Sunday, October 16, 2011

Developing Poor Hitters? Wooden Bats Vs Aluminum

By Jim Bain

The number one fear I have is, Are we developing a generation of poor hitters without realizing it? Are screaming line drives, hit by 70 pound kids, the result of excellent hitting mechanics or the result of the bat he's using? One must begin to consider this scenario as composite baseball bats are beginning to be banned by little league, high school and college levels as illegal because they are becoming dangerous.

It's a scientific fact composite and aluminum bats add 20 to 30 feet of distance to a hit ball. They are very forgiving of a swing which produces "bad contact" or "mis-hits" resulting in a Texas League line drive into right field instead of a soft line drive to the second baseman. True and very knowledgeable baseball people would find it nearly impossible to determine which Pinging Sound was the result of solid contact or a miscue with their eyes closed.

We really don't know for sure what kind of hitters we are developing until they begin hitting with wooden bats.

Looking To The Future: Advise to Coaches

Coaches at the higher age and talent level should take it upon themselves to perform some real soul searching and look at what might be the Best for their players, although it will place the win - loss record in jeopardy.

Players with enough talent to be seriously scouted by Major League Scouts, or college for that matter, should intensely consider switching from an aluminum bat and begin using a wooden baseball bat.

I realize this is a Catch 22 with possibly huge impacts on the player's numbers. A 30 home run season suddenly becomes a 20 or even 18 home run season. Texas league base hits, which add to the batting average, become outs and more than likely the number of Extra base hits go down. High prices to pay when trying to accumulate spectacular numbers in which to impress scouts.

However, there is a positive flip side. Should the hitter discover, by the sound and results of using a wooden baseball bat, his hitting mechanics aren't quite as good as thought, he has time to adjust and correct the flaws before being thrust into a higher level, A ball for example, and suddenly realize he has issues. *** Rookie level Minor League Baseball forward prohibits using anything but a wooden baseball bat. ***

Secondly, Baseball Scouts, although far from perfect, look at how many teams passed by Albert Pujos in the draft, are not stupid people in regards to baseball issues. They see and realize a player using a wooden baseball bat hitting.303 with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs, is a much better hitter than the player hitting.340 with 20 home runs and 80 RBIs while using an aluminum bat.

Bottom line: We don't know what kind of a hitter a player is until he's forced to use a wooden bat.

Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player, who since retiring has dedicated his life to teaching baseball to youth, shares his advice on running baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:

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