I remember the days of playing baseball in the back yard with my friends. Our yard was certainly not big enough, but I thought that I needed to have the heaviest wooden bat available to show off my strength. I recall taking the biggest wooden bat off our bat rack and heading out to the back yard. I thought I was big stuff! Some hitters get that felling from a bat that has colorful markings.
I was immediately humbled when I went to swing at my friend’s fastball and could not even get the bat through the strike zone. This is a common problem even for today’s hitter:
Here are three suggestions for bat selection:
1) Bat Speed Matters: If you are having trouble getting the bat head through the strike zone or you notice that your speed is slow, then clearly you need to get another bat off the rack and try again. To help you decide, use the procedure described on p. 32 of Dusty Baker’s Hitting Handbook.
2) Check the Handle Size: If you are not able to grip the bat in your knuckles, then you have a problem. Make sure the bat handle fits easily into your knuckles for optimum performance. If not, look for a bat with a smaller diameter in the handle.
3) Depth and Distance: Does that bat head cover the outside of the plate as you take practice swings? Follow the depth and distance exercise found in the Dusty Baker’s Hitters Handbook, pp. 33-36?
Bat selection is a foundation of the systematic approach. Make sure you do not start from a position of weakness even before you get to the batters box.
For a full description of alcohol fun how to select the proper bat, check out
Step #1 in the Systematic Approach in Dusty’s Hitting Handbook.