If you’ve been following along with our 2022 Glove and Cleat reports, then there’s a chance that you’ve been waiting for us to break out the lumber. Here it is, the What Pros Wear 2022 Bat Report. The way that MLB players treat their bats is a lot different than how they treat cleats or gloves. While a lot of these guys are loyal to specific brands and models for cleats and gloves throughout a career, we often see players not even be loyal to a bat for nine innings.
In order to make this report and the others like it, WPW spends the year cataloging MLB starters (not including pitchers) equipment based on Baseball-Reference.com’s team pages, as well as a few others. When it comes to what the pros are swinging, we focus on what bat or bats each starter uses the most. It’s also important to note that some of these guys will use a plethora of brands throughout the season, but WPW focuses on the two brands that they are most loyal to.
2021 Bats Used By MLB Starters
In 2021 Victus and Marucci dominated the market, being used by nearly half of MLB starters.
What Wood Bat Do You Swing?
What Bats Do MLB Starters Use?
2022 Bats Swung By MLB Starters
In 2022, league-wide bat usage did not change too much. Both Victus and Marucci extended their leads respectively in the top two spots.
Nearly 75% of bats used by MLB starting hitters come from five companies: Victus, Marucci, Louisville Slugger, Chandler, and Old Hickory. The big difference between 2021 and 2022 comes in Chandler surpassing Old Hickory to enter into the fourth spot and being used by 10.5% of MLB starters.
Here’s a look at the seven major brands being swung around the MLB:
Victus | 24.5% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (+0.5%) from 2021
Victus has only been making bats since 2012 and may have the most impressive rise amongst bat companies as it only took them 10 years to beat out the powerhouse bat makers like Louisville Slugger, which has made bats since the 1800s. After taking over the league in 2021 and becoming the most widely used bat amongst MLB starters, Victus has continued to grow in popularity.
Victus is swung by breakout rookies Julio Rodriguez and Jeremy Peña as well as seasoned power hitters like Salvador Perez and Bryce Harper. Although Victus was acquired in 2017 by Marucci, they’ve continued to operate independently. The Victus brand is centered around constantly innovating the way that bats are made to create the highest levels of performance. This commitment to the evolution of baseball has helped Victus make its meteoric rise.
- George Springer | Axe GS4-X Maple Bat (Find its closest match here)
- Oniel Cruz | V271 Maple Bat
- Rafael Devers | EB12 Bat
- Bryce Harper | FT23 Maple Bat
- Julio Rodriguez | JRODSHOW Bat
See all of our featured Victus bats here.
Marucci | 23% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (+1% from 2021)
Marucci holds second position with nearly the same share of starters since 2019. After the savvy acquisition of Victus in 2017, the two brands are used by a combined 44.5% of MLB starters.
Marucci’s crowning moment of the 2022 season came on a Friday night in September, when Albert Pujols stepped up to the plate with his signature AP5 model and launched career home runs 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium, cementing living legend status with his favorite stick.
See all of our featured Marucci bats here.
Louisville Slugger | 14.5% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-0.5% from 2021)
Louisville Slugger also saw no change in their usage from 2021-2022, sitting pretty in third and used by 15% of MLB starters. Louisville Slugger has been making bats since 1883 and is a staple in the baseball world. It’s my personal wood bat of choice, and I’m joined in that decision by Silver Sluggers Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Schwarber. Here are a few more of the league’s best that rocked one of the oldest brands in baseball:
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. | VG27 Birch Bat
- Ronald Acuña Jr. | A181 Maple Bat
- Yordan Alvarez | i13 Maple Bat
See all of our featured Louisville Slugger bats here.
Chandler | 10.5% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (+2.5% from 2021)
Chandler Bats had the biggest rise out of the four biggest brands from the 2022 season. After being rescued from bankruptcy when Yoenis Cespedes purchased the Chandler bat company in 2019, Chandler quickly reestablished itself among Big League power hitters, including Aaron Judge returning to the brand for his historic season after switching to Victus during the 2021 season. Here are some of the other sluggers that join Judge on the list of players swinging Chandler Bats:
See all of our featured Chandler bats here.
Old Hickory | 8.5% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-1.5% from 2021)
Old Hickory is the first brand we saw a decrease in usage for the 2022 season. After seeing a pretty heavy drop off, Old Hickory is now the fifth most used bat by MLB starters after sitting in fourth for several years.
The quality is indisputable, though. Old Hickory is used by perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout, and is joined by plenty of powerhouse hitters:
See all of our featured Old Hickory bats here.
B45 | 3.5% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-0.5% from 2021)
The Canada-based bat company, B45, saw a slight decrease in usage across the MLB this past year, but their roster is impressive nonetheless. Used by a total of 12 MLB starters, B45 boasts Eduardo Escobar and Ketel Marte amongst others. B45 specializes in making birch wood bats, which are a hybrid between maple and ash. Birch wood bats are rising in popularity, and here are a couple guys who swing B45’s iteration:
- Ketel Marte | PIKE4 Birch Bat
- Eduardo Escobar | B356 Birch 34/31
See all of our featured B45 bats here.
