The gloom and doom scenario of a year or two ago that many thought might happen with the switch to more wood-like aluminum bats never materialized. Many people worried that baseball would become too boring if runs decreased in games by using aluminum bats that were wood bat like. Why that did not occur? The game is too good a game and most importantly, players adjust, as that is what athletes do.
One of my favorite lines to my hitting students, and or to their parents, is "It's not the bat," as the problem to why kids cannot hit. I believe that, because it usually comes down to the mechanics of the swing, be it aluminum bats or wood bats, heavy or light bats, long or short ones. If a player has the right fundamentals, they will hit, no matter the baseball bats used, at least over the long haul and for baseball bats within reason, of course. As mentioned, athletes are athletes for a reason, they learn to adjust and deal with situations by adjusting, and that is what ballplayers will do, no matter the rule changes. Aluminum bats, wood bats, neither can ruin the game because the game is a great game and the cream of the crop players rise to the top as long as the playing field is level.
There is no doubt that aluminum bats make hitting easier, period. I get a chuckle when I hear a young ball player say that he prefers wood bats instead of aluminum bats, because they hit better with wood bats. My first thought is "Are you serious," but at the same time, I have admiration for players, who feel that way.
With the newest models of aluminum baseball bats, the playing field is level again, by limiting the speed balls can come off the bats. Rightfully, the game has moved back again to a strategic game. That is for the good, as I do not believe it was meant to be a game where the team that could out slug the opposition was the better team. Small ball has a part in the game, even with all the Moneyball theories out there.
The good news is that the latest models of aluminum bats have not ruined the game and small ball still has a vital role with winning games. Players adjust and the great game of baseball goes on. Also good news is that the hitters with the best hitting mechanics are the best hitters with whatever baseball bats allowed for play, especially as players mature physically.
Finally, I grew up on wood bats from little league to the major leagues, for all but two years of my career. I and the players I played with and against adjusted to whatever we were allowed to use. For the two years in my career that I used aluminum bats, two collegiate years, one of those years, I hit great with aluminum bats and the other I did not hit well. It was not the bat, but the batter.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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