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Re: Re: Re: Bat size vs. Bat Speed

Posted by: grc () on Thu Jul 12 11:31:34 2001

""""We currently run a youth baseball travel team and we have some rumblings regarding bat size vs. bat speed. We beeleive that the hitter if he swings the smallest bat to acheive the highest bat speed will result in a better hitter at age 10-12. Others feel that swinging a larger bat, once contact is made will result in a farther hit ball and thus the larger bat is of choice. As the players move up the ladder, pitchers will throw fast and those who swing a large bat will suffer. What is you opinion of bat size dynamics and are we teaching the right points?
> > > Thanks in advance""""
> >
> > In 13U and 14U (even at high levels of play) the additional distance the pitchers have to throw more than reduces the impact of faster pitching.
> >
> > Most of the kids move to a big barrel bat of 23 to 24 ounces and lengths of 31" and 32" at age of 13.
> >
> > The additional reaction time (46' to 54' or even 60') outweighs slight speed increases IMO. Strikeouts are much less (outs from grounders and fly balls increase).
> >
> > So in my experience--let the 12U use lighter bats for contact (and 200 foot fences aren't much to clear) .
> >
> > The adjustment isn't difficult to 13U. They will have to learn eventually to swing a heavy bat--fast but I don't feel it is necessary to do that at 12.
> >
> > My son (a good size 12 last year) used a 31-19 and had plenty of power and contact. He's doing fine with a 32-24 this year and even did OK in a wood bat tournament this year with a (32-29?).
> >
> >
> As to the core question, momentum = mass X velocity. So a heavier bat moving slower can hit as far as a lighter bat moving faster. However, you want to develop batspeed. IMO swing the heaviest bat that you can swing WITHOUT losing batspeed. Of course that means measuring batspeed, testing, etc.
> It also means learning how to swing correctly. Too heavy a bat can be destructive to swing mechanics.
> A light bat can also destroy swing mechanics but in a different way.
> The very light 'super' bats [31-19 types] certainly allow for a lot of batspeed - even if the mechanics are not good.
> THere is significant danger in them as witnessed by fast pitch softball swing mechanics (lots of stride swings, arms and hands swings, poor rotational mechanics, poor lower body work).
> I think that for young kids 5 to 10 yrs old, it allows better plate coverage for them when they are small and need a longer lighter bat - don't forget the pitchers are wilder and the strike zone is bigger but the kids and bats are smaller.
> Once they get some size, the super light bats become a negative and start to ingrain the hands and arm swings that won't work at higher levels. Don't forget the -3 bats that HS and up require.
> I am hoping there will be a backlash against the light bats as limits (-3 or -5) start to drop down to 13 yrs olds. Maybe Major Little League should also require no more than -7's.
> Learn good mechanics and use a -8 or -9 instead of the -10 or -11 that costs $100+ more.
> Batspeed is primary but it is silly for a strong quick 12 yr old to be swinging a 31 -18 1/2 that costs $250 when they can swing a 31-23 with no problem, save money AND use better mechanics.

> there is a tradeoff ....."keep your eye on the ball", written by bahill & another professor whose name i forgot covered this topic....what it comes down to is experimenting to find the optimal combination....respectfully, grc........


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