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Eraser

Baseball Dads ~ Little League Bats 2018

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So the hype is here and my 8 & 9 year olds will be playing baseball locally for the first time.  They’ve been playing for a couple years in the neighborhood and are fundamentally sound, but we’ve always just used some old bats laying around.

We’re out shopping and picking up equipment for the new year, but have NO CLUE where to start with bats.....especially with the new 2018 rules.  

I’ve done some research and see the bats that cost $200-$400, but that’s out of my price range.  What are some great options that will perform well, but come with a more reasonable price tag? 

Thanks , E

 

 

 

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They are 8 and 9 years old; they'll be done with any bat you get them by the end of next season at the latest. I don't even think you need to spend over $70 on a bat for kids that young. As far as brands go, you can't go wrong with the basics: Louisville Slugger, Easton, etc. They are more likely to have 'legal' bats for every age group.

Unless they're going to be playing 4-5 games/week through the end of July, most bats will hold up just fine.  If you want to really invest in their enjoyment of the game via improved performance, buy a tee and sock net, and fill an old bucket full of found/used baseballs, as well as find an old basketball they can swing at off the tee. They get better by practicing, practicing and then practicing some more. 

Good luck and feel free to share highlights and lowlights on this board. :bye:

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I bought my son one of the new USA bats for $70. It's a rawlings 29" 18oz

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Yep another vote for bucket of balls and batting tee. I just took my boy to the park in 39 degrees weather and he hit off tee with his bucket of balls for half hour to fix an uppercut in his swing. He loves it. Little league manager of 9 year olds this year here!

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2 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

Yep another vote for bucket of balls and batting tee. I just took my boy to the park in 39 degrees weather and he hit off tee with his bucket of balls for half hour to fix an uppercut in his swing. He loves it. Little league manager of 9 year olds this year here!

I hope he knows you're setting him up to be a slap singles hitter.  Ichiro Jr?

:P

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15 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

I bought my son one of the new USA bats for $70. It's a rawlings 29" 18oz

Which one?  I was eyeing the 5150....

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2 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

Yep. Many new bat rules this year. Forcing new purchases in 2018.....

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5 hours ago, Eraser said:

So the hype is here and my 8 & 9 year olds will be playing baseball locally for the first time.  They’ve been playing for a couple years in the neighborhood and are fundamentally sound, but we’ve always just used some old bats laying around.

We’re out shopping and picking up equipment for the new year, but have NO CLUE where to start with bats.....especially with the new 2018 rules.  

I’ve done some research and see the bats that cost $200-$400, but that’s out of my price range.  What are some great options that will perform well, but come with a more reasonable price tag? 

Thanks , E

 

 

 

High quality used bats - usually craigslist or contacts with parents that have kids leaving little league.  

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On 3/10/2018 at 11:30 PM, Binky The Doormat said:

High quality used bats - usually craigslist or contacts with parents that have kids leaving little league.  

Unfortunately, with the new bat requirements this year there aren't many used one's floating around.

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I never bought my kids bats.  First of all, they were never good hitters, so it would have been a waste of money.  Plus, they grow out of them so fast at that age, it didn't seem like a wise decision to spend $200 on something that would only last a year.  If you're trying to spend under $100, I think letting them use whatever the coach has to share is good enough.

They are now both in high school and I spent some money on them working with a swing tutor a couple of days a week.  If i had to do it all over again, I would have done this much sooner.  The changes in their swing is amazing.  He's a great teacher, and while they are both working with him for an hour, he has tailored his instruction to each of them and they have their own different swings based on their skills/size/natural movement.

Anyone in the Twin Cities who is looking for one, I have a recomendation for you (not sure of his availability with the season approaching as he is a high school coach).

