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MLB Bats Report 2021 | What bats do pros use? (Spoiler: There’s a New Leader in MLB Bat Usage)

Continuing our 2021 MLB reports, powered by Rawlings Sports (2021 Glove Report), let’s take a look at the bats and batting gloves used by the pros in 2021.  Bats are often in a state of flux for the average Big Leaguer. Players may switch bats from at-bat to at-bat, for a good reason, or no reason at all. Meanwhile, some players are so secure in their hit tool that they swing the same bat for their entire career.

Mookie Betts swings a Victus Axe MB50 bat.

In these reports, WPW polls MLB starters only (not pitchers) based on Baseball-Reference.com’s team pages with a few additions.  We look for and reward regular usage, or loyalty.  By that, we mean that we look for the bat (or bats) that a player uses most.  We count up to two bat brands per player, so if a player swung a bat brand for one game only, it isn’t counted.  The best way to view this data is to think of it as a measure of loyalty.  There are some bats that weren’t counted because, based on our observations, they weren’t used as much as a player’s other bats.  Its not a perfect science.

What Wood Bat Do You Swing?

For the wood bat swingers out there, what do you swing currently?

What wood bat brand do you swing?

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Recapping 2019 Results

Lets take a look at the 2019 numbers (Full 2019 Report) and then jump into the 2021 results:

2019 Results

What Bats Do MLB Players Swing in 2021?

In 2019, Marucci and sister-company Victus asserted dominance of the Major League landscape. The two brands covered 22% and 18% of hitters respectively. While two in five MLB starters swung the two-headed monster of Marucci and Victus, Louisville Slugger supplied the wood for 12% of the league’s starters, followed by Old Hickory (11%), Chandler (8%), Rawlings (5%), and Sam Bat (5%). With this background knowledge, let’s take a look at the usage in 2021.

Bats Swung by MLB Starters in 2021

mlb bats

Victus | 24% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (+6% from 2019)

Tim Anderson swings the Victus TA7.

Victus, born in 2012 in a tiny garage in Blackwood, NJ, has soared to the pinnacle of wood bat-making, and is now the most popular bat in Major League Baseball in 2021. Victus is swung by the very best hitters in the game, including Rafael Devers, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Mookie Betts.

Fernando Tatis Jr. swings the Victus FT23.

The Victus brand, acquired by Marucci back in 2017, is known for its ProPACT finish, a compression process that makes Victus bats as hard out of the box as any in the sport. Of the compression technology, Victus CEO Jared Smith says, “We want our bats to dent the ball, we don’t want the ball to dent our bats.

Aaron Judge swings the Victus JUD99 at 35 inches, 33 ounces.

Victus has attracted big names in recent years. Both Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado have made the switch to Victus. Aaron Judge has swapped out Chandler for Victus. The co-leader in homeruns in the MLB also switched brands to Victus, as Salvador Perez swapped his Rawlings bat for a new Victus stick entering 2021.

Victus bats were swung by 24% of the league, up from 18% in 2019.  Here are some MLB star hitters swinging Victus wood:

Marucci | 22% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (No change from 2019)

DJ LeMahieu swings the Marucci AR13.

Despite being overtaken by Victus, the very company that Marucci acquired in 2017, for the top spot, Marucci still maintained its usage by 22% of MLB starters. Combined, Victus and Marucci are swung by almost half of all Major League starters.

Buster Posey, in his final season, swung the Marucci BP28.

Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, and Anthony Rendon used Marucci bats in 2021. Here are some other players who swung Marucci this past season:

Louisville Slugger | 15% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (+3% from 2019)

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. swings a Louisville Slugger P210.

After leading the way for over a century, Louisville Slugger has settled in as the third most popular bat among MLB starters, swung by 15% of them. Slugger’s roster of players includes reigning offensive player of the year Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger, and perennial All-Star Justin Turner. Here are some of the other star hitters who swing Slugger:

Old Hickory | 10% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-1% from 2019)

Matt Olson swings the Old Hickory GB2 bat model.

Old Hickory maintains it’s spot as the fourth most popular bat brand, swung by 10% of MLB starters. However, Old Hickory lost ground to its closest competitor, Louisville Slugger, who is swung by 41 starting hitters to Old Hickory’s 28. Compared to 2019 when there was a 1% difference between the brands, now a 5% gap separates them. Nevertheless, the two best hitters in baseball (in my opinion), Mike Trout and Juan Soto, swing Old Hickory with regularity. Here are some other stars who swing Old Hickory:

Chandler | 8% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (Unchanged from 2019)

Carlos Correa swings the Chandler CC13 bat model.

