Question: Do More Expensive Bats Increase Bat & Ball Exit Speeds?
In this baseball batting practice Mizuno bat model experiment using the Zepp (Labs) Baseball app & Bushnell radar gun, I wanted to use the Scientific Method to analyze what would happen to Bat and Ball Exit Speeds comparing the performance of two different Mizuno bat models, but the same 34-inch, 31-ounce size:
MIZUNO MAXCOR ($150-400)
According to the Mizuno website, the focus of this bat is maximizing Ball Exit Speed and backspin. Some key features are (Mizuno site):
- Viscoelastic Sleeve: Creates a wider circumferential sweet area.
- New Variable Wall Thickness Alloy Core: Increases the sweet area across the length of the barrel, using aircraft aluminum alloy used to keep overall weight low.
- Dynamic Damper: Transition piece from barrel to handle absorbs vibration for better feel.
- New Improved Synthetic Leather Grip: Provides tack and great feel.
- Lower more balanced swing weight for increased swing speed.
- BBCOR certified, approved for NCAA & NFHS play
- Barrel Diameter: 2 5/8″
According to Mizuno’s site, the Mizuno Generation baseball bat was designed with two things in mind:
- A bigger sweet spot, and
- Balance – (lighter swing weight, which can result in faster bat speeds).
Key features of the baseball batting practice Mizuno Generation bat (Mizuno site):
- Patented wall thickness technology varies the wall thickness across the barrel, creating a massive sweet area for ultimate forgiveness
- Single wall aerospace grade aluminum alloy used for maximum combination of performance and durability
- Balanced swing weight for increased swing speed and bat control
- Digi-Grip for great feel and durability
- BBCOR certified, approved for USSSA
- Barrel Diameter: 2 5/8″
Another factor in this baseball batting practice Mizuno bat model experiment will be breaking in a non-wood bat. CLICK HERE for a good YouTube video on how to break-in a composite bat. Now, both Mizuno bats are not composites, but I’m sure the breaking in process with any non-wood, will have an affect on Ball Exit Speeds.
We’ll adjust the data to address breaking in the bat in the Notes section.
Based on the above baseball batting practice Background Research from Mizuno (albeit promotional materials), and the fact the MaxCor is double the price, I’d expect a much better performance in Bat and Ball Exit Speeds using the MaxCor model bat versus the Generation.
Baseball Batting Practice: Mizuno Bat Model Experiment
- Zepp Baseball app,
- Bushnell radar gun,
- ATEC Single Tuffy Tee,
- Flip Camera,
- 34/31 Mizuno Generation BBCOR bat, and
- 34/31 Mizuno MaxCore BBCOR bat.
- All baseball batting practice swings were taken off the tee.
- I used two yellow dimple ball markers to make my stance setup consistent…one was placed inside my back foot, close to the plate. The other was placed one bat’s length plus two baseballs in front of the back marker.
- CLICK HERE for the Google Drive excel document with all the Ball Exit Speed (BES) readings.
- We deleted radar gun mis-reads that registered below 30-mph on the gun.
- Therefore, we deleted 11 mis-reads from the Mizuno MaxCor bat data, and averaged all MaxCor BES readings to 89 swings.
- Also, we deleted 7 mis-reads from the Mizuno Generation bat data, and averaged all Generation BES readings to 93 swings.
- The two tests in the experiment were counter-balanced. Which consisted of eight blocks of 25-swings done in the following order ABBA BAAB. Swinging the “Mizuno MaxCor” were letter ‘A’, and
“Mizuno Generation” were letter ‘B’. 200 total swings were completed in the experiment, 100 per test. Counter-balancing helps remove the “getting tired” and “not being warmed” up factors.
Data Collected (Zepp Baseball App):
Data Analysis & Conclusion
- Avg. Bat Speed at Impact increased by 3-mph using the Mizuno MaxCor,
- Avg. Max Hand Speed increased by 2-mph using the Mizuno MaxCor,
- Avg. Time to Impact decreased by 0.063,
- Avg. Bat Vertical Angle at Impact decreased by 1-degree using the Mizuno MaxCor, and
- Avg. Attack Angle decreased by 4-degrees using the Mizuno MaxCor.
BUSHNELL BALL EXIT SPEED READINGS (CLICK HERE for Google Excel Doc):
- Avg. Ball Exit Speed increased by 4.6-mph using the Mizuno Generation bat,
- Top out Ball Exit Speed was 95-mph using the Mizuno Generation bat, and
- Top out Ball Exit Speed was 90-mph using the Mizuno MaxCor bat.
- Now, we can’t compare apples to apples baseball batting practice data using the Zepp app and Bushnell radar gun. If I had one more Bushnell radar gun capturing my bat speed readings perpendicular to my chest, then that would’ve been an interesting comparison.
- I felt much more balance with the Mizuno Generation. I also felt like I was more consistently hitting the sweet spot, as their marketing suggests. For some reason it was tough feeling a consistent sweet spot using the MaxCor, maybe because of the “Dynamic Damper: Transition piece from barrel to handle absorbs vibration for better feel”.
- It takes about 100-200 swings to break in a non-wood bat, at least according to the following YouTube video on How-To Break-in a Composite Bat. I’m going to share a Zepp app screenshot comparing the first 100 swings using the Mizuno MaxCor (from this experiment), to the first 100 swings using the Mizuno Generation (from the Baseball Swing Tips: Mizuno Bat Size Experiment):
- How about comparing the Ball Exit Speeds of the first 100 swings…according to this Google spreadsheet, the Mizuno MaxCor Avg. Ball Exit Speed was: 83.5-mph. And according to this Google spreadsheet from a couple weeks before, Avg. Ball Exit Speed using the Mizuno Generation 34/31 was: 88.3-mph.
The Bottom Line?
Well, according to the baseball batting practice Mizuno bat model experiment data, it looks like the Generation model holds the performance edge when it comes to Ball Exit Speed, almost a 5-mph difference. That’s about 20-feet of extra distance! From how the experiment turned out, I’d save the $200 and buy a Mizuno Generation. Now, this data doesn’t mean EVERY expensive bat will under-perform it’s more economic brethren, it just means you need to tinker and test to find the truth.
I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.
It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.