Testing Reebok’s New Vector O Bat

Courtesy of Reebok

Courtesy of Reebok

The College Baseball Blog is committed to our readers by evaluating the latest Baseball technology. This continued last week as I was invited by Reebok to head down to their headquarters on Thursday to see the new Vector O-Bat that will be coming out in the beginning of November. This event was by invitation only for certain media across the country and the people at Reebok were nice enough to include us in the event.

We showed up at Reebok World Headquarters in Canton Massachusetts where we were greeted by the Corporate Communication Manager Daniel Sarro. He brought me down to the baseball department to see a presentation from Product Development Director John Loiars who developed the bat using his experiance in the industry. We also had a chance to talk with Chris Waldeck about his marketing plan for the next season.

The presentation on the bat was very interesting as the bat is the first in the industry to use three holes in the handle of the bat to help increase the bat speed thus making the ball go farther. Yes, you did read that

(Courtesy of Reebok)

(Courtesy of Reebok)

correctly, the bat has HOLES in it. (Check the picture on the right side) John Loiars stated “The holes in the bat actually make it stronger.” I really didn’t believe this to be true but I was convinced about this later in the day. The handle of the bat and the barrel is connected with some epoxy and an interlocking threaded system. I am no expert in the bat industry but the guys at Reebok consider this type of bond the strongest in the industry. They also tested the bat on how aerodynamic it is when compared to other bats in the industry and the results really stood out. It is substantially more aerodynamic then other bats in the industry as you can see in the graphic below.

Aerodynamic Testing Results (Courtesy of Reebok)

Aerodynamic Testing Results (Courtesy of Reebok)

We then headed over to the testing center on the Reebok campus. They went through how the NCAA certifies bats which Reebok actually has a machine which simulates the test. The test consists of shooting a baseball through an air cannon at 136 MPH at a stationary bat and measuring the exit speed. They do this in a controlled environment with the temperature of the facility at a standard rate and the balls must be kept at that same temperature to keep consistency.

The final part of the day was when they asked if I would be interested in going into their batting cage to test out the bat. After some brief encouragement, I was handed a brand new Vector O-Bat and got in the cage. They put the machine on a very slow 65 MPH which was plenty fast enough for a guy that hasn’t played organized baseball since his Little League days. Once I got down the timing we ended up bringing it up to 75 MPH. I was able to get into some pitches including hitting some of the balls in the sweet spot on the bat. The ones I hit in the sweet spot seemed to fly off the bat with major power. I am 5 foot 6 inches weighing in at 150 pounds so when I got into a few of these balls, I was totally shocked and impressed at the same time. My biggest impression of the bat was the lack of vibration running through my hands which I got from many other bats during my younger days. I even drilled a pitch off one of the holes on the bat and it didn’t seemed like I was jammed as bad as I was during my younger days.

They have done an outstanding job testing out these bats at some great youth tournaments this summer. They put out 200 bats at a test market and received zero defective bats when they got them back. This is a high quality bat for some serious baseball player. This bat is the first major step in the Baseball industry in the product development line and I think that this would be an excellent bat for any Collegiate or serious High School player in the country.

The bat is expected to be in stores at the beginning of November but Reebok has already secured many major universities with bat contracts. The biggest name school using the bat during their fall workouts is South Alabama out of the Sun Belt conference. The guys at Reebok brought the bat down there and the players fell in love with the bat. If your team is interested in getting this bat for fall workouts feel free to shoot me an email and I can put you in touch with someone at Reebok.

My staff is always willing to check out the latest technology coming into the baseball industry so if you have something that you would like for us to check out feel free to email me and we might be able to get one of my fine readers to your facility.

  • Willy Mackie

    My 14 year old and my 12 year old tried out the bats at Bat Wars this past summer in Cooperstown, NY. The boys really liked the bats. They were easy to handle and light weight. I would like to know where I can purchase one.

  • Jerry Stanton

    This bat just validates how ridiculous aluminum bats are. It’s amazing what companies will do to make money. You’re not making baseball better for it, and you’re not making better hitters. Way to go Reebok. Idiots.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      I disagree with you Jerry. Reebok asked for the rules and was given them. They have used the same technology in ice hockey and lacrosse but we don’t see the same feedback from those fans. .

