Batting Gloves as Stocking Stuffers – You Bet!

Baseball Gloves for Stocking StuffersBatting gloves? The holiday season is the perfect time for baseball and softball players to stock up on new gear and accessories for the next season. With end-of-season clearance sales being held, there are numerous new items you can get at discounted prices for yourself or ask for on your holiday wish list.

For those looking to get baseball and softball related stocking stuffers, one of the best gift ideas would be batting gloves. What are some of the best batting gloves you can get for the athlete in your family?

Rawlings Workhorse

Rawlings WorkhorseRawlings is one of the most trusted names in softball and baseball gear and this pair of batting gloves is one of the best on the market. The leather is soft and provides ideal comfort when worn as it is more flexible than other brands. The Workhorse brand is the most popular in the line of Rawlings batting gloves for more than 12 years and would make for a great stocking stuffer.

Worth ToxicWorth Toxic batting gloves

Worth Toxic batting gloves provide a comfortable feeling as it was made with premium sheep leather. This leather gives you the best grip on the bat and helps you gain better control and maintain possession of the bat throughout your swing. It has a mesh backing, allowing your hand the chance to breathe.

Easton Stealth Core Batting GloveEaston STEALTH CORE

For those looking for the closest feel on their bat without going bare-handed, the STEALTH CORE is one of the best pair of batting gloves you can have to achieve that. This style of glove comes in 10 different color combinations and was made with Cabretta leather on the palm. This adult pair of gloves comes in sizes from small to XL.

DeMarini Versus

DeMarini Versus batting glovesSince DeMarini is one of the best bat manufacturers in the world for slowpitch softball players, you would expect them to put out quality products across the board. That is the case with fielding gloves and batting gloves. Among their best pair of batting gloves are the Versus, which are made in five sizes from small to XXL, come in three colors and feature a leather palm and a neoprene wrist strap.

We can recommend others and give you ideas where to get the best deals on batting gloves for stocking stuffers. Drop us a comment with your question!

Fastpitch Softball Bats – Making the Best Choice

Slow Pitch Softball BatWhat are the best fastpitch softball bats? How long should the bat be? Is my bat too heavy or too light? These and other questions that might pop into your head are the key to finding your ideal bat is choosing the perfect size and weight that suits your game.

Let’s start with some basic technical information

Fastpitch bats are generally 26 to 32 inches in length for younger players. High school or older players normally use fast pitch bats that are 30 to 34 inches long and have a drop weight value, ranging from 8 to -13.

The term drop weight value may sound complicated but it’s really very simple. The drop weight value of a bat indicates the length to weight ratio. This concept is not difficult to understand. All you have to do is weigh your bat and then subtract the length to get the number. For example: Let’s say your fastpitch softball bat weighs 24 ounces and is 34 inches long, its drop weight will then be 24-34, which equals -10.

Fastpitch softball bats are made of aluminum as well as composite materials. As for aluminum, or alloy bats, most are made from aircraft grade aluminum and variations in the alloy formula resulting in stronger alloy, has allowed manufacturers to design bats with thinner walls, hence lighter weight. Thin walls also contribute to rebound, or the “trampoline” effect when the bat strikes the ball. This effect enhances the power, thus, the distance, given the same swing speed.

These stronger or advanced alloys are marketed under different brand names by different manufacturers like Easton, DeMarini, Miken and Rip-It to name a few.  You can be sure if a bat is made of advanced alloy, it will be called out by the manufacturer somewhere on the bat or in the specs. On the other hand, bats -11 or lighter that don’t state the type of alloy used will probably be made of an alloy too weak to support the thinner wall. Beware of these bats. They can be easily dented, even in warm weather and even unsafe. Beyond standard aircraft aluminum, there are many good grades of alloy that determine strength and durability.

Composite bats consist of glass, carbon and Kevlar fibers molded together. They are designed to a different strength and stiffness than aluminum or wood bats.  There may be some great wood fastpitch softball bats out there, but you should probably go with alloy or composite over wood because wood typically doesn’t have as much pop as alloy or composite. Both alloy and composite bats are hollow which results in the barrel “squishing” during impact with the ball, or what is known as the trampoline effect. The barrel acts as a spring, storing some of the energy, which would otherwise have gone into compressing the ball. As the bat barrel expands it returns most of its stored energy to the ball and the resulting ball speed can be significantly higher than it would have been for a wood bat, which does not have a trampoline effect.

Is my bat of choice certified

Most bats come with an ASA stamp, which shows that they are certified for league play. Moreover, ASA stamped bats are acceptable in almost all leagues. There are a number of different sanction leagues such as ASA, NSA, ISA and USSSA and your bat needs to fulfill their rules before you can  play in their league with your bat.

