My son – the age of the clack has long passed in Baseball. Now is the age of pop!
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Let me explain.
When you’re watching an amateur or senior league baseball game, as soon as the batter hits a homer, you’ll hear a loud “clank” across the stands. That sound is extremely satisfying and also serves as an indicator that you managed to make a good connection with your bat.
But does that mean wooden bats don’t have pop? Well, not necessarily. You see pro players send the ball flying to the stands all the time, right? Wooden baseball bats have pop, too, but there’s a catch here – making a wooden bat pop takes a lot more skill and practice. Hence, it’s mostly left to the pros.
Then again, what Baseball bat has the most pop, and how do you make a baseball bat pop? Does it have something to do with the design of the bat itself? Or is it fully reliant on your skill? The short answer is – it takes a bit of both.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to discuss here. So don’t let me keep you waiting.
I will talk about what type of baseball bat has the most pop. So, if you want to get that sweet, sweet popping sound when you’re taking your place on the batter’s plate, you can get the perfect bat for it.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is Pop in Baseball Bat?
The big question that most of you have right now is, what exactly is the pop? I mean, everyone talks about it, but when you ask them to elaborate, they can’t really give you an honest answer, right?
Well, that’s because most relate the pop to the sound that the bat makes when you manage to hit the baseball with its sweet spot. In reality, the pop refers to the exit velocity of the batted ball.
But this definition can make everything more complicated for you. Since there are many variables, such as swing speed, swing weight, the bounciness of the ball, etc., that can affect the batted ball speed, you can’t really calculate the exit velocity of the batted ball properly.
That’s why it’s best not to think too much about it. A bat that can hit the ball furthest and hardest has a better pop – that’s the easiest way to think about it for you.
Then again, baseball bats are made of different types of materials – wood, composite and aluminum alloy. And the sweet spot of the bat can be larger or smaller depending on the material that it’s made with. So how does that factor into the pop?
Well, composite bats, generally, have the most pop since they have a larger sweet spot. Or rather, it’s easier to get the pop out of a composite bat because of its greater sweet spot. But an equivalent aluminum or wood bat can also deliver a similar level of pop if the batter is skilled enough.
What Baseball Bat Has the Most Pop: Do USA or USSSA Bats Have More Pop
There’s often a debate on whether USA baseball bats are better than USSSA bats. And as the debate progresses, it naturally leads to the argument of which of the two bats has more pop.
Well, pop alone cannot define the entire quality of a baseball bat, so take the next part with a grain of salt.
USSSA bats typically have a larger sweet spot compared to USA bats. That means it’s easier to get a higher exit velocity out of a high-end USSSA baseball bat, which in turn means that these bats generally have more pop.
USA bats, since they are designed for youth players, prioritize safety. As a result, they are made of lighter materials which are easier to swing but have less exit velocity of the batted ball.
USSSA bats, on the other hand, with their bat performance factor of 1.15, allows the hitter to drive the ball much harder than a USA bat. Of course, you need to first master the fundamentals of swinging, but in the hand of a capable hitter, the USSSA bat performs better.
There are of course, many other differences between USA vs. USSSA baseball bats, but I’ll save that for another day.
Why Do USSSA Bats Have More Pop?
USSSA stands for United States Specialty Sports Association. And while you might think that this governing body deals only in baseball, in truth, they work with a wide range of sports. The events organized by this association are classified into several divisions, such as A, AA, AAA, and Major, based on the skill level of the competing players and teams.
Now, for USSSA games, a baseball bat needs to fulfill a couple of criteria. For one thing – the bats must have a BPF rating of 1.15. For those that don’t know, this means that when the baseball hits the bat, it needs to rebound off it at a 15 percent faster rate than if it would have hit a solid wall.
In addition, the barrel diameter of a USSSA baseball bat cannot exceed 2¾ inches. The drop rate allowed for USSSA baseball bats are -3, -5, -8, -10, and -12. When a baseball bat is manufactured in compliance with all these specific metrics, you can be certain of its quality.
That’s why when you’re looking for a high-end baseball bat, you’ll come across many bats that are USSSA approved. These bats provide amazing pop because of these specifications and offer you a solid foundation to work on your hitting skills.
How Do You Get More Pop in a Baseball Bat?
I’m sure you can see it coming miles away, but there’s no way around it – the best way to get more pop in a baseball bat is to get better. When you get better at hitting the baseball with the sweet spot of your bat each swing, you will get consistent pops from it.
Now I know that’s not the answer you’re looking for here. And yes – there certainly are some ways that you can make your bat more pop-friendly. But keep in mind some of them might be considered illegal depending on what type of games you’re playing. So, it’s best to check with the officials beforehand.
With that said, if you’re mostly playing casual games and want to give your baseball bat a bit more oomph, here are some ways to get more pop from it.
· End Loading the Bat
If your baseball bat comes with a hollow barrel, then a quick way to give it more pop is to end load it. I have a more elaborate explanation here, but the gist of it is that you pop off the end cap from your bat and fill it with some extra materials. As a result, the bat becomes top heavy.
And since the bat becomes top heavy, as you swing it, you can generate more power from it. You can buy end loaded baseball bats readily if you look around.
And there’s a lot to be said regarding the choice between end loaded and balanced baseball bat. But a quick answer is that end loaded bats are usually favored by power hitters. And contact hitters prefer a balanced baseball bat.
· Bat Shaving
Another option to give your baseball bat more pop is to take it to a lathe or a sports shop where they can shave your bat for you. For those that don’t know, bat shaving is the process of trimming the inner materials of the bat so that it becomes straight and even.
