Does the MLB use wooden bats or metal bats? (Revealed)

Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each. The game aims to score more runs than the other team by hitting a ball thrown by the pitcher and then running around four bases. Numerous rules govern baseball, but bats are one of the most important.

In Major League baseball, the bat requirement of the players is wooden bats. Metal bats retain form across the full thick shaft of the bat on impact with the ball, whereas wood bats only hold form on a short portion of the middle of the shaft. MLB does not utilize aluminum bats because hitters have great hand-eye coordination and bat speed.

Read further in this article because we’ve provided you with reasons and insights about wooden and metal bats.

Does the MLB Use Wooden Bats or Metal Bats?


There are numerous reasons why some players prefer wooden bats over metal ones. Some batters may prefer the feel of a wooden bat, while others prefer it when it hits the ball, which is something that players can hear better than a metal one.

The bat requirement for the players in Major League Baseball is wooden bats because they are allowed to use the traditional baseball bats. As per the rules, players must use wooden bats since they don’t have significant advantages over metal ones. Almost 90 percent of all Major League Baseball players prefer using wood in place of metal because it has definite benefits over others.

One of the reasons MLB players love using wood bats is that they can grip the bat better because of the natural curve of the wood. This helps them control their swings and results in a better batting average. Another benefit of using a wooden bats is that they are much lighter than metal bats, which means that players don’t get tired as easily while swinging them.

Metal Bat Guide:

When touching baseballs, the first metal baseball bats were created in the mid-1920s, although they performed similarly to starched scarves. Metal bats are the ones that are made of aluminum or composite materials. Metal bats have a larger sweet spot than wood ones, making it easier for a batter to hit a ball with a metal bat. 

The material used in the making a metal bat also gives it a higher trampoline effect, which means that the ball comes off the bat at a higher speed. If solid contact were made, they would frequently bend and dent.

Players in the MLB are not allowed to use metal bats and are limited to wooden ones. This is because metal bats have certain disadvantages over wooden bats. 

  • Firstly, metal bats are much heavier than wooden bats, making it difficult for players to swing them for a longer time. 
  • Additionally, metal bats tend to break more easily than wooden bats, giving pitchers an advantage. 
  • Lastly, metal bats produce a louder sound when they hit the ball than wooden bats, distracting players.

While metal bats have certain advantages over wooden bats, most MLB players prefer using wooden bats because they are lighter and easier to swing.

Wooden Bat Guide:

Wooden bats are the traditional bats that have been used in baseball for many years. These bats are made of maple, ash, or birch wood and are lighter than metal bats. Wooden bats also have a smaller sweet spot than metal bats, making it difficult for batters to hit the ball.

Most MLB players prefer using wooden bats because they are easier to swing and are less likely to break. Additionally, the sound that a wooden bat makes when it hits the ball is much more distinct than the sound made by a metal bat. This can be helpful for players as they can judge how well they hit the ball based on the sound.

For the wooden bats, different types of woods have been used:

Type of Woods:

Ash – Because ash bats have the greatest sweet spot, more balls are struck more solidly. Ash bats are considered an excellent all-purpose wood, and ash isn’t as thick as maple; it bends when struck, creating a “trampoline” effect that allows you to control better where you hit the ball. It has a very clear sound, and the slimmer handle is better for use with batting gloves.


  • This is the most affordable form of a wood bat.
  • The wood flexes a little.


  • When compared to maple, ash is a softer wood.
  • When the deal and screw are applied, the ash breaks quite readily.

Authentic Hickory – For bats, hickory is the gold standard. Only 10% of hickory will produce top-quality bats. Thus only a few firms sell it. These bats are quite expensive due to the waste and work required. True hickory is usually chosen by power hitters looking for a heavy-hitting surface. It is heavier, denser, and stronger than ash or maple, which means that it has more potential to transfer energy to the ball in an effective way. Most people don’t want to go the additional mile to manufacture a hickory bat since it’s a tough wood to deal with.


  • Very sturdy
  • Limited models, tough to break, top of the line performance, heaviest, most dense hardwood


  • Unpainted bats can be prone to rot, dents, and scratches more easily than other types of wood.

Bamboo – Bamboo is a grass-like plant that can make various materials, including flooring and weapons. It creates a highly durable bat that has a high sweet spot. Bamboo bats are typically used by power hitters who want an increased striking surface with greater durability; thus, several strips must be pressed together to form long rectangular billets, which are then shaped into the circular shape of a bat.


  • More extended durability compared to other types of wood


  • Heavier than other types of wood
  • In certain leagues, it is not permitted to play.

Maple Bats – Maple bats are not quite as sweetly struck, but they last longer than ash. Because maple is denser than ash, it has more pop when connecting solidly. Over time, the bat doesn’t hold up well because there’s just too much material is too small of an area. It’s also on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but it’s used by many big hitters looking for maximum distance.


  • Longer durability, good for power hitters. Better sound while hitting the ball.
  • More robust than other types of wood


  • Heavier than other types of woods

Birch Bats – Many power hitters use birch bats because of their weight and strength. The lighter the bat, the further a ball can travel. However, it is painted black to conceal imperfections that might otherwise reveal themselves as dents and scratches. 


  • Stronger than other types of wood and more durable
  • Longer durability, good for power hitters. Better sound while hitting the ball.


  • Heavier than other types of woods

What is the color of a wooden bat used by MLB?

There is no colored bat supported in MLB unless approved by the committee. However, if approved, the wood bats’ colors in the MLB vary but are typically dark brown or black. Painted bats are also becoming more popular and can come in various colors. Some players choose to have their names and numbers painted on their bats. 

Bat colors usually are limited to seven finishes: natural, flame temper, black, brown, wine, gray, and black cherry, according to MLB guidelines. Furthermore, Bats may not be painted or stained in any way. Wood bats can be any color, as long as they are covered with a sealant that will protect the wood from moisture and rot. 

Some players prefer to use bats that are natural wood colors, while others prefer to paint their bats a variety of colors. Many players also choose to use black or dark-colored bats, which help the hitter see the ball better if it is low and outside. Some players use lighter colors such as yellow and white for their bat handles, which are easier to find in good lighting conditions.

What is the length of the Wooden bat that’s been used by MLB players?


Baseball bats are one of the many pieces of equipment a baseball player uses. Bats come in various sizes and weights, but the standard length for a baseball bat is 34 inches. Just like with any piece of equipment, it’s important to make sure you have the correct-sized bat to help prevent injury. But in Major League Baseball, some rules are needed to be followed.

According to the official rules of Major League Baseball:

(a) The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 2.61 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood. 

NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be used in a professional game (either championship season or exhibition games) until the manufacturer has secured approval from the Rules Committee of his design and methods of manufacture.

(b) Cupped Bats. An indentation in the end of the bat up to one inch in depth is permitted and may be no wider than two inches and no less than one inch in diameter. The indentation must be curved with no foreign substance added. 

(c) The bat handle, for not more than 18 inches from its end, may be covered or treated with any material or substance to improve the grip. Any such material or substance, which extends past the 18-inch limitation, shall cause the bat to be removed from the game. 

NOTE: If the umpire discovers that the bat does not conform to (c) above until a time during or after which the bat has been used in play, it shall not be grounds for declaring the batter out, or ejected from the game. 

(d) No colored bat may be used in a professional game unless approved by the Rules Committee.


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