Wood Bats vs Metal Bats

11370259_BG1 This is an argument that comes up every single off-season at least once on this site about the use of Wood Bats vs Metal Bats. There is currently a case in a Montana court room where a pitcher was struck by a ball in the temple and died a few hours later when a blood clot formed. The pitcher’s parents are suing Hillerich & Bradsby which is the parent company of Louisville Slugger.

You can check out an article from Wave-TV with some quotes from Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell by clicking here.

I am of the belief that Metal Bats are important and keep the game more interesting then it is at the professional levels. I have seen a few college games at lower levels played with wood bats and the game featured many broken bat singles or bloopers to the outfield. If these bats were used throughout the season at the D-1 level, then the same type of game is going to happen in my opinion.

Are you pro or against Wood Bats being in the College game? Leave your comments below.

  • Scott

    Brian, I think the benefits of having wood bats in younger players hands can’t be underestimated. For one, it is true preparation for the highest level. In the other sports, is there any such difference between what equipment is used on the pro and amateur levels? Two, aluminum bats make bad hitters, there is no way around it. The amount of forgiveness an aluminum bat provides is unbelievable. Look at the ball that Vlad hit last night that squeeked through the infield. With an aluminum bat in his hand, that thing has an extra 10 mph going through, with no chance for the infielders. At that is on a ball that is well away from the sweet spot. And here is what I think ends up being the big catch 22 in the argument. Colleges say that it makes for a more boring game. But overall, isn’t baseball considered a break even sport at most? The fear of delving into steroids was that fans wouldn’t come out to the ballpark without home runs. Haven’t the major leagues had a couple of years of good attendance while trying to crack down? I would think that MLB would be pushing hard for the change to wood, as it would allow them to have more one to one evaluations for what they will be asking players to do, plus it will mean less time they have to spend getting hitters accustomed to wood. So wood should be back in every baseball player’s hand.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      Scott, nnYou would kill the reason why all the kids would have to play in these great summer leagues around the country. I like the metal bats as it keeps the games more interesting. At the highest levels of D-1, many of the kids can hit with wood and metal so it isn’t that big of an issue. I think the lower edges of D-1 like the Northeast Conference, MEAC, SWAC, etc. could struggle with such a move.

  • Scott

    Brian, I think the benefits of having wood bats in younger players hands can’t be underestimated. For one, it is true preparation for the highest level. In the other sports, is there any such difference between what equipment is used on the pro and amateur levels? Two, aluminum bats make bad hitters, there is no way around it. The amount of forgiveness an aluminum bat provides is unbelievable. Look at the ball that Vlad hit last night that squeeked through the infield. With an aluminum bat in his hand, that thing has an extra 10 mph going through, with no chance for the infielders. At that is on a ball that is well away from the sweet spot. And here is what I think ends up being the big catch 22 in the argument. Colleges say that it makes for a more boring game. But overall, isn’t baseball considered a break even sport at most? The fear of delving into steroids was that fans wouldn’t come out to the ballpark without home runs. Haven’t the major leagues had a couple of years of good attendance while trying to crack down? I would think that MLB would be pushing hard for the change to wood, as it would allow them to have more one to one evaluations for what they will be asking players to do, plus it will mean less time they have to spend getting hitters accustomed to wood. So wood should be back in every baseball player’s hand.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      Scott,

      You would kill the reason why all the kids would have to play in these great summer leagues around the country. I like the metal bats as it keeps the games more interesting. At the highest levels of D-1, many of the kids can hit with wood and metal so it isn’t that big of an issue. I think the lower edges of D-1 like the Northeast Conference, MEAC, SWAC, etc. could struggle with such a move.

  • Scott

    Brian,rnWould it really kill it? I don’t think that is the only reason that kids play those leagues. I think it is a way for them to showcase their abilities against other good players. I don’t think many kids would turn down that chance. As far as ability, kids can’t hit with wood because they haven’t been forced to. Make them hit with wood in practice and in games, and improvement will naturally come. The aluminum has become a crutch. My issue has been all the reasons go back to spectator issues. The only argument that I think could hold much water has been the financial one of buying wooden bats that will break more than alumnium. I think that has been shown to not be as much of an issue as aluminum bats have gotten to be $350 and more. That is about the equivalent of 3 wooden bats. Again, my view goes back to the basic question–why are we having players at amateur levels using equipment that is radi ally different from what is used at the pro levels? I agree that for the first 3-4 years, it would be a difficult adjustment for some kids at the lower levels, but I think that it returns to baseline once kids work with wood bats more and learn the intricacies.

  • Scott

    Brian,
    Would it really kill it? I don’t think that is the only reason that kids play those leagues. I think it is a way for them to showcase their abilities against other good players. I don’t think many kids would turn down that chance. As far as ability, kids can’t hit with wood because they haven’t been forced to. Make them hit with wood in practice and in games, and improvement will naturally come. The aluminum has become a crutch. My issue has been all the reasons go back to spectator issues. The only argument that I think could hold much water has been the financial one of buying wooden bats that will break more than alumnium. I think that has been shown to not be as much of an issue as aluminum bats have gotten to be $350 and more. That is about the equivalent of 3 wooden bats. Again, my view goes back to the basic question–why are we having players at amateur levels using equipment that is radi ally different from what is used at the pro levels? I agree that for the first 3-4 years, it would be a difficult adjustment for some kids at the lower levels, but I think that it returns to baseline once kids work with wood bats more and learn the intricacies.