This removes parts of your bat that you don’t need and gives it an overall performance boost. Since the inner walls become thinner in a shaved bat, the trampoline effect of the bat increases, letting you drive the ball further on a successful hit.
· Rolling the Bat
The last trick that you can employ to get your bat popping is to roll the bat. But for that to work, you need a bat that can be rolled in the first place. Not all baseball bats can be rolled using a rolling machine. For example, if you have a metal or an aluminum bat, this method won’t work for you.
If you have a composite bat, on the other hand, you can roll the bat yourself. But I would suggest taking your baseball bat to an expert to make sure your bat doesn’t get you disqualified. They can roll your bat while keeping it within the boundaries of your baseball organization.
Which Bat has More Pop: Aluminum, Composite or Wood?
As I said earlier, the material of the bat also plays a huge role in determining its overall pop. Now baseball bats can be made of many things, but they are typically categorized into three main groups – wood, aluminum, and composite.
And among the three of them, composite bats have the most pop. Since composite bats incorporate modern technologies that help enhance the response of the baseball bat’s barrel wall, usually, the sweet spot in this type of bat is larger. And naturally, this results in the bat having more pop than the other two variants.
Aluminum bats are a close second. But some high-end aluminum bats can exceed composite bats in delivering a good pop. Most aluminum bats are hollow inside, though, and they generally have less pop than an end loaded baseball bat. So make sure you factor that into your calculations when you’re shopping for an aluminum bat.
And finally, the wood bats have the smallest sweet spot. But does that mean they have the least pop? Well, it gets complicated here.
You see, the MLB pros are only allowed to use wooden baseball bats. And if the performance of all those Hall of Fame hitters is any indication, the wooden bats can deliver amazing pop if you know how to use them.
But then again, as a beginner with limited experience in the game, you would have a hard time getting hit with a wooden bat. In comparison, both alloy and composite bats will give you more pop in your skill level.
What BBCOR Baseball Bat has the Most Pop?
BBCOR specs are tricky. And the sheer volume of baseball bats that you can choose from can easily overwhelm you when pop is the main thing you’re after. So let me make things easier for you. If you want a baseball bat that has a good pop, go with the MARUCCI CATX.
Keep in mind, though; there are a couple of different variants. So you want to go with the one that’s specifically made for BBCOR games. The BBCOR version of the CATX comes with a 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter and has a drop weight of -3.
As for your size options, there are many. You can go with a barrel length of 29 inches all the way up to 34 inches – the BBCOR is pretty flexible in this case.
The only real downside of this baseball bat is that it’s pretty pricy. So unless you want a truly high-end aluminum baseball bat, this isn’t for you. But if budget isn’t a problem, I would recommend this bat in the blink of an eye.
What Youth Baseball Bat has the Most Pop?
For Youth Baseball, I would go with another Marucci Baseball bat. But this time, I’ll be going with an older model. Instead of the CATX, which is the most modern iteration of the bat, I’ll suggest getting the 2019 model – the Marucci Cat8.
But why would I go with an older model? Well, for one thing, it’s cheaper. And secondly, you won’t really get that big of a performance boost with the newer one, at least in youth baseball.
The construction of the bat is solid thanks to its AZ105 alloy. But what makes the bat truly pop is its multi-variable wall design. This design gives the bat a larger sweet spot and lets you get that “clank” much easier than you would be able to get with a wooden bat.
The bat follows the standard USSSA specs, which means it has a 2 ¾ inch barrel diameter and a drop weight of -10. The bat is available in a couple of different barrel lengths, so you’ll have plenty of choice in that regard. Even if you overlook the pop, this is still an amazing youth baseball bat.
What Senior League Baseball Bat has the Most Pop
Senior league baseball bats follow mostly USSSA standards, and there are many options here, as you might imagine. Almost all USSSA-approved bats give you a decent bit of pop for your money.
But since I have already talked about two Marucci bats, I figured, why break the trend? So if you want the most pop from your bat in your senior league games, the Marucci CATX will help you get that. No, I’m not talking about the one that I mentioned in the BBCOR section. This one is approved for USSSA.
Naturally, there are some small differences between the two bats. For instance, you have three different drop options, and the barrel diameter is slightly different. For the USSSA version, the barrel diameter is around 2 ¾ inches, and the drop options are -5, -8, and -10.
Construction wise, though, the two bats are nearly identical. Similar to the BBCOR version, this one comes with AZR Alloy construction and has Liquid Gel Dampening system to improve overall bat response and eliminate sting.
The price is also somewhat lower for the USSSA version of this bat, so that’s a good thing if you’re on a budget. So, if pop is what you’re after, the CAT series is still the best one to go with.
Some Parting Wisdom
As you can see, the pop in a baseball bat depends on a wide variety of factors. Yes, there is some physics involved here, but I’m sure you’re not here for the science lesson. What you want to know is how that plays a role in your gameplay.
The best advice I can give you to get more pop from your baseball bat is to get better at the game. Remember, when you can hit the baseball with the sweet spot of your bat, you will get a good pop from it. And even though wooden bats have a small sweet spot than composite or alloy bats, the pros manage to hit homers all the time.
But as a beginner, you’ll most likely be playing with alloy or composite bats. And in that case, as long as you get a high-quality baseball bat, you should get a good pop from it.
I hope my in-depth guide on which baseball bat has the most pop could help bust the myths around it and help you find the perfect baseball bat for yourself. Good luck!