Why Is Coach Picking On Me?

Over my long playing career I played for all kinds of different coaches with various types of personalities. Many of them had their own way of “motivating” players to get the most out of their talent. The BEST coaches looked to develop the player’s talent regardless of the immediate results. This article will discuss some ways you can navigate the various personalities of coaches and how you can understand the most important question in baseball development—why?

Why Why?

Why is Coach Picking On Me

The question “why?” if often left out of the relationship between player and coach. Players are often too afraid to ask this all important question and by neglecting to ask why they are being asked to do something they don’t understand, without enthusiasm, and results suffer. This makes a coach feel that the player “doesn’t get it” or “is not buying into my system”. It’s often a lack of communication that causes this rift between player and coach.

11U Travel Ball

Why Coach PIck Me

Here’s a great example that happened to me when I was coaching 11U travel ball. I had a player with an absolutely PERFECT left handed swing. Technically, all the pieces were there in batting practice but in the games he was struggling to make good contact. I asked him to work one on one with me in the cage to figure out the reason. After a few swings I noticed that he used the whole field in practice but in the games he constantly rolled over pitches to the right side he would crush in BP up the middle or the other way. Here’s where I failed the player as a coach—I kept screaming “hit it the other way” during games but the player never asked me why. By not understanding my advice, the player was caught between approaches and it was starting to irritate me like he wasn’t listening. I kept asking myself what is the reason for this vast difference between his terrible game AB’s and his perfect batting practice.

I sat the young player down for a chat. I asked him what he thinks I mean when I say hit the ball the other way. To my amazement, he thought I was trying to change his perfect swing when what I was really trying to do was change his mental approach allowing his perfect swing to be in the bat path longer so he could pull inside pitches PROPERLY and not roll over them.

That’s when he finally asked, “WHY Coach?” Once I was able to prove to him that his batting practice approach was to hit the bat where it was pitched, but in the game he tried to pull everything down the right field line, a light went off in his head. He started to smile and realized I wasn’t trying to pick on him, I was trying to help him. The burden of his negativity towards me was lifted and now we had shifted from an adversarial relationship to one of trust and mentoring. It was a lack of communication on my part and a lack of understanding my motivation on the part of the player. Lesson learned by both of us!

Division I College Baseball

Coach Picking On You

USC Coach Mike Gillespie and author Jim Campanis, JR reunite in a 2016 image. Coach Gillespie was Mike’s Coach at USC During his All-American seasons.

When I was a sophomore at USC, a new coach came in. I had been recruited by the previous coach, NCAA Hall of Famer Rod Dedeaux, but that didn’t mean a thing to the new coach, Mike Gillespie, who is in his final year at University of California Irvine right now.

Coach Gillespie almost immediately was on me for EVERYTHING! He hated my shoes, my stylish 1987 mullet, my clothes, how I walked, how I ran, how I carried myself—EVERYTHING!

As a young player I chalked it up to one thought, “Coach hates me!”

As we began our first practice sessions to get ready for the Fall season he continued to rip on me, and he always made sure he did it in front of everyone. He made me the “bad” example when we had team meetings saying things like, “Campanis was late to back up first base” or “Campanis didn’t look the runner back and the run scored”—always the center of the negative comments and it was really pissing me off.

I called my dad who played 15 years as a pro player and started venting about the circumstances. I said, “Dad, Gillespie is always riding me, yelling at me, and telling me all the things I do wrong even telling me I don’t deserve a scholarship. I can’t stand him!”

What my dad said shocked me and I’ll never forget it. He asked, “Are you playing every game?” I answered I was playing every game but not catching much as I was playing mostly first base and DHing.

Then he said, “The second he stops yelling at you—it’s time to start worrying.” WHOA! I hadn’t considered he was actually on me because he felt I wasn’t living up to my potential as an overall player. He NEVER told me I wasn’t good. He NEVER told me I couldn’t hit or throw or catch. He was motivated to make me a “Complete” player and not just a hitter. So I changed my attitude toward his coaching style and it made all the difference. Soon, he was COMPLIMENTING me on how I executed a play during team meetings when months earlier he used me as the example of how NOT to do it.

The next year I was First Team All-American and set records still on the books at USC. Coach Gillespie ended up being the most influential coach I ever played for and he didn’t teach me a damn thing about hitting or throwing or fielding—he taught me how to become a complete player and a better human being. What a BLESSING! But it was a NIGHTMARE for nearly a year.

Baseball Coach Types

From my experience as a player and coach, I’ve observed various styles of coaching. Here’s a few that may sound familiar:

The SCREAMER

Why Coach picking on me

He wears his emotions on his sleeve. He yells when you make mistakes and yells when you succeed. This type of coach wants his player to develop and succeed and feels his emotions and passion will translate to motivating his players. But certain types of players with low key personalities only hear the volume of the words and not the message. This coach is almost always intimidating and players are afraid to ask “Why” as they fear a tongue lashing. But this coach wants to help and is usually the most genuine of all the coach personalities. So be brave and ask why if you don’t understand his instruction or decisions.

The Intellectual

Why Coach Picking on Me?

This coach is all about the numbers and treats the team like chess pieces. He tactfully sets agendas for practice, is precise and deliberate with everything he does but its all kept in his notebook. Usually this coach is not a very good communicator and makes decisions without warning that can cause animosity and insecurity. Once again, lack of communication for the player’s role is often the reason. Ask and he will tell you his entire plan, and where you stand on his chess board…even if you don’t like it.

The MUST WIN Coach

This coach is both quiet and a screamer in the same team meeting. He’s is completely obsessed with winning at all costs, including interpersonal relationships. If a player boots a ground ball in the first inning, he takes him out and replaces him mid inning. How embarrassing for the young player! This type of coach is my least favorite to deal with. Often their obsession with winning clouds what his is really the most important and that is developing players to succeed at the next level. This coach is tough to establish a dialogue with but this wall must be broken down somehow and communication must begin if you are being singled out. Ask what you can do to improve and if the coach can help you. If this coach is worth anything they will look at this as an opportunity to mold you into the player they want on their winning team.

The DAD Coach

 

Even in High School I see unfair treatment for kids of coaches in what is commonly called “Daddy Ball”. Their kid is playing shortstop, batting 2nd and never gets taken out to the game no matter how bad they perform. This extends to high school and college in what is called “Donor Ball” where the parents of players donate thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to the program with the understanding their son makes the team. My only advice is to avoid this coach if at all possible. There are no words or dialogue that will change their minds. Now, not all coaches with sons on the team are like this, so do your homework. But chances are, if you play the same position as his kid, you aren’t going to play. Sad.

The Developer Coach

The BEST coach is one who is there to develop players to get to the next level whether that’s from going from 10U to 12U or high school to college. This coach is not usually the perennial championship coach because he cares more about the development of players than winning. To develop a pitcher takes time and often failure. The MUST win coach yanks the pitcher after a lead-off walk while the developer coach sees this as an opportunity for that pitcher to learn how to get out of a jam. Ask most MLB players and they will name a coach who helped them develop even if it hurt the team. I certainly can name a few including Coach Gillespie.

Why is Coach Picking On Me?

If you’re thinking, “Why is the coach always picking on me?” consider yourself lucky. If the coach never says a word to you, be concerned. The key to having a good rapport with any style of coach is to communicate. Some will be short with you, some will be very open but like with any relationship in your life, you must also be patient, attentive and understanding.

When I coach players and see them succeed, it is one of the most satisfying things in my life. It’s like I helped turn a piece of coal into a sparkling diamond. I truly believe most coaches feel the same way and most coaches you will encounter as an amateur are sacrificing their time to help you grow as a player and person. But it’s a two way street. Communication is the only way to understand your role and how you can change that role if you’re not happy with where the coach has put you. Work hard but always ask “Why?” if you don’t understand. This will help both you and the coach have a better relationship and understanding of how you fit within the structure of the team.

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Softball Bat Bags | Best Value and Durability Options

Today we look at the various equipment softball bat bags that each company offers. I will not put them in any particular order and will not rate them from best to worst, what I will do is give an accurate unbiased opinion of each softball bat bag. As a serious slow pitch softball player I have a lot of experience with each.

