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WPW Report: MLB Bats & Batting Gloves 2019 (What Bats Do Pros Swing?)

Continuing our 2019 MLB reports sponsored by SidelineSwap (2019 Glove Report), here we’ll take a look at MLB bat and batting glove usage in 2019.  As we’ve mentioned in past bat reports, bats are a complicated thing to track because players switch more often than any other product on the field.  Some players switch every game depending on how they feel while others never change.

In these reports, WPW polls MLB starters only (important to note that this excludes 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 Bats Do the Pros Swing?

Lets take a look at the 2018 numbers (Full 2018 Report) and then jump into the 2019 results:

In 2018, Marucci and Marucci-owned Victus earned the loyalty of 39% of the league.  Louisville Slugger followed with 14% of the league, while Old Hickory (8%), Rawlings (8%), Chandler (7%), B45 (4%), Tucci (4%), and Sam Bat (3%) made up the greater portion of MLB bat usage.  And here’s the 2019 results with batting gloves included.

Marucci | 22% of Bats Swung by MLB Starters (-2% from 2018)

Marucci bats were swung by 22% of the league in 2019, down from 24% in 2018.  Here are some MLB hitters swinging Marucci wood:

Victus | 18% of Bats Swung by MLB Starters (+3%)

Victus, owned by Marucci, picked up the slack for Marucci, gaining 3 percentage points from 2018, reaching an all-time high of 18% of MLB.  Altogether, the combination of Marucci and Victus bats have earned the loyalty of 40% of Major League Baseball’s hitters.  Here are some of MLB’s best hitters who swung Victus in 2019:

Louisville Slugger | 12% of Bats Swung by MLB Starters (-2%)

Louisville Slugger bats remain the third most popular MLB bat, swung by 12% of MLB starters, including the NL MVP in 2018 and 2019 and two of the most exciting young players in the game (Vlad/Acuna).  Here are some of Louisville Slugger’s best:

Old Hickory | 11% of Bats Swung by MLB Starters (+3%)

Old Hickory is hot on the heels of Louisville Slugger, closing the gap between themselves and the oldest bat brand (Slugger) to just two total hitters (less than 1%).  With Old Hickory’s strong growth and the incredible roster of hitters that trust their bats, by 2020 we could see a new #3 in MLB’s bat rankings.  Here are some of the star hitters that trust Old Hickory wood bats:

Chandler | 8% of Bats Swung by MLB Starters (+1%)

Chandler Bats maintains the loyalty of some of baseball’s best young hitters, growing to 8% of MLB starters in 2019.  Here are some of the stars that swing Chandler wood:

Rawlings | 5% of Bats Swung by MLB Starters (-3%)

Rawlings dropped a few points from 8% in 2018 to 5% in 2019, but some great hitters still trust Rawlings wood:

Sam Bat | 5% of Bats Swung by MLB Starters (+2%)

Long-standing Maple specialized brand Sam Bat matched Rawlings this year, jumping three spots in the rankings to become the #6 bat brand in baseball, trusted by 5% of MLB starters.  Here are some of the best hitters swinging Sam Bat:

Here are the remaining brands swung by MLB starters:

Tucci 13
B45 8
MaxBat 7
Cooperstown Bats 4
Mizuno 3
Dinger 3
Zinger 3
Homewood 3
Warstic 2
Trinity 2
Dove Tail Bats 2
Tater 1
Asics 1
Easton 1
Valma 1

More MLB Hitter Insights

ProHitter Hitting Aid Swung by a Staggering 43% of MLB Starters

See that little blue thing on Aaron Judge’s thumb?  If we hadn’t mentioned it, you probably wouldn’t have even noticed it.  Despite its insignificant size, this little piece of soft rubber (plastic?) has a greater share of loyalty from MLB starters than any bat, used by 43% of them!

As we’ve mentioned so many times before, the 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 $11.

Axe-handled Bats Nearly Doubled in Usage Compared to 2018

In 2019, eleven starting MLB hitters, including Kris Bryant, regularly swung Axe-handled bats compared to just six in 2018.

In fact, Pete Alonso set the MLB rookie home run record at 53 with an Axe handle on a Dove Tail PA20.  The number of players swinging Axe is still small, but the names are impressive.  Here’s a few more MLB studs who swing Axe bats:

Lizard Skins Bat Wraps Used by 40% of MLB Starting Hitters

The only hitting product more popular than Lizard Skins bat wraps is the ProHitter.  Lizard Skins are wrapped around the bat handles of AT LEAST 40% of MLB starters.  For some hitters, Lizard Skins are applied on a per bat basis, so if a guy uses it, that doesn’t mean he puts it on every bat.  Nevertheless, its the most popular grip in baseball and can be shopped at Baseball Express starting at $11.

Batting Gloves

Franklin | Worn by 35% of MLB Starting Hitters (Unchanged)

The batting glove market in the MLB is nearly identical to 2018 with a swap at the third and fourth positions.  Franklin maintains 35% of MLB starting hitters, and here are some of the stars:

  • Jose Altuve (above)
  • Gary Sanchez
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Xander Bogaerts
  • DJ LeMahieu
  • Francisco Lindor

Nike | Worn by 30% of MLB Starting Hitters (Unchanged)

Nike stayed steady at 30%.  Nike batting gloves were worn by the following stars:

Adidas | Worn by 13% of MLB Starting Hitters (+2%)

The Adidas adiZero 4.0 batting glove (available at Baseball Express for $37) helped Adidas leapfrog Under Armour to claim the #3 most popular batting glove among MLB starters.  Adidas is worn by the following stars:

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

Mizuno 7
Lizard Skins 6
Jordan 4
Easton 4
Marucci 3
None 3
Asics 1
Louisville Slugger 1
Force3 1

And lastly, the three manly men who need no gloves at all:

What do you think about our 2019 MLB bat and batting glove report?  Let us know in the comments.


  1. Who wears the Louisville Slugger BG’s

    1. curtis granderson! that will be the last time they’ll ever be worn most likely!

  2. I don’t think there was anything on Under Armour Batting Gloves.

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