Why a Hybrid Model is Best for USA Baseball
Published by Kyle Hodge, Lead Product & Testing Engineer
In today’s world of bat buying, the decision of purchasing an alloy versus composite barrel can seem difficult – but when keeping the benefits and characteristics of each material in mind, the predicament can be broken down very simply. In this post, we’ll discuss why in the case of USA Baseball, a hybrid model can bring more benefits than any other bat construction, and could ultimately lead to the best performance on the diamond.
As explained in our previous post highlighting bat performance standards, the governing body in which a given bat model is “stamped” has a dramatic effect on all design-decisions when developing a new Axe Bat model. As noted in the bat performance standards post, USA Baseball uses a “wood-like” performance limit, but make no mistake, modern USA Bats will feel, sound, perform, and be more durable than any typical wood bat, however USA Baseball’s objective is to limit barrel performance close to that of a wood bat. This makes bat design far different, and often more challenging, than a bat used in the USSSA (travel ball) realm.
In USSSA baseball, due to the low compression nature of the bats, composite materials must be used to reach the peak of the legal limit, such as the Avenge Pro USSSA. USA bats, on the other hand, feature higher barrel compression models capable of being met using aluminum alloys. Additionally, USA Baseball composite barrel bats are required to perform at or beneath the peak performance limit for the entirety of their lifetime – in the USA Bat certification test, this is done by artificially breaking down the composite barrel to simulate the performance at the end of its life – the bat must continue to stay beneath the peak performance limit throughout this lengthy process. Due to this test, Alloy barrels are capable of performing closer to the legal limit, because their performance does not change throughout the life of the bat. For this reason, players obsessed with extracting every last decimal of performance or exit velocity out of their bat should look to the aluminum barrel space – enter the 2023 Avenge Pro Hybrid.
The Avenge Pro Hybrid features many of the same benefits of a typical two-piece composite bat oft-seen around USA Baseball games, most importantly: Axe Bat’s shock suspension connection, but combines those features with a barrel tuned to perform to the true peak value of the USA-Bat legal limit, as is seen in the lab performance comparison below, measured via the Axe Performance lab. Further description of such charts can be found in our previous blog.
The barrel of the new Avenge Pro Hybrid features the first debut of Axe Bat’s Precision Variable Blastwall technology, also shown below.
Every millimeter of barrel is machined to the tightest of tolerances, ensuring that every gram of weight is saved, and every fraction of performance is achieved. In the case of Precision Variable Blastwall, over 125 prototype designs have been tested methodically by the Axe Lab prior to it’s release in the newest Avenge Pro Hybrid – resulting in the thinnest walls and resultant peak performance at every possible location across the barrel. Precision Variable Blastwall will also be a feature technology on the 2023 BBCOR Avenge Pro Hybrid, and 2023 BBCOR Strato, launching in fall 2022.
Couple this enhanced performance with the lightest composite handle and Shock Suspension Connection, shown below, and we are left with the highest performing bat in the game, accompanied by the smoothest swinging barrel on the planet.
Of course, composite barrel bats still offer mass appeal, not just in USSSA baseball or fastpitch and slowpitch softball, but also offer great benefits in the USA Bat and BBCOR space – most notably: the lowest swing weight and largest possible barrels. Young players who prioritize barrel control or light swing weight above all else may still prefer the 2022 Avenge Pro Composite models. But for performance-seeking players looking to gain every advantage in the game, and experience the highest performing, best feeling bat in USA Baseball, the Avenge Pro Hybrid is your best bet.
Still have a question regarding what bat may be best suited for you? Feel free to reach out via chat or email to an Axe Bat customer service representative!
Share this post
- Tags: 2023 Avenge Pro, Alloy, Avenge Pro Hybrid, Barrel Compression, Bat Stamps, BPF, Shock Suspension, Technology, USA Baseball