<<<You might also like our conversation on baseball bat bags.>>>

The criteria that I will adhere to is size, durability, and options. I will look at the bags offered by Easton, DeMarini, Louisville Slugger, and Diamond.

Recommendations on Softball Bat Bags

All of these bags offer many features that are the same like a large main compartment and wheels to move it around, both features that benefit all players. Depending on how many bats you need to carry, almost all the bags will carry up to four bats and price out from reasonable to a lot.

Our Favorite Softball Bat Bag

The one softball bat bag that separates itself apart from the rest is the Boost bat bag by Louisville Slugger. It has a main compartment for up to 5 bats and two side sleeves that hold one bat. In terms of value, it offers the biggest bag for the buck.

However, from personal experience the Easton 900C is one of the more durable bags on the market. I have this bag for over 6 years and it is still going strong. No matter if you are on a traveling team, school team, or just a weekend warrior this list will give a good glance at what bags are out for any player.

Some of the bags below are worthy of gifts, but see our favorite bat bags for gifts.

Best Softball Bat Bags

Model Category Review Price
Diamond Boost Best Value 5/5 $$
Easton 900C Best Overall 5/5 $$$

Best Value: Slugger Boost

Softball Bat Bags

  • Separate dual main compartment
  • Main bat section holds up to 5 bats
  • Side mounted dual bat sleeve
  • Vented shoe compartment
  • Side accessory compartment
  • Pull handle for easy transportation
  • Can be carried as a backpack and a side carry bag

Best Overall: Easton 900C Wheeled Gear Gag

Softball Bat Bags

  • Wide-Set of Wheels for maneuverability.
  • Fence hooks.
  • Multiple compartments. Large enough to carry everything that you need for a weekend tournament.
  • Insulated cooler compartment.
  • Has a removable flap that can customized with name and numbers.
  • Hold 3-5 bats

Easton Softball Bat Bats

Easton E 610W Wheeled Bag

Softball Bat Bags

  • Durable wheels to help moving it around
  • Fully zippered main section
  • Removable shoe pocket
  • Large straps for carrying.
  • Large side pocket
  • Lockable zippers ( lock not provided)
  • MSRP $79.99

Easton E510W Wheeled Bag

Softball Bat Bags

  • All – New rubberized pullers with a large main compartment for dugout storage.
  • Removable Panel for customization.
  • Heavy – Duty Wheels for ease of transporting those necessary items for the game
  • Separate compartment for up to four bats.
  • MSRP $ 59.99

DeMarini Softball Bat Bags

Special Ops Wheeled Bag

Softball Bat Bags

Price Check

  • Armoured bat compartment holds up to  four bats
  • Removable panel for customization
  • Phone pocket
  • Hard body construction
  • Telescoping handle
  • Breathable and washable shoe compartment.
  • Colored inline wheels

See our full DeMarini OPS Bat Bag Review.

Grind Wheeled Bag

Softball Bat Bags

Price Check

  • Large main compartment
  • Ventilated show compartment
  • Large wheels for those rugged terrains
  • 2 Integrated fence hooks
  • Inside valuables pocket.
  • MSRP $129.99

Momentum Wheeled Bag

Softball Bat Bags

Price Check

  • Large main compartment
  • Bat section holds up to 4 bats
  • Integrated fence hooks
  • Removable panel for customization
  • MSRP $79.95

Louisville Slugger Softball Bat Bags

​Prime Rig Wheeled bag

Softball Bat Bags

Price Check

  • Large main compartment
  • Padded bat compartment for 4 bats
  • Fleece lined valuables pocket
  • Removable panel for customization
  • Interior brace to help bag stand up
  • Vented shoe compartment
  • MSPR $ $179.99

Select Rig Wheeled Bag

Softball Bat Bags

Price Check

  • Large main compartment
  • Compartment for 4 bats
  • Fence hooks
  • Removable customizable panel
  • Interior shelves for gloves
  • Large side pocket
  • MSRP $ 119.95

Series 5 Rig Wheeled Bag

Softball Bat Bags

Price Check

  • Large main compartment
  • Removable customizable panel
  • Separate shoe compartment
  • Durable J style fence hooks
  • Side pocket for storage
  • MSRP $69.99

Diamond Softball Bat Bags

Gear Box

Softball Bat Bags

Price Check

 

  • Large main separated compartments
  • Two Individual bat compartments
  • Pull handle for easy transportation
  • Available in 11 colors
  • MSRP $ 150.00

Edge Bat Bag

Softball Bat Bags

Edge Bat Bag

  • Lightweight rolling bag
  • Bat sections for up to 4 bats
  • Large main compartment
  • Separate shoe compartment
  • MSRP $ 68.50

 

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Best Big Barrel Bats 2018 | USSSA Drop 5, 8, 10, 12, Cheap, Value Options

After 1,000 recorded swings we have hit, seen players hit and gathered objective feedback on every big barrel bat made for 2018. From that data, and or conversations with major vendors and manufacturers, we put together this best big barrel bats of 2018. In short, we think the CF Zen for 2018 is the best big barrel bat.

Best Big Barrel BatPrice Check the 2018 CF Zen

Although yet to be released in a drop 5 for 2018, our hitters love the feel and performance of the drop 10 2018 Zen. Even with the dampening it took from getting banned in 2017, the 2018 Zen swings like it should and is the preferred bat, regardless of price, for elite drop 10 players in the USSSA big barrel space.

Best 2018 Big Barrel Bats

Category Company Model Rating Price
Overall/Drop 10 DeMarini CF Zen 5/5 $$$$
Drop 8 Marucci CAT 7 5/5 $$$
Drop 5 Easton Ghost X 5/5 $$$$
Drop 12 Rawlings VELO Hybrid 5/5 $$$
Cheap Easton S450 3/5 $
Value Slugger 518 Omaha 4/5 $$

Best 2018 Big Barrel Bat

Our process included barrel size measurements, exit speed tests and swing weight measurements. That objective data, combined with a dozen hitters using the bats and recording their direct feedback plays roles in determining the best big barrel bats. We also observed what players tended to use at major tournaments and spent considerable time looking for objective online reviews. Much of more detailed findings can be found on our USSSA Big Barrel bat reviews pages under our individual reviews for the following bats. Below is a highlight of our 2018 best big barrel bats.

1. DeMarini CF Zen Drop 10

Best Big Barrel Bat

The 2018 CF Zen is really a perfect bat. DeMarini has dialed in the feel and barrel performance better than anyone in the USSSA space. We have dozens of players try our every bat in the market (even the small ones) and the Zen always rises to the top, or right near the top, of everyone’s list. This 2018 version is not much different than the 2017 Retooled version. But, even after the 2017 version was retooled we still loved it. See our full 2018 CF Zen review.

2. Easton Ghost X Drop 5

There are a number of other great options in the big barrel space. Especially in the drop 5, we love the Easton Ghost X for many of the same reasons we love the CF Zen in the drop 10. The Ghost X Drop 5 has remarkable pop and a good sized barrel. Expect an endloaded feel. Oddly, the drop 5 Ghost X has a smaller barrel profile than the drop 8 or drop 10 Ghost X, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t absolutely rake. See our 2018 Easton Ghost X review.

3. Marucci CAT 7 Drop 8

Marucci CAT 7 Drop 8 Image 1

Both the Easton Ghost X and CF Zen come in very nice drop 8 options. But, our favorite drop 8 big barrel for 2018 is Marucci’s CAT 7. This swings, feels and sounds a lot different then the two piece composite bats that grace this list. But, no doubt, it is delivers absolute screamers. We love the balance and slightly tapered grip as well as the durability and brilliant feel. The stiff feel from the single piece can occassioanly ring the hands but Marucci’s AV2 knob is unique feature that makes it reasonable for even young hitters. This is a top shelf cold weather bat built for performance players at a fraction of the price. See our Marucci CAT 7 review.

4. Rawlings VELO Drop 12

Best Big Barrel Bat

The easiest choice on this list is the 2018 Rawlings VELO for the best drop 12 bat. Most bat companies do not take the drop 12 space seriously. They leave their second teir bats to top out on the space. Not Rawlings. They actually upgrade their traditional single piece Rawlings VELO into a two piece composite with a huge barrel and a real great feel. If you are looking for the best 2018 drop 12 bat, and money is not an option, then the two piece Rawlings VELO is a fantastic option. See our Rawlings VELO review.