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15 minutes ago, Big League Chew said:

This is a great site.  I ordered this bat for my 6 yr old last year and it definitely improved his game

 

https://www.justbats.com/mobile/product/2016-combat-maxum-tee-ball-baseball-bat--maxtb1/24628/

Was just about to post this as well.  I've bought a couple of bats off this site and never had a problem.  They tend to have clearance sales throughout the year as well.  :thumbup:

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I'm coaching a 10U team this season, and we found out that our LL Organization will not be providing bats this year due to the new USA Bat regulations.  They typically provided 3-4 bats per team, and now they are having coaches go tell parents to buy new bats.  While I understand they can't afford to go buy each team new bats this year, it's a little crazy to expect parents to rush out and buy their kids a bat for 8 weeks of rec play.  I'm a little annoyed that they also put this on the coaches so they can take all the blame and frustrations from parents.

My oldest son plays on a competitive travel team, and their League Organization has said they are not going to adhere/recognize the new USA Bat regulations.  I find this a little interesting, as now we have to keep track of the bat regulations for all tournaments, league and non-league games to make sure we are adhereing to the rules.  Some parents, myself included, picked up a new bat last year for Christmas - but the league didn't inform anyone of their decision until the end of February.  They sent out emails alerting everyone of the new USA Bat regulations, but never that they were considering not following them.  

long-story short: Make sure your league is using the USA Bat rule.  If not, you can find great deals on last years 1.115 bats on sites like Dick's and JustBats.

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At that age I wouldn't spend the money on a new bat.  There will always be bats available to use at practice and games so keep your money. 

 

As other's have said, it's more important to teach the mechanics of a proper swing then spend money on new bats.  Old/used bats are good for practice and just use the team bats for games.  Then you don't have to worry about buying a bat that will be outlawed next year when they change the certification process again.

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7 minutes ago, Peak said:

I'm coaching a 10U team this season, and we found out that our LL Organization will not be providing bats this year due to the new USA Bat regulations.  They typically provided 3-4 bats per team, and now they are having coaches go tell parents to buy new bats.  While I understand they can't afford to go buy each team new bats this year, it's a little crazy to expect parents to rush out and buy their kids a bat for 8 weeks of rec play.  I'm a little annoyed that they also put this on the coaches so they can take all the blame and frustrations from parents.

My oldest son plays on a competitive travel team, and their League Organization has said they are not going to adhere/recognize the new USA Bat regulations.  I find this a little interesting, as now we have to keep track of the bat regulations for all tournaments, league and non-league games to make sure we are adhereing to the rules.  Some parents, myself included, picked up a new bat last year for Christmas - but the league didn't inform anyone of their decision until the end of February.  They sent out emails alerting everyone of the new USA Bat regulations, but never that they were considering not following them.  

long-story short: Make sure your league is using the USA Bat rule.  If not, you can find great deals on last years 1.115 bats on sites like Dick's and JustBats.

Our league started telling people LAST spring. I bought his new bat the day they came out on Sept 1. Our league also does not provide bats.

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6 minutes ago, Gally said:

At that age I wouldn't spend the money on a new bat.  There will always be bats available to use at practice and games so keep your money. 

 

As other's have said, it's more important to teach the mechanics of a proper swing then spend money on new bats.  Old/used bats are good for practice and just use the team bats for games.  Then you don't have to worry about buying a bat that will be outlawed next year when they change the certification process again.

Our league does not provide bats

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4 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

Our league does not provide bats

Neither did ours but the team will still have at least 4 or 5 bats from other players that can be used. There won't be a shortage of bats to use.

Edited by Gally

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8 minutes ago, Gally said:

Neither did ours but the team will still have at least 4 or 5 bats from other players that can be used. There won't be a shortage of bats to use.

A lot of players/parents are protective of their bats and may be hesitant to share the bat they spent their own good money on. Plus every player has different length/weight they may be comfortable with.

Edited by shadyridr
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My kid is in high school now, so I am not up to speed on rule changes.  What is the difference between what is legal now and what used to be legal?  We have some second hand sports equipment stores (Play it Again Sports) around that are a good place to save money, but if regulations have changed, that won't prove to be too helpful.  I wouldn't mind selling my son's old bat, or just giving it away to someone in need, but I guess that may not be possible either.

