When you look at MLB players on the field, you will notice that they always wear clothes and equipment that look brand new. This makes you wonder whether the players buy their baseball bats or are they bought for them?
Generally, the MLB team will let the players choose a bat and pay for it. Sometimes, the team sponsor might provide the equipment, but the players rarely purchase anything from their purses. Yet it does occasionally happen.
Think about it this way. If you are working in a digital marketing office, you are usually provided with a laptop. If you work construction, you are provided with safety clothing and equipment. Knives, safety shoes, and proper food processing equipment will usually be available without any cost for chefs.
This is the same for MLB baseball players. They work for the team, so their place of business will provide them with the necessary equipment to do the job properly.
Given that MLB teams are usually loaded with money, they will also provide the best equipment you can get, which further increases their performance.
However, if the team equipment comes from sponsors and endorsers, the player might not favor that particular brand and equipment. Then, a player might purchase a bat from their funds. Note that the bat purchased individually must conform with the MLB bat requirements.
If you have reached the MLB level as a player, you aren’t short of money either, so it’s usually not a problem. Still, the team will usually pay for all equipment.
Do MLB Players Use the Same Bats?
In my recent article about how many baseballs are used in MLB games, you can find that the number is incredibly high. This makes you wonder how long MLB players use the same bats.
Generally, MLB players use the same bat as long as it breaks. Switch hitters may use different bats when hitting the left and right sides. Also, some MLB players are superstitious, meaning they will try different bats during a slump.
In MLB, the players are allowed only to use wooden bats. These bats won’t worsen over time, so they can be used for as long as they break.
The amount of time the bat will remain unbroken drastically depends on how good the player is at-bat. For example, a player that nearly always hits the sweet spot won’t break nearly as many bats as a player that hits on the lower end of the barrel, on top of the barrel, and misses the sweet spot often.
According to former MLB player Matt Antonelli, Christian Yelich only broke six bats in the entire season, whereas Travis Shaw broke around 70! Matt Antonelli himself says that the typical broken-bat amount during a season was 2 to 3 dozen (24-36) bats.
This information considered it’s not like MLB players don’t change bats. But they do usually use the same one until it breaks.
How Much Do MLB Bats Cost?
MLB players doesen’t play with cheap $20 Amazon bats, even when you can get quality bats from Amazon. That being said, how much do MLB bats cost?
In general, one MLB baseball bat usually costs between $75 to $185. However, because MLB teams usually buy bats in bulk, the price can get as low as $40 to $60. There are exceptions where players buy more expensive bats themselves or do business with generous sponsors.
When I first heard the price of the MLB baseball bat costs, I wasn’t so blown away. In fact, it was lower than anticipated because there are $400 bats out there.
However, when I connected the fact that MLB players use only wooden baseball bats, which are considerably more affordable than quality composite bats. In addition, some players can break over 70 bat’s within a season, which would result in a $5250-$12950 bill with the average price costs just from one player! It isn’t so cheap anymore.
Oh, and not everybody can sell bats to the MLB; neither would they want just any bats. According to CNBC, only 33 certified baseball retailers sell to MLB teams. The most popular ones are Marucci, Louisville Slugger, and Rawlings. I like Marucci the best of these three brands, as do most MLB teams, at least when looking at multiple surveys.
There are so many factors that, in reality, affect the MLB bat costs. To give you a quick idea, I have gathered some essentials below;
- Target leaguer
In addition, there are labor costs, advertisement fees, and the profit margin that can all vary between manufacturers and more.
Going back to the wooden bat subject, not all wood is the same either. In fact, 70% of MLB players prefer maple bats because they are the heaviest and densest wood out of the options available. This results in powerful swings, which is what MLB players love!
However, maple might not be the best choice for minor league baseball players because they might not have great strength to swing a maple bat well. Thus, birch or ash bat might be the better choice depending on the player.
To learn more about baseball bat materials, check out my in-depth article about it.
How Many Bats Does MLB Players Use In a Season?
I already touched on the subject of how many bats MLB players can break within a season. So far, the range is 6 to 70 bats broken within one season. That’s a too wide average so let’s dig deeper.
