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  • #46
    Originally posted by Vette74 View Post

    From my limited experience 2 kids on my fall LL team (ages 8 and 9) had easton ghost x and they were dead logs,
    Allegedly, they're all going to be dead logs--that's supposed the point of the USA Standard. So I guess what many of us will be eagerly awaiting to hear is which dead logs are just a little less dead than others. Keep the evaluations coming if your gear arrives and you try it out.

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    • #47
      I actually bit the bullet and have purchased about a dozen different new bats over the past month for my kids to try out. I figure that yes, the upfront capital cost was extensive but since every bat is brand new this year I shouldn't have much problem selling the slightly used ones on ebay for only a small discount to retail once we eventually decide what to keep.

      Here's a picture from our last session. Going to try the the Ghost Hyperlite and LS Solo 618 this week.

      My takeaways are as follows:

      1.) These bats are all HEAVY. Most of them in youth lengths are -5 or -10. There are only two -12's on the market and a handful of -11's. My youngest is an 85 lb 9U and is a big kid and he can swing a -10 bat. Most of his teammates and peers are not. I am not really sure what the 7U and 8U kids are going to do this spring in rec ball, especially the tiny ones. Most of them are very end loaded as well which makes them feel even heavier.

      2.) The smallest USA Bat that Axe makes is -8. My guess is that with the way they are constructed they can't get any lighter (thinner) and still meet the standard. Neither of my kids could swing it adequately, even my 110 lb 11U son. Given the anecdotal popularity of Axe bats among younger kids these days, I think there are going to be a lot of clueless parents spending money for this bat in 28/20 or 29/21 that will be worthless to a tiny 8U kid who can't swing it.

      3.) Considering that there are fewer light bats to randomly select from, I actually think that there are going to be a lot of clueless parent purchases this year, even moreso than in previous years. Lots of kids are going to show up with -10 bats (or even the cheap -5 Easton s650 which is in all the discount stores) who should still be swinging -13 imo.

      4.) In that vein, Easton and Rawlings are making very cheap aluminum bats in -5, -8, and -10. For parents who don't know what they are doing and are price conscious, this is going to be a disaster for the really young divisions like my rec league's 7U and 8U machine pitch divisions.

      5.) The two -12 models are 2 1/4 one piece aluminum bats (Easton s450 and Eason Beast Hyperlite). The only difference we could find from older bats is that the sweet spot (and barrel) is slightly smaller. Otherwise if you catch the ball on the barrel it sounds and feels like just another aluminum bat. I think these are going to be very popular bats come January and have actually purchased the s450 in all lengths from 28 to 32 just so that I'll have them for my rec team to use. (I always tell my parents at the start of the season that it's a good idea to never take the new bats out of the wrapper until they show the bat to me first, because I refuse to let kids use bats that are too big. Even if it's "their" shiny new bat, they can use one of my lighter bats instead.)

      6.) We are going to try the -11 Easton s350 this week. It is also one piece aluminum and I suspect it will be a good bat with slightly more power because of slightly more mass. In general, I think one piece aluminum bats are going to be fine. It's the expensive lightweight hot composite bats that this standard is trying to address anyway.

      6.) The two expensive bats that my kids hit with the best were the Quattro and the Ghost, because they were the most balanced. (although my youngest actually swung the best with the -12 aluminum bat). I am expecting the Ghost Hyperlite to be similar this week when we try it out. Just holding them in your hand you can't really tell the difference between the two. They have the same materials and the same feel. I know a lot of people at our local rec league who have already purchased the Ghost Hyperlite. The ones who have used it say it is good, but I don't know if they have any point of comparison (which is why I decided to try them all).

      7.) The Easton Beast X is a heavy end-loaded piece of junk, imho. We were disappointed in this bat given the cost.

      8.) The aluminum bats seemed mostly unchanged from previous years, but all of the composite bats are "dead logs" as mentioned above. Once we decide which ones swing the best in the cage, we'll take them to the field later this month and see how the ball actually flies. I saw several kids using the Ghost in our fall league and I was unimpressed. It looks good, but the ball is very dead compared to the old orange Makos and doesn't go very far.

      (As an aside, I saw a kid hitting with a Ghost in an unsanctioned tournament (USSSA bats allowed) a couple weeks ago.... WHA WHAT?)

      Happy to answer any questions if anyone has any.
      Last edited by CrimsonGuy; 11-28-2017, 06:45 AM.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by CrimsonGuy View Post
        2.) The smallest USA Bat that Axe makes is -8. My guess is that with the way they are constructed they can't get any lighter (thinner) and still meet the standard. Neither of my kids could swing it adequately, even my 110 lb 11U son. Given the anecdotal popularity of Axe bats among younger kids these days, I think there are going to be a lot of clueless parents spending money for this bat in 28/20 or 29/21 that will be worthless to a tiny 8U kid who can't swing it.
        Thanks for all the detail - really appreciate it!

