Given 2 players as equal as possible in all respects, how much better if at all would one be than the other, if at age 10 he began practicing with wood, the other never used a wood bat and both take the same number of swings under the same conditions.

 

Original Post

The player using wood will get training the other player won't. The kid using wood will be training to hit off a small sweet spot. When he picks up metal he will get the best results. He will be hitting off the sweetest spot of a large sweet spot.

i remember in 14u my son fisted a line drive double down the line. I commented to a parent with wood he would be holding a bat handle as he went back to the dugout. Those fisted hits with metal can create a lot of false confidence.

i had my son hitting with wood in BP starting at eleven. Starting with 16u almost every tournament was wood.

Concur with RJM.  My 2018 has been using wood in the off season and fall teams since he was 11U.  As his fundamentals have improved, and using wood preseason to metal during season there's a noticeable difference between his performance compared to the other kids that don't do this.  

His club team now dictates the players use wood in the fall and during off season training. 

Having my son use wood in LL BP frustrated him. One of his teammates hit a lot of homers in BP. With wood my son would hit line drives to or off the fence with an occasional shot over he fence.

i told him when his teammate washes out of the game before varsity remember I told him so. This kid's moon shots were routine fly outs by varsity tryouts.

RJM posted:

Having my son use wood in LL BP frustrated him. One of his teammates hit a lot of homers in BP. 

LLWS would definitely be more competitive with wood. New metal bats changed the game. Turn on TV and you see strikeouts and check swing HRs. Was always told that deficiencies in swing aren't masked with wood. Depends on player but son preferred wood that he used with American Legion each summer.

7.3742% better.

Sorry, that was snarky. My real answer is, who knows?

2019Son's travel team only uses wood in both practice and games, with the exception of a few national tournaments in which metal is allowed. Does it help them become better? I tend to agree with RJM that it does, for the reason he stated. How much it helps them is unknowable, IMO.

2017s travel team uses wood only.  Both fall and summer.  Since he started using wood 2 years ago you can see a difference in his swing.  Has some nice line drive hits with the wood.  When HS season starts and he is "allowed" to use a metal/composite bat he really smacks the $**t out of the ball.  Its from learning to swing a bat properly using a wood bat. 

different opinion here, in LL I would say there  is no advantage what so ever. it is bombs away from u10-u12. Let the boys enjoy it is supposed to be fun.

At 13 we trained with a BB core all winter and played a split season with BSER (or whatever the exact letters are) and BBcore. the minus 3 did what was needed for weight, strength etc. The sweet spot is what is, the object of every kid is to hit it square regardless of the material.

The fall of 14u he started playing some wood bat, by the fall of 15u it was almost exclusively wood bat. We actually have an advantage with wood now because he hits the sweet spot a higher % of times then 90% or more...but he never trained once with them until he was 14.

The other side of it is my younger one started training wood at 11 because his coach thought it was important...it wasn't he is no better or worse because of it. Now he claims he is better hitter with wood, we all know that is just silly but you can't convince a 14 year old of that!

Bottom line is if the boy can hit, trains well, uses a good approach to his AB's it doesn't make a damn bit of difference what he trains with at 10,12 or 14 IMO.

What matters is if he training properly so when they make the switch to wood it really isn't an issue.

 

Stats4Gnats posted:

Given 2 players as equal as possible in all respects, how much better if at all would one be than the other, if at age 10 he began practicing with wood, the other never used a wood bat and both take the same number of swings under the same conditions.

 

Generally speaking, I would say that metal bats are better for kids before High School.  It's easier to get a bat for them that fits them for bat control where wood can be too barrel weighted for some to control.  For this age group, the metal give tend  to provide confidence as there's larger sweet-spots and balls can also be hit somewhat effectively when contact is outside of the sweet-spot.  While the latter might be of some advantage, what it does is create a habit of not consistently squaring up the ball on the sweet-spot.  Then when they get older, the wonder why they break so many wood bats with they later on start playing with them.

Once kids get into HS, it's a good idea to practice as much as possible with wood to develop the habit of squaring the ball up on the smaller sweet spot.  This not only helps with producing better hits when using metal in HS, it also help develop better at-bats where the player learn to be more selective about the pitches he will go after and how he goes about trying to make contact.

RJM posted:

i remember in 14u my son fisted a line drive double down the line. I commented to a parent with wood he would be holding a bat handle as he went back to the dugout. Those fisted hits with metal can create a lot of false confidence.

i had my son hitting with wood in BP starting at eleven. Starting with 16u almost every tournament was wood.

