This is a question at SAM BAT we get every day and frankly it is a great question!
Many people think these maple bats must be ‘better’ or give you some advantage. When Sam created the first pro approved maple bat back in 1997, changing the bat industry, he did a lot of research on the properties of maple.
Wood is a natural biomaterial. Mother Nature does not make two maple trees exactly the same. Even within each maple tree there is variation, they may be similar but not exactly the same. Every piece of wood is not the same weight. It ranges quite a bit. A typical Sam Bat maple billet can weigh from 4.7lbs to 6.2lbs, with the majority of the pieces being in the 5.6 to 5.9 section. A 1.5lb difference does not sound like much, but it is 24oz, which in the weight of a bat is extreme.
Bat models are different shapes, this is what we call the “bat profile”. This also means each bat has a different ‘volume’, which will impact the weight of billet used. A bat like a 2K1 (Barry Bonds model developed by Sam) that has a thicker handle and big barrel will have more ‘volume’ than a bat with thin handle and a smaller barrel, like the PS2. To put it into perspective, a PS2 with the same specs as a 2K1 will come out of a billet a full pound heavier!
The most popular SAM BATs are bats that typically have a longer and bigger barrel. We often get asked “what bat has the biggest barrel?” A lot of people instantly associate big barrels with more pop. This is not true, and in fact it is almost wrong. A bat with a big barrel will come out of a lighter and less dense piece of wood. A bat with a thinner profile, like the PS2, KB1, or SAM97, comes out of extremely dense and harder piece of wood.
The Pro bats that get ordered most frequently come out of billets between 4.8lbs and the 5.4lbs.
About 65% of our orders come out of that weight range, but here is the issue ,only about 25% of the wood is in that range. That is the reason for the price difference and why we almost never put those models on special. Not because of quality, it is simply because of supply and demand.
Finding the bat that is right for you is a personal process. Just because one player likes and can swing a big barreled bat does not mean you can or should. Thinner profile bats have plenty of advantages including higher density, durability, and increased balance to name a few. Find what is best for you here: https://sambat.com/pages/find-your-bat-model
At SAM BAT we only buy Pro Quality wood. The wood for a 26” T-ball bat, and a bat headed out to a pro are of the same quality from SAM BAT but they are not the same weight. We often get asked to “pick a pro piece for me” or “give me the pro wood” but in fact, everything you get from us we are proud to say, whether it is a custom bat, a stock bat or a mini bat are made from Pro Grade A Hard Rock Maple.
So, why are some maple baseball bats more expensive than others? The answer rests in the wood supply. Very simply pro grade maple in certain weight ranges is very hard to find, and players all want it at the same time of year!
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