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TCBB Roundtable on New Bats

MetalBats Chase Parham last week had an interesting article about how the new bats are changing the college game. (FULL ARTICLE) It has always been an interesting debate on whether the metal bats were juiced too much, causing safety issues and leading to higher scoring games. The early feedback on the new bat standards is that there is much less “pop” in the bat, making scoring much more difficult in the 2011 season.

The College Baseball Blog recently surveyed a smattering of college coaches around the country regarding use of metal bats. The opinions are drastically different depending if you were a power hitting team in the past or a team that believed in good pitching and defense to win ball games. Check out TCBB’s and coaches’ opinions below and feel free to leave your own opinion in the comments section below.

Joe Jordano of Pittsburgh said that the changes are good for college game:

“My squad seems to like the bats. I believe it is less forgiving than previous models, but feel they will be fine. The ball does not jump as aggressively and may not travel as far, but I believe solid contact is solid contact. We may see less power numbers and fewer cheaper hits but the bats are fair and the changes will be good for the college game.”

Sherman Corbett of UT-San Antonio hasn’t gotten in the new bats yet but commented on the new bats saying:

“The primary purpose of the change is safety, We had a major injury in a game a few years ago. We had an incident where one of our players hit a line drive and it hit the pitcher in the face.”

He also commented on the pace of play saying:

“From the game’s perspective, the pace of play should pick up with the bats performing more like wood.”

Jim Schlossnagle of TCU thinks the bats will change the game a ton stating:

“I don’t think there is any question that the new bats are going to have a significant impact on our sport.  What remains to be seen is whether that impact will be positive or negative.  I, personally, thought that our bats last year were perfect for college baseball.  I believe that college baseball is a different game than professional baseball and that, with last year’s bats, we had it about perfect for the college baseball fan.  Like everything else, I guess we will have to adjust but I’m not sure the college baseball fan is ready for 2-1 ballgames all the time…we’ll see.”

James Penders of UConn takes this as an oppurtunity to add wood bats to the game commenting:

“If the goal was to make them like wood, the designers are getting a lot closer. Now, if they could only replace the ping with the sound of a crack, that would be the best.”

Jim Foster of URI said:

“From what I have heard from other coaches is that they are making a big difference. We play more of a pitching, defense, small ball kind of a game so it might not be as big of a change and might help teams like that potentially but I think the changes in 2011 will be a big adjustment in the way the game is played and they will change the college landscape of college baseball a bit.”

Brian Foley, Editor of The College Baseball Blog

“I never had a problem with the metal bats in the college game. They have toned down the bats in the last couple of years so we don’t have a situation like we did when LSU was bashing the ball out of the stadium in the late 1990’s. I think if they could just make a metal bat that played like wood then we would be in an excellent position.”

Mark Rafferty, Assistant Editor of The College Baseball Blog

“I think the change in bats could give a distinct advantage to small ball west coast teams like UCLA and Cal-State Fullerton. We got a preview of what happens when the pop leaves the bats of a power team. Look at what happened to Clemson in Omaha and you may have a preview of what’s to come in 2011.”

Where do you stand on this issue?

  • 6-4-3

    At this time(until we can see something that is a definite definable negative) I think it is a good move. I am in favor of pitching and defense.

    • I am torn on the bats….games will be quicker. In the coaches we talked to, it seemed to be that the Northern coaches were cool with it while Southern schools hate it.rnrnBrian Foley

  • JC11

    The change of bats is a brilliant idea. I don’t want to call the use of metal bats “unfair”, but I find it slightly ridiculous when a guy can hit a ball off the handle and have it roll into the gap for a double. If you square up a ball, and hit it on the sweet-spot, it will still get out of the park. This change simply eliminates the margin for error that hitters have grown accustomed to. I think it’s a good idea to help major leaguers in the process further evaluating which hitters benefit from large metal bat sweet spots, and which hitters can perform regardless of which model of bat they use…I’m all for it.

  • Rory

    I had a wood composite bat that lasted for 5 years. If they’re going to “deaden” aluminum bats like they’re doing right now D1 might as well make the switch to something more like real wood that has less of a chance of breaking like wood composite or even maple bats that are still pretty strong.

    • You talking about maple bats that nearly killed Tyler Colvin???

      • Rory

        According to one article “Colvin was watching Castillo’s liner into the left-field corner and looked surprised when he was hit by the bat.” That was a real freak accident. It’s sports, injuries happen but for a -5 bat to turn lame ducks like me into a power hitter in high school, that’s pretty lame too. Have to find a better balance.

  • Bob

    why can’t i read the articles without the ads covering the articles up?

  • Baseball fan 12000

    There is one component of this discussion that does not show in these blogs – the ball. The NCAA baseball was designed to mate with an aluminum bat, not a wood bat. A college baseball has less ‘pop’ than a Major League baseball. Has anyone ever questioned why, in the majority of summer college leagues (which are wood bat leagues), there are so few homeruns? It is because the majority of summer college leagues use NCAA baseballs, not Major League baseballs. The specifications of the college baseball are significantly different than a Major League ball. The NCAA should adjust the baseball being used in college to match the ‘detuned’ bats.

  • Ddrove

    The following of college baseball has been on the rise because its an exciting usually high powered alternative to major league baseball which sometime appears slow, boring, and uneventful. People like watching homeruns and only true true baseball fans enjoy a pitching duel. We are doing college baseball a great disservice using bats nearly worse than wood bats. I bet we’ll see the rating for the CWS and Super Regionals decline in the next couple of years.

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