  • luke craig

    i want one of these bats so bad were going this weekend to get one i really enjoy playing with these i have used this bat all over the world i love these bats!!!!!

  • Eddie Stewart

    I just got this bat and its pretty sweet. but i guess it might be illegal in maine. does anyone know anything about this?

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      From what I understand, the bat shouldn’t be illegal in Maine as it follows all the rules of bats.

  • Eddie Stewart

    by the way JERRY how bout the technology they put into golf clubs, did that ruin the game? way to go jerry…idiot

  • Cody Pachlhofer

    To be honest I am thinking about getting this bat. It shows how the knowledge of things has increased. Also I am a high school baseball player that plays in Ohio. No one has seen these on our field. So I hope to be the first person that introduces this bat and if I like it I will suggest it to others. But if not I am not going to critcize the company. It isnt thier fault if they are trying to improve sports and come out with a new product. At least they are willing to look into something new and actually study how it works. If you wanna message me about anything on here just make a reply but also send it to my email at [email protected] Thanks.

  • David Shearouse

    Just an interesting point, according to the NFHS rules, “the bat must be a smooth cylinder implement from the top of the cap to the top of the knob.” This rule was clarified last June at a special rules meeting, presumably because of the arrival of bats such as this.

    Under that definition, this bat would not be eligible for high school play as the addition of the holes violate the definition of a “smooth cylinder.”

    • Josh

      This NFHS rule does not come into affect till January 1, 2012. Where about every metal or composite bat out there will not be able to be used unless it has the BBCOR Stamp, which no bat that is being made now or that is in stores has been made with this stamp. In NCAA baseball this rule will come into affect 1 year earlier on January 1, 2011.

  • conner

    i am thinking about gettin this bat..it seems like a good bat and the ratings and the proof shows its a good bat..my friend has a stealth speed its 33in 30oz..he is in 8th grade and it seems very light..the vector shows that its better then the #1 competitor..so i want this bat

  • Maine umpire

    I think that anyone who spends the kind of money needed to purchase one of these bats needs to have their head examimed.

    Two quick points:

    1. No matter the bat, a hitter still has to make contact with the ball. A wooden bat, believe it or not, can make the ball travel over the fence. I’ve seen it. Of course that was back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the planet.

    2. If the batter has quicker “bat speed” and the ball comes off the bat quicker with one of these bats, aren’t coaches, players, parents, athletic directors, state associations, umpires, manufacturers, retailers, and everyone associated with a game where it is used liable when a ball hit with one of these things kills a pitcher or infielder? If not liable, they will most likely still be called into court when a parent sues.

    Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nle8-1K-wTw to see what aluminum bats can do to a pitcher.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      Maine umpire,

      Please find a better example of metal bat doing damage to a player then the Vandy incident from a few weeks back. That had nothing to do with the ball coming off the bat too fast and only caused damage because the pitcher was in a bad position plus it was on a curveball so I count that was a freak accident more then metal bat.

  • Interested Dad

    A question Brian…my son is in 8th grade, 14, and 115 lbs. We were looking at bats and stumbled across a 2010 “Adult” Vector O. It was a 33/30. Is the intended use more for high school juniors and seniors, and college players or is this a good bat for very good 14 and 15 year olds?

  • Interested Dad

    P.S. he is 5’5″.

  • Interested dads answer

    Nah, not a good idea. Mainly because 33/30 is too heavy for a 5’5″ 14 year old.. no matter how good he is. Maybe look into 32/29. IF he is “very good” he’ll be playin high school ball and seeing better pitcher than he is now…

  • sebastian Grey

    First of all Jerry Stanton your retarded second of all this bats amazing i am getting one this week cant wait

  • baseball

    This is terrible if you dont have good enough bat speed you need to work at it dont make bats with fucking holes in it

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      The theory is the faster you swing the bat, the farther the ball goes. They have done this with hockey and lacrosse sticks also.

  • Nick

    This is terrible. The point is not technology making the game better but dangerous. It also gives kids a false sense of how good they are. It’s the lunatic parents that live vicariously through their sons that want these bats and argue in favor of them. My son uses a wooden bat in little league. Not only is he one of the best players he is one of the youngest and was encouraged (and still is) by the league not to use it. Unbelievable!!!!