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Discussion: Is it better to use a heavier or lighter bat?

Posted Discussion
Dec. 7, 2006
Hit the gap
Men's 60
146 posts
Is it better to use a heavier or lighter bat?
I have seen that a few of the guys on the board, Stoneman, Bruce in GA use a 30 or 31 oz bat.
I am 61 years young, 6ft 2in. and 220 lbs and think I am fairly strong but swing a 27 or 28 oz bat.

According to most of what I have read, you can swing all thase bats at about the same speed but where the big difference comes in is at contact.

This a long post but what follows is an old study done by Ray DeMarini who was a proponent of using lighter bats.

HITTING TIPS FROM Ray DeMarini
These tips were posted by Ray on DeMarini Sports\\\' website when he was still alive.

Letís get started. Subject - what weight bat to use. I have done lots and lots of scientific testing relating to hitting a softball. I have become a proponent of using light weight bats and hereís why:

Using myself as an example - I generate approximately 95MPH bat speed with my 26 ounce bat. I can generate just about the same 95MPH speed using a 29 ounce bat. You would logically think that I should use the 29 ounce bat, no question. I can swing it as fast and the added mass will allow me to hit the ball farther than with the 26 ounce bat. Logic in this case is dead wrong!

The important part of the equation that isnít considered in the above comparison is relative bat speed immediately after the ball has left the bat. In other words, how much of my initial 95MPH speed was I able to maintain while hitting through the ball. Here are the facts. I swing both at 95MPH just prior to hitting the ball. With the 26 ounce bat, my bat speed immediately after the ball is hit goes down to 56MPH! With the 29 ounce bat, my bat speed goes down to 49MPH! In other words, with the heavier bat, Iím swinging it fast but cannot push the bat through the ball and maintain as much speed as I can with the lighter bat.

Before we even take this subject much further I think it is crucial to stop and realize the incredible fact that I lose that much speed from hitting a 6.5 ounce ball. It simply amazes me. I have a pretty good follow through, I am extremely strong and have a decent swing ... and I lose all that speed when I hit the ball. I have tested lots of hitters; it is a constant. You lose a lot of speed when you hit the ball.

If you really think about it, what separates the true power hitters from the mere mortals is their ability to maintain bat speed. Compare my stats to that of a truly great player. Iíll reference Larry Carter, one of the most awesome distance and power hitters Iíve ever seen (and Iíve seen most all of them!) Larry weighs 260lbs+ and is in great physical condition with a vicious swing and scary strength. He can squat over 600lbs, bench 485lbs. and military press 275lbs. (easy)! You get the message. Larry is strong! He is dedicated and a great, great banger. Compare his bat speed to mine. Itís the same at 95MPH. Larry uses a 31 ounce bat ... I use a 26 ounce. So why does he hit the ball over 100 feet farther than I do? Simple ... his speed during contact with the ball.

Larry has the highest Ďafterí speed I have recorded. I finish at 56MPH, Larry finishes at 89MPH. In other words, Larry literally loses NO bat speed while powering through the ball. Larry shouldnít go down in weight! He isnít losing any speed with the 31 ounce ... thereís no need to go lighter. The question is can YOU? If you went with a lighter bat than you now use, would you pickup Ďfinishingí speed, and therefore distance? Try a friend\\\'s lighter bat and give it a fair chance. Take the time to know what works for you. Donít swing 5 times and say, no, not for me. Give it 100 swings. See if your follow through seems more efficient. Note what is happening with the ball.

What I am really trying to get across to you is crucial to hitting performance: you MUST have an efficient and complete follow through with your swing. You must think acceleration through the ball. Go right directly through the ball. Donít give up your swing the second you feel the ball hit the bat ... in fact, thatís when you have to swing hardest! And give some thought to your bat weight. Make sure you give yourself full chance to be as good as you can!



Dec. 7, 2006
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
HIT the GAP: R u swinging an End Loaded Bat or a Balance bat? A bat that is End loaded, will increase ones bats speed, about 5 to 10 %.