Believe it or not, most beginners pick a fastpitch bat because of its color. Just because a bat matches your uniform or is your favorite color, doesn’t mean it is the best for you. So, choose a fastpitch softball bat based on performance to play your best game.

The worst mistake is to choose the same bat that your teammates prefer. Just because every other player on your team is swinging that bat, it doesn’t mean it is the right one for you. You should try a few bats and then select one that is best in your hands.  Don’t jump to conclusions; take your time, try out a few choices, after all no one else is as concerned about your game as you are.

Another thing to avoid at all costs is choosing a bat that’s too heavy. You cannot swing a too heavy bat “quick and fast”.  It will slow your swing down and you may even hurt yourself.

So, remember these simple three points when choosing fastpitch bats:

1) Not too heavy – pick the right weight for your swing

2) Not everybody else’s bat – don’t be an “accidental” hitter

3) Performance over color – even if it clashes!

If you keep these little things in mind, you’ll pick a fastpitch bat that performs the best for your game and results in a higher batting average.   Call us at Cheapbats and we will help you pick out the perfect fastpitch baseball bat!

Easton Softball Bats – A review of Easton’s Best

Easton Baseball BatsEaston softball bats are made by one of the leading bat manufacturers in the world. Each year, they produce elite level bats that are used in various leagues around the country. If you are looking for a solid Easton softball bat, your options are endless and many of the best can be found at Cheap Bats.

What are some of the best Easton softball bats currently available?

Easton Raw Power B1.0 Slow Pitch

When it comes to the best two piece composite bats on the market today, the Easton Raw Power B1.0 model is at the top of the list. There is no breaking-in period with this bat as you will be able to hit bombs from swing one through swing 200 without losing anything. It is approved for use in several leagues and comes with a six month warranty. It was constructed for use in extreme 100 MPH or more performance.

2013 Easton Mystique Fast Pitch

The Easton Mystique fast pitch softball bat was made of 7050 aircraft alloy, making it one of the best constructed bats on the market. It has a 12 ounce weight drop and a thin handle that allows you to get your hands wrapped around it tighter. With more control of the bat, you will be able to pick where your ball is going to be hit every time. It is USSSA certified and has a larger than normal sweet spot to reach for.

2013 Easton Typhoon Fast Pitch

With an 11 ounce weight drop, the 2013 Easton Typhoon fast pitch bat has its weight evenly distributed throughout. This allows you to get faster swinging speed because the weight is less than traditional bats. It is approved for use in USSSA leagues and is USSSA certified for 1.20 BPF. It comes with a thinner handle that has a cushioned grip to help fight vibration.

Easton Maple Wood Bat

The popularity of wood bat in softball leagues is growing around the country. One of the best wooden bat producers to turn to is Easton. With this bat, you are getting a 34″ bat that was made with North American maple. It was laser engraved and has a cupped end, giving you great potential for big power.

Here is a link get a closer look at these bats and other Easton softball bats.

Easton Mako BBCOR Bat Making A Splash In Omaha – College World Series News

After a weekend filled with great baseball, a lot of extra innings, and some weather issues presented by mother nature, two Easton teams have booked their tickets for Omaha and TD Ameritrade Park!

Big congratulations to the UCLA Bruins (3rd trip to Omaha in the last 4 years!) and to the Mississippi State Bulldogs (first trip to Omaha since 2007!).  Both teams faced a lot of adversity on their respective roads to Omaha, but both battled to earn their places in the Mecca of College Baseball.

I am also happy to report that the new Easton MAKO bats played a huge role in both teams success in their runs through the Super Regional round.

For the Bulldogs, 5 out of 9 starters have switched to the MAKO (along with 2 S1 and 2 XL3 bats).  Leadoff hitter Adam Frazier absolutely raked with his new MAKO.  Over the weekend he went 8-11, including a 6 for 6 performance on Saturday with a double, triple, and 3 runs batted in as the Bulldogs produced a season best 2o hits in route to an 11-6 victory!

The Bruins have also taken a liking to the latest Easton bat innovation.  During Saturday’s 3-0 Omaha clinching victory over Cal State Fullerton, 7 out of the 9 UCLA hitters swung the MAKO bat.  Pat Gallagher and Shane Zeile led the offense, each contributing RBI singles in the first inning that stood up for the win!

