I have been curious about ash v maple and its performance. There have been a limited amount of studies done and maybe one 1 – 2 in a lab but the results didn’t show anything to consider. I dont have access to a lab but I do have access to Hit Trax, Blast, Diamond Kinetics, and an MLB hitter who is VERY consistent. The key here is the hitter being consistent and being able to hit a ball with the same swing and same power and same location over and over.
This study is not perfect because its still based on the human element but its something to look at.
- Bats were weighed and identical models and manufactures
- Flips were consistent
- Swings were consistent
- Each hit was a line drive in the same location
- I threw out a couple outliers from either bad flips or a bad swing
What we found is that performance is the same. The hitter actually went through the minors and early MLB year with ash and likes the feel of ash. He thinks it feels more like it flexes and whips through the zone. It may be a mental thing where a hitter would want to use one over the other. There are some things to consider.
- Studies have shown that the sweet spot on ash is a little larger (although I heard a very respected bat rep state that this isn’t true).
- Ash doesn’t sting as much as maple on mishits. I assume because it flexes. This is a reason why some guys go to ash early and late in the year when the weather is cold.
- Ash doesn’t have density requirements. A player can get a bat that would be LDM-X or LDM in ash and it wouldn’t be an issue. This is for guys who want larger barrel models like i13 and 243 in -3 ratios.
- Ash is getting harder to source for manufactures. Or I should say quality ash.
I look forward to looking into this more.