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Just now, shadyridr said:

A lot of players/parents are protective of their bats and may be hesitant to share the bat they spent their own good money on.

At that age group I have never seen that kind of possessiveness.  Once it gets into high school age it starts to be that way.  Maybe I have just been lucky in the parents and kids we play with. 

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5 minutes ago, Galileo said:

My kid is in high school now, so I am not up to speed on rule changes.  What is the difference between what is legal now and what used to be legal?  We have some second hand sports equipment stores (Play it Again Sports) around that are a good place to save money, but if regulations have changed, that won't prove to be too helpful.  I wouldn't mind selling my son's old bat, or just giving it away to someone in need, but I guess that may not be possible either.

Quote

NEW LITTLE LEAGUE BAT STANDARD

LITTLE LEAGUE WILL ADOPT A NEW BASEBALL BAT STANDARD STARTING JANUARY 1, 2018. ALL CURRENT AUTHORIZED LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL BATS WILL NO LONGER BE PERMITTED FROM THE ABOVE DATE MOVING FORWARD. WITH RECENT TECHNOLOGY THE BAT MANUFACTURERS CAN NOW FABRICATE NON-WOOD BATS THAT PERFORM AT WOOD-LIKE LEVEL THROUGH THE ENTIRE RANGE OF LENGTHS AND WEIGHTS. THE NEW BASEBALL BATS ARE NOW AVAILABLE.

WE ARE SENDING OUT THIS MESSAGE TO INFORM YOU THAT IF YOU PURCHASE A BASEBALL BAT IT SHOULD BE A NEW AUTHORIZED BAT.

They have to have the new USA baseball logo to be authorized.

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I was going to suggest just using a team bat this year until I read the thread ;)  

Does anyone know when that rule change was announced?  That has to be rough for leagues with a nice inventory of bats cached. 

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2 minutes ago, Jaysus said:

I was going to suggest just using a team bat this year until I read the thread ;)  

Does anyone know when that rule change was announced?  That has to be rough for leagues with a nice inventory of bats cached. 

Looks like in 2015

https://www.littleleague.org/news/little-league-adopt-new-usa-baseball-bat-standard-starting-2018-season/

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Did a lot of research this past weekend and appreciate all the feedback so far.  What I’ve found......

There are only a handful of bat options that meet the USA requirement for young/small players.  There are actually no bats under 27” in length that have the USA logo.  All are marked as Tee Ball and can only be used in Tee Ball.

Only the Easton S450 comes in 27” -12..... the Easton S350 comes in 28” -11.  Most young/small players need to swing a shorter/lighter bat.  That said, all reports are that most USA bats are coming in much heavier than labeled.....with Easton being the biggest offender.  Basically 2.3oz heavier than labeled, so my 27” -12 is really more like 17oz instead of 15oz.

I ordered the S450 at 27 -12 and the S350 at 28 -11 ......will report back actual weights once I have them in hand.  Grabbed both for around $125 TOTAL.

If you have a little guy, I’d start looking now. These bats/sizes were not easy to track down. Not even on eBay or Amazon.

 

 

 

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Wood. Seriously. The USABats all suck and the entire purpose is for them to have a "wood-like" performance. Just buy wood. It will force your player to become a better hitter with the smaller sweet spot and vibration feedback.

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3 minutes ago, soothsayer said:

Wood. Seriously. The USABats all suck and the entire purpose is for them to have a "wood-like" performance. Just buy wood. It will force your player to become a better hitter with the smaller sweet spot and vibration feedback.

Wood is generally much heavier for the same length so for the little guys it becomes a little too wieldy and affects their swing mechanics.

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1 hour ago, Gally said:

Wood is generally much heavier for the same length so for the little guys it becomes a little too wieldy and affects their swing mechanics.

You can find -7.5 wood bats that hold up pretty well. Rawlings has a Velo -7.5 that we've used in the past. That isn't like swinging a -11 (which in a USABat is like swinging a wet noodle) but it isn't like the heavy wood bats that most have.

