BBCOR bats - what's the difference?

This is probably a really dumb question and I'm likely missing a key point, but, why the heck not?  

if all BBCOR bats have the same drop (-3) , the same trampoline effect (.5) and same diameter
(2 5/8 inches), then what exactly is the difference between a $100 BBCOR and a $400 BBCOR?

I understand that all bats look different, some might be end-loaded, others may be balanced, and some handles might be thinner than others.  Maybe a barrel might also be longer on some bats.

But, this mostly seems like something that is so standardized that one might actually be paying for nothing as you go up the price scale.  Any thoughts on this ???   

Original Post

The difference can be in the construction (one piece, two piece, etc), the materials, carbon fiber, various alloys, etc.

Bats can be crafted to be balanced, end loaded, etc., and the materials used can impact that and drive the cost up and down accordingly.

Finally, marketing and what the market can bear.  Much like the golf industry discovered, a person purchasing a $400 driver has a perceived difference in performance than a person with a $200 driver.  Don't think this hasn't trickled into the bat industry.  Much of the pricing is artificial inflation for profit.

Assuming you're a buyer, here are two strategies we have used that have worked for us:

1 - To narrow down your choices,  see what similar players in college and HS are swinging. IOW if your guy is masher see what mashers use. If he's a contact guy see what they use.

2 - find the bat that your kid really likes by swinging at the store and using a friend's in the cage. Whatever that is, within reason, buy last year's model. It will be almost the same bat with different paint job, and should save you 50% of the purchase price.

 

JCG posted:

Assuming you're a buyer, here are two strategies we have used that have worked for us:

1 - To narrow down your choices,  see what similar players in college and HS are swinging. IOW if your guy is masher see what mashers use. If he's a contact guy see what they use.

2 - find the bat that your kid really likes by swinging at the store and using a friend's in the cage. Whatever that is, within reason, buy last year's model. It will be almost the same bat with different paint job, and should save you 50% of the purchase price.

 

That's what we do every year for our HS team bat... follow which bat was hottest previous year and buy it one year old at 40-50% off.  

While the gap has narrowed with BBCOR restrictions, there is still a difference in performance, as Mid pointed out.  

JCG posted:

Assuming you're a buyer, here are two strategies we have used that have worked for us:

1 - To narrow down your choices,  see what similar players in college and HS are swinging. IOW if your guy is masher see what mashers use. If he's a contact guy see what they use.

2 - find the bat that your kid really likes by swinging at the store and using a friend's in the cage. Whatever that is, within reason, buy last year's model. It will be almost the same bat with different paint job, and should save you 50% of the purchase price.

 

Yep. Take for example Easton. If you watch college teams that are Easton teams, you'll notice a lot of them using 2014 Easton S1's, S2's and XL1's and XL3's. They are usually old and look worn out, but they seem to prefer them to the brand new Easton bats they obviously have access to.

Accurate or not, most players believe the more you hit a bbcor bat, the better the performance.  Might be that all those swings taken trying to break in the bat made them better hitters?  Buying last years model is a smart, cost effective way to go.   

I believe that 95% of the difference between a $100 & $400 bat is simply perceived, and not objectively quantifiable.  Yes, the $400 bat should be machined with more precision and is thus closer to the .5 max threshold than the $100 bat.  The difference is in marketing and  who is using/buying what bat.  I would love to see both a controlled "robot arm" test to determine true "pop" of various brands and price levels of bbcor bat as well as a blind test, where players of varying levels use a variety of sanitized bat, with no way to identify the bat and then rate each, based on several criteria includingop, balance, feel, speed, etc.

I truly believe that the results of such a test would make most wonder if the more expensive bats are REALLY worth the premium--although as we all know, in baseball just believing you are swinging the best stick CAN improve your batting average!  

old_school posted:

the old black and yellow S1 was an awesome bat...the last 2 years or so L-ville slugger 917, 916 seem to be extremely well liked.

From personal experience this year I can tell you that having my 2021 swing & sample most all of the new bats, The L-Ville 917 was easily the best of the group.  

DALEX posted:

I believe that 95% of the difference between a $100 & $400 bat is simply perceived, and not objectively quantifiable.  

I like your 95% number, because that allows for an objective 5%. That's the difference between 357' and 375'. For some people that's worth the premium. But being objective on price, you probably won't find a new list price BBCOR bat for $100. Most people are looking at $200-300 aluminum vs $300-$400 composite. If you shop for last year's model (guilty), then you might be comparing $100 aluminum to $200 aluminum, or $250 composite.

I have often wondered why someone hasn't built a hitting machine like Golf Laboratories makes for golf. How fun would it be testing bats and balls with something like that?

MidAtlanticDad posted:
DALEX posted:

I believe that 95% of the difference between a $100 & $400 bat is simply perceived, and not objectively quantifiable.  

 

I have often wondered why someone hasn't built a hitting machine like Golf Laboratories makes for golf. How fun would it be testing bats and balls with something like that?

above is truth!

PG you are an entrepreneur and you need to go to work on this big fella! Add it to the list for Perfect Game Services inc. !!!

My oldest has always been a bat rat, from the LL and the old days of the stealth, to the light blue combat, to the Omen, Mayko, S1, Voodoo, 916...I think that is all of them he used for a full season. Sadly maybe I am as well!!

old_school posted:

My oldest has always been a bat rat, from the LL and the old days of the stealth, to the light blue combat, to the Omen, Mayko, S1, Voodoo, 916...I think that is all of them he used for a full season. Sadly maybe I am as well!!

My son (and thus mostly me) was also a bat rat, starting with the light blue combat of LLWS "fame." I actually sold that bat for 75% of what I paid for it! Rawlings 5150 Velos once he moved to BBCOR.

"But being objective on price, you probably won't find a new list price BBCOR bat for $100."

http://www.justbats.com/produc...-bat--bb16gen/23109/

Hope it's allowed, not advertising, just showing that you can indeed find a sub $100 BBCOR.  Pretty decent reviews even!  When my son was graduating to the big field and BBCOR bats, I bought this bat for him to start practicing with until he was comfortable swinging and hitting the BBCOR, then we shopped for the bat he was most comfortable with.  He actually liked this bat and hit well with it. In all honesty, I never saw much difference in "pop" between that Mizuno and the Velo, 5150 and CAT6 he has used subsequently.   Again, I would like to see an objective comparison between bats at all price levels--I think the results would be surprising. 

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