        Baden is working on getting lighter bats to market but they weren't able to make the hoped-for December launch. They will still be coming out with lighter models, but when I pressed them for a date, they were not willing to commit as they don't want to commit to a date they are not 100% certain to achieve. They are hoping for Spring.

        I think it's reasonable to bet they'll have a drop 10 out by March, that it will cost in the neighborhood of $100, and that it won't perform radically worse than the Origin USSSA model.

        My guess is that Axe models may end up being the biggest beneficiaries of the new standard. While everyone is being forced to get rid of greater-than-wood-like pop, Axe is not being forced to get rid of their special knob.


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        • #49
          Originally posted by JoeG View Post
          Thanks for all the detail - really appreciate it!

          Baden is working on getting lighter bats to market but they weren't able to make the hoped-for December launch. They will still be coming out with lighter models, but when I pressed them for a date, they were not willing to commit as they don't want to commit to a date they are not 100% certain to achieve. They are hoping for Spring.

          I think it's reasonable to bet they'll have a drop 10 out by March, that it will cost in the neighborhood of $100, and that it won't perform radically worse than the Origin USSSA model.

          My guess is that Axe models may end up being the biggest beneficiaries of the new standard. While everyone is being forced to get rid of greater-than-wood-like pop, Axe is not being forced to get rid of their special knob.

          We'd be willing to try one for sure.

          I agree with your takeaway and was thinking something similar myself, provided that the bats are light enough. They seem to be getting very popular among the younger kids.

          Comment


          • #50
            This is great stuff, Crimson Guy. Thanks so much for the report. And I'll anxiously await your assessment of the other two bats you said are yet to come. It's posts like these that are saving folks like me from making the "clueless parent purchase" you were speaking of. Thanks again!

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            • #51
              And I agree that swing weight seems to be the biggest issue. Just from messing around in store aisles over the past few months, it seems as though many of the bats are not only heavy, but also swing heavy. This is why I was initially intrigued by the Quatro and Ghost--not because I buy into the hype that the most expensive bat is always the best bat, but because they managed to get those models balanced without compromising barrel size. This is why I'm also intrigued to hear what you have to say about the LS Solo--also seems to swing fairly balanced with a reasonable sized barrel. I suspect that absent the trampoline effect of previous bats, swing weight becomes the biggest issue because kids will now have to generate all the "trampoline" themselves with their bat speed. So it's possible, for instance, that the Quatro will still outperform other Rawlings products simply because it's balanced enough to swing (the 5150 feels very end-loaded), not because it's got the big trampoline of the past.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by CrimsonGuy View Post
                1.) These bats are all HEAVY. Most of them in youth lengths are -5 or -10. There are only two -12's on the market and a handful of -11's. My youngest is an 85 lb 9U and is a big kid and he can swing a -10 bat. Most of his teammates and peers are not. I am not really sure what the 7U and 8U kids are going to do this spring in rec ball, especially the tiny ones. Most of them are very end loaded as well which makes them feel even heavier.
                Do 7u and 8u players not still use t-ball bats? Out of 11 kids, there was 1 with a non-t-ball bat on my younger son's fall ball team this year (mix of 7u/8u in a coach/machine pitch league). Even the best hitters were still using a bigger t-ball bat over a smaller bat that is required in 9u and up.

                BTW JoeG, Axe has come out with a 2 5/8in barrel -7 wood bat.

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                • #53
                  Riot, in our area you CAN use a t-ball bat for U7/U8, but no one does. Using a t-ball bat to hit a real ball seems to me a good way to dent the heck out of the bat. And while that might not matter (done with it at that point anyway), the ball won't go anywhere either. Those bats just aren't designed to hit anything other than those bouncy t-balls.

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                  • #54
                    All of the tee ball bats I have ever seen say, "only for use with tee balls," including the new USA Bat models. Presumably, a tee ball bat will dent or break eventually if one tried to hit hard balls with it.

                    I supposed if your league pitches tee balls or RIF balls you could get away with it, but I still wouldn't be surprised if the bat didn't hold up.

                    Just Bats has exactly one USA Bat labeled "Coach Pitch" and it's -10.

                    https://www.justbats.com/products/ap...coach%20pitch/







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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by riot View Post

                      BTW JoeG, Axe has come out with a 2 5/8in barrel -7 wood bat.
                      Interesting they got one that light. My son has a wood 2 1/4" drop 5 Axe Bat (which was discontinued soon after we bought it) so we probably won't get the drop 7. I like the idea of 2 1/4" on wood with a small sweet spot so it's hard to square it up perfectly. After BP with that wood bat, hitting with the regular 2 5/8" bat is so easy for him!

