Best of WPW 2017: Bats (Kraken, Judge, Harper)

The Washington Nationals play against the New York Mets on Friday, August 25, 2017 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Paul Kim/Washington Nationals).

(Photo: @thepaulkim)


Not even 2 days into our first ever BEST OF WPW, and you, the readers, have cast 40,000 votes.  Thank you to everyone who has voted so far, and please keep following our IG stories every day until Christmas Day to cast your vote.

Here’s the next set of finalists, up for BEST BAT OF 2017.

8th Seed – Carlos Gonzalez’ B45 G5 Birch “Family Portrait”


Players Weekend features heavily in the inaugural Best of WPW, and that figures to continue if the bat companies are half as creative as they were in 2017.

We all assumed Players Weekend would crush as far as custom cleats goes, but the bats were a total surprise, including Birch specialist B45’s incredible “family portrait” seen below.



Jonathan Lucroy, Keon Broxton, Bryce Harper, and Cargo received some pretty spectacular painted portraits on the sweet spot of their favorite B45 cut.  Tommy Joseph didn’t want to catch a face barrel so he went with the Liberty Bell.

cargo face bat

Cargo’s G5 stands out thanks to the sleek Venezuelan flag overlay on the B45 trademark.  PURE SHOW.

Get Cargo’s signature cut, the Cargo 5, with that same tapered handle that Cargo loves at this link.  To achieve full “Cargo,” tape the bottom hand only:

Carlos Gonzalez B45 Bat 2017

7th Seed – Jose Altuve’s Sam Bat JA27 Maple “Venezuela”

Altuve New Balance cleats 2017

Maybe I’m partial to the Venezuelan colors, but they really do pop.  Jose Altuve dressed as a rainbow for Players Weekend, and even though he swung Victus for most of the season, Sam Bat’s paint job was just too fire to leave in the bat rack.  Altuve hit a bomb with it, of course.

Astros vs Angels Players Weekend (67 of 115)

Even when Altuve had that Friday night off, he still kept it on the bench just so everybody knew who was boss.


The bat was so pretty it made the New York Times.

You can shop Altuve’s Sam Bat JA27 at this link.  It has a similar profile to the Sam Bat’s MC1/CG1, with a thin handle and an extended sweet spot.

6th Seed – Bryce Harper’s Rawlings BH220 Ash

The saddest storyline of Players Weekend was that Bryce was out for it.  Bryce had heaps upon heaping heaps of baseball swag on deck for it.  This Rawlings bat wasn’t even the sickest thing he had ready, but we could only choose one.

bryce harper players weekend bats

Actually, that’s a lie.  We chose two (keep reading for the other).  This Rawlings BH220 stood out from the crowd for its design.  Interestingly, it was the only one with the Cargo knob.  Rawlings offers a Pro Label bat under Bryce’s name at this link.

5th Seed – George Springer’s Victus MB50 “H-Town” Maple

Astros vs Angels Players Weekend (98 of 115)

One word. Pop. Lots of it.

Astros vs Angels Players Weekend (13 of 115)

Just a fantastic design.  Astros Tequila Sunrise jerseys forever.  Get the H-Town design in a “well-balanced” and “durable” JC24 similar to the 271.

Astros vs Angels Players Weekend (63 of 115) - Copy

Victus is offering an Axe “X50” which we’d guess is the same profile as Springer’s MB50.  Get that here.

4th Seed – Bryce Harper’s Victus TT7 Maple “Tie Dye”

The Washington Nationals play against the New York Mets on Friday, August 25, 2017 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Paul Kim/Washington Nationals).

(Photo: @thepaulkim)

This picture, in itself, might just win Bryce the contest.  Sex appeal for days.


2017-08-27 14.29.48

Honorable Mention to the tiger print bat.  Amazing doesn’t begin to describe Victus’ work for Players Weekend.  Bryce’s Victi (plural of Victus) were actually TT7s, a Trea Turner cut (mistakenly reported as a BH137.1 in the IG voting).  Shop all kinds of gorgeous Players Weekend designs on

3rd Seed – Kike Hernandez’ Chandler CC13 Maple by @wescustomkicks

Kike Hernandez Players Weekend Bat CC13

This bat has it all.  Dog prints.  Cacti.  Batman.  Kike Hernandez’ seems like the type of guy who would be pondering these items while simultaneously hitting 3 bombs to bury the defending champs.

Kike Hernandez bat

Wes crushed it with this design.

Get the Chandler CC13 at

2nd Seed – Aaron Judge’s Chandler AJ99.2 HR Derby Maple

MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees competes in the final round of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Marlins Park on July 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

(Photo: Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Aaron Judge Derby Bat

Photo: @infieldchatter

Aaron Judge Derby Bat 2

The performance.  The paint.  The total package.  A great look at the full details via Just Bats:

Incredibly, this bat, custom paint and all, can be had. is offering it in a very limited quantity at this link.

#1 Seed – Gary Sanchez’ AP5 Maple “Kraken” by @dieselbats

Gary Sanchez Derby Bat

To My Family:

When I die, please bury me with Sanchez’ “Kraken” so I can barrel baseballs in the Afterlife. 

Gary Sanchez Derby Bat 2

Gary Sanchez’ Kraken AP5 was given to him by Victus ahead of his HR Derby.  It didn’t even see the field that night, which likely determined the outcome of the contest.

Gary Sanchez Victus Bat td

Instead, Sanchez hit with a more traditional version similar to the above bat, and he fizzled out in the semis.  I understand the sheer brilliance of the design might make you want to shelf it, but its like @dieselbats, the artist said:

“These are not trophies, they’re made to do damage.”

Greatest bat I’ve ever seen.  Somehow, has made it available, numbered to 24, and you can get it here.

The bat’s box is also unbelievable and as we understand it, that was made by @smuglabs.