The bat has come a long way since the early days of baseball. What was once an object sloppily cut out of a tree trunk by hand is now a fine-tuned hitting device produced by dozens of manufacturers in various lengths, weights, and materials. Over the years, the baseball bat has evolved under the notion that the newer, better model will bring hitters more success. And it just so happens to be that the first step to successful hitting is making sure that you have the right bat. So how do you tell if the bat you’re planning to purchase is the best fit for you? With such an overwhelming variety of options out there today, it can be quite confusing making this decision. But don’t you worry! We’re here to help.
Better Baseball is proud to introduce the Sweet Spot Bat Sizing System – our new and improved bat selection process. With the use of a Zepp sensor, a Hit Trax Batting Simulator, and the expertise of the Better Baseball staff, we guarantee a fun and interactive experience in choosing the correct bat, while also offering valuable feedback on swing speed and mechanics. By implementing this system, we at Better Baseball truly believe that our customers will greatly benefit by being able to make the most informed purchase decision. It’s our way of taking pride in outfitting players with the right gear and a means for us to stay on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest baseball technology. Let’s take a deeper dive into this new system.
The first component of the Sweet Spot Bat Sizing System is the Zepp Sensor. This device consists of a motion sensor placed on the knob of the bat that transmits swing data straight to your smart phone. The Zepp Sensor provides instant feedback on bat speed, hand speed, swing plane, time to impact, bat angles, and more. It displays a 3D model on your smart phone that allows you to replay and analyze your swing. It also provides personalized coaching tips and drills that you can work on to fix those imperfections. You can say that this part of the Sweet Spot Bat Sizing System is all about the pre-contact mechanics of your swing. By using the Zepp Sensor, we are able to determine which bat size you are swinging fastest and most consistently. So what about post-contact ball trajectory? That’s where the Hit Trax Batting Simulator comes in.
The second part of the Sweet Spot Bat Sizing System is the Hit Trax Batting Simulator. This revolutionary technology, composed of multiple high-speed, motion-sensing cameras and a display screen, is the first and only batting simulator of its kind. The Hit Trax Batting Simulator offers instant feedback on exit ball velocity, hit distance, launch angle, and much more. View spray charts, batting averages, and line drive percentages with the simulator that allows you to train as you play. By using the Hit Trax Batting Simulator, we are able to determine which bat size is best suited for you based on the hitting display you simulate for us.
The third part of the Sweet Spot Bat Sizing System is the knowledgeable Better Baseball staff. We’re here to help you understand that everyone’s swing is different and not everyone should be using the same model bat even if it’s the “hottest one out.” We’re here to teach you the difference between a “balanced” and an “end-loaded” bat and what type of swing best matches each. We’re here to give you the pros and cons of 1-piece alloy bats, three-piece composite bats, and everything in between. We’re here to show you all the unique features of different bats, such as composite end caps, rotating handles, and rubber vibration dampeners. We’re here to tell you what the heck a “drop number” is. For years, we have outfitted players of all ages with bats of different sizes and makes. Our expertise and experience in this field is something we take pride in and always try to improve on. The Sweet Spot Bat Sizing System is the next big step.
“Each softball hitter is unique with their own technique, hitting style, and power. Each player needs a bat designed with their exact preferences in mind. Power hitters need a bat that packs a big punch while slappers need a bat weighted closer to the hands for maximum barrel control. Not all bat sizes are created equal. Each model bat swings differently even when advertised to be the same size. If you’re still using a sizing chart to find the perfect bat for you then you’re doing it wrong. Thanks to the innovation of Zepp and HitTrax, there are tools to help make a more thorough decision when choosing a bat. Not only can you measure you bat speed alone, but with these tools you can measure swing trajectory, distance, time to contact, and much more. We have both sensors here at Better Softball and are prepared to help you find the perfect bat for you!”
The Sweet Spot Bat Sizing System is now open to the public, no appointment needed. The Hit Trax Batting Simulator is located only at our Marietta location. Don’t forget about the Swing Speed Challenge in both Marietta and Chamblee over the weekend of May 22 – May 24!
The Hittrax Baseball Simulator Now at Better Baseball Marietta
Louisville Slugger has been grinding the past few years working to become the most dominant fastpitch bat on the market. Whether it is a Xeno or LXT, you can rest assured that you are stepping up to the plate with a top quality weapon.
This year’s line stayed the course with similar graphics from 2015, but, in true Louisville Slugger fashion, they have stepped it up a notch for 2016. Along with adding the “Plus” to the names, the new line has infused an eye-catching splash of optic yellow into both the Xeno Plus and LXT Plus. Louisville Slugger has struck a perfect balance between classic and flash with their aesthetics and I could not be more pleased with how they turned out.
Moving on to what really matters- ultimate performance. Let’s break it down by model.
Xeno Plus: The old faithful. This bat has one of the largest sweet spots in the game with a trademark sound that gets results. Louisville Slugger Performance Plus Composite allows for zero wall friction and maximum pop. The two piece barrel to handle iST technology provides max flex and limits bad vibrations. With sizes ranging from -11 to -8, this is a bat that can be swung throughout an entire career.
LXT Plus: This model has been slowly catching up to its LS counterpart over time and we think this year might be the year that LXT breaks out ahead of the almighty Xeno! This is one sharp looking bat with some of the best graphics and color schemes that we have seen yet. Made with the same Performance Plus Composite Technology as the Xeno, this model is no longer end-loaded like it was in 2013. You will get an evenly balanced bat engineered for maximum performance! The LXT TRU 3 Technology doesn’t allow the handle and barrel to touch allowing for optimum pop and eliminating all vibrations. Another great surprise is the addition of a -11 option! Now the younger, smaller athletes training for big-time performance can join the LXT crowd. Seriously, this bat is legit and that blue will definitely make a statement at the plate!
