Wood bats have long been associated with more advanced players and hitters, and are commonly used in professional leagues. However, in recent years, the use of wood bats has been expanding to other levels of play, such as college summer leagues, adult recreational leagues, and amateur tournaments. This is due in part to the skill required to use wood bats and the unique sound of the "crack" of the bat, which is often considered to be an integral part of America's pastime.
Louisville Slugger was once the dominant player in the wood bat market, but in recent years, more United States-based manufacturers have been making a name for themselves. Baton Rouge-based Marucci Sports and King of Prussia-based Victus Sports are now considered to be among the top wood bat manufacturers in the industry, and are even endorsed by MLB players.
Traditionally, ash wood bats were the preferred choice for hitters, as they look for tight, straight grain in the wood. However, more and more players are now opting for harder and denser woods such as maple and birch. Wood bats are constructed in different turning models or barrel diameters and handle thicknesses, and the weight of the wood can vary slightly. Therefore, the weight is not etched or inscribed on the bat, only the length. Hitters often experiment with different barrel diameters and tapers to find the bat that they prefer.
Wood bats have been a staple in the game of baseball for years and continue to be so. Players and fans alike appreciate the skill and tradition that comes with using wood bats, and manufacturers such as Marucci Sports and Victus Sports are leading the way in producing high-quality wood bats for players at all levels. Whether you're a professional player or just starting out, experimenting with different types of wood and barrel diameters is a great way to find the perfect wood bat for you.