When it comes to succeeding in any sport, dedication is key. This is particularly true of baseball. Every player needs to work on a variety of skills and practice them every day. Many coaches find that one good practice technique is to encourage the practice of hitting grounders and popups, also known as fungoes.
Practicing fungoes is essential for top performance in official and unofficial games. The best way to practice fungoes is using a dedicated fungo bat. In fact, these practice bats have a long and storied history in baseball. They have been in continuous use since the late 1800s. Today, though, there are far more options.
Most fungo bats are made of wood, but they are not regulation bats. It’s not a bad idea to purchase fungo bats that are brightly colored to allow players to easily distinguish them from regulation bats. The Easton MLF5 comes in a wide variety of colors, all of which have a black bat handle. They come in two handle lengths, but both the 34 inch and the 37-inch bats have roughly the same swing weight.
Louisville Slugger also produces a high-quality fungo bat. Unlike the Easton, which is made of maple, the Louisville fungo bat is made of performance-grade ash. This bat is better suited for adults than for younger players, as it is quite heavy and bulky.
The SK 33” PS100 bat is available in a wider variety of lengths. It is more expensive than its competitors, but most coaches find that it’s worth the few extra dollars. Made of Japonica Poplar wood, all models of this bat are solid and quite durable. Despite standing out for its durability, the SK PS100 is surprisingly lightweight and well-balanced.
While many other bats are available, those listed above are three of the most common. It’s worthwhile for little-league coaches, in particular, to do just a little bit of extra research prior to purchasing fungo bats for their teams. They are intended to be used for training purposes only, and use during regular practice can even decrease younger players’ hitting skills. For anyone interested, this blog post explains the purpose served by the fungo bat in more detail and offers additional reviews of these bats and more.