What’s the Difference between Ash, Maple, and Birch Bats?

Nolan Arenado Home Run

Not all wood is created equally.  As we meet more and more of the key players in the wood bat industry, we’ve learned the nuances of finding the best wood.  Not only does wood type have a significant effect on performance, but even the climate in which the tree grows can effect the hardness of the wood.  In this run-down, lets take a look at the different wood types, their performance characteristics, and which pros swing which wood type.

Ash

Ash is the longest-tenured wood type on this list.

What it feels like:

When hitting with Ash you can feel the bat flex when making solid contact. Ash also has the lightest swing weight or perceived weight compared to Maple or Birch. It tends to be more forgiving off the end near the cup of the bat.

Pros that use Ash:

Evan Longoria (LS i13), Evan Gattis (Marucci Los15), Justin Upton (LS U47), Adam Eaton (Phoenix AE94; not exclusively but uses ash often), David Wright (LS W310), Kyle Seager (Victus KS15) and Tim Anderson (Victus TA17)

Justin Upton Prime Bat

Kyle Seager Under Armour Batting Gloves

Evan Gattis Marucci Los15 Ash Bat

Maple

The second oldest and most popular is Maple. Maple became popular after Barry Bonds went for that insane 73 HR campaign in 2001.

What it feels like:

Maple is the hardest out of the three, there is no flex. Maple is more forgiving off the handle than ash is.

Pros that use Maple:

Nolan Arenado (Old Hickory 28NA), Eric Hosmer (DTB HOS), Mookie Betts (Victus MB50 Axe – Closest Alternative), Robinson Cano (SSK RC22), Troy Tulowitzki (Tucci 271, Old Hickory 28NA), Corey Seager (Marucci CS5), Joc Pederson (Marucci JP31),  Giancarlo Stanton (SamBat 2K2), and Rougned Odor (Tucci RO)

Troy Tulowitzki Old Hickory Maple Bat 2

Corey Seager Marucci CS5 Maple Bat

joc-pederson-marucci-2

Birch

Birch is the newest wood type and growing rapidly in popularity.

What it feels like:

Birch combines the hardness of Maple and the flex of Ash. It tends to be forgiving on miss-hits overall. With Birch there tends to be a break in period depending on the manufacturer.

Pros that use Birch:

Adam Duvall (LS C243), Carlos Gonzalez (B45 CG5), Josh Harrison (LS JH5) Jonathon Lucroy (B45 B318 – closest alternative), and AJ Pollock (LS P187)

Carlos Gonzalez B45 Bat

Jonathan Lucroy B45 B318 Bat

Adam Duvall Louisville Slugger C243 Birch Bat (HR Derby)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *