First of all, let’s come right out and admit that bamboo baseball bats aren’t allowed for play in the major leagues.
It may be classified as “wood”, but technically it’s actually grass.
Yet the reason for its disqualification for the major leagues is the MLB rule that wooden bats have to be made from a solid single piece of wood.
Since bamboo bats are made by piecing bamboo strips together, they’re certainly not allowed by the MLB.
The way bamboo bats are made resembles the construction of composite bats, which are also not allowed by the major leagues.
Yet bamboo bats are being used for practice by plenty of professionals, and an increasing number of younger players are using them too?
Grass bats are becoming more popular? What’s going on?
Top Pick: Mizuno MZB 62 Classic Bamboo Baseball Bat
Benefits of Bamboo Baseball Bats
When it comes to the bamboo baseball bats pros and cons, their ineligibility of professional play obviously stands out.
But since most of us regular folks aren’t professional ball players, it’s not a reason for us not to get this bat.
In fact, there are plenty of reasons why it’s a great option.
It’s extremely strong. Bamboo has an inherently stronger tensile strength than steel. This feature is then even reinforced further by the way bamboo bats are manufactured.
Bamboo strips are taken and then pressed together to make the bat. The material and the manufacturing method results in a bat that’s so strong that it can take a lot of mishits.
They can offer very light swing weights as well. This means that you get the utmost control over where the bat goes as you take your swing through the strike zone.
One study found that compared to other woods, the batting speeds with bamboo bats were somewhat faster.
In fact, their performance resembled that of composite bats.
The durability is unparalleled. This is true even for some youth bamboo baseball bats. You only need to look at the impressively length warranty periods to realize that many of these manufacturers stand by their products.
You can practice with wood bats without worrying over frequent replacements. Many people like to use wood bats, especially in practice.
It just feels more authentic. The problem is that wood bats inevitably break, which isn’t the problem with aluminum and composite bats.
However, it’s also not a problem with bamboo wood baseball bats so they’re a very cost-effective compromise.
Are You Closer To Buying Bamboo Wood Baseball Bats?
Some bats are legal to use in some baseball leagues, but an increasing number of players in all levels are buying more bamboo baseball bats for practice.
A look at all these benefits shows us why that makes perfectly good sense.
Of course, it depends greatly on the particular bamboo bat you get. Here are the top 5 best bamboo baseball bats that offer significant advantages.
Mizuno Bamboo Classic MZB 62 Baseball Bat
Mizuno Bamboo Classic MZBPlayers have plenty of reasons why they would pick this bat.
First off, it’s a Mizuno so it’s not exactly a fly-by-night brand. Mizuno has made a name for itself with its high quality baseball equipment, and this bamboo bat upholds the Mizuno commitment to quality.
This comes with the usual -3 length to weight ratio and the barrel diameter is 2 1/2 inches.
It’s actually allowed for baseball use under NCAA and NFHS play. For those young athletes who want the feel of wood but the performance of composite bats, this is a great option.
It offers excellent pop, and the sanded handle provides a terrific overall grip. The cupped end improves the weight distribution and allows for a faster swing speed.
It’s even very affordable as you won’t spend hundreds of dollars of this bat.
So what’s the catch?
The main problem—well, it not so much a problem as it is an annoyance—are the stickers on the bat.
Removing them can be a rather tedious exercise, and you’ll need paper towels and some alcohol for the job.
It’s very possible that you’ll either end up with sticker residue or a ruined finish on the wood if you don’t watch out.
Easton S1 Hybrid Maple/Bamboo Wood Baseball Bat
Easton S1 Hybrid Maple/BambooAs you can see, this isn’t a full bamboo bat. It’s a hybrid with both bamboo and maple.
Maple is allowed for professional use, and here you get professional-grade maple.
The bamboo part makes up the core of the bat, so you get the tensile strength that exceeds that of even steel in the very center of your bat.
This comes with the pro-balanced Speed design, which makes its performance resemble that of the S1 BBCOR bat.
So yes, this is a BBCOR bat too.
The swing weight is quite light, since the heavy maple is balanced out by the ultralight bamboo core.
In addition, the cupped end cap makes the swing weight much lighter.
As for the durability, that’s not a problem. Both maple and bamboo have excellent reputations for strength and long-lasting durability.
You have a 90-day warranty on the handle to try it out.
The Easton customer support is outstanding, and they will have no qualms in replacing the bat if the handle breaks during the 90-day period.
In fact, they’ll often give you an upgraded version.
BamBooBat Adult Bamboo Baseball Bat
BamBooBat Adult Bamboo Baseball BatBamBooBat was the first brand to offer bamboo bats, and its name reflects how much focus and commitment they have in producing excellent bamboo bats. They’re not just for young players, as this bat for adults prove.
This comes with a -3 drop, with sizes ranging from 32 to 34 inches (29 to 31 ounces).
It’s BBCOR-certified for use in high school and college leagues, and of course you can always use it for practice.
The long barrels offer a large sweet spot, and a cupped need for a nice swing weight.
The balanced feel is the result of their “Quadcore Technology”, and it looks great with its glossy lacquer finish.
It comes with a 100-day warranty.
Brett Bros. Maple/Bamboo Wood Youth Baseball Bat: MBY
Brett Bros. Maple/Bamboo Wood YouthThis is for younger players, as it offers a -5 drop and a 2.25-inch barrel diameter.
The core is made of bamboo, while the outer shell is maple so you get the best of both worlds. It feels comfortable in your hands especially with the familiar standard knob.
This is great for younger players who are transitioning to BBCOR bats.
With this bat, the transition is more gradual and it isn’t as much of a shock. It’s also extremely durable, as it uses the 3-piece laminating system and their patented BOA fiberglass reinforcement.
Mizuno 340464 BAMBOO CLASSIC MZB 271 Baseball Bat
Mizuno Bamboo MZB 271Now if you really want a premium bamboo bat, this Mizuno classic is a great choice.
It’s not just for practice, as it comes with BBCOR certification for high school and collegiate play. It has a 2.5-inch barrel diameter and a -3 drop.
This is the 271-turn model.
What this means in practical terms is that it’s good for both power hitters and for contact hitters.
So while it’s good for use in actual games, for practice it’s extremely cost-effective.
Everyone can use it comfortably, and yet it can last for a very long time.
Should You Buy a Bamboo Baseball Bat For the 2018 Season?
Whether you choose a pure bamboo bat or a maple/bamboo hybrid is up to you.
Of course, it also depends on the rules of your league.
But for practice, no other wood bat beats the bamboo baseball bat.
It offers performance, durability, and affordability that no other wood bat can match.
Top Pick: Mizuno MZB 62 Classic Bamboo Baseball Bat