Chandler Bats usage is unchanged since 2019. It is swung by some of the best power hitters in baseball, such as Joey Gallo, Bryce Harper, and Rhys Hoskins. Carlos Correa has long been a user of Chandler bats, and his monstrous teammate Yordan Alvarez loves his Chandler wood, too. Here are some of the stars who use Chandler Bats:

B45 | 4% of Bats Used by MLB Starters

Ketel Marte swings the B45 PIKE4 bat model.

B45 has had a subtle but impressive rise in popularity among Big League starters. These Canadian-made birch sticks are swung by stars All-Stars like Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar, along with nine other MLB starters. Birch wood, known as a cross between the qualities of Maple and Ash, has become a major force in wood bats in recent years. Here’s a few other swingers of B45:

  • Austin Hays
  • Darin Ruf
  • Freddy Galvis

Tucci | 3% of Bats Used by MLB Starters

Bo Bichette swings the Tucci BO11 bat model.

Tucci Lumber is swung by a small but mighty group of MLB starters, including superstar shortstops Bo Bichette, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts. While they lost a few hitters from 2019, an impressive handful of players swing this Connecticut-based lumber company. Here are some others who swing Tucci:

  • Willson Contreras
  • Yasmani Grandal
  • Willson Contreras
  • Jed Lowrie

These are the remaining brands swung by MLB starters:

Rawlings6
Tater5
Cooperstown Bats3
Dove Tail Bats3
Homewood3
MaxBat3
Mizuno3
Dinger2
SSK2
Trinity2
Warstic2
Asics1
BWP1
Powerbull1
Phoenix1
SR Bats1
Zinger1
Shohei Ohtani swings the Asics GOLDSTAGE bat in birch wood.

More MLB Hitter Insights

ProHitter Hitting Aid Swung by a Staggering 44% of MLB Starters

Cody Bellinger swings with the ProHitter hitting aid.

ProHitter ($10-$12 at BaseballExpress.com), the little blue thumb ring you see on Cody Bellinger above, found itself aiding nearly half of the hitters in the MLB in 2021. The small piece of American-made rubber helps with grip technique and eliminating sting. It can be seen on star players such as Cody Bellinger, Bryce Harper, Ronald Acuna Jr., and 114 more MLB starters.

Bryce Harper wears the ProHitter.

As we’ve mentioned so many times before, the ProHitter piece is worn on the top hand and keeps the bat handle in the fingers (versus the palm) for maximum extension and bat speed.  Hitters also report reduced sting on mishits.  You can get a ProHitter on BaseballExpress.com for $10-$12.

Lizard Skins Bat Wraps Used by 36% of MLB Starting Hitters

Cavan Biggio wraps his bat with Lizard Skins.

Lizard Skins continues to be one of more universally popular products among Big League hitters. The synthetic bat wrap, which was acquired by Marucci Sports in 2021, acts as a grip that’s superior to standard tape, and has gained popularity since it’s introduction to MLB in 2012. Lizard Skins are available at Baseball Express starting at $11.99.

Batting Gloves

Franklin Batting Gloves | Worn by 42% of MLB Starting Hitters (+7% from 2019)

Teoscar Hernandez wears the Franklin Powerstrap style, swinging Tater.

Franklin has extended its lead over the rest of the batting glove market in 2021. Between the CFX Pro, Pro Classic, and Powerstrap, Franklin supplies 42% of MLB starting hitters. The inventor of the batting glove, Franklin has 26 more starters than second place Nike. Here are some of the top players who wear Franklin:

Nike Batting Gloves | Worn by 32% of MLB Starting Hitters (+2% from 2019)

Nolan Arenado wears Nike batting gloves. (Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire)

Nike batting gloves ticked up slightly from 30% to 32%. As the new official uniform provider for MLB, Nike continues to be the equipment provider for many of the game’s top players. These include:

Adidas Batting Gloves | Worn by 9% of MLB Starting Hitters (-4%)

Fernando Tatis Jr. wears the adidas adiZero batting gloves.

The Adidas adiZero 4.0 batting glove (available at Baseball Express starting at $37) is worn by Adidas poster-athlete, Fernando Tatis Jr. and the following stars:

Juan Soto is one of the few players still rocking UA.

Here are the remaining batting glove brands worn by MLB starters:

Under Armour12
Lizard Skins8
Jordan6
None5
Easton3
Marucci3
Asics1
Bruce Bolt1
Spiderz1
Kyle Tucker is one of the few MLB starters who wears no gloves at all.

And lastly, the five burly men who require no gloves at all:

  • Kyle Tucker
  • Trent Grisham
  • Austin Hays
  • Wil Myers
  • Joey Wendle

What do you think about our 2021 MLB bat and batting glove report?  Let us know in the comments.

2 comments

  1. Who are the 5% that swing SamBat? Great post!

    1. that’s actually from 2019, but i could see why you’d be confused. we adjusted it a little to make it clearer. Last year, we saw Miguel Cabrera and Avisail Garcia swinging Sam Bat regularly.

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