Study: Axe Bat Increases Batted Ball Velocity
For the past several months, at the K-Zone Academy in Apex, N.C., a select group of players have been training with Axe Bats as part of a study designed to compare the performance of the Axe handle with that of a conventional round one using metrics obtained from the on-site HitTrax system.
These players ranged in age from middle school to college and were handpicked by the facility’s owner and well-regarded coach, Dan Kopitzke.
Thousands of swings, months of work and hours of data analysis went into the results, which were published this morning by Baseball Prospectus.
The study — the first quantitative analysis of the Axe Bat conducted by a third party — suggested the Axe Bat does indeed produce higher exit velocities than bats with traditional round handles, particularly, on hard-hit balls. (These are balls with exit velocities of at least 90% of the player’s maximum exit velocity.) Anecdotally, a majority of players in the study also achieved longer average distances, and all but one player registered his maximum exit velocity with the Axe Bat.
These are exciting results, even more so because outside of providing bats (wood and non-wood) and a few suggestions at the outset of training, we had virtually no role in the administration of the study, or in the data collection and analysis.
“This is just scratching the surface of what we want to dig into,” said Hugh Tompkins, Director of Research & Development for Axe Bat, when I caught up with him in the lab this morning. “It’s really good to see coming on the heels of all the biomechanical research we’ve done. This is a small, pilot-type of study, but the fact that it’s showing everything going in the direction we thought it would is very exciting.”
The data revolution in baseball is coming for bats, clearly. We’re excited by that prospect, and are eager to dive deeper into the numbers.
Said Tompkins: “I’d like to expand this type of study to a larger group of people over a longer period of time.”
We hope you’ll take time to read the full report at Baseball Prospectus. Let us know what you think in the comments.by