Baseball players can use an aluminum bat when they stand in the batter’s box throughout their tee-ball, Little League, and college careers. However, that’s where it ends because professional baseball players in the Minor and Major Leagues cannot opt for the ping. There are a few reasons why Major League Baseball uses wooden bats, so let’s dig deeper.
Safety Is Not Guaranteed
When batted balls travel upwards of 115 mph off a wood bat, you’d have to imagine that an MLB player using an aluminum bat would hit balls as fast as 130 mph. The fielders—particularly the pitcher—are vulnerable enough with the ferocity in which the ball travels off the bat; an aluminum bat would worsen that issue.
Several cases have occurred where a line drive hit the pitcher square on the noggin, resulting in traumatic injuries. Some pitchers opted to wear an altered hat that protected their heads while on the mound for the extra assurance.
Make the Current Record Book Obsolete
While the statement “records are made to be broken” has some merit, we would see records shattered beyond comprehension if the best players in the world had an aluminum bat. It would be like the “Steroid Era” on steroids, with players surpassing 80 home runs and having a batting average well over .400.
Since the dawn of the game, a wooden bat has been one of the game’s constants. If you allow players to come to the dish with a catapult in their hands, you could throw out the record book because none will remain.
Players Don’t Need a Boost
Other than safety and keeping the integrity of the record book intact, the most obvious reason Major League Baseball players don’t use souped-up bats is that they don’t need to. The most elite hitters in the game can hit over .300 and hit the ball over 450 feet with wood, so why make it easier for them?
Additionally, common folk shouldn’t use a wood bat because of their propensity for breaking. We can give you a few pointers if you’re wondering how long your bat will last. An aluminum bat lasts longer and can survive the jammed shots on your hands, whereas a wood bat will shatter if you don’t hit it off the handle. Wooden bats are a dime a dozen for a player making at least $700,000. A nine-to-fiver probably doesn’t want to continuously shell out money to replace their bat.
Hopefully, this explains why Major League Baseball players use wooden bats and the reasoning behind the league’s decision. Wouldn’t it be fun to see MLB players use a metal bat in a Home Run Derby format? Maybe that time will come in the future.