We are counting down the days until June 1 when these beauties arrive in the store. As always, be sure to stop by Better Softball in Better Baseball and demo one to see the results for yourself!
One of the most important aspects of hitting is being comfortable at the plate. Before stepping in the batter’s box, players should consider what they can do to maximize their comfort level. Having the right size bat is crucial. Wearing batting gloves, to some, is also a must. But what about the bat grip? Are the pre-wrapped grips that come standard to metal bats doing the trick? And what’s a good alternative to the sticky mess pine tar leaves behind with wood bats?
Lizard Skinsbat wrap is the answer you’ve been looking for. Lizard Skinsspecializes in high quality polymer bat wraps that are designed to increase comfort and confidence at the plate. These bat wraps are offered in three different thicknesses (0.5mm, 1.1mm,and 1.8mm) and in a variety of color combinations (including solid colors, two-tones, and camos).
Do you like a very thin bat handle that you can get your fingers around as much as possible? If so, the 0.5mm Lizard Skins bat wrap is for you. If you like a thick handle with a lot of cushion, the 1.8mm bat wrap is calling your name. Regardless of the thickness you’re comfortable with, all Lizard Skins bat wraps are slip resistant, very easy to put on, and designed to fit any bat (wood, aluminum, composite).
In my many years of baseball experience, I’ve seen it all when it comes to bat grips. Most players just stick with the bat wrap that’s already on it when purchased. Those guys don’t know what they’re missing. Some take the standard grip off and use athletic tape or pine tar for a smaller bat handle. That’s what the 0.5mm wrap is for! Many Major League players, including Hunter Pence, David Wright, and David Ortiz, have adopted Lizard Skins as their grip of choice and haven’t looked back. I’d say those guys probably know what they’re doing, so take it from them. They’re only perennial all-stars.
Lizard Skins bat wraps are hands down my favorite bat wrap, and that also seems to be the consensus among my close baseball peers. There is an undeniable “swag effect” that comes with each Lizard Skins purchase. Players will see your bat wrap and be drawn to it. Once they get a feel for it, they’re going to want one for their bat. I’ve even seen entire teams outfitted with the same color grip and it’s a good look! There is no other bat wrap in the baseball community growing as fast as Lizard Skins. Get on board, and get a grip!
Lizard Skins bat wraps are available for purchase here.
Pros: Great pop. When you get a hold of one, the ball jumps off and it feels awesome. The vibrations are smooth and give great feedback. I felt immediate good vibrations- even the ones hit off the end felt better than I had anticipated. This comes in handy on colder days. I like that it was hot right out of the wrapper with little break-in time necessary. That is always nice to have a bat ready to go and feel confident the first time you swing it. The sound is good and the color scheme is great. I’m usually not a fan of the vibrant colors on bats, but this works and has some serious graphics to go along with it.
Cons: The Worth 2Legit is advertised as a -10 but it is the heaviest -10 I have swung. Power hitters love the weight distribution but slappers & balanced hitters need to steer clear. This bat isn’t conducive for your tools that make you productive. Also- there is a little grip ring on the top of the handle that hinders smooth bunt progression. Durability seems to be the main issue with these bats. Reviews are littered with horror stories of these bats not even lasting a month before cracks or busted end caps. No one wants to pay $300 for a bat that can’t maintain basic structure for a calendar year. Period. If that problem can be fixed, I really think it could compete with the industry leaders.
Overall, the 2Legit is a good bat, but not for everyone. However, no one can make it work if it can’t stay in one piece. Looking forward to structural changes in 2016.
It might be time for you to ditch your donut. Varo Baseball has created a one of kind bat weight that can be found in just about every MLB on-deck circle this spring training. The Varo ARC bat weight is one of the only weights that "disperses weight to the end of the bat creating a game-like swing ". Traditional bat weights, like the donuts and hitting jack-its , concentrate most of their weight on the middle or taper of the bat. All of us at Better Baseball are amazed on how different the swing feels when you compare the Vero ARC
"The ARC was designed to bring a more natural feel to a player's practice swing, and encourage proper technique and conditioning," says Varo co-founder and CEO Erik Mattern. "We are thrilled with the positive feedback and demand we have received from MLB players, coaches, and organizations. Varo Baseball is committed to its quest for bringing innovative products to the game of baseball, by continuing its personal involvement with players and coaches at all levels."
ABOUT VARO BASEBALL Varo Baseball was founded by former professional baseball players with the vision of bringing innovation, customization and enhanced performance to the game of baseball. After many years of watching players swing the same bat weights, Varo Baseball wanted to bring the on-deck necessity into the 21st century. After years of research and design with players and coaches, the ARC was born. It didn't take long to realize this was a "eureka" moment for the game of baseball. Keeping with the spirit of America's pastime, Varo products aredesigned, created and manufactured in the USA. The ARC made its major league debut during MLB Spring Training, and is now used by organizations at all levels.
BETTER BASEBALL BREAK DOWN
The ARC's revolutionary weight distribution is the only bat weight we found that is able to evenly displace the weight across the bat. Other bat weights like traditional donuts place all the weight on the taper of the bat. The Varo ARC is able to increase the weight of the bat while simultaneously keeping the fundamental balance of the bat congruent with the bat without the added weight. I like using the Varo ARC because you can replicate a game-time swing with a weighted bat. I used to use a heavy donut while on-deck, but that did not help me replicate my normal swing at the plate. The weight was too focused towards the middle of the bat. The Varo ARC lets you do both. You can have a weighted bat, but with a realistic balance to help replicate the same approach in the on deck circle you would use in the batter’s box.