We field a lot of questions regarding our bats, and wood bats in general so we figured we’d share some insight and some pointers we wish we knew during our playing days!

Bigger isn’t always better, and this is often the case…

Most of us, sadly, grew up playing with metal bats. By the time we were out of high school we had gotten accustomed to thin handles and big barrels, and especially light bats. Naturally then, when switching to wood most opt for a bat with similar dimensions and weight to metal bats. This is all well and good, and we are happy to accommodate this with our bigger barreled models (M3, M5, & M7). That being said, players should know that to mimic those metal bat dimensions, wood bat companies have to use a lighter, or less dense billet. Long story short, less density means less pop. In our case, the M2, M4 & M6 have a barrel and handle that is about 1/10” less than the M3, M5, & M7. But, they allow us to use a heavier billet and thus are a bit harder and offer more pop. At the end of the day it all comes down to player preference, and we don’t fault players for liking a big barrel, but know that you can get some better jump with only a modestly smaller stick!

Don’t be afraid to try a heavier weight…

Again, we can accommodate just about any weight request you might have. But our having the luxury of being able to swing all sorts of lengths, weights, and various models of Meridian bats has given us an opportunity to directly compare bat variations that most players don’t get. Similar to the point above, many of us were brought up with metal bats that offered a substantial length-weight drop, typically at least a -3.0, and sometimes further in the negative. In the world of wood though, a bigger drop is generally indicative of lower wood density. Wood is an organic material and the amount of pop in the bat will vary with your drop selection, which really isn’t the case with metal. So, don’t be afraid to try a -1.5 instead of a -3.0. Chances are you’ll feel a difference in the pop, but without feeling a ton of difference in weight – particularly in a game situation when you’re dug in the box.

Painted finishes and dark stains are not in your best interest…

It’s music to the ears of a lot of bat companies when an order comes in with a request for a dark stain or painted color selection. Why? Because it covers up wood blemishes allowing the bat maker to sell it off as though it’s a top shelf piece of wood. Moreover, it gets rid of a piece of stock they couldn’t sell if it were finished with a light stain or a clear coat. You’ll see natural grain variations, mineral streaks, and knots in all types of wood – it’s just how it works. That said, keep your bat maker honest, and order a bat in a color where you can visually inspect the grain. At Meridian, we weed out all the garbage, use finishes where you can see the grain, and have particularly exacting standards – we’re less concerned with profit margin than we are with putting out a consistently perfect product. You’ll see it in every stick we sell.

Finally, the trunk of your car is an oven…

So don’t leave your bats in your trunk. If you’re going to invest the money to buy a bat, invest the extra two minutes to bring them inside. If you don’t, you’ll dry out the wood and make it more prone to break.

Stay tuned for more blog posts in the near future!  Next week:  on the ink-dot, cupping, and the benefit of hand-split billets!

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions!

-Marcus