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I manage my son's AAA Minors team (up to league-age 11).  Our league doesn't provide bats, so it's up to each family to buy their own bat.  We bought our son a Easton S450.  It was $48 after a 20% Dick's coupon.  If other families/kids are willing to share, that's great, but don't assume that they are and just not buy a bat for your kid.  It's kind of weak to say that they're demonstrating a certain level of possessiveness, when you won't shell out $50. 

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Seriously buy your kid a bat. They love having their own bat. This should be fun for them too.

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6 hours ago, shadyridr said:

They have to have the new USA baseball logo to be authorized.

What a racket.

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51 minutes ago, Bob Loblaw said:

I manage my son's AAA Minors team (up to league-age 11).  Our league doesn't provide bats, so it's up to each family to buy their own bat.  We bought our son a Easton S450.  It was $48 after a 20% Dick's coupon.  If other families/kids are willing to share, that's great, but don't assume that they are and just not buy a bat for your kid.  It's kind of weak to say that they're demonstrating a certain level of possessiveness, when you won't shell out $50. 

What size did you buy and what’s the actual weight?  Thanks!

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1 hour ago, shadyridr said:

Seriously buy your kid a bat. They love having their own bat. This should be fun for them too.

My kid has never used a bat we bought for anything but practice.  To each his own.  Other kids use his bats at times and he uses their bats.  Kids might think they like one bat and you get it and then they don't like it.   For lower ages bats don't matter much as long as they are sized right. 

 

The whole bat issue is a racket to make people spend more and more money every year.  Parents are held hostage.  Find a like minded parent and see if you guys can come to an agreement - especially for the age group that started this thread.  Everyone is in the same boat and next year you will have to do it all over again. 

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1 hour ago, matuski said:

What a racket.

This.  It's ridiculous.

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8 hours ago, Bull Dozier said:

I never bought my kids bats.  First of all, they were never good hitters, so it would have been a waste of money.  Plus, they grow out of them so fast at that age, it didn't seem like a wise decision to spend $200 on something that would only last a year.  If you're trying to spend under $100, I think letting them use whatever the coach has to share is good enough.

They are now both in high school and I spent some money on them working with a swing tutor a couple of days a week.  If i had to do it all over again, I would have done this much sooner.  The changes in their swing is amazing.  He's a great teacher, and while they are both working with him for an hour, he has tailored his instruction to each of them and they have their own different swings based on their skills/size/natural movement.

Anyone in the Twin Cities who is looking for one, I have a recomendation for you (not sure of his availability with the season approaching as he is a high school coach).

If you do decide to hire a swing coach, do some research and make sure he's a good one. Almost all little league coaches suck at teaching kids how to bat properly. If the first thing the coach says is for him to get his back elbow up, run! He doesn't know what he's talking about.

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12 hours ago, UncleZen said:

If you do decide to hire a swing coach, do some research and make sure he's a good one. Almost all little league coaches suck at teaching kids how to bat properly. If the first thing the coach says is for him to get his back elbow up, run! He doesn't know what he's talking about.

Agree big time.  I have coached basketball, baseball, and football.  I was the head coach of a machine pitch baseball team, and while it was my favorite sport to coach, I quickly learned I was not qualified to even coach 8 year olds.  Sure, I looked online and found some drill to teach (those same drills I ended up watching my kids swing coach use this off season), but I didn't have the eye to correct mistakes.  I didn't want to hinder my kids, and the other kids on the team development, so I gladly stepped aside to let others have their turn.  Not a single coach my kids even had did anything but do batting practice, or have the kids hit off a tee, unsupervised.  There was no instruction.  Just "go do it."  Swinging a bat is definitely a precise skill to learn and you must learn the correct way to do it if you are going to have success.

I will also agree with the others who have said the bat rating issue is a racket.  I said I never bought my kids a bat.  That was a mistake.  I did buy them their first year of traveling baseball.  I was told that year the standards were changing, so this would be the last year those bats could be used.  So, I went the "cheap" route and bought bats that were only about $80 each.  They used them for BP only, but used other kids' bats in the game.  There weren't very good compared to the $300 bats other kids had. The kicker?  The rules didn't change that next year, or ever (I don't think) until finally this year.  What a joke this whole sticker thing is.  Force parents to buy new bats, or have to do research about what bats are eligible, all while associations are running short on money and not able to purchase equipment and pushing the responsibility off on parents.