When one swings a Balance bat, many players feel the same 'feeling' that I do. That is that my hands r leading thru the 'HITTING ZONE', & that the head of my bat is lagging behind.

A 6'-8", 280# man, if, his ability is 'on', will hit a ball farther than a 6'-1", 180# man.

I just read some studies that were done 3-4 yrs. ago, on grip & forearm strenght trainning. It appears that, a strong grip & forearm training is a "waste" of ones time.

A lil' known fact is just what is a bats swing weight. To this date, I am aware of only one bat MFG, that list each bats swing weight. In 1 test, a 39oz bat had a SWING WEIGHT of 2O. Another bat, also, had a SWING WEIGHT of 20, but, this bat was only 28 oz.

In hitting, the follow seems to apply: 1) Size & Weight of a player 2) Talent & Ability 3) Practice & Work Habits 4) The State of Ones Mind....... 5) I am sure that others, can add more......

I am not able to tell u just why, u're bat swing slows down 39 MPH. I have seen data on players that swing a bat @ 90 MPH, & their bat speed, slows down to 74 to 76 MPH. Again, this is after the ball has been 'struck'.

The best Speed Training appears to be:: 1) Swing 2 times a wk. 2) Swing a bat that is light 30 times 3) Then swing a bat that u want to swing , 30 times 4) Then swing a bat that is several ozs heavier, 30 times.

M.O.I.---- Last question, & I am not trying to be mean, r u following thru?

If, u come to Vegas, look me up & I & some of my Major Plus friends, will hit B.P., w/ you....

BEST of LUCK...... The STONEMAN............
Dec. 7, 2006
Hit the gap
Men's 60
146 posts
Thanks for the info and thanks for the invite Stoneman. Wish I could get down but I'm stuck up here in the cold North.

Don't know why the message board crammed my whole post together. I had lots of paragraph breaks. Sorry for the confusion but everything after HITTING TIPS came from Ray DeMarini and not from me.

I currently use a 28 oz balanced U2. I have tried many EL bats over the years and just cannot get used to them. I have occasional power (hit 15 out last season) and hit for good avg. but just have not been able to find that consistent power stroke. With the EL bats, I always feel like I am behind on the swing. I know a lot of it is mechanics with me.

Looking forward to next year.


Dec. 8, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2650 posts
I agree with Ray D's theory about batspeed after contact with the ball. I wish I has access to a radar gun so I could really know what weight bat would be best for my swing.

I remember 25 years ago when TPS came out with 26 and 27 oz bats. I tried one and could tell that my bat was recoiling from hitting the ball. At that time I was using a 35 oz bat.
This past year I went from 30 oz bats to 28. This comming year I will move back to 30. There is nothing I specifically point to but for some reason I just feel more comfortable with a heavier bat.
Stoneman, I remember back in the 80's when Worth has the swing weight on each bat. I never used one.
Dec. 8, 2006
tattooball
617 posts
Ray and I have hit together on several occansions and he always used a 30 oz demo and my bats all of which were at least 29 oz endloads.
Dec. 8, 2006
E. Ness
122 posts
Hit the gap.
You are so right on the mark. The efficient swing and follow through are so important. It is the only way to keep the bat speed up through the ball.

Larry always had a good follow through but it seemed to get better once he started playing with Ray. I had the pleasure of playing with Larry and against him and Ray in the mid 1990's. It seemed to me that anyone who played for Ray had that efficient swing and follow through.

HTG if you go to an endloaded bat you will achieve more distance but you would have to give up the U2. You may just need to take 1000 swings in bp to get use to it.