Easton Mako BBCOREaston Mako BBCOR BatEaston Team Winning

Easton Teases New Mako BBCOR Baseball Bat On FaceBook

The Easton Mako baseball bat was revealed on the Easton Baseball FaceBook page today. Showing just a glimpse of the knob, the 33″/30 ounce Mako BBCOR bat looks to be 100% composite with an orange and white paint job. No word on whether the Mako will replace the S1, or if the Mako will be an addition to the Easton BBCOR bat lineup. As of today we do not know what price point this bat will be sold at, but we are guessing a price point above the current S1 and XL1 BBCOR bat, which currently retail for $399. Expect more details towards the end of Summer, 2013.

Easton Mako Baseball Bat

Easton Mako Bat

Easton has made huge strides in the BBCOR bat market in the past two years with the success of their Power Brigade bats. Look for the new Easton Speed Brigade bats for 2014. Trying to get back on top, DeMarini released the new Vexxum NVS BBCOR, and so far sales of the 2014 Vexxum have exceeded expectation.

What Is The Best BBCOR Baseball Bat For 2013?

We want to know what you think. What BBCOR Bat is best for 2013? Vote for up to three 2013 BBCOR bats.

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The 2013 Easton S1 BBCOR Bat Is The Best Selling BBCOR Bat

Well, the Christmas numbers are in… The new Easton S1 BBCOR baseball bat is far away the best selling BBCOR bat of 2012 and soon to be 2013.

The awesome balance, and the pop that come with the 100% composite, two piece BBCOR baseball bat are hard to match. Easton added the top of the line “Black Carbon” composite to the handle of the 2013 S1 BBCOR, something that the 2012 did not have. Black Carbon composite is the best composite Easton has ever developed. The new S1 Easton BBCOR is lighter and stronger than the 2012, and the feedback is that the 2013 is much better than the 2012 S1.

2013 Easton Softball Bats Shine In Home Run Derby

Team Easton’s Brett “ the hitman”  Helmer was the top Long Haul Bomber with 12 points using his 2013 Easton Brett Helmer Signature Softball Bat.

Helmer set the pace early, sending homers sailing into the right field bleachers. “ I felt good, balls were flying and I love Petco Park. This morning I hit a hole in one at a charity golf event for the Wounded Warriors and won a trip to Europe, but I donated the trip right back to the charity, so tonight was the capper to an awesome day” .

 Helmer’s Easton team mate Brain Wegman finished with 9 points, putting Easton out front early in the battle for the manufactures cup.

Denny Crine of Team Miken threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Padre’s-Marlin’s game. Crine had a solid day at the plate ending up with 8 points and sent multiple “show bombs “ into the upper deck.

Also taking cuts Saturday night, Team Louisville Slugger’s Tim Cocco and Lee Powers. Cocco is a veteran on the tour and was part of the team that won the Manufactures cup last season. Cocco’s new teammate Lee Powers had an impressive rookie debut with 8 points.

Here are the final standings for round one of the stadium power tour at Petco Park Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Brett Helmer, Team Easton:  12 points

Brian Wegman, Team Easton:  9 points

Denny Crine,Team Miken:  8 points

Lee Powers,Team Louisville Slugger:  8 points 

Ed Vega,Team Miken:  5 points  

Tim Cocco,Team Louisville Slugger: 1 point

Next up for the Bombers, a trip to Seattle’s Safeco Field for a Friday night slug fest on May 25.  It’s the first opportunity to see Team Combat in action. Combat features a mix of youth and seasoned experience, led by veteran Johnny McCraw, who claimed a championship on the Stadium Power Tour and the youthful swagger of Brandon Perry. Team DeMarini is back in the hunt, with stadium power tour champ Chris “ the crusher “ Larsen and wily vet Kevin Filby. Expect softballs to be flying.

The Bombers are excited to announce: “ The Road to Miami “. The Marlins new park will be the host site for the 2012 the stadium power tour finals on Sunday, September 16. Details on a ticket promotion are coming soon. 

Softball 365

New USSSA Bat Stamp For 2013

By now, most softball players know there is a new stamp required on January 1st, 2013 for USSSA softball bats. All USSSA softball bats labeled as 2013 will have the spiffy new finger print stamp.

The 2013 USSSA softball bat rule is similar to the ASA bat rule from a few years back: 2013 softball bats will not be allowed to exceed 1.20 BPF at any point in their lifespan, meaning break-in time will be cut from a few hundred swings to a few dozen swings on most softball bats.

Upon exceeding the 1.20 BPF, bats will develop spiraling “cracks” up and down the barrel of the bat, indicating the bat should be removed from play.

Don’t throw your old USSSA softball bat away just yet.