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3 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

Agree big time.  I have coached basketball, baseball, and football.  I was the head coach of a machine pitch baseball team, and while it was my favorite sport to coach, I quickly learned I was not qualified to even coach 8 year olds.  Sure, I looked online and found some drill to teach (those same drills I ended up watching my kids swing coach use this off season), but I didn't have the eye to correct mistakes.  I didn't want to hinder my kids, and the other kids on the team development, so I gladly stepped aside to let others have their turn.  Not a single coach my kids even had did anything but do batting practice, or have the kids hit off a tee, unsupervised.  There was no instruction.  Just "go do it."  Swinging a bat is definitely a precise skill to learn and you must learn the correct way to do it if you are going to have success.

I will also agree with the others who have said the bat rating issue is a racket.  I said I never bought my kids a bat.  That was a mistake.  I did buy them their first year of traveling baseball.  I was told that year the standards were changing, so this would be the last year those bats could be used.  So, I went the "cheap" route and bought bats that were only about $80 each.  They used them for BP only, but used other kids' bats in the game.  There weren't very good compared to the $300 bats other kids had. The kicker?  The rules didn't change that next year, or ever (I don't think) until finally this year.  What a joke this whole sticker thing is.  Force parents to buy new bats, or have to do research about what bats are eligible, all while associations are running short on money and not able to purchase equipment and pushing the responsibility off on parents.

In fairness to little league coaches, while I am not saying I know exactly what I am doing, I also manage a team of 12-13 kids and I have 2 coaches with me. That's 4 kids per coach. Its impossible to give the individual attention you would like to give them that a swing trainer can give them.

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Kind of unrelated to baseball bats but related to managing. We have our draft in a few weeks for Junior Minors. I was told we get to protect 4 players (my son, sponsor's son, and two coaches sons). All 3 coaches and sponsor were on my team last year. But their kids, unfortunately, are not very good. It is disheartening going into the year knowing we will be at a severe disadvantage and that I better nail the draft to just be competitive. Plus I cant even protect my son's best friend (who is actually pretty decent) but he's an 8 yr old so just hoping I can sneak him into the draft in the 2nd or 3rd round.

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21 hours ago, Galileo said:

My kid is in high school now, so I am not up to speed on rule changes.  What is the difference between what is legal now and what used to be legal?  We have some second hand sports equipment stores (Play it Again Sports) around that are a good place to save money, but if regulations have changed, that won't prove to be too helpful.  I wouldn't mind selling my son's old bat, or just giving it away to someone in need, but I guess that may not be possible either.

The materials used and number of "pieces" used to create the bats.  They are making them perform closer to what a wooden bat does while providing longevity for those still learning.  There are are no more 3-4 wall bats that allow 8 year olds to hit the ball 275 feet.  It's a positive move for the sport IMO and it's certainly a safety upgrade....a big one.  

That said, our league doesn't provide bats and they don't really like kids sharing bats either.  We also have to provide our own helmets for the kids, which is probably a good thing from a sanitization perspective.  At Christmas, ##### had a big sale on new bats and I snagged one then.  I know that's no help now, but they still have sales frequently.

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21 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

In fairness to little league coaches, while I am not saying I know exactly what I am doing, I also manage a team of 12-13 kids and I have 2 coaches with me. That's 4 kids per coach. Its impossible to give the individual attention you would like to give them that a swing trainer can give them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be critical of volunteer coaches.  I followed your thread last year, and parents who are willing to step up and volunteer to work with kids deserve credit and appreciation.  Most parents who have never volunteered to coach themselves don't understand the time commitment it is to coach.

But, I just thought it an appropriate comment in a thread where people are debating spending hundreds of dollars on a bat, that if the instruction their kid is getting isn't actually teaching them proper mechanics, those hundreds of dollars are better spent elsewhere.

