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bat advice for average size 11u player?

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  • bat advice for average size 11u player?

    My son turned 11 in July, 4'10" and 85 lb. He was swinging a 30/20 last year. This month he broke that bat, since he is in middle school so I got him a 30/ -5. In BP (cage or live) he hits good. But the last few weeks he was struggling in games. He rarely swing and miss before, but he swing and strike out two times in the last two games. After viewing his video, I am guessing maybe I am too aggressive with the bat selection? There is a kid 5'7 on his team that hit absolutely bomb, still swinging a 30/20. If in little league or no presure league I probably will stuck with it and let him get used to it. But in travel the kids are under presure to perform, if you are not hitting or not hitting hard, you are moving down the order. Or even not batting on Sundays. After some thoughts, I still think he needs the bat speed most, so might get him another 30/20.Thoughts?

  • #2
    Hi Switchhitter -

    My son is the same age (also July bday!) and similar size (5'0 / 75 lbs or so ). This forum helped picked out a bat form him this summer as he was getting ready for middle school tryouts which required BBCOR bats. One poster made the really great point that it takes some time to adjust to a new bat weight. He was right on. My kid worked all summer with the drop 3 bat, and, now in October, he is hitting the best he ever has. But, in August, he was really having trouble. The adjustment he needed most was how to grip the bat to control it - getting the goldilocks point between not too tight so that his wrists didn't have whip and having the bat recoil too much or his hands slip apart.

    If your son is feeling pressure to perform right now, another 30/20 might be the way to go.

    Does SwitchHitter, JR get the chance for an offseason? If so, then maybe working with the drop 5 (after some rest) would help. Also, I would make sure not to mess with his head too much. So if he likes the drop 5 and feels confident with it, maybe just give it more time?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by baseabllmom View Post
      Hi Switchhitter -

      My son is the same age (also July bday!) and similar size (5'0 / 75 lbs or so ). This forum helped picked out a bat form him this summer as he was getting ready for middle school tryouts which required BBCOR bats. One poster made the really great point that it takes some time to adjust to a new bat weight. He was right on. My kid worked all summer with the drop 3 bat, and, now in October, he is hitting the best he ever has. But, in August, he was really having trouble. The adjustment he needed most was how to grip the bat to control it - getting the goldilocks point between not too tight so that his wrists didn't have whip and having the bat recoil too much or his hands slip apart.

      If your son is feeling pressure to perform right now, another 30/20 might be the way to go.

      Does SwitchHitter, JR get the chance for an offseason? If so, then maybe working with the drop 5 (after some rest) would help. Also, I would make sure not to mess with his head too much. So if he likes the drop 5 and feels confident with it, maybe just give it more time?
      Thank you for your feedback! He was actually swing bbcor in lessons for about a year now, in games he was using 30/20, only this month he started to use the -5. Right now he plays a 12u AAA and a 11u Majors team, defense are good now, so hits have to be really hits, ground balls 7-8 out of 10 times will be out, same for popups and fly balls. But most important I feel the bat is slowing his swing down, so he didn't hit the ball hard. I probably will let him use the 30/20 in games, in our own practice use the bbcor and -5. Unfortunately we don't have time off, all adjustment has to be during the season. I probably will let him take a break in December and work on things.

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      • #4
        You may want to try a drop 8. He could probably get by with that now, swing it during the winter and use it next spring. Then try the drop 5 next Fall.

        Comment


        • #5
          4 Ks in 2 games isn't really that many. Also, what does "he hits good" in the cage or BP mean? Is he driving the ball in BP? If he's mashing in the cage or in BP then it might not be the bat, it might be his approach at the plate in games. Not all strikeouts are created equal, like: is he taking pitches early in the count that he should be swinging at, or fouling stuff off that he should be able to put in play, then then having to protect? is he getting fooled on off-speed or breaking stuff?

          In any case, your son isn't very big yet so I'd probably have him stick with lighter bats until he's required to swing heavier bats. I've encountered a ton of dads forcing their kids to swing wood or BBCOR in games before they were strong enough, "to get them ready for HS" or whatever, with pretty limited success. I've never seen a kid under age 14 or so rake with wood.

          I know that the lighter, hotter bats can be fool's gold (esp. the -5s), but I also think that success breeds success. The better hitters in HS are mostly going to be the kids who were better hitters at 11, 12, 13... I don't think that there's any benefit to having a kid struggle at the plate now with a too-heavy bat in the hope that it will pay off later.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mistersean View Post
            4 Ks in 2 games isn't really that many. Also, what does "he hits good" in the cage or BP mean? Is he driving the ball in BP? If he's mashing in the cage or in BP then it might not be the bat, it might be his approach at the plate in games. Not all strikeouts are created equal, like: is he taking pitches early in the count that he should be swinging at, or fouling stuff off that he should be able to put in play, then then having to protect? is he getting fooled on off-speed or breaking stuff?

            In any case, your son isn't very big yet so I'd probably have him stick with lighter bats until he's required to swing heavier bats. I've encountered a ton of dads forcing their kids to swing wood or BBCOR in games before they were strong enough, "to get them ready for HS" or whatever, with pretty limited success. I've never seen a kid under age 14 or so rake with wood.

            I know that the lighter, hotter bats can be fool's gold (esp. the -5s), but I also think that success breeds success. The better hitters in HS are mostly going to be the kids who were better hitters at 11, 12, 13... I don't think that there's any benefit to having a kid struggle at the plate now with a too-heavy bat in the hope that it will pay off later.
            Good post. There are some 85-pound kids who could swing a 22- or 25-ounce bat effectively (and I'm sure their parents will be along to tell us when they did), but I think a drop 5 for an 11-year-old who doesn't HAVE to use it is a mistake unless he's a superior athlete who could rake with pretty much any bat.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by fly996 View Post
              You may want to try a drop 8. He could probably get by with that now, swing it during the winter and use it next spring. Then try the drop 5 next Fall.
              I was debating that too. I think the most important now is get something is is comfortable/used to to get back his confidence. On our own get him more conditioning and swing the heavy bat outside of games.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mistersean View Post
                4 Ks in 2 games isn't really that many. Also, what does "he hits good" in the cage or BP mean? Is he driving the ball in BP? If he's mashing in the cage or in BP then it might not be the bat, it might be his approach at the plate in games. Not all strikeouts are created equal, like: is he taking pitches early in the count that he should be swinging at, or fouling stuff off that he should be able to put in play, then then having to protect? is he getting fooled on off-speed or breaking stuff?

                In any case, your son isn't very big yet so I'd probably have him stick with lighter bats until he's required to swing heavier bats. I've encountered a ton of dads forcing their kids to swing wood or BBCOR in games before they were strong enough, "to get them ready for HS" or whatever, with pretty limited success. I've never seen a kid under age 14 or so rake with wood.

                I know that the lighter, hotter bats can be fool's gold (esp. the -5s), but I also think that success breeds success. The better hitters in HS are mostly going to be the kids who were better hitters at 11, 12, 13... I don't think that there's any benefit to having a kid struggle at the plate now with a too-heavy bat in the hope that it will pay off later.
                Thanks, it's 1K each in the last two games, so not that bad. But he was top contact hitters on his teams last season, hit medium hard line drives. I agree, the most successful batters are those bigger kids for now, with lighter bats.

                Comment

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