5. Easton S450

Best Big Barrel Bats

There are not very many cheap 2018 big barrel baseball bats worth mentioning. Under $75 are about the same. That is, a single piece of aluminum shaved down to offer a light swing weight. These rarely have any tech that helps dampen sting. But, if your player is new to the sport and you just looking to get through a couple games before diving into the deep end we really like the Easton S450. You can find this bat everywhere for a pretty cheap price and as a drop 11 it should be useuful to the beginners.

6. Louisville Slugger 518 Omaha Drop 10

Best Big Barrel Bat

If you have a budget of $100 and are trying to be the most wise we suggest the 2018 Omaha 518 as the best value 2018 Big Barrel Bat. There is not a ton of tech on this bat as, it is, a good old fashioned single piece of aluminum. However, the barrel performs really well and is considered one of Slugger’s top end bats. We like the grip, tapered knob and number of size offerings (drop 10, 8 and 5). It’s a very legit choice for under $100. See our Slugger 518 review.

2018 vs 2017 Big Barrel Options

Best Big Barrel Bats

As always, looking for many of the above bats in a 2017 model year option can usually save you a few bucks. With the exception of the drop 12 VELO, the 2017 version of each of the bats we list above are basically identical. And, if you can find them, likely worth it at a discount from this year’s model. Finding used or last year’s model is a bit of an art form and we discuss some tricks to buying bats here.

One notable exception, in terms of saving money from last year’s model, is the 2017 Drop 5 DeMarini CF Zen. This bat is straight ridiculous. Very hard to find at any level of a discount. It is our favorite drop 5 bat maybe ever.

Best 2017 Big Barrel Bats

Best 2017 Big Barrel Bats

Rank Company Model Rating Price
1 DeMarini CF Zen 5/5 $$$$
2 Marucci CAT 7 5/5 $$$
3 DeMarini Voodoo Balanced 5/5 $$$
3 Easton Beast 5/5 $$$$
4 Rawlings VELO 5/5 $$$

(The below section entails our write up for 2017 bats. If you are looking for our thoughts, after hours of testing, on the 2017 line of big barrel bats then see below).

1. DeMarini CF Zen Drop 10

Best Big Barrel Bats

There are a ton of great drop 5 bats on the market. Easton’s MAKO XL Beast, Marucci’s CAT 7 or the Voodoo Insane are great drop 5 options. But the bomb making ability of the CF Zen is unmatched.

The 2017 model over the 2016 model, added some barrel length with a new internal design. The technology in the knob to help dampen sting is still there. Expect a focused barrel and a super smooth feel. Great for kids who can handle a drop 5, but who don’t think an endload is the feel for them. See our 2017 CF Zen review.

2. Marucci CAT 7 Drop 8

Marucci CAT 7 Drop 8 Image 1

We originally had DeMarini’s CF Zen in the drop 8 as the winner of this section. However, the bat was deemed illegal by USSSA and several other leagues. As such, it probably does not deserve a strong recommendation.

The drop 8 CAT 7, however, does. The at is dynamite for all the same reasons the drop 5 bat is awesome. Expect a smooth swing and a beautiful ping. The bat sings when it is hit well and it really benefits the player who has good bat speed. The barrel is a good size and the balance is managable but by not means light. See our 2017 Marucci CAT 7 review.

3. DeMarini Voodoo Drop 9

DeMarini Bats

DeMarini’s Voodoo 2 5/8 big barrel bat is our favorite drop 9 of the bunch, in part because the balanced two piece hybrid is a great smooth swing with that hot out of the wrapper aluminum from DeMarini we have grown to love. Collegiate teams that swing DeMarini almost always tend toward the Voodoo over the CF Series.

The other part of the reason we think it is the best drop 9 big barrel today is because it is just about the only one. Most other brands offer a drop 10 or a drop 8. A two piece hybrid in a drop 10 or drop 8, though, is difficult to find, too. Hence the reason the DeMarini Voodoo dominates the space. See our 2017 DeMarini Voodoo review.

4. Easton Beast Drop 10 2 5/8 or 2 3/4

Best Big Barrel BAts

No bat space in the baseball bat market is more competitive, save BBCOR, than the drop 10 big barrel space. There are literally a half dozen or more great choices in this exact space. We chose the Easton MAKO Beast as our best big barrel drop 10 for its barrel size, balance weight and great performance. Every single player who used the bat sang it’s praises.

The Easton Beast won our best overall 2017 baseball bat award. Not a small feat. In part that award rests on fulfilling the purpose of the drop 10, which the Beast does so very well. We are confident there is not a kid in the drop 10 big barrel space that will dislike the 2017 Easton MAKO Beast. The only thing we don’t like about the Beast is the price—but welcome to youth baseball. See our 2018 Easton Mako Beast review.

5. Rawlings VELO Drop 12

Best Big Barrel Bats

Like the drop 9 section, there are not a ton of bats competing in the drop 12 space. Most drop 12 bats are made for the Junior Big Barrel divisions which come in shorter sizes between 26, and possibly 29 inches. We dedicate an entire page to those best junior barrel baseball bats.

In the Big Barrel, a.k.a. Senior Barrel, realm, there are only a few that really compete with bats longer than 28 inches. One favorite of ours is the 2017 Rawlings Composite VELO. This bat is unlike any other in the VELO line, as instead of a single piece hybrid, it is a two piece composite bat. It comes in a 2 3/4 only, but has a super light swing weight. Reviews of last year’s model were not stelllar, due to some durability issues on some early releases. But the 2017 model claims to have fixed that, and our players have had great success with the drop 12 VELO. See our 2017 Rawlings VELO review.

Best Used Big Barrel Bats

Best Big Barrel Bats

(Below are some bats you can rarely find new anymore. But, in terms of eBay type purchases they may serve you well if you can find a reputable seller and a good deal.)

1. Marucci Hex Composite

Best Big Barrel Bats

Anyone who reads this blog knows we are in love with the drop 10 2015 Marucci Hex Composite. For us it was love at first site. The barrel is gigantic, swing weight light and sweet spot large to say nothing of the design which we think looks fantastic. Those in the market for a top shelf big barrel bat in only a drop 10 will not regret this decision. It’s clearly a top shelf choice for 2015. (Check pricing here).

2. DeMarini CF7

Best Big Barrel Bats The Drop 5 CF7 from DeMarini may be our favorite bat of the year in any category. My three sons prefer this bat over any of the arsenal we have and the ropes drilled from this bat are remarkable. It does not come in a 2 3/4 version (only 2 5/8) but we stand by our earlier claim: if you can swing it, you should swing it. It’s also not inexpensive but if any bat has claim on the top of a list of best senior league or big barrel bats we don’t know how this wouldn’t be anything but first. (These are still hard to find, but check pricing here).

3. Combat MAXUM

Best Big Barrel Bats

Combat’s 2 5/8 drop 12 Portent G3 puts a stamp on the phrase “big barrel bat”. This stick should make any list of top shelf big barrel youth bats for 2015. The barrel is smooth and Combat’s seamless construction makes for a real fun hit. The green version is a boat oar at the plate with an ultra light swing weight and lizard skin grip. Those who prefer one piece bats and Combat aficionados will be perfectly pleased in this green monster. (Check pricing here).

4. Easton MAKO

Best Big Barrel Bats We admit this choice is predicable, but how do we leave off what is probably the most popular bat off the best bat list? Easton’s 2015 big barrel MAKO is as good a bat you may ever swing and, like the BBCOR version, those who swing it scoff at the idea they should ever try something different. Huge long barrel, low swing weight per length and a couple different options: a drop 10 2 3/4 and drop 9 2 5/8. The marquee bat from the biggest metal and composite bat company is predictably good great and is easily  a top 5 big barrel bat for 2015.  (Check pricing here).

5. Easton XL1

Best Big Barrel Bats At the risk of being an Easton Homer, we follow up the MAKO with the 2015 Easton XL1. This bat is the only drop 8 big barrel to make the list (although the DeMarini CF7 and Combat G3 both come in a drop 8). But the big barrel 2015 XL1 drop 8 is the perfect bat for a heavy hitter who isn’t quite ready for a drop 5 yet. The XL1 is a monster bat whose genealogy contains the famed Easton Omen and little league series lore. The bat is highly, highly recommended. (Check pricing here).

