Friday, July 2, 2010

The Game Would Be Better With Wood

I have been following many of the wood bat summer leagues in Alaska, Northwoods and Cape Cod...These are all the best leagues with all of the finest college talent...dozens of All-Star Teams playing each other...Now, you'd think that with all of that offensive talent and with pitchers and their pitch counts being closely watched, the scores and averages would be stratospheric...But, the opposite is true.

On average, at the end of each season only 8 players in the entire Alaskan Baseball League bat over .300...Through 26 games thus far (they have a 68 game schedule) in the 16 team Northwoods League, only 23 of over 200 eligible position players are batting over .300. In the Cape, just 13 players representing 10 teams are hitting over the .300 mark.

Now compare that to the college season when they are using metal bats. Just in the Championship game alone, UCLA and South Carolina, members of the two toughest conferences in the country, had 12 starters between them batting over .300. There are hundreds of college players with inflated metal bat stats.

The difference between the summer leagues and the college season is obvious. There are a lot of cheap hits puffing up averages and egos with metal bats. I felt sorry for Garett Cole in that first Championship game. South Carolina played well and I give them a ton of credit, but many of those hits were metal manufactured. If those batters had swung at those pitches with wood, they would be standing at the plate with the handle in their hand and the barrel flying down the first base line.

Metal bats give players a false sense of security. I won't name names, but there are more than a few players that were first team All Conference during the college season that are batting at or below the Mendoza line with wood. Why the difference? Hitting a baseball is hard...hitting with wood forces players to hit it square on the barrel. After a season when any type of contact with their TPX's or Voodoo's would result in a base hit, these college players are realizing just how tough it really is to hit a ball square on the barrel.

This is why I think the college game needs to switch to wood. I want to see good, honest baseball from good, hard working talented players. Wood will make them better and as a result, it will make the game much more enjoyable to watch. It also makes it easier for scouts to find out who the real prospects are.

No comments: