Are you into watching or playing baseball, and have you wondered what wood baseball bats are made of that hit the ball so hard? Well, all of us are in the same boat.
No matter if you only watch baseball or play it too, wondering about the baseball bat wood type that has been used to make such hard bats is entirely normal and a question that pops up in every baseball lover’s mind.
When it comes to the history of MLB baseball bats, the players traditionally used to make their bats in the 1800s of whatever scrap wood was lying around. However, with the passage of time, rules and regulations were set for the size, material, and weight of baseball bats, and therefore the type of wood for baseball bats has been limited to quite a few.
This article will discuss what MLB bats are made of and everything you need to know about baseball bat wood types to increase your knowledge.
What Type of wood are Baseball bats made of?
If you are a true baseball fan, you’d know how the sound of the distinct crack of a bat makes your heart skip a bear. However, using a bat made of a strong type of wood is the only way for the players to hit the ball like they want to without worrying about their bat splitting up or getting a big crack as a result. Here are the most famous types of wood for baseball bats used in recent times.
5 Different types of Baseball Bat Wood
MLB bats in recent times are being manufactured using the six most known wood types for baseball bats that are mentioned below in detail:
1- Ash Baseball Bat Wood
Ash is known for manufacturing baseball bats that are absolutely light in weight and provides hitters with much more flexibility; that is why they are preferred the most for a contact hitter. Although maple has now taken the popularity that ash wood type used to have years back, it is still considered one of the competitors’ popular baseball bat wood types.
For those players who prioritize bat speed, ash is the best type of wood that they should prefer since the bat made using this material is completely light in weight and, as a result, guarantees excellent speed. However, the main issue with ash is its durability.
- Grainy structure gives a softer feel to the bat.
- Light in weight therefore increased bat speed.
- Wood has some flex to it.
2- Maple Baseball Bat Wood
Maple is known for being the most common, popular, and one of the strongest woods for baseball bats, thanks to the dense structure that it has to offer. What makes this wood type stand out among competitors is the pop that it comes with, due to which maple bats hit the ball faster and farther than any other type of wood for baseball bats.
The maple bats are not only hard but also thick, which results in an additional force behind the hit, and due to their excellent density, these bats are very less likely to break or crack. MLB bats made of maple are used by the majority of MLB players where the studies show that around 70% of players prefer these kinds of bats.
- These bats are very dense.
- Tighter grain structure than ash makes them more durable.
- Makes the ball fly off faster and further.
3- Hickory Baseball Bat Wood
Hickory is yet another famous baseball bat wood type which was the most popular type of wood to manufacture baseball bats back in the early days of the game. However, once the game started to advance and due to strict rules and regulations, the players started to pay more importance to the bat speed, and its popularity started reducing.
What made it a suitable choice was its hardest nature which also made it quite durable and the most robust wood for the baseball bat. The durability of hickory is such that bats made out of this material are not easy to break off.
- High exit velocity.
- Excellent durability and doesn’t break easily.
- Hardest kind of wood.
4- Birch Baseball Bat Wood
What makes this type of wood intriguing to be used for a baseball bat is the fact that it gets better and better with time. Additionally, they contain almost similar characteristics to that of a maple and ash bat, making them a great choice of wood for a baseball bat.
Although the wood is quite soft, however, there is absolutely no doubt about the durability that it offers. The only problem with bats made of this wood type is that since these are quite soft in nature, a hard hit may leave a kind of dent on the shaft of the bat.
- Very durable in nature.
- Combine the toughness of maple bats along with the flexibility of ash bats.
- The more you hit, the better the bat becomes.
5- Bamboo Baseball Bat Wood
If you are looking for a baseball bat that you can easily use in smaller tournaments like playing with friends, the bamboo baseball bats are definitely an excellent choice since they are one of the lightest that you can get your hands on.
However, the only drawback is you can’t use these bats at the major league level since bamboo is considered a grass and not a wood type which doesn’t come up with the major league rule that states that a baseball bat must be made from a single piece of wood.
- Extremely light in weight.
- They are tough as nails.
- Offers incredible durability.
6- Composite Baseball Bat Wood
This type of wood is the ideal baseball wood bat for practicing since it offers the greatest durability compared to competitors. However, like the bamboo baseball bats, these bats can also not be used at the major league level due to not being made from a single piece of wood.
- Extremely durable.
- Ideal for practicing.
- More flexibility to increase performance.
What type of wood do MLB players use?
The majority of the MLB players use baseball bats made of Maple wood. According to MLB player association spokesman Greg Bouris, few studies have shown that around 70% of Major League Baseball players have used Maple wood bats. In contrast, around 5 percent have used baseball bats made of yellow birch, and 25 percent have used bats made of ash. Several players have given the reason for using maple baseball bat that it is a harder wood and therefore more preferred by them.
What wood bats have the most pop?
The MLB bats made of maple wood have the most pop because they are much denser than other types of wood for baseball bats. Any other type of wood like ash or yellow birch doesn’t have the pop that maple wood has because they are much less dense and less durable therefore resulting in them having lesser pop.
What is the strongest wood for a wood bat?
Different types of wood for baseball bats are used to manufacture them, including ash, maple, hickory, ash, birch, bamboo, etc. While all of them come with their pros and cons, bamboo, maple, and hickory are the hardest of them, out of which hickory is considered the strongest and extremely durable, due to which it doesn’t break easily. Hickory is not only the hardest but also the heaviest of all wood species used for making baseball bats.
Which bat is better, birch or maple?
When it comes to the difference between a maple and a birch baseball bat, the major difference is the flex they have to offer. Birch is considered a better option for baseball since it comes with a hardness of a maple bat and the flex of an ash bat combination, making it a perfect choice. With repetitive baseball contact on the same point as a birch bat, the bat starts becoming more durable, and there are fewer chances of a birch bat flaking apart like ash bats.
Do MLB players use birch?
Yes, MLB players prefer using birch; however, the number of players that prefer birch is quite less compared to the number of players preferring to use maple wood baseball bats. Various studies have shown that around 70% of Major League Baseball players prefer using maple, while the preference percentage of yellow birch by the players is around 5 percent only.
There is no denying that baseball has been getting attention from not only players but also viewers in recent times. No matter if you are aiming for MLB, playing with your friends in school, or just watching this sport, one question that must have popped up in your mind is what wood baseball bats are made of that makes them this strong to go through several hard hits during the play.
Well, there is not one kind of wood to make these bats; therefore, in this article, we have covered all types of woods used to make baseball bats and their benefits to increase your knowledge regarding the said subject.