6. Slugger 915

Best Big Barrel Bats

Probably should have made this list: Slugger 915 Prime drop 5, DeMarini Overlord FT drop 9. Why they didn’t make the list is a mystery, but its a top 5 list and we had to make it shorter. These bats rock in the the big barrel market.

Common Big Barrel Bat Questions

What is the difference between a Senior League bat and a Big Barrel Bat?

There is significant confusion in the industry surrounding the terms big barrel and senior league. Each vendor often uses them interchangeably. Technically, a 2 5/8 bat that is NOT a drop 3 is considered a Senior Barrel bat. Big Barrel bats are 2 3/4 sized bats. But, don’t expect the vast majority of vendors and manufacturers to make the distinction.

What is a Junior Big Barrel Bat?

Junior Big Barrel bats are 2 3/4 inch baseball bats meant for smaller players. They often come in a max size of 26 or 27 inches and have considerable drop weights. These bats are usually not rated for pitch speeds over 45 miles per hour.

What is the best Big Barrel Bat for a 10 year old?

We cover the 10 year old question exclusivley in a best bat for 10 year old article.

Can you use a Big Barrel Bat in Little League?

If you are talking the official Little League then the answer is no. They use USA Bats now and you can read all about that stuff here.

Are all bats the same?

It is probably safe to say that a top shelf bat from any number of companies performs at peak powers. If it says Slugger, Easton, DeMarini, Rawlings, Axe, Anderson, Marucci or Combat (and maybe one or two others) than you can bet the bat is legit.

Are better bats always more expensive?

Bats that have higher price points tend to have larger barrels, more specific swing weights and technological innovations that dampen hand sting.

What has BPF 1.15 standars done for the market?

BPF 1.15 standard implementation has really forced bat companies to the drawing board on innovation. This is ultimately good for all of us.

Are Swing Weight and Bat Load the Same?

To the contrary of what many vendors often erroneously claim, a bat with an end load does not also have a high swing weight or MOI (mass moment of inertia). Instead where the load is found in a bat is only one of many factors which determine swing weight—the most important of which is arguably the total length of a bat. Just because a bat has a handle or end load does not also mean it has a low or high swing weight. You can prefer an end loaded bat but get a low swing weight by simply getting a shorter size. See our swing weight charts.

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2018 Easton Beast X USA Bat Review

Have you tried this baseball bat? Let us know what you think. Review this Bat!

The Beast X USA bat is a single piece aluminum bat that comes in a drop 10, 8 and drop 5 modeled after the Easton Beast X Speed BBCOR bat. After a few hours hitting, we write our 2018 belated Beast X USA Bat Review.

Easton, in predictable fashion, has a whole slew of bats for every size and player. One of those, lost in the mix when first released in September of 2017, is the Easton Beast X USA Bat. To clear any confusion, this bat is not the Beast X Hybrid USA Bat, which we have great things to say about. Nor is it the Easton Beast X Hyperlite USA Bat, which we also have things to say about.

2018 Easton Beast X USA Bat Review<<<Price Check the Easton Beast X USA Bat>>>

2018 Easton Beast X Review Video

2018 Beast X USA Recommendations

Our initial impressions from the 2018 USA Beast X were as expected. A single piece aluminum bat has a tough row to hoe in the youth bat market. Players don’t enjoy the hand sting, think they feel heavier than they should and wish the barrel was bigger. The Easton Beast X comes with some issues too, although the barrel is quite large (for an aluminum bat) and the drop 10 feels like a pretty light swing.

Older, stronger and advanced players sometimes prefer stiff single piece bats. (See our 2018 BBCOR Easton Beast X Reviews for some examples). As such, we think the drop 8 and drop 5 Beast X USA bat a great batting practice or cold weather bat for the elite, stronger youth player. Big time hitters still in the youth market will find a ton of power transfer through the drop 5 Beast X.

The drop 10 is a difficult bat to wholeheartedly recommend to very serious players. It should serve well the weekday player looking for a good brand name, large barrel and low swing weight in a mostly affordable performance bat.

2018 Beast X USA Sizing

2018 Easton Beast X USA Bat Review

What might be most attractive with the 2018 Easton Beast X USA Bat is the range of sizing options. Part of the reason Easton is leading the USA Bat space is the sheer breadth of their bat offering. The Beast X is a perfect example as it comes in lengths from 28 to 32 and three different drops. Literally any hitter looking for a USABat will find the right swing weight in an Easton Beast X.

  • Drop 10: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32-inch
  • Drop 8: 30, 31, 32-inch
  • Drop 5: 30, 31, 32-inch

2018 Beast X USA Construction

2018 Easton Beast X USA Bat Review

At its core, the 2018 Beast X USA is a single piece bat with a good sized aluminum barrel. Easton does a good job creating long barrels in their performance aluminum bats. It is safe to assume the sweet spots tends to expand when the barrel size does too.

This is a no frills bat. Meaning, no unique end cap or handle tech helps improve it over other single piece aluminum performance bats. Its major advantage is the multiple size offerings and the extended barrel when compared to other single piece aluminum bats in the USABat space.

2018 Beast X USA Comparable Options

2018 Easton Beast X USA Bat Review

Single piece bats in the USA space come in a whole range of prices. One of our favorites in this category is the 518 Omaha. It feels much like the Easton Beast X and comes, we think, in a better feeling grip. The barrel profile on the 518 Omaha USA is considerably smaller than that of the Beast X USA, but it is also less expensive. The 518 serves as the best comparable bat to the Easton Beast X in the 2018 USABat market.

However, the 518 only comes in a drop 10 while the Beast X comes in a drop 10, 8 and 5. These lower drops found only in the Beast X make it an ideal candidate for the big hitting weekday and weekend youth player looking for a solid cold weather, BP or less expensive second bat.

Lightest Swinging USABat

DeMarini’s Voodoo One USA bat is a VERY light swinging single piece aluminum bat. Our general sentiment is the bat should be considered a drop 11 as it swings so very light. When compared to other drop 11 bats it performs well, but the lack of barrel size when compared to the true drop 10 Easton Beast X USA will leave most underwhelmed.

2018 Easton Beast X USA Bat Review

Rawlings VELO USA is another single piece aluminum USABat for 2018. We think the drop 11, at least in terms of swing weight, matches up much better with the drop 10 market (and the Beast X) than the drop 10 version of the VELO. The Velo’s small barrel will lead most young hitters to prefer the Easton Beast X.

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2018 Dirty South Made USA Bat Review

Have you tried this baseball bat? Let us know what you think. Review this Bat!

After several hours with the bat, we have a few things to point out in our 2018 Dirty South Made USA Bat review. The barrel profile on the DSB Made drop 10 is smaller than the Ghost X and Quatro, but comparable to the CF Zen. The Made’s feel at contact is at least as good as the Quatro’s, better than the Ghost X USA, but probably behind the USA Zen in terms of overall feel. The Made stands as a legit and well priced option in the 2018 USA two piece composite bat race.

After exit speed testing, we think the 2018 USA Dirty South Made barrel performs as well as any other composite barreled bat you can find in the USA space for 2018. Although we are yet to be convinced two piece composite barrels are the answer for the USA Bat space, we think if you are convinced, then the true drop 10 swing weight, performance and price point of the 2018 Dirty South Made should put it on your very short list.

Dirty South Made USA Bat Video

USA Dirty South MADE Bat Sizing

At release, the Dirty South was available in a 30-inch drop 10 and a 31-inch drop 12. At the time of this writing (just a few weeks after its release) the bat is now available in a 28, 29 and 30-inch drop 10 and the drop 12, 31-inch. Dirty South’s intent is to offer the bat in a 31-inch drop 10 as well. The best way to see what they have available is to check their website.

USA Dirty South Made Drop 10 vs Drop 12

2018 Dirty South Bat USA Made Review

The DSB Made comes in a drop 10 and a drop 12. We note the drop 12 is a different bat than the drop 10 as the drop 12 is a single piece bat. Single piece bats feel much different than two piece bats. We DID NOT HIT with the drop 12. We find naming the two bats the same confusing. But, for what it is worth, Rawlings does it too with their drop 12 VELO and drop 10 VELO.

