More then just a gimmick

Posted: April 11, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
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As I have mentioned in the past I play in an 30+ Adult recreational baseball league in my area. Just before this season started I broke my current wood bat and was in the sudden and urgent need of a new one. Like any internet savvy person I started looking online about best bats for the best price, wood vs bbcor, length and weight, ect ect. The league I played in last year was wood bat only but this other league also allowed BBCor so I got to really compare everything to anything. Something I found that sparked my interest was a new bat type on the market called the AXE Bat. I read several articles about it being used by such hitters as Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts and how it increased their line drive hit percentage and ‘good’ contact numbers. I’m just a guy who likes to play baseball but if something as simple as a handle design can help MLB players it might help this old man hit a few more through the infield.

Now I broke my wood bat 3 days before my first game and had to have whatever bat right then, so even though I was doing my review homework I knew I was probably going to have to head to the local sports stores to pick it up. I headed over to the Big Green Sports Store to see what they had compared to what I had seen online and to my surprise they had a 32″ -3 BBCor AXE bat mixed in with all their regular stock. Let me reiterate they had ONE AXE bat and only ONE, so of course my first indication is well if these guys don’t see it as popular will I even like it. Skeptical but intrigued I took it off the shelf and held it.

First thing you notice is the handle, which is the main difference of an AXE bat. If you haven’t seen one think of cutting a wood chopping axe’s handle off and attaching it to a baseball bat barrel. Sounds weird I know but it felt really natural in my hand. Where the normal bat handle style has the large round end at the bottom that pushes against your wrist the AXE bat has none of that. You can easily grab the bottom of the bat handle and not feel like it’s going to slip out of your hand. Of course like any kid in a sports store I had to pretend swing it, without hitting anyone or other merchandise of course. I was amazed at how easily it flowed through the ‘hitting zone’. I wasn’t swinging full speed of course but I could already tell that you didn’t seem to need as much wrist action to get it going. Another huge bonus was this AXE bat was only 120 bucks, not anymore then the standard bats it was hanging with. After some mental debating my wife told me to just get it, and as we all know you can’t say no to that.

Took the bat home and then didn’t really get to touch it much before my first game, you know kids and all. Game day comes around and I do my pre-game swings, a couple of the other guys look at it and swing it. I’m all psyched thinking well lets see what this can do. First at bat I looked like I was swinging at a Kershaw curve ball.Way out front and off balance.

Definitely NOT what I had hoped for!

However it was the first time I had swung it at full speed and I noticed something I hadn’t felt previously. The bat flung itself through the hitting zone way faster then I had expected. What I mean by this is during your normal swing you have the: Load, where you coil up with the weight primarily on your back foot. Uncoil, where you start to shift your weight towards your front foot bringing the bat down into the hitting zone. At this point is where the AXE bat launches itself through the hitting zone like a badger with its butt on fire. Seriously I was really not expecting the increase in ‘umph’. Needless to say I struck out my first at bat and looked like I should go back to Teeball. Fast forward to a few days later when I got to take the AXE bat to the cages and really put some time into feeling what this bat does different. Their website said 30 swings, honestly it took me more like 60 swings to really get the hang of the new swing. You don’t really realize at first how much different the swing feels but the more you swing with it the more comfortable you get with it. Just like anything really, but you don’t automatically think of a bat swing being different for what you’re used to.

By the end of the time I spent in the cages I was in love with the way the AXE bat felt. The swing was easy, comfortable and repeatable. The way the modified handle pushes itself through the hitting zone really increased the force I was able to get onto the ball. By my next game it felt like I had always swung that way. I’m not saying suddenly I’m hitting .750 and belting homeruns but I can tell when I do make contact it feels much more solid. I really do love this bat and have absolutely no plans on going back to a traditional style handle. Each game, each at bat I get more and more confident in how I am swinging it and the ease of feel it has.

The other thing I have noticed which should already be clear is the increase in bat speed. This was something I was worried about with my old bat and had actually taped up the bottom a couple inches to get more speed out of it. With the AXE bat I didn’t even have to worry about ‘choking up’ it just naturally added bat speed because of its design.

The only two things that I have noticed that I am still working on are the handle is thin for what I like and lining up the bat so that it always comes through the zone on the hitting side. The thinness of the handle was easy to remedy just a bit of string and some athletic tape got it to the thickness that feels right in my hand. As for the lining up the hitting face that I am still working on. The AXE bat has a dedicated hitting zone just like how a real axe has a certain side you use to chop wood, the pointy end as we call it. You can’t just hold the bat like you used to with any part facing forward so figuring out where the best spot to hold it takes a little adjustment. I’ve found that holding the handle between the start of your palm and your first finger joint seems to line it up the best as it comes through the zone. Getting it comfortably there every time is taking a little more adjustment but I know I’ll get it.

Again I love this bat and definitely see using ONLY AXE handles from here out. I’ve actually started looking at getting my boy, who is in 12U little league, one as well to help with his bat speed and length of swing.

Here is a link to the bat I purchased except on Amazon – AXE bat Origin 32″ -3 BBCor

Here is a link to the AXE bat website

Just so it is clear, I bought the bat and this review is because I used the bat. Since I do this blog however I thought I would share my experience.

SD Signature

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