Los Angeles Angels center fielder, Mike Trout, made his Major League debut in 2011 when he was just 19 years old, appearing in 40 games and batting just .220 with five home runs in 123 at-bats.
The following season, 139 games later, Trout managed to earn an All-Star Game appearance, finish second in MVP voting, and win the American League Rookie of the Year Award at just 20 years old.
Since his high school days, Mike Trout has used the same Old Hickory MT27 bat. The 33.5″ long and 31.5 oz baseball bat is made from rock maple (also known as hard maple and sugar maple) and has a classic black barrel and unfinished handle with cupping on the end.
Old Hickory MT27 Baseball Bats
The Mike Trout baseball bat can be ordered directly from Old Hickory, though as of today the 32″ through 34″ versions are all sold out. It’s unclear from the website if or when more inventory will be added.
This Hickory wood bat has a 2 1/2 inch diameter barrel, considered by them to be medium/large, and a thin 29/32 handle with a standard knob.
Their site touts the bat for having a “long barrel with great balance for maximum production.” The thin handle supposedly creates added “whip”, which I won’t argue with given the production one of its users has achieved.
If you were to have watched every at-bat during the 2022 MLB season, The Old Hickory Bat Companies baseball bats would be seen in about 10% of all plate appearances according to tracking we’ll discuss later on.
Major League Baseball Bat Certification
Prior to use in a game, baseball bat manufacturers must obtain certification from Major League Baseball.
Old Hickory is just one of many suppliers of wooden baseball bats for major leaguers. Other popular manufacturers include Marucci, Louisville Slugger, Victus, and Rawlings.
The 2018 Official Baseball Rules are available online and in section 3.02 “The Bat”, the following is stated:
(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 1¼ inches 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 that extends past the 18- inch limitation shall cause the bat to be removed from the game.
Rule 3.02(c) to 3.03(f)
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.
Rule 3.02(c): If pine tar extends past the 18-inch limitation, then the umpire, on his own initiative or if alerted by the opposing team, shall order the batter to use a different bat. The batter may use the bat later in the game only if the excess substance is removed. If no objections are raised prior to a bat’s use, then a violation of Rule 3.02(c) on that play does not nullify any action or play on the field and no protests of such play shall be allowed.
(d) No colored bat may be used in a professional game unless approved by the Rules Committee.
Colored baseball bats have seen a huge rise in popularity over the past few years. Players will order bats with specific team colors, and various holidays such as Mother’s Day and the 4th of July will
Types of Wooden Baseball Bats
Grain patterns and the number of pours a wooden bat has will not only vary by the type of wood used but also by the conditions in which the tree grew.
Things like heat, and the amount of water, or moisture accumulated inside the wood will have a big effect on the performance of the wood for the specific task of hitting a baseball.
Maple is by far the most commonly used type of wood and the one preferred by Mike Trout for his baseball bat. There are however a number of other species used by baseball players. Ash, birch, hickory, and even bamboo are used in wooden bats. It should be noted though that bamboo has not been approved by MLB for use in games.
Obviously, each wood has certain traits that make it beneficial over another. Birch, for example, is a more flexible wood and is less likely to break. Hickory is much more of a hard wood and produces higher exit velocities, which has become a very popular advanced stat to track as of late.
Composite bats are another very popular choice among beginners and some smaller professional baseball leagues around the world.
The sturdiness of composite baseball bats, which are usually made from two or more types of wood, or include materials like resin or polymer makes them much less likely to break and therefore a more cost-efficient choice.
Who Makes Major League Baseball Bats?
According to the tracking done by Bat Digest, 2022 was the first year that Victus branded baseball bats were the most commonly used wooden bat on opening day.
The kicker is that Victus is owned by Marucci, so nearly half of all major leaguers are using a bat owned by the Marucci brand.
Chandler, B45, and Sam Bat are three wood bat providers that round out the most used list for the 2022 season.
What Other Gear Does Mike Trout Use?
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