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3 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be critical of volunteer coaches.  I followed your thread last year, and parents who are willing to step up and volunteer to work with kids deserve credit and appreciation.  Most parents who have never volunteered to coach themselves don't understand the time commitment it is to coach.

But, I just thought it an appropriate comment in a thread where people are debating spending hundreds of dollars on a bat, that if the instruction their kid is getting isn't actually teaching them proper mechanics, those hundreds of dollars are better spent elsewhere.

Ironically, I had my son in training since October this past winter. His trainer pitches in independent ball. Good kid. Anyway, he never was able to solve my son's uppercut. I sent a video of my son's swing to my brother who used to play Div I ball and he gave me some tips. So I worked with my son and fixed his uppercut myself. My brother said "maybe you shouldn't hire a pitcher to teach my nephew how to hit" :lol:

Edited by shadyridr
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1 hour ago, shadyridr said:

In fairness to little league coaches, while I am not saying I know exactly what I am doing, I also manage a team of 12-13 kids and I have 2 coaches with me. That's 4 kids per coach. Its impossible to give the individual attention you would like to give them that a swing trainer can give them.

For rec ball you can usually tell immediately which kids are there because they love the game and want to get better and which kids are there because mommy signed them up.  You want to keep all the kids as engaged as possible but you can spend more time with the kids that want to learn and that should help give the attention to help them become better.

 

One thing I have found that works really well for more individualized instruction is having batting practice at a batting cage (I am lucky and have one in my backyard).  I schedule 2-4 kids in 20-30 minute increments depending on how many other coaches I have available.  I then have each group come at an assigned time about half hour or so apart.  This way you have a smaller group and can give individualized instruction without 8-10 kids standing around doing nothing.  I usually schedule one day a week where we do the batting practice only.  The kids love it because they only have practice for 30 minutes and stay focused for most of the time.  Then they are done.  You can get in 75-100 swings between the stations and can work individuals on specifics that help them without wasting the time of the other kids. 

 

If you have access to a batting cage I highly recommend this approach.

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Easton S450 showed up today.  I ordered the 27” -12 that weighed in at 17.2 oz.

Definitely more like a -10 than a -12

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1 hour ago, Eraser said:

Easton S450 showed up today.  I ordered the 27” -12 that weighed in at 17.2 oz.

Definitely more like a -10 than a -12

How big / old is your kid?  How much was that?

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8th year managing....news was announced last year about the new bat rule and I told all my parents to hold off on purchases.

i bought my kids the BeastX and GhostX Ultralight.  2/3 of the kids on our teams have bats and they do take a good 10-30 feet off the ball.  I now use the old Makos as my fungo bats ?

we still have had a few Hrs, and some high scoring games on opening day last weekend, but nothing like the football scores and check swing HRs from last year 

 

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1 hour ago, rascal said:

How big / old is your kid?  How much was that?

8yrs ~ 49” tall ~ 57lbs

$69 before any discount.....can find it on eBay for like $59, but this is the smallest/lightest USA Stamped bat and is currently difficult to find. 

Really bummed that it’s over 17oz when it should be around 15.5

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9 hours ago, Eraser said:

8yrs ~ 49” tall ~ 57lbs

$69 before any discount.....can find it on eBay for like $59, but this is the smallest/lightest USA Stamped bat and is currently difficult to find. 

Really bummed that it’s over 17oz when it should be around 15.5

I was thinking -10 was the largest differentiation allowed on the "USA sticker" bats.  That was another part of the equation....not only were the pieces less in number (I think the max is two), but the weight was adjusted to be more in line with wood as well.  I might be misremembering that though.  

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1 hour ago, The Commish said:

I was thinking -10 was the largest differentiation allowed on the "USA sticker" bats.  That was another part of the equation....not only were the pieces less in number (I think the max is two), but the weight was adjusted to be more in line with wood as well.  I might be misremembering that though.  

This one holds the new USA decal.

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