shocked to learn there are actually, at least, 15 different brands of baseball bats for 2015. But 6, less than half, make up 95% of the market. Meaning bat companies like Rude American and Dirty South to fight for scraps.
It’s easy to write off these small market folks’ lack of market penetration in terms of a bad product—and surely the big companies would like us to believe that. But there is a more accurate assessment: The one thing these no-name bat companies are doing right is making a good product—despite their marketing budget’s inability to tell us so.
And marketing problems are only one concern a small market bat company faces. Production costs are astronomical when you’re only producing a few thousand bats; BBCOR, BPF and USSSA certification tests cost thousands of dollars to apply—and you get no refund if you don’t pass; shelf space and distribution at major retailers are negotiated on grand scales that highly favor the conglomerates. The comparison in the fight between small and large bat companies would have made the David and Goliath match-up look like a fair fight.
Yet despite these challenges, a few of these small bat companies survive. Some even thrive. The Rude American Bat Company, which makes the Moab series of bats, is one perfect example. Their marketing budget is on a shoestring, total distribution is a speck on the map, they have zero shelf space at any brick and mortar store you’ve ever heard of and of the 8 bats they make only one is carried at on online retailer.
But they exist and continue to do so. And not by some anomaly either. They aren’t an aberration in the market just because of the rumor their bats are produced in Area 51. They don’t grow year in and year out only because they play, rather effectively, on this American made Americana theme. Nor are they thriving solely because their bats are literally made of American missile casings (in a no joke missile factory no less).
Rather, they exist primarily because when people take a Moab into a batting cage they start driving balls like a rancher on a bull farm. We spent a good while hitting with these bats and think it’s safe to say these slightly stiffer one piece alloy bats paste balls, when hit on the sweet spot, with as much gumption as we’ve seen from any bat on the market.
There are eight Moab bats in total, split into two categories: Speed Engineered and Power Engineered. The best place to purchase any in the line is here. The speed series are a lighter swinging version of the power series. Each of the two categories has four versions: BBCOR, senior league, youth barrel and fast-pitch softball. The senior, youth and fast-pitch categories are all drop 10.
It’s hard to find a reason not to recommend the Moab with one pretty glaring exception: its price. We hammered the Old Hickory in 2015 trying to sell a $300 one piece aluminum BBCOR bat. While we do think the Rude American Moab in BBCOR is a better bat than the Hickory we still don’t think it’s worth $300 as a one piece aluminum—especially in the speed category. The Power series, however, you may have a fair argument that it’s worth pulling the trigger—especially in the senior league and big barrel space.
Regardless of the price point argument—and this could be said for nearly any bat, by the way—we tip our hats to the folks in Las Vegas fighting the good fight of marketing companies that also sale baseball bats.