The Mizuno Elite MZM 243 Wood baseball Bat and the Rawlings Velo R271VG Wood baseball bat are two of the latest wood bat evolutions to hit the market for 2017. Mizuno and Rawlings have been making elite-quality wood baseball bats for decades but the true testament of an elite bat maker is the ability to get better.
The Rawlings Velo R271VG Ash Wood Baseball Bat is constructed with a balanced and lightweight feel. This baseball bat is made using ash, which when compared to maple has a lighter feel and is more balanced. While lighter, ash bats are also known for their trampoline effect or ‘pop’. This bat has a 271 profile, which is a professional cut designed to keep weight closer to the middle of the bat. The barrel is a signature Velo barrel, which is a medium-sized barrel that accentuates the balanced nature of the overall design. The overall theme of this bat is, you guessed it – balance.
Mizuno Maple MZM 243 are carved from premium stocks of Mizuno’s signature Rock Hard Maple. Maple, a wood already known for its superior strength is further enhanced by Mizuno’s proprietary techniques. The MZM 243 has a professional furniture grade finish leading to an incredibly light swing weight. It features a cupped end that takes that extra bit of drag you need off the bat for a faster swing speed. A Supra-Helix grip, a Mizuno company exclusive feature, also comes fashioned to the handle. This feature gives hitter a comfortable grip on their bat, and adds to the bat’s tremendous control. The bat comes in sleek matte natural color desig with the famous Mizuno logo across the barrel of the bat.
The main difference between these two wood baseball bats is their foundation. The Mizuno MZM 243 has been made of Maple and the Rawlings Velo R271 of Ash. Both types of wood are very popular amongst professional players and both have different qualities that make them desirable.
Ash has been the dominate wood in professional baseball for over a hundred years – and for good reason. Ash is a very versatile wood that provides the hitter with a slight flex at the point of contact. Because it is not the hardest wood, Ash flexes slightly. This forms the trampoline effect hitters are looking for to propel the ball forward. The natural flex of the wood tends to wears down the grains causing them to wear down a little faster than maple bats.
Maple is now the dominate force in wood baseball bats in the MLB. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that Maple wood baseball bats really caught on. It is essentially Ash 2.0. Maple quickly stepped in as a harder and more responsive alternative. Maple is actually 20% harder than Ash on the surface.
Due to it’s high demand and superior performance Maple wood baseball bats are more expensive than their ash counterparts. Another downside is that the tightness of the Maple grains create a lot of pressure. The result of that pressure when a ball strikes the end of the barrel or near the hands is a large spray of wood and splinters that can be quite dangerous. Major League Baseball is aware of this problem. They have taken numerous steps to limit damage done by breaking Maple bats.