Should you buy a drop 7 bat or a drop 9 bat?
This is a common situation that confuses a lot of players and parents who buy a baseball bat.
You may have asked yourself this question multiple times, “what does drop mean?”
So, I tried to explain everything in this non-confusing article.
So, let’s get started.
What Does Drop Mean in Baseball Bats?
In simple terms, the difference between the bat weight and bat length is termed as the ‘drop’ or ‘drop weight’ of your baseball bat.
If the length of your bat is 31 inches from tip to tip, and the weight is 20 ounces, then it’ll have a drop of 11 or -11.
Bat length: 30 inches
Bat weight: 25 ounces
25 – 30 = -5 (a negative number)
In a more simple language, the drop represents the lightness of a bat for a particular bat length.
If a certain length bat has a high drop that means it is lighter as compared to another bat with the same length but less drop.
I know, this might be confusing for you.
Let’s take another example
If you have two bats of the same length of 30 inches, but different drop weights.
The drop of Bat 1: -5
The drop of Bat 2: -7
Now, you can guess that bat 2 has a higher drop than bat 1. So, bat 2 will be lighter than bat 1 or you can say bat 1 is heavier.
Weight of Bat 1: 30 – 5 = 25 ounces
Weight of Bat 2: 30 – 7 = 23 ounces
How to Find the Drop Weight of your Baseball Bat?
The drop weight of your bat is generally mentioned somewhere on the barrel of the bat.
Whether you have a bat of Easton, Rawlings, DeMarini, Louisville Slugger, or any other brand, you can find the drop weight mentioned on the barrel.
It’ll be mentioned as -10, -11, or whatever drop your bat has.
What is the Purpose of the ‘Bat Drop’ Concept?
You may be wondering “why this ‘drop’ concept was introduced.”
“I can purchase a baseball bat without thinking about drop weight.”
Let me tell you about it in easy language.
The slow-pitch bats are not available in different lengths just like baseball and fast-pitch bats.
All the slow-pitch bats are 34 inches in length. So, if you want to buy a slow pitch bat, then you will only have to think about the weight.
You can just say, “Hey, I need a bat of 27 ounces weight” or “I need a bat of 29 ounces weight”.
But, if you want to buy a good fastpitch softball bat or baseball bat, then that 27 ounces bat is available in different lengths.
Therefore, the concept of drop weight was introduced so that brands can manufacture bats with certain lengths and weights.
It also helps the player to find a bat that will be of the perfect length according to their height, and of perfect weight according to their strength.
The Effect of High Bat Drop vs. Low Bat Drop
Now, you already know the difference between a high drop and a low drop.
The high drop bats are more comfortable to swing, and players can swing them at a fast speed. But, buying a high drop bat is not always the best decision.
You can swing a high drop bat at a fast speed, but at the same time, you have to drive more force to hit a ball.
On the other hand, you may not able to swing a low drop bat as fast as the high drop, but these bats transfer more energy.
For young players, who can’t swing a bat at fast speed, high drop bats are the best option. Whether they should go with drop 10, drop 11, or 12 depends on a few factors which we will discuss above.
While for the bigger and stronger kids, a heavier bat is required with a low drop weight. The low drop bats will slow the swing speed a little bit, but that’s okay. For them, drop 8, drop 9 or drop 10 may be a good choice.
What Bat Drop is Required for High School & College Baseball?
For High School and College Baseball, the drop weight of a baseball bat cannot be more than -3.
All the players who play in High School Leagues and Collegiate Leagues that follow NFHS and NCAA rules need a baseball bat that meets the BBCOR standards.
What are BBCOR Standards?
For playing in high school and college baseball leagues your baseball bat should be BBCOR Certified.
All the BBCOR Certified bats can’t have drop weights higher than -3.
The bat length can’t be more than 36 inches, and the barrel diameter can’t be more than 2 5/8 inches.
If you want to learn more about BBCOR, then you can read another article that gives a clear explanation of the BBCOR Concept.
Which Bat Drop is Good for Young Players?
This depends on the strength of the young players and how fast they can swing a bat.
The young players who can’t swing a bat at a high speed, for them, drop 10 to drop 13 bats are good.
