Custom Made Axe bat helps fort collins teen realize softball dream
For Devyn Priselac, can’t was never in her vocabulary. Born with a limb difference, Devyn uses a specially adapted Axe Bat to succeed playing varsity softball in Fort Collins, Colorado. Nothing is stopping her from living her dreams.
Contact in a time of strikeouts: How Jake Cronenworth and others are preserving a lost art
5/29/2021 (Washington Post)
Jake Cronenworth is one of the many players who swing Axe handled bats and says, “I feel like guys are getting better and better every year. It’s pretty crazy what we’re seeing now,” Cronenworth said. Amid all the swinging and missing, Cronenworth is one of a handful of hitters who are somehow staving off the swing-and-miss trends. In 224 plate appearances entering Saturday, Cronenworth had put 170 balls in play. For context, his $340 million teammate, Fernando Tatis Jr., an elite hitter by almost any measure, put 93 balls in play in 148 plate appearances. Admittedly, many elite hitters with power will walk more often than guys such as Cronenworth, players who are less of a power threat than the hitters behind them. He certainly benefits from seeing pitches and being protected in the lineup by elite hitters such as Tatis and Manny Machado. But Cronenworth’s proclivity for contact is not merely the product of favorable context. He swung and missed just twice in his first 44 plate appearances this season, a number tracked on a Padres fan Twitter account called @DaCroneZone that answers the question: “Did Jake Cronenworth swing and miss today?” — and often tweets simply “No.”
How a mid-at-bat change to an ax-handle bat helped ignite Kris Bryant
After breaking his old bat during a late April plate appearance in Phoenix, Kris Bryant grabbed his backup, an Axe Bat, and homered on his first swing with it. He had never used the unique-looking lumber, but since then, that's all he has been swinging. "I've been having good at-bats, so I don't know if it's the bat or what, but it's always nice to use a new one and hit a homer," the Chicago Cubs third baseman said earlier this week. Axe Bats feature a handle that backers say is more conducive for a hitting grip. They're becoming increasingly popular across the game, as American League MVP Mookie Betts uses one, and now a former NL MVP is as well. The manufacturer had been trying to get Bryant to use an Axe Bat, but until that game at Chase Field, he had tried it only in batting practice. Now Bryant won't put it down, and his hitting coach is a fan as well.
Notes: Axe-swinging Kiner-Falefa, Arihara
Athletes always try to build up strength in the offseason, typically with weightlifting and similar exercises. But Isiah Kiner-Falefa went home to Hawaii and chose an unconventional route: chopping wood. Kiner-Falefa’s dad is a tree trimmer and would bring home tree stumps for him to chop in the offseason and recommended he use an ax to build some muscle. Kiner-Falefa said he knew using an axe was something that Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong used to do as well and went along with it. Swinging an axe is all about swinging under “controlled power,” as Kiner-Falefa put it, making the turn a smooth explosion into the wood of the trunk. His bat now has an axe handle instead of that of your typical bat. The axe handle keeps everything in his swing square to stop him from breaking his wrist. “I think the accuracy of that has allowed me to hit the ball a lot cleaner and see better pitches,” Kiner-Falefa said. “I have elite hands, so I think when I grip a regular bat, sometimes I feel like I hit everything. I gotta make sure my mechanics are on point all the time.”
Why The ‘Axe’ Bat Is Taking Over Major League Baseball
Axes have also become the go-to bat for several MLB stars. Players who swing an Axe include Mookie Betts, George Springer and Kris Bryant, along with countless others. “There are things it definitely helps you out with as far as bat speed and control,” Betts, who’s such a big fan of Axe bats that he’s become an official endorser of them, said in a Axe bat video. As the Axe bat continues to increase its presence in MLB clubhouses, more players will try it. Ramirez recently adopted an Axe Bat while recovering from hamate surgery and smacked two home runs in his first game with it. With several pro players already espousing the benefits of the axe-handle design and a growing amount of research backing their claims, the traditional baseball bat could soon become a relic of the past.
Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant, an axe, and Babe the Blue Ox
If you’re familiar with legends, fables, and tall tales, you may have heard of Paul Bunyan. He’s basically the most famous lumberjack ever, and hero to millennial beard growers everywhere. He’s also renowned for having a blue ox named Babe and doing all kinds of crazy feats stemming from his size and strength. Why does Bunyan have anything to do with the Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant, or baseball at all, you might ask? Well, he really doesn’t, but he does carry around an axe since he’s a lumberjack- and they sort of come in handy for that occupation. And, if you’ve been following the Cubs of late, you probably have heard that Bryant has been using a new bat lately with an axe-type handle. So, in essence, Bryant is now the Cubs’ very own MVL (Most Valuable Lumberjack), capable of superhuman feats like hitting three home runs in consecutive innings.
The Red Sox are helping popularize axe-handle bats around the league
According to ESPN, Betts credited the axe handle for his increased offensive efficiency, which prompted Springer to ask if he could borrow one. Betts obliged, reportedly leaving one of his bats behind in the visitor’s clubhouse for the 2017 World Series MVP who was visiting Camden Yards with the Astros later that week. Springer promptly went 9-for-18 with two home runs in that four-game series against the Orioles and that was enough for him to employ a version of the bat full-time after using Betts’ for awhile. Altogether, usage league-wide has increased in recent years, mostly due to testimonials provided by guys like Betts and Pedroia or injuries that inspired players to give it a shot. Sometimes it’s a combination of both reasons, as is the case with Atlanta Braves shortstop and former No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson.