I wish I could give out my name but my job does not allow it. Could you e-mail me HTG at sg550223.Yahoo.com so I can tell you my name and you can say hi to Larry for me.
Dec. 8, 2006
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
Ness fascinating topic, I have never handled an EL well. Stoneman take my word I hit with him occasionally really knows his stuff and handles an EL like only I could wish for. From what people tell me my hands stay back until the bitter end and all of my weight basically has transferred before the bat comes through, hips open and the hands get dragged through. Balanced bat works great because the hands staying back I can go Right field even with awkward pitches. EL I have never had success going to RF. Help me with this mechanically what is the ideal weight transfer with an EL. Feel wise and EL seems to drag even more through the hitting zone. The handle seems to come through first and the barrel drags or feels like I'm pulling the bat through, ie. no Sweet spot.
Dec. 8, 2006
E. Ness
122 posts
You are right on with your assessment of how to swing a end loaded bat but you need to add the stepping towards the 5/6 hole and the follow through. If you want to go to right just do the samething with your hands but step towards the 3/4 hole or the second base man. Don't step out of the box.

You bat is quiet until the last possible moment and then it is a hard explosion towards the ball with the barrel leading and the hands staying back.
Dec. 8, 2006
MK39
Men's 50
333 posts
Lecak, Hit the Gap,
Balanced bats for placement and control to all fields.
End Loaded bats for more power to all fields.
Aluminum bats work better if lighter and composites work better if slightly heavier.
With Aluminum, you have to flex the barrel with more bat speed while with composite you have more flex built in and it works better with a heavier bat so that it does not deflect while hitting the ball.
Rays theory was right for aluminum bats and if he was here today he would more then likey say go slightly heavier with a composite bat.
This is only my opinion.
Mike Kelly
Kelly's Sports
Dec. 8, 2006
E. Ness
122 posts
Mike I did not want to give away all of what Ray was doing back then. He would come over after our games with him and ask me how I could swing such heavy end loads.

Back then there was no bat standards on end loads and I used a 10 ounce factory load with my TPS and Easton. All I had to do is meet the ball and let the end weight finish my follow through.

Ray used many different weights and Larry used 32+ ounce bats.
Dec. 8, 2006
MK39
Men's 50
333 posts
E. Ness
i recently swung a Larry Carter Demarini juice bat in batting practice. This was the one he swung this year on the long haul bombers tour in the major league ballparks. This bat was super end loaded and had a weight of at least 30 ounces.
Needless to say it was way more bat then i would normally swing but if your only going to swing it 10 times, then it can be done. This bat dropped some major bombs and it was not because of my bat speed or lack of, it was because of the built in flex and the very very heavy end load.
Thanks
Mike Kelly
Kelly's Sports
Dec. 8, 2006
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
To the gentlemen participating in this discussion very enlightening thanks, here is the X factor ,deliberate practice.this equipment only works for those who have a plan, check results and adjust and develop consistency. Something I read which I found fascinating elite performers regardless of the the endeavour (we all know its only softball) were found to practice about the same amount of time on the average, the study included musicians, business men, athletes and so on.
Dec. 8, 2006
Robo2
222 posts
Question to all: Do you not think that the location of the bat meeting the ball has a lot to do with carry thru and reduction of speed? In other words, if one waits on the ball long enough and allows the ball to come almost even with the body, that the hip action and leg drive will enable one to accelerate through the ball with less reduction in speed?

That has been my belief but I have one scientific data to back it up.
Dec. 8, 2006
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
ROBO I know for a fact it does in golf, (try a long drive competition sometime what an adrelin rush). Clearly the case you state with that swing. By the way you got a guy in your neck of the woods who you should look at for OF tremendous power also, 51 yrs old, Steve Toth or Snake. Can't understand why he is not with someone on the east coast.
Dec. 8, 2006
Hit the gap
Men's 60
146 posts
Gentlemen, thank you all for the great information. After reading all the posts, I am going to try an end-loaded bat and stick with it for a while.

Thanks again.
Dec. 9, 2006
Robo2
222 posts
Lecak: We know about Snake and how grreat a player he is. If it were up to me, I would take him in an instant. I'm sure the managers have talked with him about next year. He is the type of player that could make a difference.
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