Composite or Aluminum Bats for Cold Weather?
It does not matter if you are a professional baseball player or not, using a baseball bat in cold weather can have consequences specifically on your performance on the field. It is not really about a cold weather bat, but rather having a cold ball. Essentially, baseballs are made from leather and string, which become dense as the weather gets colder. The denser the ball becomes, the less bounce it has and may damage even performance bats on impact. Let’s look at some baseball bat recommendations.
Aluminum or Composite Bats
As far as using a baseball bat in cold weather is concerned, industry experts would favor the use of an aluminum baseball bat. Cold weather means temperatures that are sub 55 to 60 degrees. Using a baseball bat made from aluminum can result in a dent due to the dense nature of the ball. This may sound bad, but not as bad as using a composite baseball bat, which can result in cracking and eventual failure of the equipment.
How it affects your performance?
Knowing this about a baseball bat, how will it affect your performance on the field? The lighter design of aluminum baseball bats have complemented the baseball skills of many players as it allowed them to achieve faster swing speeds. The adoption of thinner barrels resulted in a trampoline effect that allowed the ball to travel longer distances.
With the overall improvement of baseball sports in mind, the use of composite baseball bats have allowed many players to improve on their hitting. This is partially attributed to the material being lighter than aluminum and the design of the bats, which has a flexible handle combined with a larger barrel creating a bigger sweet spot. This is why it is not improbable for properly broken-in composite baseball bats to outperform its aluminum counterparts.
So how cold is too cold for a baseball bat? As far as a USA Bat is concerned, having a 60 degree temperature cutoff can be considered quite conservative; taking into account the performance and durability issues.
It is not unheard of though, to use composite bats in temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees. This is of course if you are not dealing with excessive speeds for pitches and matching swings. But if you have a baseball coming at you at speeds in excess of 90 from the mound, then it would be reasonable to maintain a 60 degree temperature cutoff. Different manufacturers would have varying opinions on this based on the data they have on hand.
For example, a high-grade, thin-walled aluminum baseball bat would rarely be recommended when hitting in a sub 60 degree temperature. The reasoning is that in this temperature, the chances of denting the bat in greatly increased. This is more acceptable though than having a cracked composite baseball bat.
Cold Weather Bat Damage
Do you have an idea what a cold weather baseball bat damage looks like? If you have a composite baseball bat, the damage would be in the form of cracks that will eventually lead to breaking. The cracks usually be seen at the point of impact of the bat rather than the length or the seam, which are slightly rarer manifestations of damage.
For aluminum bat problems, the cold weather damage can be seen as dents resulting from hitting the ball too hard and exceeding the rating of the bat. It is rare, even for the best baseball bat made from aluminum, to break; normally it bends.
Normally when looking at cold weather bat recommendations, we would see that an aluminum or wood baseball bat would be suggested when the temperature is less than 60 degrees or above 50 degrees. Anything lower than 50 degrees would require a baseball bat that has a cheaper aluminum or wooden barrel.
Composite baseball bats are never recommended for use when playing in temperatures that fall below 60 degrees. This is because the performance problems and possibility of cracking increases. If you more information on the type of baseball bat you need for cold weather or on keeping bats cool in the winter for example, head on to M^Powered Baseball to get accurate answers to your questions today!