You’ve successfully navigated the bat purchasing process, so the last thing you want to do is start the exercise all over again. The best way to avoid this is by taking care of your new bat and following bat care tips.
There are four major factors that you need to be mindful of to extend the lifespan of your bat, and JustBats.com is here to review all four.
Number of Hits
This is as simple as it sounds. Limiting the total number of times you use your bat in non-game situations will allow it to perform at a higher level over a longer period of time. The following tips will help you limit the number of hits on your bat:
- Use a similarly sized “practice” bat for the batting cages, tee work, soft toss, etc.
- Avoid sharing your bat with your teammates.
- Do not clean your cleats by hitting your bat against them.
- Be mindful of how you are treating your bat bag while it contains your bat(s).
Type of Balls
The type of ball you are hitting can have an extreme impact on the longevity of your bat. As previously mentioned, you do not want to use your preferred bat in the batting cages. The reason for this, beyond limiting the number of hits on the bat, is because batting cage balls are denser than regular baseballs and softballs. These dense balls increase the overall chance for denting and cracking. If you dent or crack your bat from batting cage usage, your warranty will not be honored by the manufacturer.
Can I Use A Batting Sleeve To Protect My Bat?
- While batting sleeves may provide some exterior protection, the fact of the matter is that they do not offer protection for the integrity of your barrel. We do not condone the usage of batting sleeves to protect your bat.
- The best protective measure to conserve your bat is to not use it outside of games. However, if you want to swing in practice with it, we advise that you hit either tennis or whiffle balls to decrease the overall force on your barrel.
You should not use an aluminum bat in cold weather. The reason for this is not because of the bat, but rather the density of the ball. The lower the temperature, the denser the ball becomes. Thus, more stress is placed on the aluminum walls of the bat, which increases the likelihood of denting or cracking.
Composite Bats Are Lower Performing In Cold Weather, Right?
- As we alluded to above, it is not the performance of the bat that is going to be most jeopardized in cold weather.
- Composite bats are comprised of multiple inter-woven microfibers. This is why we recommend that you “break-in” your composite bats by hitting 100-150 balls to allow for the microfibers to set in and improve performance. These same microfibers feel extreme amounts of strain when they collide with the dense balls created by cold weather. The more the fibers are strained, the worse your chances are of your bat cracking.
- Once a composite bat cracks, the bat is essentially worthless. This is different from alloy bats that are prone to denting, which does negatively impact the bats but even after a dent or two, they remain usable.
Bat Speed of Hitter
The faster you/your player swing the bat, the harder the collision with the ball will be. And the lighter the baseball bat or softball bat, the thinner the barrel walls are. Therefore you are compounding the negative effects on the structure of your bat’s barrel by swinging weaker barrel walls at an accelerated speed.
If I Swing A Lighter Bat, I Will Swing It Faster And The Ball Will Go Further…
- While you will be able to swing the bat faster, it will not necessarily translate into power.
- When chopping wood, you do not bring a butcher’s knife to a pile of wood. Sure you could swing the knife faster, but the axe is going to provide more power. With this is mind, we recommend that your player swings the heaviest bat in which they are comfortable swinging. This will allow them to get more weight behind each swing and drive the ball further.
In conclusion, it is hard to say that you should expect a certain number of “hits” out of this bat or that bat. However, if you remain cognizant of these main factors while taking care of your bat, you should be able to effectively maximize the longevity of your new bat. If you have any specific bat questions, remember our Bat Experts are available via telephone at 866-321-2287, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can live chat! Don't forget, we'll be here for you from click to hit!