Our guess, and this is just a guess, is the drop 12 lacks the power and forgiveness on mishits to be considered seriously. Never in our lives have we been impressed with a single piece full composite bat in a drop 12 regardless of company of origin (yes, including Combat). As much respect as we have for Dirty South Bats, we don’t think they somehow cracked some laws of physics. We are doubtful, but in the end, must admit that we have never swung the drop 12. If we start hearing great things about it, we will figure out a way to get it in the lab.

Who is Dirty South Bats

2018 Dirty South Bat USA Made Review

We were the very first independent group to review the Dirty South Bats back in 2015. It has been interesting and impressive to see them grow in their presence on social media and in the eyes of individual reviews. Very recently, they worked out a chance to sell some of their USSSA bats on justbats.com. These are significant milestones in the bat space.

Dirty South is a USA based manufacturer of composite youth baseball bats. They also sell some peripheral baseball items like batting gloves and bat wraps. Our experience with the company has been mostly positive. Although they lack some of the major features more established brands produce (like a lot of size options, including a BBCOR line) what they do produce is legitimate stuff. We have yet to find a kid who did NOT like their Dirty South bat. Nor have we found anyone that has anything but good things to say about the brand and company. They are active in guerilla marketing via social media circles.

As a generally wide industry note, we think the disappearance of Combat left a void that DSB is filling nicely. Dirty South Bats has a small, home grown company sentiment producing big barreled composite bats against behemoths in the space. Word of mouth and a good social media presence, as well as a really big barrel, have taken them a long way. It is reasonable to assume they are on the map to stay.

Dirty South Made Construction

2018 Dirty South Bat USA Made Review

The Made, in a drop 10, is a two piece composite bat. That is, the bat is made from two pieces of composite fused together at a midpoint. The swing weight on the bat is right in line with other light swinging drop 10 bats on the market.

In theory, the major advantage of a two piece bat is to dampen sting on mishits. Younger players especially can generate more bat speed with the added confidence that their thumbs won’t get knocked off on a poorly hit ball. As well, two pieces of material allow engineers more liberty to construct bat pieces with different functions in mind. Clearly the handle serves a different purpose than the barrel, and in a two piece bat, engineers are able to accomplish that with greater ease.

The drop 12 USA DSB Made is a single piece of composite. Single piece composite bats, in theory at least, are meant to produce maximum power to the ball with the added ability to construct an enormous barrel without over-weighting the bat. Dirty South Bats, like Combat before it, has made a living in massively barreled single piece composite bats. The DSB Made, however, is not big barrel like the Swag and Big Texas USSSA DSB counterparts.

Dirty South Made Comparable Bats

Dirty South USA Bat Made Review

There are five, counting the DSB Made, two piece composite USA bats on the market as of this writing. The other four includes the Easton Ghost X, Rawlings Quatro, Mizuno Ghost and DeMarini CF Zen.

2018 DSB USA Made Bat REview

As all of these are first year models, it is difficult to tell which bat the public will latch onto the most. Easton’s Ghost X, the progeny of the Mako, gets a lot of attention. It also has a very large barrel, but has a bit more hand sting than we’d like to see in a kid bat. But, the Ghost X also comes in the most sizes and drops of any bat on this list.

2018 DSB Made USA BAt Review

The Quatro, also a very large barrel, is a serious contender for the top prize in the two piece composite USA space, has a huge barrel, but has more durability claims than we’d like to see. Mizuno’s USA Ghost is a massively barreled bat, the largest of the bunch, but has failed to get the traction of the other bats on this list, we think, because it lacks some durability. The 2018 CF Zen USA Bat feels, frankly, perfect on hits and mishits. But, if we could only get a larger barrel profile…

Dirty South Made Recommendations

2018 Dirty South Bat USA Made Review

As a general rule, we think those looking for 1) an above average feel, 2) the most reasonable price point of the two piece composite space and 3) a two piece composite bat in the USABat space, should buy the DSB Made. There should be no hesitation to trust your money with this company.

Where the DSB Made beats all the other USA two piece composite bats, although not by much, is on price. We think this a major consideration.

Time will tell, but we are not convinced that composite barrels will be the answer for the favorite USA bats of the public. The restriction on the standard ties the hands of engineers so severely that a more cost effective and longer lasting aluminum might be the best solution. However, in year one of the standard, there are many legit options on the market. And, without a doubt, the DSB Made in a drop 10 is one of them.

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Small Wood Bat Companies | Boutique Timber Bats

Like the voluminous options in all bat spaces, wood is no different. In the wood bat space, you have the usual suspects like https://www.justbatreviews.com/louisville-slugger-authentic-cut-wood-bat-review/”>Louisville, https://www.justbatreviews.com/rawlings-wood-bats/”>Rawlings</a”https://www.justbatreviews.com/marucci-wood-bats/”>Marucci</aref=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/sam-bat-wood-bats-cd1-review/”>Sam</athose bats, and the others we have reviewed, some love on our https://www.justbatreviews.com/baseball-bats/wood-bats/”>woodiew page. There are also several small wood bat companies out there offering quality wood bats at a comparable price point. Our effort here is devoted to the smaller companies turning wood bats—many of which you’ve likely never heard.

Know of other small wood bat companies NOT on this list? Leave a comment below and we’ll add them.

Southern Timber

https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Southern-Timber-Bats-IMage-300×121.png” alt=”Small Wood Bat Companies” width=”300″ height=”121″ />

https://www.southerntimberwoodbats.com/”>SouthernWood Bats is a single owned and operated company located in Alexandria, AL. They have been in operation since 2016, so just a short time. Their focus is on four models of bats: a balanced, medium sized barrel (2 ½”) with a thin handle that is popular for youth and high school hitters, an end loaded model geared toward power hitters, and a model geared toward contact or gap hitters. Then finally a custom model driven by the knob. This knob is Hamate injury friendly, allowing the hitter to hang their pinky over the end. You can visit their website to see what may be right for you.

Price range: $70 – $225

Outlaw

https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Outlaw-wood-bat-image-300×50.png” alt=”Small Wood Bat Companies” width=”300″ height=”50″ />

https://www.outlawbats.com/”>OutlawWood Bats really fits the bill here. They truly do their best to get customers a quality bat at a very reasonable price. They carry adult wood, youth wood, softball wood, trainers and fungo bats for coaches. They also offer the three big wood options, ash, birch and maple. Birch and maple bats cost an extra ten bucks. Ordering is online only. Colors can be customized and inscription can be added at no additional cost. You can check them out at the link below.

Price range: $50 – $70

Zinger

https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/zinger-300×28.png” alt=”Miguel Cabrera’s Bat” width=”300″ height=”28″ />

http://zingerbats.bigcartel.com/”>Zinger> is a small company, relatively speaking, in that all they do is bats. Zinger is in Chandler, AZ. They do have former professional baseball players working for them, which has played a large part in getting these bats in the hands of current professional players, and players at every level. So, while Zinger is a small wood bat company, you may see their bats when you turn on the television. You can visit them at the link below.

Price range: $85 – $120

Warstic

https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Warstic-Wood-Bat-image-1-300×28.png” alt=”Small Wood Bat Companies” width=”300″ height=”28″ />

https://warstic.com/collections/bats-all”>Warstic</as some metal bats too. But, they are most famous for the remarkably beautiful wood bats they make. Big fans of the vibe these folks put off. They remind us of a younger Chandler Bats.

Bamboo Wood Bats

https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1-300×30.png” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” srcset=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1-300×30.png 300w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1-700×70.png 700w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1-624×62.png 624w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1.png 749w” alt=”Wood Bats” width=”300″ height=”30″ data-lazy-type=”image” data-lazy-src=”//www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1-300×30.png” data-attachment-id=”15806″ data-id=”14131″ data-lazy-srcset=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1-300×30.png 300w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1-700×70.png 700w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1-624×62.png 624w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Bamboobat-Youth-Image-1.png 749w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

Beaver Bats

https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Beaver-BAt-image-1-300×194.png” alt=”Small Bat Companies” width=”300″ height=”194″ />

Beaver bats, another small operation that most have never heard of, make high quality bats in every size and custom imaganable. Take a look at https://www.beaverbatcompany.com/beaver-bat-company”>their> and

Stinger Wood Bats

https://www.justbatreviews.com/sam-bat-wood-bats-cd1-review/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-300×28.png” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” srcset=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-300×28.png 300w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-768×71.png 768w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-700×65.png 700w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-624×58.png 624w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1.png 900w” alt=”Stinger Wood BAts” width=”300″ height=”28″ data-lazy-type=”image” data-lazy-src=”//www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-300×28.png” data-attachment-id=”10533″ data-id=”21095″ data-lazy-srcset=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-300×28.png 300w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-768×71.png 768w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-700×65.png 700w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1-624×58.png 624w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Stinger-Long-Wood-BAt-image-1.png 900w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

Another of several legitimate wood bat manufacturers that fewer people know about. They make big time stuff at a more reasonable price. They get their wood from the same trees as the big boys. We like https://www.justbatreviews.com/stinger-bats-review/”>Stinger> and use a few of their bats for winter BP all the time.

Meridian Wood Bats

https://www.justbatreviews.com/sam-bat-wood-bats-cd1-review/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-300×28.png” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” srcset=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-300×28.png 300w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-768×70.png 768w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-700×64.png 700w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-624×57.png 624w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1.png 774w” alt=”Meridian Wood Bat Reviews” width=”300″ height=”28″ data-lazy-type=”image” data-lazy-src=”//www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-300×28.png” data-attachment-id=”10533″ data-id=”14066″ data-lazy-srcset=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-300×28.png 300w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-768×70.png 768w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-700×64.png 700w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1-624×57.png 624w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Meridian-Bats-Image-1.png 774w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

Another high quality wood bat company that is just too small for people to really notice. But, honestly, you want a great bat that no one has really heard of? Take a https://www.justbatreviews.com/meridian-wood-bat-reviews/”>Meridiant for a spin.

Show Wood Bats

https://www.justbatreviews.com/sam-bat-wood-bats-cd1-review/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts-300×28.png” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” srcset=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts-300×28.png 300w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts-700×66.png 700w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts-624×59.png 624w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts.png 752w” alt=”Show Wood Bat Reviews” width=”300″ height=”28″ data-lazy-type=”image” data-lazy-src=”//www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts-300×28.png” data-attachment-id=”9513″ data-id=”14199″ data-lazy-srcset=”https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts-300×28.png 300w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts-700×66.png 700w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts-624×59.png 624w, https://www.justbatreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/SHOW-BAts.png 752w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

Remember that guy who https://www.justbatreviews.com/show-wood-bat-reviews/”>hitruns in the same MLB game? He uses a SHOW bat. They are also a small wood bat company that makes legit sticks for a decent price. Not much different then the big boys’ bats.

Small Wood Bat Company Reviews

The world of wood bats is becoming the topic of discussion as much of the baseball world is transitioning to the new USA bat standard. This new standard is said to be more wood like, which raises the question, why not just use wood? Check out JBR’s https://www.justbatreviews.com/baseball-bats/wood-bats/”>woodiews.

There are benefits to using wood bats. Trying to find this advice from a non-wood bat company can be challenging. Of course, a wood bat company is going to say there are benefits to sell product.

While there are several options out there of wood bats, some people might like the idea of buying something different, or maybe supporting a local business. Maybe create a little wow factor when out on the ball field. These smaller companies all offer https://www.justbatreviews.com/baseball-bats/wood-bats/maple-wood-bats/”>maple</as been determined to be a great choice for any player, and the price points remain competitive with the larger bat makers, making the small bat company wood bat a viable option.

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Custom Composite and Alloy Bats | Personalize Your Baseball Bat

In recent years, the custom bat market drives a considerable amount of the new development and marketing. Where just a few years ago the idea of a custom bat was reserved only for some pro players, or limited to a simple engraving on a wood bat, has now expanded to involved process on high end composite and aluminum bats. We discuss many of your custom bat options in the baseball and softball composite and aluminum bat space.

<<<See our conversation on Custom Wood Bats>>>

Custom Copmosite/Aluminum Bat Brands

Custom Aluminum/Composite Bats

We discuss each one of these custom bat brands below. Here is the short list to long reviews of each custom bat:

The Good Old Days vs Custom Bats

I have fond memories growing up playing the game of baseball.  Every year about this time meant one thing: a new bat for the upcoming season. (If you are wondering when to buy equipment for an upcoming season, follow the link to read a article with great guidelines). Back in my time of play, I had few options. We'd choose from a selection from the local hardware or big box store with the hope they had the size and color that I liked. There are many years that I ended up with a too heavy bat that was aluminum with black letters and a rubber grip that would come off on your hands. Looking back at that now, wow, how far has the baseball industry come since?

DeMarini Custom Bats

Customize DeMarini Bat

DeMarini Custom Bats are the leader in customization when it comes to baseball bats.  The DeMarini brand of customized bats include the following models:

Senior League

BBCOR

The Build

Obviously, you will have to put some extra money into a customized bat. Remember, bats have a useful life either due to durability or the player outgrowing the size.  If you weigh the options and decide to move forward, you might possibly get lost in the awesome customization options provided by DeMarini.

Step 1

First, you will need to determine which model you want to swing -  end loaded, balanced, composite, alloy, hybrid.  There are some limitations in models at certain lengths and drops, but DeMarini has the widest selection to start your journey.

Options start with the base barrel color for the bat.  Assuming this will be the largest color visible on your hit-stick, you must choose wisely.  DeMarini also offers both glossy and matte finishes, which in my opinion makes a difference in the color and how it pops in term of colors (sorry, one color doesn’t make the ball go further).

Step 2

Now with each year, DeMarini has a distinct decal that layers on the bat.  For the 2018 model, there are choices for 2 decals.  This is a great option if your team is tri-colored, you can represent appropriately.  There is also a cool option for camouflage, something that you typically do not see with a standard produced bat and might make yours one-of-a-kind!

Now with each year, DeMarini has a distinct decal that layers on the bat.  For the 2018 model, there are choices for 2 decals.  This is a great option if your team is tri-colored, you can represent appropriately.  There is also a cool option for camouflage, something that you typically do not see with a standard produced bat and might make yours one-of-a-kind!

Step 3

For the DeMarini’s that are two-piece in nature, you will have a selection for color of the handle in either white or black.  I personally have never seen white on the handle of one of these bats, but seems like it might be a cool option to look into.  For the Voodoo One BBCOR, you have a few extra options as the color is an additional sticker on the handle of the bat.

Step 4

One area that you can select from the manufacturer is the grip.  In the past few years, there have been many companies that have come out delivering to its customers various bat grips and tape options. You can select from the normal color straight from DeMarini or pick one and then upgrade to something you have in mind from Lizard Skin or Vulcan to name a few.  There are also options that include your LH vs. RH bat grip along with thickness of the wrap.  Bat grips seems to take quite a bit of wear and tear over the year, especially if using pine tar, so make your choice assuming that the grip will be replaced for the next season.

Step 5

The last option from DeMarini includes your choice of end cap and knob.  When you think DeMarini, you think of the all the re-tooled boomsticks that have been returned and neutered with the Demarini collar to “stop the pop”.   All of those glorious bats are now capped with the orange endcap.    Orange is an option with the customization for the end-cap, but there are many other options to choose from include a few camouflage variations.  People will be asking about your bat anyway, so be prepared to prove its not an "illegal" model.

Louisville Slugger Custom Bats

From the same parent company that owns DeMarini, Louisville Slugger Custom Bats offers one customizable bat in baseball, the Prime 918 BBCOR, and a slew of their famous fastpitch Slugger custom bats.  This bat is the most expensive of the bunch, but carries the history and name brand that is known with Louisville Slugger products.

The options are identical to the DeMarini customization screens, but the end product will obviously produce a totally unique bat.

