First, please understand I realize these may come across as dumb questions, but I really want your collective opinions.....
The performance of the BBCOR bats seems pretty restrictive, so what accounts for the vast price differences? Do some really have more pop? Or is that marketing at work? I understand that could have and probably was the case even with BESR bats, but I have heard the difference among bats is much less clear now. Is that accurate?
Some places (bat sellers) still say the $300 bats are remarkably better than the $100 - $150 bats. But I have also heard that buying a BBCOR bat should focus even more than people used to on appropriate weight, a balance the user likes, and shock (or lack thereof) feel. Basically, some feel that material (aluminum or composite) is almost meaningless, as the BBCOR's are all throttled down so much that there is little, if any, actual difference in performance.
Put simply, does the Indian mean even more than the arrow in the new BBCOR world?
There seemingly MUST be something that accounts for the vast variances in price... But I have bought some pricey bats that really were not that great (Easton Stealth comes to mind), and seen some mid range (some in the Omaha series) bats that were really good...
I've bought bats for my kid for the past three years for his July birthday and done fine getting last years model (but new) for a good deal. There are no deals for BBCOR yet, presumably because there is no 'last year's model.'
Is the Anderson rep still here? Any deals on an Anderson BBCOR? It'd be great marketing for Anderson to send him a bat!!!!
I don't want to spend several hundred dollars for a bat that has basically the same performance characteristics as a much less expensive one.....
This past weekend, the ESPN Sports Science guy did an excellent discussion of the interplay between a baseball--with a Coefficient of Restitution (COR)--and a variety of baseball bats with sweet spots defined, given the materials from which the bat was made.
And then later in the day, as they were broadcasting the CWS, they had a slo-mo of a batter's swing and contact. The bat rippled like a spring!
To understand what the standards are to meet a LL-specification bat, you need to see this Science Guy clip on ESPN.
It has nothing to do with price! It's all safety!
I've been researching this question for a couple of weeks. A friend bought his 14-year-old son a $300 DeMarini BBCOR bat, and I asked him why. He said it had better "pop" than some of the others he'd tried. I said that it was my understanding that BBCOR specs made the pop equal across all bats, and he changed his story, explaining how the DeMarini had less sting and more balance.
I'd already seen some BBCOR bats selling for $60, so I couldn't reconcile paying five times the price for a negligible difference in sting and balance, so I started my research. Here's what I've come up with:
THERE IS NOT ENOUGH DIFFERENCE IN THE BATS TO EXPLAIN THE PRICE DISPARITY.
The most definitive thing I've found is a paragraph from compositebats.com:
"We hit every BBCOR bat on the market for three weeks straight at our batting cages. Combined, we put in over 10,000 swings on these bats. It all came down to sting, vibration and balance of the bat. All BBCOR bats have a smaller barrel than their BESR counter parts. All BBCOR bats feel heavier because more weight is distributed to the end of the barrel. Here is the ugly truth about BBCOR bats… The “pop” is virtually indistinguishable between bats."
I expect that prices across the board will drop significantly in the coming year or two as buyers realize that there's no reason to pay the extra money for the same performance.
My son will be a H.S. sophomore this coming spring, and I'm delighted to have gotten an email from BaseballSavings.com this morning that advertises "28 BBCOR bats starting at $39.95". I'll be getting him a $40 bat for Christmas.
Hi, Thanks for the detailed post. While we have already made a bat purchase, the information you stated is pretty much what I found in continued research. Pop is the same, but how the bat feels can be very different.
For the record, we ended up with the 2012 Demarini Voodoo BBCOR - new on eBay dead on $200. While I understand it was not necessary, it was not a hugely over expensive bat, and my son really loved the appearance... Silly, I know, but I guess not all differences deal with actual performance... As for its performance, he just recently said it is better than he expected a BBCOR to perform, but I'd guess most BBCOR's are the same or simialr, as you've mentioned.
Thanks again and enjoy the new bat.
Differences in price generally reflect the technology in the bat. For example, our higher-priced bats feature double-wall technology, and are weighted to a hitter’s preference (Such as balanced or end-loaded).
Your reference to the bat's features misses the point. The technology in the bat is irrelevant since the results are identical. A bat that's the result of ten years and a million dollars of research still performs EXACTLY THE SAME as one that has 1% of that time and money invested. Double walls and minute differences in balance won't punch a baseball two feet farther, and there's no reason to spend five times as much.
Well, the dialogue you two are having is exactly why I posted in the first place. I understand the physics of BBCOR bats having been throttled down to having the same or very similar pop. But... is it worth it to spend more money for the other things?
After actual performance (which we all seem to agree that most BBCORS are similar), it seems there are three things to consider...
1.) Balance preference
2.) Bat quality / probable lifespan
3.) Other facts such as appearance and 'coolness' factor
Only one of those will directly affect performance - the balance. My son said he feels he gets through swings much faster with a more balanced bat, resulting in better hits... Sounds plausible to me....
Could we find a reasonably balanced bat for less than $200? Probably... But factor in the other two (quality / coolness), and I am happy with our purchase.