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

    Scott,rnrnI have a Division 2 league in my area in the country that uses Wood bats for conference games and it is borderline unwatchable. Once the post season comes around, they switch to metal and it is much better games and more exciting. rnrnI can make an argument either way. Most schools do not pay for bats right now at the D-1 level as they either get paid to use a certain companies bats or get them for free.

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

    Scott,

    I have a Division 2 league in my area in the country that uses Wood bats for conference games and it is borderline unwatchable. Once the post season comes around, they switch to metal and it is much better games and more exciting.

    I can make an argument either way. Most schools do not pay for bats right now at the D-1 level as they either get paid to use a certain companies bats or get them for free.

  • Aman Reaka (bkmhoxx)

    Wood bats all the way. No question in my mind.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      As the old commercial said, Chicks dig the Long Ball!

  • Aman Reaka (bkmhoxx)

    Wood bats all the way. No question in my mind.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      As the old commercial said, Chicks dig the Long Ball!

  • Mike Braddock

    Corbin is ahead of the game on this one.rnNo composites or just go to wood.

  • Mike Braddock

    Corbin is ahead of the game on this one.
    No composites or just go to wood.

  • MoZer Bats

    There is no doubt that aluminum bats add an exciting element to the game with all the long bombs and the screaming line drives. But I prefer a strategic, well managed and old fashioned game of baseball so of course I’d have to say I prefer wood bats. Not to mention it helps with the devolopment of the hitter because swinging with wood forces you to swing with proper mechanics. It’s almost impossible to get lucky with wood, but with aluminum you can go up to the plate with the wrong approach and then take a bad cut, but still luck out, find the barrel, hit the ball hard and get a good result.

  • MoZer Bats

    There is no doubt that aluminum bats add an exciting element to the game with all the long bombs and the screaming line drives. But I prefer a strategic, well managed and old fashioned game of baseball so of course I’d have to say I prefer wood bats. Not to mention it helps with the devolopment of the hitter because swinging with wood forces you to swing with proper mechanics. It’s almost impossible to get lucky with wood, but with aluminum you can go up to the plate with the wrong approach and then take a bad cut, but still luck out, find the barrel, hit the ball hard and get a good result.

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Adam Smith

    hitter hit ! swatters swat. !! this is the same argument heard when the boys jump from little league to -3 bats and big fields . the weak fall off .my son is a good Div. 1 catching recruit and played ALOT of wood bat and alum .school bat . the level of play in woodbat needs to be the top notch to keep the game moving. a dominant pitcher and smart catcher can work to a wood bat in the hands of a avg. hitter and shut them down everytime . the real reason is for safety and cost .rnthey can build a bat with carbon,composite, alum or all to spec the should just have a bbf ratting that gets closer to wood as each level steps up . i would like to see a -2 and higher weight drop and a bbf rating of 1.05 and under for top d-1 ,rna -3 and 1.10 low d1 and high d-2 /juco and a -3 1.15 standard for div 3 and high school

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Adam Smith

    hitter hit ! swatters swat. !! this is the same argument heard when the boys jump from little league to -3 bats and big fields . the weak fall off .my son is a good Div. 1 catching recruit and played ALOT of wood bat and alum .school bat . the level of play in woodbat needs to be the top notch to keep the game moving. a dominant pitcher and smart catcher can work to a wood bat in the hands of a avg. hitter and shut them down everytime . the real reason is for safety and cost .
    they can build a bat with carbon,composite, alum or all to spec the should just have a bbf ratting that gets closer to wood as each level steps up . i would like to see a -2 and higher weight drop and a bbf rating of 1.05 and under for top d-1 ,
    a -3 and 1.10 low d1 and high d-2 /juco and a -3 1.15 standard for div 3 and high school

  • Toby Ziegler

    Metal bats in high school. Wood bats in college and beyond. That’s how it should be. It’s dangerous for 18-22 year olds to use metal bats. I know I wouldn’t want to be a college pitcher. Plus, wood bats would separate the men from the boys.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      Toby, What do you do with D-2 and D-3 Baseball? I have seen D-2 baseball played with wood bats and it isn’t interesting at all.

  • Toby Ziegler

    Metal bats in high school. Wood bats in college and beyond. That’s how it should be. It’s dangerous for 18-22 year olds to use metal bats. I know I wouldn’t want to be a college pitcher. Plus, wood bats would separate the men from the boys.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      Toby, What do you do with D-2 and D-3 Baseball? I have seen D-2 baseball played with wood bats and it isn’t interesting at all.

  • Toby Ziegler

    I haven’t seen much D-2 or D-3, so I’ll take your word for it. I guess you could have the wood only for D-1, but that could be problematic because then you’d have a lot of D-1 caliber players electing to play D-2 for the metal bat.

