Baseball is a game of statistics and the home run is the most exciting statistic to watch. When homeruns drop off in any type of baseball, from Little League to MLB, stakeholders in the game take notice. While batting averages, home runs, and other statistics are usually based on the ability of the player, there is significant proof that equipment, especially the baseball bat, has an effect on statistics, too.
NCAA BBCOR Decision
In 2009, the NCAA made a major decision that has affected the number of homeruns because it involved decisions about what type of bats could be used on in live games. The rule involved bat regulations about composite-barrel bats. Prior to 2009, the NCAA allowed players to use composite bats under a standard called BESR (Bat Exit Speed Ratio). Now, players can use BBCOR (Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution) bats. The difference between these two bats is more than an acronym. The new BBCOR bats are made of solid alloy, which makes them thicker than the BESR bats, but they have a smaller sweet spot. This means that players have less opportunity to hit balls out of the park.
Reactions to the Stance
The stance on BBCOR bats is mixed. There are many coaches and players who truly appreciate the change from BESR to BBCOR, especially for safety reasons. When players used the BESR bats, balls jumped right off of the bats and some of the balls caused serious injuries to defensive players. No one wants a pitcher or infielder to be hit in the face with an uber-powerful line drive and the BBCOR bats are designed to help prevent this. In the age of concussions, the BBCOR bat debate receives praise from those who have suffered and treated players with injuries.
On the opposing side, there are players and fans who miss the days when they could easily hit a ball out of the park or at least get extra innings from their BESR bats. The composite bats needed time to be broken in and once the composite fibers broke down, balls would bounce with dangerous pop off of the bats. Some youth leagues do not like that their players can no longer use BESR bats because their young players would remain excited about the game after they got big hits.
The other opposing argument to the BBCOR bat is the wooden bat argument. Baseball was originally played with wooden bats and the purists believe that metal bats do not have a place on the diamond. Unfortunately, wooden bats are still more likely to break, so they are not a wise investment for young players who can be rougher on their bats than mature players.
Who Likes the BBCOR
On the other side, there are plenty of coaches and players - especially at the NCAA and other high levels of the game - who love the BBCOR bat. Since upper level players can no longer rely on the composite bat to help them get home runs, coaches now get to play more strategy small ball, where they rely on base hits, steals, hit-and-run plays, and other exciting components. Batting averages have dropped all throughout NCAA baseball.
Performance for Powerhitters
When comparing the BBCOR to the BESR and the wooden bat, the BBCOR bat’s ability is between the two others. When it comes to long distance hits, the BBCOR bat’s average distance was about 23 feet less than the BESR, but it traveled 20 feet farther than a wooden bat hit under the same conditions.
M^Powered BBCOR Bats
The BBCOR bat is made with a solid barrel, but with rings on the inside. These rings help support the sweet spot of the bat and give the bat its distinctive popping sound. At M^Powered Bats, we offer several top quality BBCOR bats for power hitters. These come in sizes and colors. They are all approved and wear the BBCOR sticker that makes the legal for play. We invite you to check out our selection and use them work on your power swing.