KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — In high school and college, baseball players use aluminum bats. In Major League Baseball, it’s wood bats. For those players with professional aspirations, summer ball leagues like the West Coast League give them a chance to see live pitching with wood bats in their hands. Players on both the Medford Rogues and Klamath Falls gems said they don’t change their approach at the plate when they switch to wood bats, but there is a noticeable difference in how they feel and the impact it has on hitting.
“It’s a big difference,” Gems coach Mitch Karraker said. “The sweet spot, you know you don’t get as much forgiveness with a wood bat as you do with a metal bat.”
“It’s definitely more pitchers’ dominance,” pitcher Brandon Erickson said. “There’s less barrel on a wood bat so pitching is a little easier, and, like, you get away with a little more mistakes with a wood bat.”
“I think that wood separates a lot of hitters, to be honest, apart from each other,” infielder Thomas Walker said. “You see guys that just tore the cover off the ball in college, and then they get to the minor leagues and they just can’t hit the same.”