Hi, my name is Colin Rudy, and I play in the New England Elite Baseball League for the New England Stampede and also for my Wakefield, Massachusetts Little League senior ball team. In my opinion, I feel that it is a necessity to get a new bat every year because you continue to grow and mature. Plus, your league requirements change.
Most people (especially parents) might say, "Why do you need a new bat, I just got you a new one last year?" Well, here's why.
1) Kids' Bodies Change
Each year, kids add on an average of 5-7 pounds and grow about 3 inches. As kids get stronger, the bat they were fine with last season is now too light. They can now lift heavier bats and generate more power. Also, growth makes their old bat too short, which will result in hitting the ball off the end of the bat or missing the ball entirely. If you play baseball, you know that's bad.
2) Field Change
As kids transition from majors to Senior League, they are switched from small diamond (60" bases) to big diamond (90" bases). This change can be hard on kids because the edge of the infield on a big diamond is where the home run fence is on a small diamond. Because of this, some kids might need a lighter bat to get a little extra strength and power to soar the ball out of the infield.
3) League Requirements Change
When kids enter new leagues, they are hit with different rules and regulations regarding what bats they can and can't use. For example, for Little League Sr. Ball you must use a -3 BBCOR baseball bat. BBCOR is the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution, a standard that regulates how much energy is lost during the bat's contact with the baseball. In my Elite League, 14U kids can use whatever bat weight they want. So it is a good idea for parents to get their kids different bats for each league that are as light as possible. This will give the batters their greatest advantage, especially as pitchers are starting to throw harder.
4) Bats Wear With Usage
After you have been using your bat for a long, difficult season, it starts to get some wear and tear. Some examples are denting, scratches, marks, and less pop off the bat from sitting and your car freezing and thawing over the winter. All of these examples can result in your bat being less powerful and having the ball have less pop off the bat. You don't want that.
5) Keep Up With The Latest Style
When you're a kid, you know that style means everything. You want to get the nicest bat on the market to show your friends. Plus, having a nice looking new bat each and every year can raise your confidence at the plate. Plus, every kid will want to use your bat, and popularity counts.
The bats I hope to get for the 2017 Season
Normally when I am looking to pick out a bat, I spend hours trying to find the right one for me. In my case, there are two right ones.
For the New England Stampede in the New England Elite Baseball League, I'm hoping to use the 2017 DeMarini Voodoo (size 31, drop 8, weight 22 oz., 2 5/8" barrel). It is a drop 9, which is within the legal weight requirements for my travel team. If you're not familiar with what drop means, JustBats explains here.
For Little League senior ball, I'd like to use the Marucci CAT 6 (size 31, drop 3, weight 27 oz., 2 5/8" barrel). Little League requires that bats be BBCOR, so the drop 3 works. Plus, I like the way the bat looks and feels.
For the coming season, when you are looking to buy your kid a new baseball bat, consider buying two instead.
JustBats thanks Colin for his guest blog article. What do you think? Was having a youth player's perspective helpful? Please share in the comments section below! Or, if you have any baseball bats or softball bat related questions, please give our friendly customer service staff a call at 866-321-BATS (2287). They are available 24/7 via phone, email (email@example.com), or live chat. Remember, we're with you from click to hit!