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                      • #56
                        Also, I am going to be the UIC for our little league this spring and I'm already sure that it's going to be very interesting, at least at the beginning. We use a lot of junior umpires (teenagers) in the 7U and 8U divisions and they are typically disinclined to stand up to coaches and parents who argue with them over the rules.

                        First, for whatever reason - dishonesty, ignorance, apathy - I am sure that some families are going to show up with an old bat and argue that since it says, "Little League" they should be allowed to use it. Coaches should be the first line of enforcement on this, but sometimes parents get mad at the league or the umpires instead and try to bypass the coach.

                        Second, with the tee ball bats and the easy availability of the tee ball stickers, I can see non-compliant bats being snuck in that way as well, whether intentionally or not. LL Rule 1.10 doesn't have a minimum bat length requirement and the sticker page says for bats "26 inches or less". It is unclear to me whether that is allowable or how any such requirement will be enforced. If a bat says, "Tee Ball" on it, is it illegal? What about tee ball bats that are longer than 26 inches but they have a sticker on them? The sticker itself doesn't mention bat length.

                        I guess what I am saying is, most of our early season games are probably going to need to be run like a tournament game where the umpires inspect all of the equipment beforehand, and I can see how doing so and enforcing the new rules could turn out to be a difficut task, especially for our more junior umpires.
                        Last edited by CrimsonGuy; 11-28-2017, 01:53 PM.

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                        • #57
                          While we're on the subject of rec teeball... do any of you know if you can use a USA labeled (non-teeball) bat for teeball? We have some bigger kids that are swinging 27/17s at this age. Bats they used last year were the Combat Bubba and Slugger 517. Obviously those particular bats would not be allowed, but they have been swinging non-teeball bats for some time now and would be looking for an equivalent (as possible anyway) USA bat this year.

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                          • #58
                            We tried a few more new bats today, includng the Ghost Hyperlite.

                            A lot of parents in my LL claim to be planning to purchase or to have already acquired the Ghost-H, but as I said before, I think they are just throwing darts and hoping its a "good" bat because it's -11 and it's expensive but not the most expensive. Maybe Easton is counting on that, too, because my kids didn't care for it once they finally got to hit it.

                            Honestly, I am starting to be of the mindset that the more moderately priced aluminum bats are going to be a better option under this standard, because all of the composite bats we've tried have felt very dead and in most circumstances, "mushy" as my youngest son described it. And when you think about it, that makes sense. The USA Bat standard is intended to try and put a brake on the hot composite bats (e.g. the orange makos), so why bother with an expensive complicated composite bat if it can't have as much of an advantage?

                            Both the LS 618 Solo -11 and Rawlings 5150 -11 are very good aluminum bats. Both of them make very nice old school "PING" sounds when hit.

                            The Easton s450 -12 is another good aluminum bat, the only drawback is that it's only 2 1/4, which is how it can be so light. Similiarly the s350 -11 also was nice.

                            The only "fancy" (i.e. expensive) bat we have really liked so far is the Quatro. It did not sound soft when hit and both of my boys said it felt "solid" compared to both Ghosts and the Beast.

                            We have not tried any of the cheaper (and heavier) Easton bats, nor have we tried the Rawlings Velo and I don't think we will at this point. We've found a few bats that we like now and will probaby stick with those.


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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by CrimsonGuy View Post
                              We tried a few more new bats today, includng the Ghost Hyperlite.
                              CrimsonGuy - sent you a PM earlier this week. Just want to make sure you noticed with this several-month-old new interface . . .

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                              • #60
                                https://www.justbatreviews.com/best-usabats/

                                I read/watch a lot of this guy's stuff. He's trying to do a lot of testing as much as possible and even using that Rhapsodo device to help. He's suggesting the Easton Beast X Hybrid, but it may because it gives the handle comfort (composite) along with a barrel that's going to be as hot as it is going to be out of the wrapper (aluminum). He even mentions in the article that he's got a lot more work to do regarding the testing of composites and the break-in required. The one bat I was watching in his testing was the Solo because they love the Solo because of it's balance and speed of swing...ESPECIALLY for young kids.

                                https://www.justbatreviews.com/hottest-bats/

                                You look at some of his bbcor data and the Solo hit the most over 80, but didn't have the top exit speed but did have a high average. I'm sure we're going to/hope to see a ton more videos and data studying these. I was going to take my kid with a Zepp and put in a cage and determine best bat speeds at contact with BBCOr and make a purchase. Now our MS baseball conference expanding the BBCOR to USA standard as well and that throws a complete another variable in determining the right purchase.

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