I think the hardest part when it comes to selecting a wooden bat is definitely to choose the right model to increase your chances of hitting the ball on the famous sweet spot. We know that to hit the ball on this ideal point on a regular basis, we use an equation of hand-eye coordination, weight transfer, bat speed and a few other factors. Obviously, the choice of the bat model is an important part of this equation. It will improve each of the previous steps.
One major problem that occurs when people are choosing a wooden bat model is that they tend to go with a model that resembles the aluminum bat that was used previously. They immediately fall into models with large barrels. Unlike aluminum bats, wood bats with large barrels do not have the weight well balanced. The weight is then found almost only in the barrel.
It is for this reason that an effective transition between an aluminum bat to a wooden bat goes through a model with a small barrel. The bat will be more controllable because the weight will be spread over its entire length. In addition, small barrel models are made from denser logs. This means that the bat will be more powerful and more resistant than a big barrel model, where the density of wood is much lower. If we push physics even further, a bat with a smaller diameter will offer less resistance to air, therefore providing a quicker swing.
In summary, it is wrong to think that the power hitters hit with big barrels and batting average hitters with small barrels. Physics proves it: small barrel bats have more power than big barrel bats, because the wood is much denser. In fact, everything is a matter of comfort and ease when it comes to choosing your bat. Whether it's a question of model, length or even weight, the important thing is that the model you choose is the one that allows you to hit the ball on the sweet spot as often as possible.
The author Olivier Lépine is the Production Manager at B45 since the company's debut in 2004.