On average, an MLB player breaks around 30 bats per season, including both practice and game time. However, some players may break only 4 to 6 bats per season, whereas others might break around 100 bats. This drastically depends on the strength and accuracy of the player’s at-bat.
The broken bat range is wider than most things in comparison. However, the result is a sum of so many drastically different things, which makes it so. Let’s take an example.
Let’s compare a person weighing 165lbs (75kg) that hit the sweet spot almost every time to a player weighing 220lbs (100kg) which isn’t accurate at all. You can bet that the heavier and less accurate person breaks the bats multiple times over than the lighter and more accurate player. This is also proven by science.
When it comes to weight, heavier people are often stronger, especially when comparing baseball players to each other. Baseball players are heavier than in other sports, but a considerable amount of the weight comes from height and muscles. When a player is stronger, he can swing the bat with more speed and power. This wears out the bat’s structure more, making it break faster.
Then, there is the matter of accuracy. Every baseball bat has a sweet spot, and its size depends on the particular bat. When you hit the ball with the bat’s sweet spot, you can feel a connection with the ball, you won’t get sting vibrations, and the bat won’t get worn out nearly as much. However, when you hit the ball with the lower barrel, side barrel, and top of the barrel instead of the sweet spot, the bat’s structure will get hit so much worse that it will quickly break.
As you can see, these two things will affect the bat’s lifespan so much that the difference between broken bats can be hundreds of percent.
Why There Are No Metal Bats In MLB?
Metal bats, including aluminum (alloy) and composite, don’t be used in MLB. This is odd because, in minor baseball leagues and professional softball, mostly metal bats are used. Why is that?
Metal bats aren’t used in the MLB because it would make the swings even faster than they already are, making baseball unsafe and very hard to play. Wooden bats doesen’t have such pop and aren’t as powerful as metal bats, making baseball’s speed more playable and safe.
According to The Stadium Reviews, Vladimir Guerrero JR swung a baseball at the speed of 118mph (190kpj), making it the most powerful swing of all time.
Imagine if Vladimir used a metal bat. The speed would have been considerably faster, which would make the ball fly over the stadium. Alternatively, it would pose a serious danger for the fans and other players because a baseball traveling at that speed is very hard to see.
The disadvantage between batters and pitchers would also be too much, as metal bats would be too overpowered compared to pitchers’ throwing arms. Even when the other team would get the same benefit in their offense turn, the other listed reasons make it clearer not to allow metal bats in MLB.
Other reasons why only wooden bats are used in the MLB are more required skills. It’s really easy to swing well with an alloy bat, but wood does require more skill and accuracy. The reasons behind this are the smaller sweet spot and the less robust construction and material overall.
Last but not least, history! Because wooden bats have always been used in the MLB, it would mess up every further statistic so badly that historians, most baseball players, and enthusiasts would rebel against it. It’s better to keep such things because of fair and clear statistics.
My Favorite Baseball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find my favorite baseball bat, baseballs, and a glove that I think will take your game to the next level!
- Bat: My favorite baseball bat is the Easton Project 3 Fuze. This bat has a composite end cap, reduced post-impact vibrations, balanced swing weight for the fastest swing speed, and a carbon core that makes this bat perform very well! As I’m not a professional baseball player, I like to use alloy bats as you can swing faster and hit further.
- Baseballs: Rawlings Competition Grade Practice Balls are my choice for something to hit. I love these balls because they fit all levels of play, so regardless of who you are playing with, you can use them. They come in a 6 or 12 balls box, and you can choose between raised or flat seams! I prefer flat seams as the balls tend to fly further!
- Glove: When it comes to the glove, my choice is the Rawlings Sandlot Glove. This glove is available for both lefties and righties. The same glove is also available for infielders, outfielders, pitchers, catchers, and 1B mitt. This glove has a nice vintage look, and it’s made from oiled leather. It has palm pads that protect your hand from impact, and it is pre-broken-in, so you are good to go as soon as you have it! A glove I’m proud to recommend.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.