    However, if I’m a scout and I see a D-1 caliber player doing that, I immediately think he’s afraid of getting exposed with the wood and in my mind that player’s value goes down.

    I’d still take metal in D-1 only over the status quo, though. The metal poses a serious threat to pitchers and sometimes gives scouts a false impression of hitters.

    I guarantee there would be a lot fewer busts in the earlier rounds if D-1 used the wood.

  • Toby Ziegler

    I haven’t seen much D-2 or D-3, so I’ll take your word for it. I guess you could have the wood only for D-1, but that could be problematic because then you’d have a lot of D-1 caliber players electing to play D-2 for the metal bat. rnrnHowever, if I’m a scout and I see a D-1 caliber player doing that, I immediately think he’s afraid of getting exposed with the wood and in my mind that player’s value goes down.rnrnI’d still take metal in D-1 only over the status quo, though. The metal poses a serious threat to pitchers and sometimes gives scouts a false impression of hitters.rnrnI guarantee there would be a lot fewer busts in the earlier rounds if D-1 used the wood.

  • Toby Ziegler

    Whoops, meant to say I’d take wood in D-1 only.

  • Toby Ziegler

    Whoops, meant to say I’d take wood in D-1 only.

  • Joseph Hofland

    The use of wood bats in college games would without a doubt make them more entertaining. The College World series has far too many home runs for an avid baseball fan. I recommend a switch to a bat somewhere in between such as the Demarini Composite.

  • Joseph Hofland

    The use of wood bats in college games would without a doubt make them more entertaining. The College World series has far too many home runs for an avid baseball fan. I recommend a switch to a bat somewhere in between such as the Demarini Composite.

  • shane

    theres no doubt in my mind college baseball should go to wooden bat i pitch in college and i have been hit many times and the ball is coming off the bat so fast there is no way anyone can react to it and you have 20 year old men hitting it as hard as they can its just rediculous.rnrnand if yall are so worried about breaking wooden bats all the time there are many different brands that are unbreakable such as baun bats and demarini composites rnrnit would also make the pitchers look like they would if they got drafted cause they wil be throwing to wood from then on out metal helps a batter get away with so many bad hits in college a pitcher can make the pitch he wants and all a batter has to do is put any metal on it and they get a little texaS leaguer which is stupid rnrnwood woudl make everything in baseball better without a doubt and make it safer

  • shane

    theres no doubt in my mind college baseball should go to wooden bat i pitch in college and i have been hit many times and the ball is coming off the bat so fast there is no way anyone can react to it and you have 20 year old men hitting it as hard as they can its just rediculous.

    and if yall are so worried about breaking wooden bats all the time there are many different brands that are unbreakable such as baun bats and demarini composites

    it would also make the pitchers look like they would if they got drafted cause they wil be throwing to wood from then on out metal helps a batter get away with so many bad hits in college a pitcher can make the pitch he wants and all a batter has to do is put any metal on it and they get a little texaS leaguer which is stupid

    wood woudl make everything in baseball better without a doubt and make it safer

  • Itsboundtohappen

    Brian Foley in his his response to ScottrnMe: ScottrnSo? Funny you are using the word “kill”. Keeping the game interesting is not what the game needs. The “game” is fine without artificial metal bats that are now being made worse with a technique called bat rolling.rnSo they struggle at the edges. Hitting a ball with a wood bat is pure. They can now make a metal bat for about 12 dollars so its no longer worth it to talk up the – “oh wood bats would be so expensive…because they always break….rnrnSey hey in San Fran

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

    If you think Clark University or Bates College can afford Wood Bats, then you are sadly mistaken. Both of these schools are based on getting maybe a few free bats from manufacturers a year and hope to keep costs down. nnMost D-1 program now are cutting media guide costs, so you think adding a “good” wood bat to the fray which go for over $100 dollars and you would expect a good college player to break a few a year correct? So lets keep the costs at six a year for each player. That is 600 bucks right there. A good metal bat retails for 200-300 bucks and we know the bat manufacturers are giving those to teams.

  • NECBLfan

    I think the best solution is composite wood bats. The version I am familiar with is called the “Bomb Bat,” a wood bat with a strip a metal running through the middle the length of the barrel. It is virtually unbreakable but still has the effect of a wooden bat.

  • Rory

    I had a composite wood bat that lasted for 5 years before it broke. I used it in the batting cage all of the time. Going back to bat rolling by one of the previous users……bat rolling isn’t done anymore, the NCAA has outlawed composite metal bats. nnI think the NCAA will eventually switch to wood though. I think it would make the game less exciting for a few years but if the rest of the country catches on and kids start practicing and getting better with wood bats, the game will pick up a little. nnHowever, it’s not like “the good ole days” when old time ball players came from sons of lumberjacks and farmhands. It was easy to swing a wood bat after coming in from cutting down a tree with a 3lb. axe or from swinging a sledgehammer on the farm driving in a fencepost. Nowadays you’d be lucky to get a kid who picks up anything more than a pen or video game controller.