Memphis baseball is wrapping up their fall season and one thing has stood out to me, the new "dead" bats. The new NCAA standards for bats go into effect on January 1st, 2011, but most, if not all, college teams have been using them this fall.
Not surprisingly, the hitters don't like them, but the pitchers do. I'm not a scientist, so it's hard to explain, but in plain terms, the ball doesn't jump off the bat like it used to. In my opinion, good hitters will still hit and the players that benefited from the old bat will likely struggle. I would also say that power numbers will go down during the 2011 season. The guy that hit double-digit homers will still get his fair share, but the player that hit 1-4 probably won't. If you're really interested and want to look at all the information, Baseball America has a digital guide located here
Finally, as a broadcaster, I have to say that I will probably like them. I've heard from sources that there is serious talk about returning to wood bats in the NCAA if the financial situation can be resolved. These "deadened" bats could be the first step. I attended a few of the fall Garibaldi's games and the game times for both 9-inning games ended at under 2 ½ hours. I love baseball, but 3 ½-four hour games every day gets old. And finally, there will be more emphasis on playing the game instead of sitting around waiting for a 2-run homer.