Smoking a drive off the tee, slam-dunking a basketball, and throwing a long touchdown are a few things you can do athletically that will have you on top of the world.
However, one of the most challenging and rewarding accomplishments is hitting a home run in baseball. Finding the right bat is vital to your success, so knowing the differences between wood and aluminum bats will educate you on the best selection.
Margin for Error
Using an aluminum bat allows you to have a more significant margin of error. Typically, metal bats have a more prominent sweet spot, allowing you to make better contact on more bat areas.
You’ll end up getting more hits, but it’s like getting more strikes in bowling with bumpers—somewhat cheap.
Instead of breaking your wood bat when you get jammed on the fists, you might be able to turn it into a bloop hit with a metal bat. However, the sound and the way your hands feel after that hit might not be worth it.
Since metal bats are hollow and composite, you can legally have them as light as possible. Wood bats can feel heavier and have a smaller sweet spot. Due to the lighter bat, your swing speeds will increase, resulting in your hitting balls farther.
Awareness & Feedback
While it may be frustrating, using a wooden bat gives you better feedback on your swing and contact with the ball.
If you hit a ball towards the end of the bat or the handle, you’ll know immediately how off of the sweet spot you were, which may even lead to a broken or splintered bat. However, if you hit the ball on the sweet spot, you will feel a sense of euphoria.
Because of the painful feeling of a badly hit baseball, you will have better plate discipline and improve your eye by taking bad pitches.
You’ll end up becoming the player that Billy Beane always wants donning the cleats—someone who gets on base.
More Power & Balance
A wood bat allows you to drive through the ball, giving you more natural power than an aluminum bat offers.
All balls appear to go farther with an aluminum bat, but a nutted ball on a wooden bat causes balls to fly further and sound better.
Which Will You Choose?
Knowing the differences between wood and aluminum bats lets you figure out what works best for you. For the novice hitter or starting your child into baseball, aluminum might be the ideal scenario.
Going with wood certainly has its benefits if you are more advanced and want to feel like a big-league hitter. Regardless, either option will have you hitting the long ball.