RJM, that logic is a head shaker.  He had been training with wood from 11 and at 14  he couldn't hit the sweet spot and got jammed.  Confidence is huge in baseball.  Sounds like a solid kid that stuck with the game.  Many kids frustrated at 11 might switch to Lacroose.  So the LL kid that was flying out in HS VS tryouts was all because he didn't swing wood in LL BP.  I am glad that kid got a chance to hit some over the fence.  You just can't make this stuff up.  

real green posted:

From what I have seen it takes very little time to adjust from bat to bat.  There is not much difference in swing weight from BBCOR to wood.  

There's a lot of adjustment when as the pitching velocity increases the more wood bats are broken when the ball is hit off the end of the bat or just above the hands.  Doing so with a BBCOR bat can produce a little better hits and keep the bat as reusable.   

real green posted:
RJM posted:

i remember in 14u my son fisted a line drive double down the line. I commented to a parent with wood he would be holding a bat handle as he went back to the dugout. Those fisted hits with metal can create a lot of false confidence.

i had my son hitting with wood in BP starting at eleven. Starting with 16u almost every tournament was wood.

RJM, that logic is a head shaker.  He had been training with wood from 11 and at 14  he couldn't hit the sweet spot and got jammed.  Confidence is huge in baseball.  Sounds like a solid kid that stuck with the game.  Many kids frustrated at 11 might switch to Lacroose.  So the LL kid that was flying out in HS VS tryouts was all because he didn't swing wood in LL BP.  I am glad that kid got a chance to hit some over the fence.  You just can't make this stuff up.  

You're missing the point. My son took the training advice. The other kid refused. On the double my son was fisted. He only got a hit because he put the best swing he could on a tough pitch. But a lot of kids would get a bunch of these kinds of hits off very hittable pitches and believe they are good hitters. The other kid was out muscling the field. He hit homers in LL getting fisted. With false confidence his father and he didn't see the need to improve his swing. It came back to bite him. He didn't make varsity.

 

The most swings a kid will get is in BP. I believe taking BP with wood forced my son to focus on hitting with the sweet spot of the bat. My son was five feet when he was twelve. He owned the league. He finished second in homers. He had a high quality swing. Of course he used metal in games. As a 5'2 13u player he was hitting line drives. From there it was just a matter of growing and filling out to hit for power. A lot of kids who fooled themselves with metal flopped when hey hit the 60/90. Kids a lot bigger than my son.

its also just personal experience and opinion based on the experience. Like results, experiences may vary. I know kids who never touched a wood bat until 16u who were good players.

Consultant posted:

Why not? It is a great game. Teaches hitting, fielding and throwing and  without effort

Bob

I'm not disagreeing. I just didn't see it. Almost everywhere we played through 16u didn't allow batted balls on or near the field before games. We only got BP if there was a cage. Soft toss or tee work required a net. We often did pregame with whiffle golf balls.

My 2017 still plays pepper.  On his previous travel team, they used to use it to keep warm after warm-ups before a game.  Once we were done with the official warm ups most of team would go off to the side and play pepper.  On his HS team and travel team the warm-ups are a little more extensive so there is less time but if there is time, he and a couple of kids off his old travel team, still head off to the side to play pepper until the game starts.

I am not trying to hijack the thread and I promise I will get to the point eventually but I am trying to give some perspective. 

I grew up in an era where everyone used wood from 6 to 18.  There were no other competing sports in the spring for young men and accordingly the best athletes were always on the baseball field.  I picked up my first aluminum bat at 18 and could not figure out what all the fuss was about.  Fast forward 15 years and I can't find a wood bat that is made of decent wood for an 8 year old.  The racks were filled with the latest, lightest and most reactive aluminum bats.  I picked one up and was amazed the ball wouldn't crush it on contact.  At 12 I was 5'7" and 140 and at 12 my 1st son was 4'11" and 90 (I know precisely because he wrestled that weight) In LL I hit lots of wood bat home runs but I watched him launch balls over the little league fences and was amazed at how much better he was then me.  His swing must be perfect to generate that type of power!!!  In travel ball it continued and in high school (pre-BBCOR days) he led the district in average and extra base hits.  His 17U team played in a wood bat tournament (seemed silly to me at the time because metal bats were wonderful) He made consistent contact but we began to realize his swing was a lie.  The balls he drove into alleys for doubles were now cut off for singles, balls blasted over the outfielders heads were now lazy fly outs.   The aluminum bat had given us both a false sense of accomplishment.  As he grew I saw things I thought were flaws in his swing but convinced myself "Who are you to comment just watch him hit!"  

Two years later and lots of work on his part and he made his college team (DIII).  So now for the answer to the OP...

I don't think there is a "Right" answer...In this case the aluminum bat gave him a false sense of success and allowed flaws to remain in his swing but it kept him interested in the game and more importantly kept the lacrosse and spring soccer coaches away.  Wood could have meant the end of baseball for him OR it could have helped him develop a swing based on all of the key elements working together.  Great hitters (Bryce Harper, Baez, Springer) make the transition from aluminum to 100% wood with little disruption.  All hitters can make the transition with enough hard work and effort.

