Wood VS. Aluminum

Growing up baseball was a huge part of my life. For me there was nothing better than going to the batting cage or out to the field and taking batting practice. I was always curious about whether a wood bat or an aluminum bat hit a baseball better. I always hit better with a wood bat, I was never really sure why because everyone else in little league liked to use metal but I am sure there is some science behind this question on which bat choice produces a better output of success.

According to George Manning the big switch with baseball bats occurred in the 1970’s when companies began producing metal and aluminum bats. “The thin walls on a metal bat allow the bat to deform as it makes contact with the baseball and almost cause a trampoline affect.” Wood baseball bats are not hollow at all they are solid as can be, so they don’t receive the the same reaction as the metal at does at contact point. Another point that supports the metal bat is back in 1970 when aluminum bats were first approved in the NCAA the very “first year batting average went up 20 points on average, and home runs nearly doubled.”

An article written by Phoenix Bats is back and forth on the topic of which bat is better in terms of output and numbers produced the one very big point made by them was that wood bats might not hit the ball as far but in multiple areas make the hitter a better baseball player. A wood bat is usually heavier and has a way smaller sweet spot. When practicing with a bat that is heavier and has a smaller sweet spot it makes you a stronger hitter and trains your eyes to have better hand eye coordination.

A good way to test this question would to have a double blind experiment coordinated using a wood and a metal bat hitting against a pitching machine. The control variable would be the machine throwing every pitch at the same speed. The obvious variable being used in this experiment would be the metal bat and the wooden bat. For this experiment having many people would be ideal to get an accurate response. The average distances hit for the metal bat and wooden bat would be the answer that would hopefully show what bat hits the ball further.

 

Image result for wood bats vs aluminum bats

In conclusion, even though I enjoy using a wood baseball bat I think metal bats through all the technology advances do on average hit the ball further. In this graph above it shows that aluminum produce a way higher batting average and amount of home runs in game situations than wooden bats. This still doesn’t directly infer which hits the ball further but since it shows a higher rate of home runs that says something.

https://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/tools_4.html

http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/bats/NCAA-stats.html

1 thought on “Wood VS. Aluminum

  1. Christopher Ronkainen

    I found this post very intriguing. Although I am not the biggest baseball fan, I always wondered why the MLB used wooden bats when colleges and younger players all used aluminum bats. From reading your post, I believe it is because it takes more skill to use a wooden bat and that with aluminum bats the major league players would be way outperforming their current standards. From looking at the article you used in your post, they also stated that the reason why the MLB does not switch is due to them wanting to protect historic records and have the players performance be due to their human ability and not the scientific advancement in bats.

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