So as promised I’ve got a review on the Mine Bat I’ve been using for the last week or so. I’ve always loved trying out different brands of gear (everything from spikes to bats etc) so when WPW asked me if I wanted to test/write about Mine Bats I jumped at the opportunity. The idea behind Mine Bats is that beech wood combines the best properties of maple and ash into one super wood.
I got the Amalfi model which is a standard C-243, although it felt much more balanced than the last 243 I remember swinging (granted that was a pro stock from Louisville a couple summers ago). The barrel profile seemed like it just went forever, it feels like the hitting area is pretty much half the bat. Aside from the fact that the Amalfi is a very different model and swings differently from the model I currently use I felt like it swung really nicely.
Each Mine Bat comes with a “soft touch” finish on it that is really different than any other bat finish I’ve ever felt. It almost feels velvety, which is kind of cool, its got a sort of luxury feel to it. The only issue I had with the finish was that I felt like I needed to keep reapplying pine tar every time I used the bat. Unlike a normal paint finish which lets the pine tar sort of get caked on and stay sticky the Mine Bat almost was slippery without running a pine tar stick over the handle a few times.
As far as performance goes I think the bat does a good job delivering on the promise that denser wood creates more powerful contact. Even though I was using the bat during a week when I was working on a lot of things with my hitting coordinator and manager I still felt like the ball jumped off the bat well. It was a little weird getting used to the sound it makes, it’s more like a composite bat that has been rolled than a true wood back “crack.” That said, if you can get over the fact that it sounds different than your buddy’s Pro Stock it really feels good. You can feel the flex in it when hard contact is made, but its not one of those flimsy feelings like you get from an old Demarini (you know the ones that feel like they’re bending into a U shape when you hit).
Overall I think that the Mine Bats are a solid product, and definitely something we’ll start to see more of as they spread around the Big Leagues. I know there area few guys like Prince Fielder, who have swung em already and I think that’s a testament to the quality. In talking to those guys they seem like great dudes who will really go above and beyond to help out customers. Don’t be scared of the price tag on them, I think you’ll like swinging with them!
Also bat related, I got in touch with Pro Helmet Decals (www.prohelmetdecals.com) and had them make some bat knob stickers for me. I wanted to pay tribute to being Canadian, while using team colors and having my number. The finished mock up of the artwork came out exactly like I wanted it to and I cannot wait to get home from this 6 game road trip to get them on my bats. They look SICK.