Editor’s Note: Christian Dunbar is our newest add, and WPW is thrilled to have him as our resident bat expert. This guy GETS IT. He’s a ballplayer out of North Carolina, and you can see more great content from him on his Instagram, @_cmgd.
By Christian Dunbar
The following list is a breakdown of the most popular bat models found in Major and Minor League Baseball. There are thousands of turns so hopefully this list will help you familiarize yourself with some of the primary models as well as help when purchasing your next wood bat.
#1 | 271
The 271 model is easily the most popular bat in the game. The 271 has a tapered knob, medium handle, and a tapered medium barrel. This profile makes the bat very easy to swing and balanced. The profile allows for the bat to be made out of the densest wood available. Denser wood equates to a bat that is harder and more durable. Even though the 271 is not considered a large barreled bat several hitters who hit for power use it as well as gap to gap guys. Players include Prince Fielder (also swings C271L), Troy Tulowitzki, Corey Dickerson, and Pedro Alvarez.
#2 | 243
The 243 is known as the original power hitters bat. Endless models have been created based on this turn (D200, 243L, 243m). The thin handle tapers abruptly to a fairly compact large barrel making it an end loaded bat that most power hitters look for. Players that have swung this bat include Daniel Murphy, Kris Bryant, Buster Posey and David Wright.
#3 | 110
The 110 was a bat that was originally created for Mickey Mantle. It features a nice long 2.5 inch barrel with a thick 1 inch handle. The thick handle makes the 110 feel extremely balanced. Along with the bat’s superb balance, the 110 is also known to be one of the most durable bat models you can buy. Players that have been seen swinging the 110 include Curtis Granderson, Salvador Perez and Xander Bogaerts.
#4 | i13/i13L*
The i13 is also a bigger barreled model that features a small flared knob (the i13L features the same profile with a larger knob) and a medium handle. The handle has a very long taper to a long mammoth of a barrel. This bat is great for players that like to feel that the bat is “whipping” through the strike zone. Pros that have used/use the i13 model are Evan Longoria (who uses this model exclusively in ash), Nelson Cruz, Dansby Swanson and Albert Pujols.
#5 | 318
With the 318 turn you get a medium barrel with a long sweet spot, a medium handle, and a balanced swing weight. The 318 is great for players that want a nice hitting surface while having complete bat control. This is a favorite of gap to gap hitters but is used by some power guys also. This group includes Josh Donaldson, Hanley Ramirez, Brandon Crawford, and Starlin Castro.
The 141 is a bat that comes with a thin to medium sized handle that has a gradual taper into a medium barrel with a very long sweet spot. This bat is primarily used by gap to gap guys and is extremely easy swinging. Some players seen using the 141 include Joe Panik, Sam Fuld, and Victor Martinez.
The 174 takes extremely large and long barrel of the I13 and gives it a razor thin handle. This accentuates the end loaded feel and whip even more. The turn is used by Alex Gordon as well as Salvador Perez who I mentioned earlier in the 110 section.
Note: These are generalizations of the models. Many bat manufacturers use different dimension for handles and barrels for the same turn model. Even with the dimension changes from company to company, the bats overall profile remains the same.
*= Due to the MLB density rules, if you were signed after 2011 you cannot use certain bats that have large barrel sizes and require lighter billets to be used. Depending on wood type used, the larger barreled models are made with lighter billets to achieve the -3 length to weight ratio most players are looking for. By doing this the strength of the wood is not as great resulting in broken bats. Many manufacturers including DTB, Zinger, and Viper Bats to name a few have created models that mimic these models while allowing them to use billets that meet the 2011 rule requirements.