Back in January Sam and I were on the hunt for a new baseball bat for the upcoming 2006 season. And after lots of looking we settled on a Demarini Vexxum 30/16.5 2 ¼. Since Sam is on the small side I thought the dense DX1 barrel material would really help Sam put the ball into play. Then later in the year we added another Vexxum to his arsenal, this time a 30/21.5 2 5/8.
Unfortunately all season I’ve watch Sam struggle – we’ve tried just about everything and every drill you could imagine. He’s probably logged as many hours hitting off the T as he has playing this year, but nothing seemed to get him back to his old self.
Over time I’ve tried to piece it together and finally came up with a theory. These Vexxum bats have a lot of weight out on the end of the bat. That weight may work to the batters’ advantage as they swing through the zone, but there is a price to be paid for it. For one, when the batter initially starts their swing, that extra weight behind the batter’s head is hard to get moving and slows the initial bat velocity. Secondly, as the bat comes to the zone (bat travel A to C) the inertia generated (the bats tendency to resist changes in its motion) is more difficult to control. I believe this slows the batter’s hands, making it harder for them to put the bat on the ball.
I’ve been chewing on this theory for the past several months and today decide to run with it. So the family hit the dusty trail and went bat shopping, again. And after visiting every sporting goods store from Jefferson City to Columbia, we decide on an Easton BST32 31/21 2 5/8, then headed for the ball field. The results? Instantaneous improvement! Sam has much quicker bat speed and far better control. His new bat is an inch longer and ½ ounce lighter than the 2 5/8 Vexxum, but while swinging, it feels pounds lighter coming through the zone.
So there you have it. Argue with me if you want, I know the Vexxum bats are pretty popular, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes. So if you have a child other there struggling in the batters box, you might want to take a serious look at what they’re swinging with.