Blog Entry

Harper swings the lumber

Posted on: February 4, 2011 1:10 pm

Check out the size of the bat Bryce Harper is swinging in the first half this video, which was posted to YouTube this week. It's a 36-inch, 47-ounce Marucci, custom made for the 2010 No. 1 draft pick.

If you're not familiar with bat sizes, that's like swinging a tree trunk. Most major-leaguers use bats between 32-34 inches and 30-34 ounces. Many years ago, sluggers would sometimes use heavy bats, notably Babe Ruth, who reportedly started his career using a 54-ouncer but in his prime was at about 40. I held one on the 54-ouncers in a Hall of Fame exhibit, and it's tough to imagine swinging it with any speed.

Heavier bats hit the ball farther (look here for more than you ever wanted to know on the subject), but it's a tradeoff for bat speed. Even though players are bigger than ever now, most sacrifice bat size for the confidence they can catch up to a 100-mph fastball -- and be assured Harper would look a lot different taking those hacks against Aroldis Chapman than in a BP setting. I asssume the monster bat is just for show and the 34-ounce models shown later in the video are his game bats.

(Also, in case you were curious, the bible verse Harper has engraved on his bats, Luke 1:37, reads "With God nothing shall be impossible.")

Anyway, just an interesting video on a slow news day.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: February 4, 2011 11:29 pm

Harper swings the lumber

Babe Ruth reportedly began his hitting career using a 54 ounce (1.5 kg) hickory bat, and is known to have used a 40oz bat in 1927 when he hit his 60 home runs.<sup>  </sup> Ty Cobb and Joe Di Maggio both played with 42oz bats and Rogers Hornsby used a 50oz piece of lumber.  So while Harper's practice bat might seem mighty, keep in mind that these guys used heavy bats like that for entire seasons!

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 4, 2011 9:38 pm

Harper swings the lumber

With the draft being such a hit or miss situation, I hope that the National got a great player to help them.  Baseball, as a whole, needs more stars and if this kid is anything like his press, baseball will be happy.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2011 7:00 pm

Harper swings the lumber

Did Bryce text a pic to Jen Sterger or will that come out in 2013?

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