July 8, 2019 | @BatDigest
We did some experimenting.
We took two identical bats (the 2018 Easton Ghost X in a USSSA Drop 5) and had one shaved by a company that shaves bats. (That is, we had some of its inners cored out so its barrel was more flexible).
Then did a number of tests including two different home run derbies as well as measuring their swing weight and compression. That data, combined with a ton of reading and conversations give us 7 things you should know about shaved bats. (See more swing weights here).
No other article on ours site generates more hate mail than this. It is a very popular article because, frankly, a lot of people are trying to cheat. We’ve been told to ‘keep our mouth shut’ and ‘delete this article’ and ‘its comical because we don’t know what we are talking about’.
In large measure, the hate mail comes from companies or dads that have made small fortunes shaving bats. Although, granted, they leave their comment anonymously. But, who else would defend an illegal practice and wish we were not on the top of Google rankings for a number of phrases including shaved bats?
We get at least a comment a month by some bat shaving hoser trying to get a link in their signature in the comments. We delete everyone of them.
Because we say this without apology:
Shaving your youth baseball or fastpitch bat is a terrible idea that, among other things, puts children at risk. This is to say nothing of the fact it is literally against the law.
But, really, we aren’t trying to hate.
The truth is people want honest information about shaved bats. We don’t sell shaved bats, we don’t manufacturer or sale bats. We don’t even have a single affiliate link on this article.
We just want parents to make an informed decision from the often shady practice of manipulating bats.
We aren’t the moral police—although in this regard maybe we should be. In the end, it’s your dollar, its your liability, its your conscience. Those willing to cheat aren’t going to be swayed by us telling them its cheating—they already know that.
But, there is also a considerable number of folks trying to figure out what this bat shaving is all about. If you are trying to see if there is a loophole or allowance in the regulations to shave your bat then were here to tell you there is not. It is illegal in every way we can imagine.
No. Shaved bats at Cooperstown park are 100% against the rules (and law). Don’t confuse the fact there are no specific bat regulations in a league with the idea that bats can be modified away from the certifications they carry. It is one thing to say there is no specific certification required for use in a Cooperstown tourney. It is quite another to modify a bat with a certification to a standard that exceeds that certification and then use it as if it is a bat with a new certification.
If you think we are wrong, because at least some people do, then go ahead and ask the tournament directors at Cooperstown if they allow modified and shaved bats in their major tournaments. Let us know what they say. Better yet, forward the email (email@example.com) to us and we’ll post it right here.
If you are feeling adventurous, tell the other team you’re playing that you have shaved bats. We promise to link the YouTube video of that interaction.
Emails from Cooperstown Directors saying Shaved bats are Legal in their Tourneys
Another thought, if there are truly no bat rules than use a fastpitch bat. Those things are hotter than shaved bats. Find your self a drop 8 Xeno from year’s past and go drop bombs.
For the record, not only is very likely the bat is illegal in the league you are using, you could face criminal consequences if you use a shaved bat and its hit ball injures another player.
There may be a HR Derby or two a year where manipulated and unsanctioned bats are legal (see, for example, the NCAA CWS HR Derby in Omaha). But, aside from those rare occasions there isn’t a moment we condone the use of shaved bats. They are dangerous, illegal and, to put it in no uncertain terms, flat out cheating.
If you were closely associated with travel (USSSA) baseball in 2016 you remember the blue and white CF Zen that was eventually banned. You will also remember that you could spot that bat across the park not by it’s looks but by its sound. The bat sounded hollow and deep. It sounded like you dropped a big rock into a well and it splashed into the water at the bottom. Blubmp. That bat was never shaved, but that bat was illegal for a reason. The composite had been manipulated enough during its work it that it was ultra hot.
Shaved bats sound similar.
But, do note, it would be nearly impossible to claim a bat is shaved just by its sound. Each brand and model have their own characteristics. If you could find another one of the same bat that had the same amount of work in and then compare the sound you might be on to something. But, good luck with that.
See our video above to hear the differences.
According to some, there are derby’s, exhibitions and showcases that allow shaved bats. We’ve yet to see these allowances made explicitly on any website or writing. Instead, it is ‘word of mouth’ or a ‘they don’t care’ kind of policy that’s whispered to oneself. Frankly, we highly doubt most of these claims. At best these tournaments look the other way. In most cases, it is a lack of the ability to police a bat policy that leads to people quietly shaving their bat and, turns out, telling no one.
If you found this write up on shaved bats then it’s likely you know how to use the internet. We’d rather not link to any specific site as it might be seen as the endorsement of a policy we frankly don’t endorse.
Using a shaved bat anywhere that it is not allowed is flat out cheating and dangerous. We condemn it in the strongest language we can. If you are playing in a baseball league that you think allows any type of bat then SAVE yourself some money and buy a fastpitch bat instead.
Like, real far.
Although several factors determine how much further you’d hit a ball with a shaved bat (see below) it is fair to say that an average of 30 to 50 additional feet is a reasonable expectation. Of course, we are talking about a well hit ball at a good launch angle too.
Another terribly obvious point is this: shaved bats weight less.
The shaved bat in our test, although originally identical, swings 7% lighter than its original counterpart. Removing the shavings removed the 1.5 ounces from the bat and decreased the MOI from 8800 to 8200.
A lighter swinging bat, assuming it is swung at the same speed, will not hit the ball as far as a heavier bat. Of course the trampoline effect has increased on a shaved bat and can make up for that lost weight at impact. But, do note, if you are getting your bat shaved it will swing a noticeable amount lighter.
If it is done well then spotting a shaved bat is difficult, but no impossible. On the outside, putting the cap back on without any cosmetic signs is probable. Field compression tests can also do the trick. But, we think, a simple kitchen scale would indicate it as well. See:
The easiest way to simply weigh it on a kitchen scale. Bat companies, notorious for having bats above their sticker weight, have yet to produce a bat (in all our time of doing this) that weighs LESS than the sticker weight. Shaved bats weigh less than their sticker. Our shaved bat that should weigh 27 ounces (32/27) ended up weighing 26.55 ounces. The original bat weighed in at 28 ounces.
Some argue that using a compression tester is a fail safe way. But this is not as true as it used to be. Non-linear designs in bats these days change the transferable nature of compression tests—making them less and less useful. (We talk about that in our rolling article here).
That said, a compression tester, usually found for around $1500, isn’t an impossible request for major tournaments. Bats that have been shaved are considerable more compressible than those which have not been. The NCAA, in fact, is requiring such testing before games starting 2020. We think major youth tournaments would be smart to consider such actions.
Occassionally we send out important updates and new bat reviews directly to our readers. One click to unsubscribe. We never sell your email address.
You may not reproduce the information on this site without express written premission from Just Bat Reviews, LLC. All material Copyright © 2019. Bat Digest DBA Just Bat Reviews, LLC.
Just Bat Reviews, LLC and Bat Digest DBA participate in affiliate marketing programs. We may earn a comission from companies we link to on this site.