Before you freak out and think I am taking a swipe at the sport, let me explain. I am not talking about college baseball being crazy; I am talking about the actual bats, aluminum bats.
Everyone enjoys talking about fairness in sports and ensuring the playing field is level, so please tell me how giving a 6-foot-5, 250-pound athlete a bat with the power of Zeus is fair? If steroids are not allowed in MLB, then why are aluminum bats allowed in college?
Aluminum bats are basically steroids for college ballplayers. They are just shinier and have pretty colors. Now I know some people may think, “Who cares? It’s just college baseball. It’s not as if they’re playing in the major leagues.” However, many of these athletes are playing in the major leagues, sort of.
Every year college players are drafted by MLB teams, and their tryouts are how they performed in college. So, with college being the gateway to the major leagues, every at-bat counts. I think that eliminating aluminum bats in college will benefit both players and MLB teams. Players will benefit because using a wood bat will prepare them for playing in the major leagues.
When hitting with a wood bat, the ball will travel slower and home runs will be harder to hit. However, this will allow coaches to work with players and fix problems in college rather than discovering them in the major leagues. Some teams may find certain problems with a player unfixable, which could lead to that athlete being traded or cut. A simple change in batting stance or batting grip can turn a 280-foot pop up into a 320-foot home run. This will allow more players to enter the major leagues better equipped than if they were using an aluminum bat.
The MLB benefits because it allows them to better scout the strength and speed of an athlete. Aluminum bats are faster and easier to swing, so an athlete with a killer swing in college might see their swing slow down once they start using a wood bat. Wooden bats are also heavier and MLB pitchers throw harder.
A player who rarely struck out in college may strike out more in the MLB. Teams will now be able to use their draft picks more wisely and reduce the number of busts drafted every year.
Wooden bat or aluminum bat, some players just aren’t cut out to play in the major leagues. The best teams know this in college instead of wasting the number one pick.
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Sean (he/him) is a Business Administration major from California. He enjoys playing video games and watching Disney+ in his free time.