Tucci Lumber | 2.5% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-0.5% from 2021)
With Victus and Marucci taking an even bigger share of the league, Tucci Lumber is the second of the smaller brands that we’ve seen get just a touch smaller. Luckily for Tucci, they have some of the biggest names in the league including 2022 All-Star and Silver Slugger Xander Bogaerts (KFP48 Maple) and Bo Bichette (BO11 Maple Bat).
See all of our featured Tucci Lumber bats here.
These are the remaining brands swung by MLB starters:
Dove Tail Bats 7 Sam Bat 5 Homewood 4 SSK 4 Tater 4 Asics 2 Cooperstown Bat 2 Dinger 2 Max 2 Overfly 2 Rawlings 2 SR 2 Trinity 2 Anchor 1 Birdman 1 Powerbull 1 Zinger 1
More MLB Hitter Insights
ProHitter Hitting Aid Used by a Colossal 53% of MLB Starters (+9% from 2021)
ProHitter is a small hitting aid worn around the thumb that provides padding between the thumb and index finger. According to their website, ProHitter helps the batter improve the position of the bat in their hands which in turn leads to an increase in bat speed and an uptick in power. The rubber also absorbs some vibration off the bat leading to less sting. The tiny piece has been a tremendous success in MLB as it, and similar pieces like the Thumbpro, are worn by a whopping 145 MLB starters (a 9% year-over-year increase!), including Aaron Judge and Austin Riley.
ProHitter is worn on the top hand and designed to maximize extension and bat speed. Over half of MLB starters can’t be wrong. It just may be worth the $10-$12 cost at Dick’s.
Lizard Skins Bat Wraps Used by 51% of MLB Starting Hitters (+15% from 2021)
Another hitting accessory that elevated from “popular” to “dominant” with an enormous jump in 2022: Lizard Skins. While Lizard Skins have been a popular grip in past years, we saw 139 starters use them in 2022. Marucci acquired Lizard Skins back in 2021, and with Marucci and Victus (a Marucci company) being used by around half the league this information comes as no shock. Lizard Skins has been a popular alternative to standard tape in the MLB for a decade now, and are available at Baseball Express starting at $11.95.
Franklin Batting Gloves | Worn by 44.5% of MLB Starting Hitters (+2.5% from 2021)
In 2022 Franklin continued its slow and steady march toward being used by half of MLB starting hitters. With a number of different options of high-quality batting gloves – including the CFX Pro, Pro Classic, and Powerstrap – Franklin is worn by 44.5% of MLB starters. Franklin now has a 34-player lead on Nike, including 2022’s AL and NL MVPs. Here’s a few of the hitters using the league’s most popular batting gloves:
- Aaron Judge | Franklin Pro Classic
- Paul Goldschmidt | Franklin Tectonic Pro
- Jose Abreu | Franklin Pro Classic
- Xander Bogaerts | Franklin Powerstrap
- Miguel Cabrera | Franklin CFX Pro
See all of our featured Franklin batting gloves here.
Nike Batting Gloves | Worn by 32% of MLB Starting Hitters (No Change from 2021)
Nike did not see any movement in usage for 2022, staying at 32% of MLB starting hitters. Nike, the official uniform of MLB, has been #2 behind Franklin for the past couple of years. Still, the brand’s magnetic attraction has lured a talented group of players rocking the swoosh. This includes:
- Mike Trout | Trout Elite 2.0
- Rhys Hoskins | Alpha Huarache Elite
- Josh Bell | Huarache Elite
- Ronald Acuńa Jr. | Huarache Elite
- Matt Olson | Trout Elite 2.0
- Jazz Chisholm | Alpha Huarache Elite
See all of our featured Nike batting gloves here.
Adidas Batting Gloves | Worn by 8% of MLB Starting Hitters (-1% from 2021)
After Franklin and Nike, there’s a pretty steep dropoff with Adidas coming in third. Adidas’ roster has a lot of talent, all of which rock the long-standing Adidas Adizero 4.0 Batting Gloves (Available at BaseballExpress.com for $20-$35). Here’s some of Adidas’ heavy hitters:
See all of our featured Adidas batting gloves here.
Here are the remaining batting glove brands worn by MLB starting hitters:
Under Armour 14 Mizuno 6 Bruce Bolt 5 Marucci 4 Lizard Skin 3 Jordan 3 Easton 3 Asics 2 New Balance 1 JAX 1
And a drumroll for final category up for consideration in the WPW 2022 Bat Report: men who go barehanded at the plate. This category contains two MLB starters, and here they are:
- Trent Grisham
- Austin Hays
For our loyal readers who made it all the way to the end of this report, check out this custom Vullo Bat Company maple fungo bat made for the Texas Rangers:
What do you think about our 2022 MLB bat and batting glove report? Let us know in the comments.