MLB: Company trying to revolutionize baseball bats
4/26/2018 (Meadville Tribune)
Pro Players have been altering bats for decades in a bid to improve their grip — adding pine-tar or some specialized grip tape, maybe shaving the handle slightly to make it thinner. Gradually, some players have started gravitating to a more revolutionary option offered by a company that set up shop deep in a warehouse in Renton, Washington. As the company’s name suggests, Axe Bat has developed a bat that fundamentally changes the shape of the bat’s handle so you hold it like an axe. Some major leaguers like the feel. Others have turned to the axe handle as an option after hand or forearm injuries. Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts and Astros outfielder George Springer are the biggest proponents and the only two paid endorsers by the company. But there are many others — Jake Lamb, Dustin Pedroia, Carlos Correa, even Kris Bryant this season — who have used the bat handle at one time or another.
The Tools of Fly ball revolution
3/16/2017 (Fan Graphs)
The Axe bat seems to improve launch angle by another means, too — namely, by improving the angle of the hitter’s back. Normally, the bat sorta sticks in a perpendicular manner from the line your back makes. Without the restriction of that knob, though, it’s possible that a batter can change his attack angle without changing the angle of his back. “The handle pre-sets your hand at a natural angle” Haines said of the different Axe handles. Back to those overload and underload bats: Driveline found that 70% of the users saw increased launch angles using the Axe bats. Add that to the increased exit velocity, and the benefits line up exactly with the changes many major-league hitters are currently trying to make.
HOW AN AXE HANDLED BAT IS GOING TO TAKE OVER BASEBALL
10/19/2016 (Popular Science)
Some of Major League Baseball’s best hitters have tossed aside their old sluggers for something called the Axe Bat. As the name implies, it’s part axe—thanks to a contoured oval handle and an angled knob—and promises players a more natural grip, better bat control, more-powerful swings, and a reduced risk of hand injuries. It’s also a Popular Science Best of What’s New award winner.
AXE BATS SIGNS MOOKIE BETTS TO SPONSORSHIP DEAL
Mookie Betts just became the first MLB player to sign a contract with Axe Bat. The 23-year-old Boston Red Sox outfielder will become the face of the quickly growing axe-handled baseball bat. The budding superstar, who will play in his first All-Star Game next Tuesday, has been using an Axe Bat full-time at the major league level for the Red Sox since September. His multi-year partnership with Axe Bat will include design and development input, as the company looks to expand their reach at the highest level of the sport.
KURT SUZUKI’S NEW SECRET WEAPON: AN AX-HANDLED BAT
6/20/2016 (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
On a blazing hot Saturday afternoon at Target Field, Kurt Suzuki seemed to have no trouble catching up to Aroldis Chapman’s 102-mph fastball. After fouling off four straight two-strike offerings at that unthinkable velocity from the New York Yankees closer, the Twins catcher put the next fastball in the second deck in left field. “Impressive” was the term both Twins general manager Terry Ryan and manager Paul Molitor used to describe Suzuki’s at-bat.
DUSTIN PEDROIA, MOOKIE BETTS USING AXE BAT TO PREVENT INJURY, IMPROVE SWING AND OFFENSE
5/23/2016 (Mass Live)
Last spring training, a representative from Baden Sports visited the Red Sox facilities at JetBlue Park and presented a new style of bat for players to try. The main difference with this bat was that its knob and handle were designed to contour to a hitter’s hands. It was called the Axe Bat.
TESTING AXE BAT’S CLAIMS
5/13/2016 (Baseball Prospectus)
To date Baden Sports, the parent company of Axe Bat, says it has backed up these claims through ergonomic and bio-mechanical research. The most extensive study on their product, completed by a team at UCLA, exemplifies much of their support for these claims. You can read the results of that study as it applies to the claims above on their website here, and you can also read more details from the full study here. We wanted to take it a step further though, performing an independent study in a real world setting.
AXE HANDLE BATS MIGHT LEAD HITTING REVOLUTION
4/29/2016 (Baseball America)
Bat technology has had five years to catch up to the NCAA’s BBCOR standards, which were instituted for the 2011 college season to better balance performance and safety in bats. Previously, bat companies had engaged in a long-term struggle that emphasized performance over durability in metal/aluminum bats, but now the BBCOR standards have put a cap on performance.
BAT COMPANY HOPEFUL MARLINS’ STANTON WILL EXCEL WITH AXE
3/14/2016 (Sun Sentinel)
No sport is more rooted in its traditions and a way-it’s-always-been mindset than baseball. That is evident in the standard wooden bat, which hasn’t varied much since the late 1880s.That may change if a recent innovation in bat design making the rounds at spring training camps catches on as its metal cousin has in amateur baseball.
CURIOUS AXE-HANDLED BATS CATCHING ON IN RED SOX’ CLUBHOUSE
10/2/2015 (USA Today)
A few hours before the Red Sox took on the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, Victus sales representative Mike Sinclair stopped by the visitors’ clubhouse to drop off one last shipment of bats to Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The bats, produced in partnership with Baden and featuring a patented axe-style handle, appear to remain something of a curiosity in the room even though Pedroia has been using them in games since late May.
TOMPKINS ON AXE BAT
Baden Sports director of research and development Hugh Tompkins joins the broadcast to discuss the angled knob of the Axe Bat.
WHY THE AXE BAT, DUSTIN PEDROIA MAY HELP MAKE THE ROUND HANDLE OBSOLETE
6/23/2015 (Yahoo! Sports)
The baseball bat is a brutish creation, a blunt instrument created to pummel a round ball. Never has anyone accused it of being some sort of technological marvel. It exists in almost the exact form it did when baseball first started a century and a half ago because even its earliest incarnations came pretty close to perfection.
BASEBALL BAT WITH AN AXE HANDLE BRINGS MORE POWER, FEWER INJURIES
The shape of a baseball bat hasn’t changed much in the past 150 years, and the axe is many times older than that. By combining those age-old tools, however, the makers of the Axe Bat believe they can bring something new to the Grand Old Game.