Many private fields like Big League Dreams are expected to allow the old USSSA standard softball bats indefinitely. Moreover, many tournaments will still allow the old USSSA bats as well.

The 2013 and 2014 Easton, Miken, and Worth softball bats all carry the new USSSA stamp.

Individuals are rapidly buying up any remaining softball bats with the old standard, knowing that they can no longer be made, they will be in high demand for leagues and tournaments that do not acknowledge the new standard.

ASA To End “Grandfathering” Of Pre 2008 ASA Softball Bats In Early 2012?

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UPDATE: This did not come to pass. We have heard from ASA officials that ASA would rather use a softer softball to curb bat performance, rather than change the bat rules again.

2008 and prior ASA softball bats that were grandfathered in and legal for play in ASA, will no longer be legal in a few weeks. More to come.

This means your Easton Extended, Easton SCN8 and all other pre abi (advanced break in) bats are going to be worthless in about week (according to what we heard).

The Difference Between Easton BBCOR Power Brigade Baseball Bats

Okay, so by now, we have all heard of the Easton Power Brigade BBCOR baseball bats. What you may NOT know is there are SIX different BBCOR bats in the Easton Power Brigade line up.

Basically, there are white barreled bats, and black barreled bats in the 2012 Easton bat line.

What’s the difference between the white and black Easton Power Brigade?

White barrel Power Brigade bats have a larger sweet spot, BUT are more end loaded/heavier feeling.

Black barrel Power Brigade bats have a smaller barrel/sweet spot, allowing for a faster swing.

BBCOR Easton Power Brigade Info Sheet

BBCOR Easton Power Brigade Infographic

Easton Representative Bryan Kaye compares the new BBCOR bats pretty well in this video.

Easton Salvo Softball Bat – The Best Softball Bat Ever?

The Easton Salvo softball bat may be the hottest softball bat ever made for ASA in the ABI (Advanced Break In) era.  The Salvo was released in 2010, since then it has set sales records at Easton. Easton has decided NOT to change the Salvo (SRV5) for the 2011 softball season. It is a pretty bold claim, but the Salvo may be the best bat purchase for ASA you could ever make.

Easton Salvo Conspiracy? – Some competitors, softball reviewers and message boards have claimed that after “break in” the Easton Salvo does not conform to the ASA softball bat standard of 98 MPH. Others have even claimed that ASA is looking the other way on the Easton Salvo being too hot because of the 2009 debacle of Easton’s line of softball bats that were supposed to prevent shaving and rolling. Easton’s “see through” softball bat were a sales disaster when no other manufacturers did anything to discourage cheating and ASA did not live up to it’s end of the bargain on enforcement. It is important to note that this is a RUMOR and not likely true. One would have to believe that ASA and Easton would get into heaps of legal trouble if it were true and someone got hit by a Salvo.

Easton Salvo Specs – The Easton Salvo came onto the market at a price of $199.99 and has remained unchanged since it was launched. With a 12″ barrel, the Easton Salvo has a smaller sweet spot than most softball bats. The Salvo has a very slight end load which helps the batter whip the barrel of the softball bat around the zone. The composite used is Easton’s IMX or Integrated Matrix Technology, developed for use in the aerospace industry. In order to allow for better feedback to the batter, this bat is one solid piece of composite, there is no rubber Connexion separating the handle from the barrel.

Easton Salvo Break In takes about 100 to 200 swings according to most owners we spoke to.

Easton Salvo Durability is overall, very good. Some Salvo owners have put several thousand hits on their softball bats with only minor wear and tear. There will always be some bats that break early in their life due to a defect in the manufacturing process, but that is why you get a warranty on most softball bats.

Easton Salvo End Cap – When Easton first released the Salvo softball bat, it came with an all black molded plastic end cap with an Easton logo on it. Early in 2011 Salvo’s started hitting the market with Easton’s updated “Orange E” end cap. Some owners claim that the different end caps indicate “first batch” or “second batch” Salvo’s. From my experience, most people think the “second batch” with the orange sticker is hotter, but many believe that the new “Orange E” end cap is merely a sticker and has nothing to do with how the bat will perform. (Note: Many incorrectly believe the orange E indicates first batch)

Easton Salvo End Cap Orange

Easton Salvo Orange End Cap Sticker

Easton Salvo Vibration – Vibration is minimal on this Easton softball bat. Even on poorly hit balls, the consensus is this bat feels solid.

Summary – At below $200 it hits as well as a $300 dollar bat. Almost illegal pop, durability and value make the Salvo a great choice. All things considered, the Easton Salvo softball bat for ASA is currently the best bat buy in softball.

Buy the Easton Salvo