If a young player uses a low bat drop weight, then it’ll slow his swing speed, and he’ll not be able to hit the ball with much force
If a player has a good physique and plenty of bat speed, then going with drop 8 to drop 10 is a good choice.
Some kids take high drop bats by thinking that lighter bats will allow them to swing faster.
Yes, they’re correct. But, choosing that kind of bat may not help them to improve their performance.
Finding a Perfect Bat Drop for Your Body
What drop is perfect for a player is hard to tell by just looking at the player.
Yes, you can guess, but it may not be the best idea.
A little test can help you find the perfect drop weight for you or for your kids.
Little Test for Finding Perfect Bat Drop
Try holding the bat at the right or left side of you (in your primary hand) for about 30 to 45 seconds without dipping down.
If you can do that, then it’s a good bat for you.
If you find it very difficult to hold the bat for that long, then you need a lighter bat.
Keep testing it with a lighter bat, until you pass this test.
In the end, you’ll get an idea about which drop weight is suitable for you.
What If I Can’t Test with Bats?
If you are purchasing your bat from a sports store, then you can do this test.
But if you’re purchasing online, then it will not be possible for you to try this test with an actual bat.
In that case, instead of a bat, take this test with other things like vegetables, books, etc having similar weight.
Understanding Baseball Bat Drop and Comparing Different Drops
The “drop” of a baseball bat refers to the difference between its length in inches and its weight in ounces. A higher drop number means a lighter bat and a lower drop number means a heavier bat.
With the list of bat drops: 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, we can compare different drops to each other:
- Drop 8 vs. Drop 10: The Drop 8 bat is heavier than the Drop 10 bat by 2 ounces. This might not seem like a lot, but it can make a significant difference in the bat’s swing and the player’s performance.
- Drop 10 vs. Drop 11: The Drop 11 bat is lighter than the Drop 10 bat by 1 ounce. This difference may not be noticeable to all players, but some may find that the Drop 11 bat allows them to swing faster and generate more bat speed.
- Drop 11 vs. Drop 13: The Drop 13 bat is much lighter than the Drop 11 bat by 2 ounces. This makes the Drop 13 bat easier to swing, especially for younger or less experienced players.
- Drop 3 vs. Drop 12: The Drop 3 bat is much heavier than the Drop 12 bat by 9 ounces. This makes the Drop 3 bat suitable for more experienced players who have the strength to handle its weight.
Generally, the choice of bat drop depends on the player’s size, strength, skill level, and personal preference.
A heavier bat may provide more power but may be harder to swing, while a lighter bat may offer more control and speed.
Will It Affect My Performance If I Move to Different Drop Weight?
Yes, it’ll surely affect your performance.
Whether your performance will improve or degrade depends if you move to the perfect drop weight as per your body or not.
If you are using a bat with more or less drop than required, then you should definitely move to a bat of a different drop.
If you move to a higher drop weight, that means your new bat will be lighter as compared to the previous one. With a lighter bat, you will be able to swing your bat at a faster speed, but you also have to put more force while hitting the ball.
As you’ll not have much experience with the lighter bat, so you may swing the bat before the ball comes. By using a lighter bat, you may not able to strike a ball as hard as you were able to do before.
On the other hand, if you move to low drop weight, means your new bat will be heavier than the previous one.
If the bat is too heavy for you that it’ll significantly decrease your swing speed, and you’ll miss many pitches.
Even if you manage to hit balls but you will not be able to hit as hard as you were hitting with a particular drop bat, which was perfect for your body.
What is the Ideal Drop Weight to Begin?
The coaches suggest that you should choose a bat with no more than drop 8.
This number might change a unit above or below depending upon the personal experiences of a player.
Some coaches suggest this drop weight because this will provide a little bit of weight at the barrel of your bat, and you can feel it.
This will help you in the long run.
Sure, you can buy a drop 9 bat if you are a lightweight player with a weak body as per your age.
The Final Thoughts
Whether you are buying your bat online or offline, you should take a close look at what drop you’re getting. The drop weight is applicable on both baseball and fastpitch bats, but keep in mind that drop weight is not applicable in bats that are used for slowpitch softball.
If you are unsure about which bat drop you should consider, then try that little test to figure out.
If you are still confused or want to share your experience, then use the comment box. I’ll reply back as soon as possible.