Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Peacock Bat Company

The Peacock Bat Company, a relatively new bat maker based in Indiana, has just gone online. You can check them out by clicking on their logo to the right.

We've been in contact with company owner, Clay Peacock, thanks to FaceBook, and he is committed to quality ash and maple products. "I started Peacock Bats with the desire to improve the wood bat market," he says. "I don't have the desire to sell 10,000 bats a year if I'm not confident in my quality or in my product. I'm dedicated to ensuring that the bats that leave [my] shop are of a standard second to none...If I use this as my business motto, then I'm sure things will work in my favor."

Clay says they're still working on the customized ordering section of the site, but you should go check them out now and bookmark them for future reference. Peacock Bats run between $70 and $90. They've got discounts for quantity purchases as well. We like the 15% off 6-pack deal for $356.99 -- $46 less than a composite metal TPX Triton.

If anyone is looking to represent Peacock regionally, get in touch with them. Clay is looking for a few committed souls.

Happy New Year to all, and to all: be careful out there tonight.

New Year's Resolution: Post our master list of wood bat makers and re-sellers by the end of January.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's In Your Bag? MaxBat Kicks Ash

Wood bats continue to grow as a trend for serious amateur players from high school through adult league. The must-attend, premier high school events run by Perfect Game are virtually all non-metal tournaments. Through their World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) group, Perfect Game hosts the National Underclass Championship and the World Championship in October every year where all the best players in the country step out in showcase mode to show what they can do with wood. And in July at the unparalleled East Cobb Baseball Complex in Marietta, Georgia, WWBA runs a series of age group tournaments with 128 teams per tournament swinging nothing but lumber.

We've noted here in the past that these games tend to be far superior in quality than metal bat tournaments. The reasons for this are obvious: metal provides players with far too many opportunities for cheap hits; and full barrel contact with trampoline power means the difference between a metal home run and a wood fly out. I've been to enough showcases and elite tournaments and heard scouts and college recruiters bemoan the use of super bats. "How do I make a judgment about whether this kid can hit?" a regional scout for the Red Sox asked another scout. The answer is, you can't. (Although, I've also talked to college coaches who say that they want to see kids hit with metal since that's what they use in NCAA competition).

All this said, amateur players who love to hit with wood are having a ball these days messing around with various bats from specialty companies. There seems to be a preponderance of maple in dugouts that I frequent. MaxBat is really picking up steam out there on local diamonds. Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, and Jimmy Rollins probably have something to do with this. But the company is also focused on the maple market and as such pay close attention to wood quality, looking to ensure straight wood grains and low moisture content. As with most top-notch bat companies, they provide a phenomenal number of options for customization. Certainly if you're after a maple bat, MaxBat is a company to check out. We like the moxy of their "Our Bats Kick Ash" campaign too (although ash bats have their merits without doubt).

It's close to Christmas now, but we really like MaxBat's special packages with multiple custom bats, plus accessories. These typically run between $200 and $350 and offer great products. There's a blemished bat package that starts at $135 for three. Check them all out here and think about the fact that you can buy a top of the line composite/metal bat for only $400.

See you on the field.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We're Back!

Hitting with Wood is back after a long hiatus. And we're more excited than ever to be bringing you leading edge news and commentary on the wood bat revolution.

Over the past year or so a great deal of new research has gone into the bat war phenomenon. We aim to bring you tidbits on that very shortly, but for now, with the holidays coming up soon, I want to alert you to pay attention to bat makers web sites. Many of them are having special sales and promotional opportunities. You need to support them and make sure they are filling orders.

One such company right now is Trinity Bats. We just received an email that they will be cutting folks great deals at the Quakes Baseball Academy in Laguna, California this weekend. Sadly, we're stuck on the East Coast with heavy rain and cold weather. But you can still check out Trinity's deals at their website.

Phoenix Bats is also doing a promo with free shipping and engraving, but you better hurry since Christmas is almost here.

And, sadly, we're dismayed to learn that Mike Randolph, one of our favorite bat turners, has decided to pull the plug on his Talbott Turnings Chesapeake Thunder operations. Mike's going back to making furniture. We wish Mike luck. And he's got his equipment for sale if anyone out there is looking to start a bat making venture. Make sure to check out the photo of some of his work at the top of the page!

See you out there soon...