BBCOR Baseball Bats

April 3, 2012
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
There are very few things in life where people fail at more than they succeed at it. Hitting in baseball is one of those few things. Players may not change their swing or approach to hitting this year but one thing will change for sure, the bat they use. There is a new bat rating out for bats that has to be used. The new rating is abbreviated as BBCOR. BBCOR is a good thing for baseball. There was many reasons why the National Baseball Federation chose to go with this change to a new rating like the history of bats, safety concerns from the old rating, and also what benefits would come out of this. They also had to figure out how to test the bats to see if they meet the standard.
According to in the early years of baseball, players made their own bats. They experimented for a while with all kinds of shapes until the players found out rounded barrels work the best. Eventually rules were made, like in 1859 the bats could only have a maximum diameter of 2.5 inches and in 1869 bats could only be 42 inches long. Eventually, players no longer made their own bats. In 1884 a man by the name of Pete Browning broke his bat in a game and asked a fellow by the name of John Hillerich to make him a new bat. When Browning used his new bat the next game he had great success going three for three and the everyone wanted bats from the same guy. That was the birth of Louisville Slugger. From then until 2000 the only wood players used was ash. Nowadays, everyone uses maple because of what Barry Bonds did with maple, hitting 73 homeruns in one year. Not everyone uses wood bats, though, only the professionals do.
According to Worth Sports metal bats were first patented in 1924. Metal bats, however, were not used until 1970. Those bats were aluminum, and bats are still aluminum alloys today. Easton and Louisville Slugger started making their own metal bats in the early 1990’s. Now, there are many more brands such as DeMarini, Combat and Marruci. Before the new ratings, their bats were more advanced being composite and some having two barrels. With the bats having such good performance, many injuries occurred as a result of the ball exit speed.
According Peter Wehrein, a man by the name of Brandon Patch was struck in the head by a ball and was killed. His parents petitioned for a ban of non-wood bats and sued the bat manufacturer. According to a study done by a children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio, twelve percent of all injuries in baseball are from batted balls. Of those injuries twenty-five percent were pitchers, fourteen percent were third basemen and twelve percent were second basemen. The MBF was trying to figure out to limit those injuries. They were thinking along the lines of masks and/or mouth guards, but that would just look silly. Then, they figured why not change the bat.
The old ratings was called ball exit speed ratio or BESR. The old ratings were pretty comprehendable. The new ratings are called batted ball coefficient of restitution or BBCOR. I do not figure very many people know what that means. In basic terms, it measures the bounciness of the bat or the “trampoline effect.” According Chris Spurlock, Washington State University does all of the testing. To test, they shoot a regulation baseball out of a cannon. A pivot arm then swings a bat at 136 miles per hour. The part that is tested is the brief time that the bat is making contact with the ball. The formula is too advanced for me to explain so I will not try to explain it. So, why is having bats that don’t hit the ball farther better?
Younger players have to learn more about the other aspects of the game to still be good and to continue their playing career. They have to learn how to bunt, field and run more effectively. Pitchers also benefit greatly from the new bat regulations. Since the balls don’t go as far off the bats, there will not be as many cheap hits or homeruns. Major league scouts also benefit because they can truly see how a college player’s power translates into power with wood. There are many reason for why the change from BESR to BBCOR bats was and is the right thing to do.
The history of bats, safety concerns, and making better ballplayers were all great reasons for the change. Regulating BBCOR bats is a very difficult and complicated process which is beneficial as it is tough for bats to pass the test. Even though people may not like the bat change, they are just going to have to deal with it. As I said before, baseball is a game of failure. One just needs to keep trying and trying.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback