Priceonomics

Looking for a "steal" on the a baseball bat (pardon the corny joke please), well one option is to buy a used bat! On one hand, bats can go dead after a lot of use. On the otherhand, kids outgrow bats pretty quickly or sometimes they barely get used. If you look hard enough, you can find a great deal on a baseball bat on Craigslist or eBay.

Here is the Priceonomics price guide for baseball bats. Search for any bat (softball bats too), and we'll give you the fair used price for it. Below, we have a basic guide about buying baseball bats by Priceonomics contributor Kathryn Casey. May many homeruns be in your future!

Stormtrooper holding a softball bat: Business Insider.

Spring Training will be here before you know it. It’s time to dust off those cleats, break in that mitt, and get ready to “swing batter, batter, SWING!” But before you head to the baseball diamond, you’d better make sure you’ve got the right equipment. Having the right baseball bat can make all the difference in the world, so here are a few things to take into consideration before you swing for the fences!

Baseball Bats Versus Softball

First of all, are you playing baseball, or softball? Each level of play has different regulations for bats, so check to make sure you’re legit! Softball battles tend to have barrel that looks like a long cylinder while baseball bats have a tapered barrel. At the youth level, all bats are created equal, and softball bats, whether fast or slow pitch are lighter and longer than baseball bats.

 

The Right Size Bat

As you may suspect, as the game gets more serious, the rules get more stringent. Baseball abides by the “Minus Three Rule”, which states that the weight in ounces can be no more than 3 from the value of the length in inches. In lay man’s terms, that means that if you have a 32” bat, it can’t weigh less than 29 ounces. Aside from length and weight, barrel diameter, length profile, and stiffness are all different in softball versus baseball.

And don’t go out to the field thinking the biggest, baddest bat (within regulations) is going to make you an all star! The recommended height and weight of the bats vary, depending on the player’s own height and weight, so be warned, if you’ve got those 2 inch cleats, or started that crash diet to look good in your uniform, you may need to get a new bat!

 

The different material bats are made of

You’ve also got a lot of choices when it comes to the material of your bat. While the major leagues only allow wooden bats, us weekend warriors can choose from wood, aluminum, composite, or hybrid. Wooden bats are solid wood and very heavy, so it’s harder to swing. Aluminum bats are lighter, cheaper, more durable, and of course, when you make contact with the ball, you get that cool “PING!” sound! Composite bats are the result of sports technology. They are made of several different materials, but most often graphite and fiberglass. These bats are much lighter than aluminum bats, but MUCH more costly! Hybrid bats aren’t very popular, and are usually made of an aluminum barrel and a composite handle. While you may think this is the best of both worlds, they can also run quite expensive, easily $200.

 

How much does a bat cost?

And of course, as in life, nothing is free. New bat technology (I’m not talking Robin and the Bat Mobile here) mean more options and higher prices. Size, material, and whether or not they come beadazzled or with a matching clutch (kidding), all impact how much you’re going to pay. You can walk out the door for as little as $40, or break the bank at over $300.

 

Conclusion

The bottom line is really pretty simple though. Comfort. If you’re not able to pick the thing up, or you fall over swinging it, you’re not going to play very well. The bat you choose is the key component in your ability to hit that little ball, so take some time. Pick up a few bats, swing them, and see what feels the best. Then, get out there and hit it home!



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