See our full Louisville Slugger Custom Bat Write Up

Taking Customization to the Next Level

Custom Bats

There are also personalization options which include barrel, end-cap, and knob modifications.  Just keep in mind if you modify this bat and eventually intend to sell it, the value might be deemed less if the words 'Timmy’s Boomstick' is emblazoned across the barrel of the bat.  None the less, this is a cool option for your player to ultimately customize the bat.  There is a real decision to be made when going to this level of customization.  If you are buying a bat that has a useful life of 1 year, you might re-think the engraving, unless you want to keep the bat as a momento of your player's 12u season.

Customization Complete, Now What?

Now you have completed the customization, you can sit back and await your arrival of the masterpiece in about 4 weeks, which isn’t bad for a totally customized bat.  

Be sure you order your customized bat early in the year, maybe December or very early January.  This timeline will ensure your custom bat will arrive in time for and be able to go through a proper break-in process prior to April and the start of the baseball season.  I would also treat this bat with care and make sure you use it minimally in a cage and certainly not hit anything but standard baseballs.  Protect your investment as always!  Save last years bat for the cage bombs... use this work of art for the field!

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Pro Glider Bat Review | Best Hitting Training Aid? Possibly

As a player, I was always looking for ways to keep my swing locked in. But over the course of an eight month season (or longer when I played Winter Ball) there were peaks and valleys when it came to my consistency and it drove me nuts trying to find the proper swing once again.

As I began coaching my sons and training elite hitters in SoCal, the same exact issues would plague my hitters—one game their bat path and timing were perfect but the next game they looked disconnected and lost at the plate.

<<<You might also like our best batting tee commentary>>>

Pro Glider Bat Video Review

One of the drills my dad used to have me do when I was in a funk was to gather a bunch of bats and head to home plate. He would tell me to swing and let go of the bat to a certain direction. So he would yell, “Up the middle”, and I would swing and let go of the bat, sending it flying. Often times I would fling the bat into the third base dugout telling me that I was pulling my front shoulder out. Or while trying to throw it up the middle it would go to the first baseman signaling that my hands “casted out” and/or I didn’t rotate my back foot.

This drill was something that really helped identify the culprit to my disjointed swing. I used this for my young players until I discovered what I believe is the greatest training tool ever created for hitters—The ProGlider Training Bat.

Pro Glider Bat REview

My day job is in marketing and advertising . About three years ago I was asked by my ad agency supervisor to look into a baseball training tool he saw on the internet. I went to their website and discovered a tool I had never seen but was super interested in trying out. The tool was the ProGlider Training Bat.

I called their 800 number and a nice gentleman answered the phone on the first ring and I began my “pitch” to interest him into meeting with us to see if we could establish a mutually beneficial business arrangement. He agreed and we met bringing a ProGlider with him to the first meeting.

Before we even sat down to chat, my supervisor (a former HS player) and I began to test it out inside our building. My first few attempts were not pretty as I shot the ball to the right over and over. The ProGlider inventor/owner, Alan Tande, calmly said, “You’re not rotating your back side so your hands are casting out early.” I couldn’t believe how quickly I actually “felt” the off timing from not syncing my back side up with my hands. The next swing I shot it way left and Alan calmly said, “You over adjusted and pulled your front shoulder forcing your top hand to accelerate too early.” Again I was totally blown away that he perfectly diagnosed the issue after just one swing. Finally, I took a deep breath, with everyone in my office watching, and shot a perfect line drive up the middle. I could totally “feel” how that swing was timed perfectly. I consciously was able to focus on getting my hands out while my back side cleared and flipped the ProGlider at the exact point needed.

The Making of the Pro Glider Bat

As we met, Alan elaborated on the origin of his idea to create the ProGlider and I was blown away. He said that he was a former Travel Softball Coach and his teams were always nationally ranked including an ASA National Championship team with many players going to college to play. He said that he used to help his hitters with drills especially his favorite drill—throwing bats to specific fields! I started laughing out loud as that was my dad’s favorite drill also! Alan then explained the science behind the ProGlider and I was completely hooked.

Alan started to describe how the ProGlider was designed to create the perfect bat path using the principles of “Motion of Inertia” or MOI.

How the Pro Glider Works

MOI is best described as putting a cup of coffee on your dash board while driving straight. (See our BBCOR swing weight measurements of bats). If the vehicle is going at a steady speed and direction, the coffee will stay where you put it. But if you take a hard left—the coffee will shoot to the right. That is EXACTLY what happens when a batter begins the swing by casting their hands out! When a batter casts the hands early the MOI designed ProGlider reacts by sliding early and flinging the ball to the right (assuming you are right handed). At this point I couldn’t help but blurt out loud to Alan, “Why didn’t you invent this in 1985? I’d still be playing to this day!!!”

Pro Glider Bat Reviews

Pro Glider Review video showing how to hit the ball up the middle with the right form.

I could immediately “feel” a good swing or a bad swing with or without the ball. The click from the ProGlider is set up for every bat size and weight to click at the proper time based on the MOI created by the batter. I began to imagine how I would have had a ProGlider in my personal luggage on road trips, swinging the ProGlider in my hotel room before we had to get on the bus to the visiting stadium. I’d also have another one in my baseball bag for work prior to hitting off the tee. This tool simply blew my mind. It’s so simple I have had five year olds “feel” the swing being late or early and without instruction, self-correct their swing.

As I began to be asked by more and more players to train them, I asked Alan if I could offer my players a discount on purchasing their own ProGlider. He agreed and we began to form a great relationship that we still have to this day.

Pro Glider Bat Reviews

Notice the first motion is a knob to the ball. This is what you must do with the Pro Glider to make work and perfect your swing.

I love that my youngest players can get a 28” -12 ProGlider just like their game bat and my High School players can get BBCOR -3. The ProGlider bat is super durable and I saw one with an estimated MILLION swings! It was one of the first ones sold to softball legend, Jen Schroeder and her dad Mike, for use at their facility in Yorba Linda, CA. This million swing ProGlider still works like new, just the black anodized surface had been worn down to the silver aluminum from so much use.

Recently we created a series of ProGlider videos using a high speed camera that can capture 2,500 frames per second. This is the same super slo-mo you’ll see on TV games where you can see the laces rotate on the pitch. TheProGlider video series details the origin of the idea for the bat, the perseverance Alan endured to get it produced and why it works so well keeping hitters in the proper bat path. The ProGlider keeps the swing consistent so peaks last longer and the valleys are less severe.

Pro Glider Bat Improvements

Pro Glider Bat REview

Use an identified plate mat to help locate the right pitch and contact point for that pitch.

To further enhance the ProGlider experience, I have designed a portable home plate with target pitches for my players to use when using the ProGlider. This design is simple or you can use three baseballs placed on the ground also. I tell my hitters to focus on one of the balls and swing the ProGlider where that pitch is located. When I stand behind them, I can see where the ProGlider ball releases in relationship to the ball on the ground.

This is an EXCELLENT drill for players who lock out their lead arm, drift forward with their head, neglect to rotate their back foot/knee, pull their front shoulder or roll over with their hands.

The very first thing I do with all my players as we begin a session is to get them to control the ProGlider. If they can’t swing and send the ball from the ProGlider to the target, it’s useless to go to the next station. One of the D1 commits I train couldn’t control the ProGlider the first session we had together. It took 20 minutes before he finally hit one straight. But when he did, he “felt” the difference in his bat path and it has made him much more consistent by allowing his barrel to stay in the path of the ball longer creating a massive margin for error.

Becoming a Great Hitter

The best hitters in the history of the game have one thing in common—they kept their bat in the path of the ball for a very long time giving them opportunities to barrel up a pitch late, right on time or early. There are some copy-cat inventions out there, but the patented ProGlider’s unique qualities of MOI are what separate this tool from anything else I’ve ever swung.

To me, any player serious about improving their consistency by getting into the proper bat path needs to get a ProGlider. The principles of “Motion of Inertia” simply do not lie. The ProGlider gives hitters feedback they can “feel” and they quickly learn to self-correct their swing until everything “clicks” on time. A batting tee or soft toss drills don’t offer this type of feedback and I can’t think of any other training tool that instills the most important thing a hitter needs on a daily basis—getting into the proper bat path and staying there.

See the Pro Glider Site

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Help Us Help You: User Bat Ratings

We are giving away 50 hats to the first 50 readers that legit rate 8 bats or bat brands on our site. See below for details.

