Each material is going to offer unique pros and cons. What it ultimately comes down to is personal preference.
Aluminum or Alloy is going to offer more of a “ping” sound on contact. These bats will not require a break-in period, and they are going to be at its peak performance right out of the wrapper. Alloy bats are susceptible to denting toward the end of their lifespan.
Composite is going to offer more of a “crack” or “thud” sound on contact. Some composite bats may require a slight break-in period of about 50 swings off of a tee or soft-toss, but due to regulation changes, many are as good as alloy out of the wrapper. Composite bats are susceptible to cracking toward the end of their life-spans. These bats are composed of carbon, glasses, and Kevlar fibers that are embedded in a plastic resin. Composite bats should not be used in weather under 60* Fahrenheit. The #1 tip is to rotate your bat a 1/4 turn in your hands every swing. This will help break the bat in EVENLY, and also extend the life of the bat.
Hybrid bats are going to offer a lightweight composite handle with an alloy barrel which is said to reduce handle vibration.
1 Piece vs 2 Piece Bats:
One–piece bats provide little or no give and have a stiff feel when contact is made with the ball. … For this reason, one–piece bats are preferred by stronger players with above average bat speed such as a power hitter. Two-piece bats provide more flex at contact with the ball. Two-piece bats are the most used type of bat, and will provide the BEST performance. Whether, you’re a power hitter, a contact hitter, or just starting the game.
What is Bat Drop?
The “drop” as some may call it, the number with the minus in front of it as others call it, or the length-to-weight ratio. What this term defines is the difference between the length of the bat in inches and the weight of the bat in ounces. The larger the number, the lighter the bat. Our bats come in a variety of length-to-weight ratios varying anywhere between a -3 to a -14.
If you have a -10 length-to-weight ratio and a 30-inch bat, you will subtract ten from the 30 inches, and that will give you the weight in ounces (20 ounces).
Balanced bats will have their weight distributed evenly throughout the entire length of the bat and are geared more towards your average player, or a smaller player.
End-loaded bats have a portion of their weight focused towards the end of the barrel, end loaded bats will always provide better performance as long as swing speed is not affected negatively.
BBCOR: Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution. This certification is the standard that regulates the overall performance of adult bats used by high school and collegiate players. BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the bat.
USSSA: United States Specialty Sports Association.
USSSA BPF 1.15: Bat Performance Factor measures how fast the ball comes off of the bat. 1.15 is the standard for youth baseball bats.
USSSA BPF 1.20: Bat Performance Factor for Slow Pitch and Fastpitch softball governed leagues.
USSSA BPF 1.21: Bat Performance Factor for Slow Pitch senior softball leagues such as SSUSA.
ASA: Amateur Softball Association. (Fastpitch Highschool Bats need the ASA Certification)
ISA: Independent Softball Association.
ISF: International Softball Federation.
NSA: National Softball Association.
SSUSA: Senior Softball-USA
A short barrel end loaded bat will create more whip with a more compressed sweet spot there fore giving a greater exit velocity driving the ball farther. Long barrel el comes around a bit slower but has a larger sweet spot (not as compressed) but is more forgiving on slightly less targeted impact.
Long Barrel vs Short Barrel
Long Barrel bats will have their weight distributed evenly throughout the entire length of the bat and are geared more towards your average player, or a smaller player.
Short Barrel bats will create more whip, even more with an end load, with a more compressed sweet spot therefore giving a greater exit velocity driving the ball farther.
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