A bat is more than just a hunk of metal or wood. It is a carefully-engineered tool that allows players to get the most out of every swing. Every component of the bat, from the knob to the end cap, is designed to maximize every ounce of performance. There are four main tech components you need to know for your bat: material, barrel diameter, construction, and weight balance.

One of the biggest influences on bat performance is its material. Bats are made of metal, composites, or wood. Metal and composite bats, are typically made of composite or alloy material, are traditionally used for youth baseball through college baseball. Wood, meanwhile, is used throughout the professional levels, as well as for specific amateur and travel ball leagues/organizations. Please read below to learn more about bat materials and how they affect performance.


A baseball bat is more than just a hunk of wood. Every aspect of the bat – from the knob to the barrel flare and cup style – play an integral role in how the bat feels in your hands and swings. There are some key parts of wood bats that you need to take into account: wood species, swing weight, finish and knob style.


Still widely popular among big leaguers, Ash provides the ultimate in flexibility due to its unique grain structure. More forgiving than Maple, Ash rarely sees multi-piece fractures when the bat breaks. Visible grain lines allow for noticeable quality, giving you the confidence you need when you step up to the plate.


The species preferred by most pro players, Maple features the ultimate surface hardness and provides an unmatched sound and feel at contact. Naturally harder, Maple offers added strength at impact. Closed grains eliminate flaking commonly seen with Ash, allowing for superior durability.


The fastest-growing species in professional leagues, Birch delivers a hardness similar to that of Maple with the flexibility of Ash. This translates into a more forgiving barrel, a light feel and the surface hardness that players crave.

Seamless Decals

These are the types of finishes on a bat. A finish is the combination of the color and “look” of the bat. On top of the finish a hard coat is applied to make the bat’s surface even harder. On the top of the line MLB Prime wood bats, Louisville Slugger uses Exo Armour Premium Hardcoat which makes the bat twice as hard.

Seamless Decals

Louisville Slugger’s exclusive new Seamless Decals give MLB Prime bats a pristine look. All MLB Prime models feature branding that blends into the bat almost as intricately as the grain of the wood itself – without added stress from pressure and heat. This leads to a bat made of wood in its purest, hardest form with decals applied directly under the top coat. Thanks to innovative technology, MLB Prime bats continue to shine after countless trips to the plate.


Not all knobs are the same. Some bats have a more rounded knob while others feature a more gradual flare. The choice between the two simply comes down to personal preference.


An ink dot on a bat certifies that the wood is MLB grade. Often MLB-quality wood bats are bone-rubbed, which is the process of making a bat denser by compressing the wood.


Cupping a bat is the process in which the end of the barrel is hollowed out to remove weight while maintaining length. This process creates a slightly more balanced feel to your swing and is especially effective on larger-barrel bats for increased swing speed.


 The turning model refers to the specific shape of the bat. Different turning models have different specifications. The areas where turning models differ is in barrel measurement, barrel taper, handle thickness, and knob taper.


This is the most basic turn model and can be used by hitters of any hitting style. It features a 2.5" barrel diameter and a 1" handle diameter. This gives the bat a larger contact surface. The 110 turn model is lighter than most turn models because most of the weight is distributed through a long, slow taper. This is the perfect bat for players swinging a wood bat for the first time or for contact hitters who want a faster bat.


The C271 turn model is one of the most common turn models. This model is very similar to the 110 turn model. It has a 2.5" diameter barrel and a 15/16" diameter handle. The main difference is that it has a quicker taper transition which defines the barrel a little bit more and gives it a slightly more end-loaded feel. This bat can be used by both contact and power hitters.


Like the 271 turn, the I13 turn model has a 2.5" barrel diameter and 15/16" handle diameter. The main difference is that the I13 turn has an even sharper taper transition than the 271. This puts even more mass into the barrel. This model is preferred by power hitters.

Bat Sizing

Wood Bat Sizing

Many baseball players believe a longer bat means better plate coverage – but that’s not always the case. A longer bat is often swings heavier, and if it’s too long for you, can reduce your swing speed and keep you from catching up to certain pitches. Even some professional players swing bats as short as 32”. When choosing your bat length, keep plate coverage in mind – but also consider your swing and stance, as well.


Many baseball players mistakenly believe a longer bat means more plate coverage, but this is not always true. Since a longer bat often means a heavier feeling bat, a bat that is too long for you can slow down your timing and prevent you from catching up to and hitting inside pitches. Even some Major League players swing bats as short as 32 inches. When choosing your bat length, you should keep plate coverage in mind. You should also consider your swing and stance relative to the plate.

Swing Weight

Bat length is measured in inches from knob to end cap. A longer bat gives you greater reach, allowing you to hit balls on the outside part of the plate. However, longer bats also tend to have more mass towards the end of the bat that requires more power to swing them. We recommend swinging bats of different lengths to decide what option best suits your swing. The right combination of length and weight will help you reach your peak performance. 

Baseball bats most commonly are found between 24-34 inches. Please check the size chart for examples of what length may be appropriate for you. 

Swing Weight

A factor you may not see, but will definitely feel is the swing weight* of your bat. Bats are often segmented by their given length and weight. The Swing weight is a determination of how a bat’s particular weight is distributed along the bat’s length. For example, you can have two bats that are 30 ounces, but that have different swing weights because the 30 ounces are distributed differently in the bat. Bats can fall along the swing weight spectrum, from light to balanced to end-loaded. 

End-loaded bats shift extra weight toward the end of the barrel, creating more whip-like action on a player’s swing and generating more power. 

Balanced bats have a more even weight distribution, allowing for potentially greater swing speed for many hitters. This is preferred by contact hitters who want more control of their swing. 

DeMarini bats use different names to identify end-load versus balance. End-loaded bats feature the word “Insane” in the bat name, while balanced bats feature the word “Zen". 

*Note - there are a variety of swing weights offered to meet player needs.