Rate Bats, Get a Sweet Hat

What the bat industry lacks, yet, is a true independent rating system of individual users for bats. Every bat rating system is housed and approved by major vendors or manufacturers. Until now.

user bat ratings

Step 1

Write 8 Reviews in any of these categories

Step 2

Wait a day or so for the reviews to be verified, moderated and approved by us.

Step 3

Email us your address so we can ship you a hat. ([email protected])

Free shipping to the lower 48 states.

Hats Left

0/50

(Last updated 9:15am MST 2.14.2018)

We are proud to announce a beta release of individual bat reviews on this site. We rate useful metrics like value, hand sting on mishits and durability among other things. Our intent is to leverage the knowledge of our vast readership to compile the largest database of independent bat reviews on the planet. This data will be freely available to all who visit the site and, we are hopeful, become another piece of puzzle in their bat buying decisions.

To get us out of the gate fast, we will send a JBR or #bpweather hat to the first 50 individuals who deliver 8 honest bat reviews.

The easiest place to find reviews to write will be found under the BBCOR, USA Bat, USSSA Big Barrel, Fastpitch and Softball bat pages. There, you can click to any bat and find the user review form on the bottom of the review.

Instructions: When you have 8 honest reviews completed and submitted, please send us an email at [email protected] with your name, address, and the email address you used to submit the reviews. We will verify the reviews, make you a "verified user" and get the hat in the mail the following day!

Thanks for your support!

Just Bat Reviews Team

Bat Manufacturers User Ratings

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Easton Ghost X vs DeMarini CF Zen | 11 Year Old Case Study

So you're trying to decide between a Ferrari and a Lamborghini? That's a difficult decision.  The Easton Ghost X and the DeMarini CF Zen are the top of the line bats and their price tags reflect it.  Of course, when we are spending that kind of money on a bat we want to make sure we are getting what we pay for.  In our Easton Ghost X vs DeMarini CF Zen article we break down our experience and some keys to helping you make a decision.

Easton Ghost X 

Ghost X vs CF Zen

The Ghost X is the next up in Easton's stellar line up of bats, following last year's widely successful Mako Beast. This is, like the CF Zen, a two piece composite bat. Easton claims it uses a unique process in the connective piece to help dampen sting. In terms of what it has OVER the CF Zen:

  • Bigger Barrel Profile
  • More Sizing Options

The major advantage, as we see it, for the Easton Ghost X is the available size options. In USA Bats, for example, Easton has several more sizes than the Zen which only comes (for 2018 at least) in a drop 10. Of course both lines have a BBCOR version, but the Ghost X has more drops than the CF Zen in the 2018 USSSA too.

DeMarini CF Zen 2018

Ghost X vs CF Zen

The CF Zen is a continuation of DeMarini's popular CF series that are known to be some of the hottest bats on the market.  Like the Easton Ghost X, the CF Zen is a balanced two piece composite bat. As we see it, the major advantages the CF Zen has over the Ghost X are:

  • Better feel on mishits
  • A perception of a better performance among many hitters

Although both of the above 'advantages' found in the CF Zen are subjective (that is, they can't be measured perfectly) we feel confident the first one, better feel on mishits, gives it generally higher ratings especially in the USA and USSSA space.

CF Zen vs Ghost X Case Study

Editor's Note: The following head to head competition of one of our JBR writers' players compares a 31 inch Easton Ghost X USSSA to a 30 Inch CF Zen in the USSSA market. Clearly, comparing exit speed metrics with a different sized bat does not make much empirical sense. But, in terms of overall feel, the insight of a real coaching dad and his real playing son can be useful for your decision, too. Reading more into the data than is actually there is a mistake. If you want more objective measurements you may appropriate our exit speed tests write up as well as our barrel size comparison too.

Bat 1: Ghost X USSSA 31/21

CF Zen Vs Easton Ghost X

 The Ghost X we tested is a USSSA version, 31 inches long and 21 ounces with a 2 3/4" barrel.  At the time of testing it has about 300 swings, mostly from an above average sized 11 year old, mostly tee work with some front toss and batting practice.  The bat shows no sign of spiraling or webbing.

Bat 2: CF Zen USSSA 30/20

CF Zen Vs Easton Ghost X

The CF Zen we tested is a USSSA version, 30 inches long and 20 ounces with a 2 3/4" barrel in the balanced version.  The Zen has about 500 swings at the time of testing with a mix of tee work, front toss, and batting practice.  Though the bat shows signs of use there is still no sign of webbing or spiraling.

Measurement Tools Head to Head

Baseball Swing Analysis

Blast Motion is a device you put on the end of a bat's knob to measure different metrics of a bat's swing shortly before, during and shortly after contact.

For our bat testing we used a combination of a Blast Motion bat sensor and Blast Vision app.  We hit off a tee, switching bats after around 50 swings.  Even though the bats are different lengths and weights and will skew the numbers slightly, we think it's more like comparing Granny Smith apples to Red Delicious apples than apples to oranges. We also used our own experience and feedback for the testing.  

Using the Blast Motion bat sensor and the new Blast Vision app we were able to gather evidence on the performance of both the DeMarini CF Zen and the Easton Ghost X.

See our Blast Motion Review.

DeMarini CF Zen Testing

CF Zen Vs Easton Ghost X

Using the Blast Motion for the CF Zen our 11 year old hitter had an average bat speed (measurement of the total speed at the sweet spot of the bat at impact) of 46.6 mph with a high of 52.7 mph.  His peak hand speed (peak speed of hands moving through the zone) was an average of 16.8 mph with a max of 21.3 mph. Time to contact (start of forward motion to impact)  was an average of .19 seconds with a low of .15 seconds.  His power generated (measured in kilowatts) was an average of 1.0 kw and a high of 1.6 kw.  His blast factor (swing score up to 100 for overall performance) was an average score of 48 and a high score of 62.  

Using Blast Vision to measure exit velocity, launch angle, and distance we were able to gather even more information.  Using this tool we gathered that the average exit velocity with the Zen was 70 mph with a high of 83 mph.  The average distance the ball was hit was 123 feet with a high of 215 feet.

Ghost X Testing

CF Zen Vs Easton Ghost X

Using Blast Vision with Ghost X and the same hitter we collected information on performance.  Our 11 year old hitter had an average bat speed of 47.3 mph with a high of 53 mph.  His peak hand speed was an average of 16.9 mph with a high of 18.6 mph.  Time to contact with the Ghost X was an average of .19 seconds with a low of .17 seconds.  The power generated was an average of 1.08 kw and a max of 1.36 kw.  His blast factor with the Ghost X was an average of 53 and a high of 65.  

Using Blast Vision his average exit velocity was 66 mph with a max of 73 mph. The average distance the ball was hit was 127 feet with a high of 210 feet.

Case Study Results

So, what does all this tell us?  That both bats are very good!  Our 11 year old hitter was able to generate slightly more power according to the Blast Motion with the Ghost X.  We believe those results are most likely the result of the difference between the two bats' lengths and weights.  As he was able to swing both at roughly the same speed with similar hand speed and time to contact, the difference in kilowatt power and blast factor is likely a direct result of more weight behind the swing.  

The exit velocity showed a distinct difference between the Zen and the Ghost though with the ball coming off the bat an average of 4 mph faster from the Zen and a top speed 10 mph faster  This could arguably be the difference between the number of swings the bats have had at the time of testing.  

Case Study Choice

CF Zen Vs Easton Ghost X

We did notice that the CF Zen had less hand sting on miss hits than the Ghost X, but the Ghost was still pretty forgiving.  The barrel on the Ghost X is sightly bigger, offering a little more sweet spot.  The CF Zen seemed to be hotter out of the wrapper and the Ghost needed more break in time, not unusual for Easton bats.  It's difficult to say right now, but in the past our experience has shown Easton bats have been more durable than DeMarini.  The price point on both of the bats are identical with a $350 price tag from the manufacturers.  

Our 11 year old hitter likes both bats quite a bit, but when pushed he has a small preference for the Ghost X.  He believes it has a better feel for him and he hits it better when swinging correctly.  You will have to decide for yourself what aspects you're looking for most - faster break in time, more durability, or bigger sweet spot.  Which ever decision you make, we are sure you'll be happy with the performance of the bat.

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