I think my bottom line would be for any young ball player whether they swing wood or aluminum the instruction they receive needs to focus on developing a sound fundamental swing and good concept of the strike zone. 

RJM hit on it in his early post.

"i remember in 14u my son fisted a line drive double down the line. I commented to a parent with wood he would be holding a bat handle as he went back to the dugout. Those fisted hits with metal can create a lot of false confidence."

If a parent focuses on the result (double) then we are doing a disservice to our son.  Maybe using wood and breaking it off in his hands is the answer but I think as parents and coaches making sure we praise the process and the diligent work needed to develop a good swing and this can be accomplished with any bat type.

"When a parent allows pride of their children's accomplishment or comparison to others to supersede teaching hard work, discipline and the pursuit of knowledge we have laid a foundation for failure" 

 

 

  1. It's difficult to find a wood bat that is appropriate for a 10 year old that is a -2 or -3.
  2. If there are plans for a young teen to play in the WWBA, then the wood bat should be a regular part of BP.
  3. But for a tween, I'd concentrate on working on the swing.
joemktg posted:
  1. It's difficult to find a wood bat that is appropriate for a 10 year old that is a -2 or -3.
  2. If there are plans for a young teen to play in the WWBA, then the wood bat should be a regular part of BP.
  3. But for a tween, I'd concentrate on working on the swing.

You can buy wood bats that are made to your specs, from 25" to 30" and 17oz to 31oz, so they can adapt to the weight increases gradually if you prefer.  This also allows them to continue to work on their swing with a bat that is the same as, or similarly weighted to, their normal metal bat.  I've seen these bats for $100.  

My son used wood all winter, starting when he was a young guy.  I would up the weight for him every winter so he could adapt to a heavier bat the following spring.  The only drawback was that he could easily swing a -3 by the time he was 12; so he was a little ahead of the schedule that I thought he would be on.  

All of this being said, he swung metal at all the tournaments and had a ball playing little league and travel with his friends.

joemktg posted:
  1. It's difficult to find a wood bat that is appropriate for a 10 year old that is a -2 or -3.
  2. If there are plans for a young teen to play in the WWBA, then the wood bat should be a regular part of BP.
  3. But for a tween, I'd concentrate on working on the swing.

They're -7 with thin handles. They break easily. At ten my son went through four $15 Ken Griffey's. The next year he started using a -3. He was 4'10", 80. 

More importantly I started working with his swing when he was eleven. He had a good swing. I wanted him to understand why. By fourteen he would comment something in his swing didn't feel right. Please watch. Other than this he made all his own adjustments.

The only lessons (after soph year of his) he took were to stop trying to pull everything and go the other way. He was on the receiving end of pressure to adjust from a pro scout/hitting instructor. He couldn't tune him out like dad. I had been telling him for two years to go the other way on outside pitches.

MDBallDad posted:

 

  In travel ball it continued and in high school (pre-BBCOR days)

Oh how I wish my sons could have had the opportunity to play pre BBcor....would have loved that!

Now if we could please just get HS and NCAA to play with MLB baseballs it would be a big improvement

Coaching for years, wood bats came out of the bags every so often.  Most kids have one.  They are fun and cheap.  The kids that could hit, hit well with wood.  The kids that couldn't hit couldn't hit with wood.  I never once "exposed" a kids hitting flaws because he was swinging wood.  The flaws were already there.  I have not seen wood fix swing flaws.   

real green posted:

Coaching for years, wood bats came out of the bags every so often.  Most kids have one.  They are fun and cheap.  The kids that could hit, hit well with wood.  The kids that couldn't hit couldn't hit with wood.  I never once "exposed" a kids hitting flaws because he was swinging wood.  The flaws were already there.  I have not seen wood fix swing flaws.   

. . . neither have I, if were just talking about swing mechanics.  But I have seen it make a difference in player's approach at the plate.

RJM posted:The only lessons (after soph year of his) he took were to stop trying to pull everything and go the other way. He was on the receiving end of pressure to adjust from a pro scout/hitting instructor. He couldn't tune him out like dad. I had been telling him for two years to go the other way on outside pitches.

lol . . . regarding being "tuned out",

Funny how dad's come to not knowing as much as they used to, especially when sons start working with the likes of "pro scout/hitting instructors".   I'm glad to say sons eventually  come to find their dad is smarter than they thought. 

 

old_school posted:
MDBallDad posted:

 

  In travel ball it continued and in high school (pre-BBCOR days)

Oh how I wish my sons could have had the opportunity to play pre BBcor....would have loved that!

Now if we could please just get HS and NCAA to play with MLB baseballs it would be a big improvement

As I recall, NCAA now uses balls that are like what MiLB uses???   And I think I'v heard that many HS's are now doing the same.  MiLB ball's seams are still higher than MLB balls.  There is still a significant difference.  MiLB ball's seams are lower than the older NCAA balls, just not quite as low as MLB balls.  

I do think it'd be fun to have NCAA use the same ball and MLB, but then. . . MLB probably wouldn't like that. 

real green posted:

Coaching for years, wood bats came out of the bags every so often.  Most kids have one.  They are fun and cheap.  The kids that could hit, hit well with wood.  The kids that couldn't hit couldn't hit with wood.  I never once "exposed" a kids hitting flaws because he was swinging wood.  The flaws were already there.  I have not seen wood fix swing flaws.   

Wood doesn't fix the flaws. But success with metal can blind players and their parents to flaws. I was to,d about a legend at a rival LL. I was told he was hitting balls to roof tops across the street (in rf). I pictured a sweet swing lefty. It turned out to be a big, strong (relative to LL) physical early bloomer righty with a swing like a rusty gate. His dad nicknamed him Meal Ticket. By high school the only meal ticket was the one the kid used for lunch.

Truman posted:
RJM posted:The only lessons (after soph year of his) he took were to stop trying to pull everything and go the other way. He was on the receiving end of pressure to adjust from a pro scout/hitting instructor. He couldn't tune him out like dad. I had been telling him for two years to go the other way on outside pitches.

lol . . . regarding being "tuned out",

Funny how dad's come to not knowing as much as they used to, especially when sons start working with the likes of "pro scout/hitting instructors".   I'm glad to say sons eventually  come to find their dad is smarter than they thought. 

 

I paid someone $1,500 for my son to listen to the same advice I had been giving him for two years. I guess the benefit was the instructor never gave my son "the look."

Hi everyone.  I've been busy and haven't been around the forums in a while.  It doesn't sound like most people have heard about the new youth league bat rule coming down the pike.  Beginning Jan 1st, 2018, all youth bats will be under a rule that is the same as BBCOR.  In other words, they will have to perform the same as wood bats.  Because of a lot of demand (which surprised even me) we just came out with a youth model (2.25" barrel)  On the page with the bat, in there copy there is a link to information about the new rule, for which USA Baseball is the lead agency. MacDougallBats/ K-3 Youth Model  It is made the same as our adult models and carries a 1 year breakage warranty.  When the new rule goes into effect, there won't really be any reason NOT to swing wood.

John MacDougall posted:

…When the new rule goes into effect, there won't really be any reason NOT to swing wood.

 

Sounds like what you’re saying is, since there’s no difference, swinging with wood won’t make anyone any better and swinging with a BBCOR non-wood bat won’t hold anyone back.

Stats4Gnats posted:

John MacDougall posted:

…When the new rule goes into effect, there won't really be any reason NOT to swing wood.

 

Sounds like what you’re saying is, since there’s no difference, swinging with wood won’t make anyone any better and swinging with a BBCOR non-wood bat won’t hold anyone back.

I was just reading the "Rap Session".  Fun stuff.  To your question, well, no, I wouldn't say that.  I'm not really sure what the heck kids are going to "feel" with the new bats as they are always all over the place.  The metal bat makers all use different methods of construction and weight the bats differently.  They all have different moment of inertia's  that can vary a LOT from one to the next.  MOI is the important thing, not "drop weight".  MOI is what you feel and is what determines bat speed.  Metal bats do so many thing to try and avoid "sting" that it is hard for a kid to get a "sense" of where they just made contact and have it filed in their learning memory.  Then they get a new metal bat that is made differently (because it has cool graphics on it) and it feels different yet.  Hitting is a thing learned over time from repetition and each time they hit their computer has a little more data.  It is all pretty much unconscious.  This is why Albert Pujols couldn't touch a Jenny Finch softball pitch.  He wasn't "programmed" for it.

There are a lot of variables that go into becoming a good hitter.  It is probably a good idea to remove as many of the variables as possible so you know the actual effects of any changes you make.  Derek Jeter swung the exact same P72 from the day he got there.  I'm not saying that is what made him a great hitter, but it probably helped.  Like they say, a stopped clock is at least right twice a day! :-)  With the metal bats, they tend to be different all the time because they make a "new year model" that you have to have.  Even when they have to perform the same as wood!  I'm sure it makes sense from a marketing stance. 

You might guess that I'm somewhat biased, being a wood bat maker.  That's probably true, but the reason I make a special wood bat is that is how I happen to think the game should be played.  Baseball is steeped in "Tradition" and that's a pretty important one.  I spent almost two years developing the bat because I wanted it to be a lot tougher but still be nothing but real wood - because of "tradition".  No fiberglass, no plastic, no metal rods.  Shoot, even the SOUND of real wood hitting a ball makes the game more fun.   I like real grass fields better too!

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×