Easton XL1 review

Tired of having the perfect swing only to have the ball end up short or even worse in the warning track? If so we are glad that you stumbled upon our Easton XL1 BBCOR review. Brought to you by one of the top companies in the business in Easton, the XL1 could be all you need to improve the power in your swing. The 2015 version of the XL1 BB15X1 is normally one of the more expensive bats around as hitters believe it is the ultimate power hitter’s best friend. This is the third version of the bat which means that it is popular, otherwise Easton would refine it and create it differently.

What makes the XL1 so good?

Easton XL1 BBCOR  review

Easton XL1

In terms of BBCOR bats, Easton has designed them all to meet the power demands that you’d expect. They have done this in two ways. On one hand they have a Speed series which is designed to increase the swing speed and therefore generate more power. The second way is by extending the barrel to give you more mass. The 2015 XL1 BB15X1 belongs in this camp.

    Pros:
    • Extended barrel
    • More power

  • Longer barrel – Having a longer barrel gives you more hitting mass and increases your chances of making contact with the pitch. And once you make contact, forget about it! With more strength in the swing phase, you can expect to turn those warning tracks shots into homeruns.
  • Full Composite – Composite is the preferred material for all power hitters. Some bats use a composite handle with an aluminum barrel fused together to save on costs. But the XL1 BBCOR is made with 100% composite throughout.
  • Durable and Strong – When you pay a good amount of money for a bat you expect it to last a while. One of the top reviewed Easton bats available, this one promises to keep performing for a number of years.
  • Endloaded – As if this bat didn’t need any more power potential. That being said, Easton has made the XL1 more endloaded than previous version to help you even more.

Sizes available: 31 in/28 oz, 32 in/29 oz, 33 in/30 oz, and 34 in/31 oz

Recommendation for the XL1

What else can we say other than this bat is great. The biggest downfall however isn’t in the bat itself but the strength required. Typically reserved for strong, power hitters, you need quite a bit of strength in order to make good cuts with this bat. For competitive players, the bat is well worth its cost and will help you perform better against the elite competition. That being said for newer players, the Easton 2015 XL1 might be a little too expensive right now. If you are looking for more youth bats then check out this resource: http://greatdayforbaseball.com/youth-bats/

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My favorite baseball cleats

Its no secret baseball cleats are a very important part of the game of baseball. They are the one thing that keeps you connected to the ground while you are running from base to base trying to get home plate. With this article we are going to review one of the most talked about baseball cleats in the game, the Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh series. One of the things you will love about this shoe is how it fits. As a baseball player you know comfort is extremely important. How your feet feel will literally dictate how you play the game.

Details on the Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh

Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh baseball cleats review

Nike Huarache 2KFresh

It has a sleek upper and evolved fit. It is the next evolution in the Huarache line of baseball cleats. It also has a full length air sole unit and a V9 outsole. This is what gives it a high level of comfort and explosiveness. You can take off from the bases with quickness and without slippage. You will have an explosiveness that you won’t get with any other baseball shoe.

The Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh also has no sew construction. That means the upper materials and overlays are bonded together without any stitching. This gives the shoe a stronger more durable upper that is tapered and lightweight. And with the new fit system and strap you know your shoe will fit perfectly every time.

When you wear cleats one of the biggest things you have to worry about is underfoot discomfort. This usually happens when the metal cleats are pushing up against the sole of the shoes. And as you can imagine, when this happens running can be extremely difficult. With the Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh you don’t have to worry about that. This baseball cleat has a Phylon midsole with a full length encapsulated air sole. This gives you maximum under foot comfort. That means when you are rounding the bases you don’t have to worry about the cleats pushing up on the soles of you feet. It also gives you superior dynamic response which can improve your overall game.

There are three things cleats need to provide a baseball player. Explosiveness, energy return and traction (which you can also read about from this article). Thanks to the new V9 metal outsole pattern with full length Pebax, the Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh is able to provide all three of these very important factors. When you wear these cleats your first step will be explosive. And as we all know, the first step is the most important step.

It determines how fast you get from base to base. As soon as you take off in your new Nike Air Huarache 2KFresh cleats you will feel the difference. You will feel the power this shoe provides. The instant energy return and amazing traction will have you running around the bases in record time.

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Wooden Bats – Which is best?

If you are looking for the top wooden youth baseball bat, then I believe the Marucci Chase Utley fits the bill. The other bats in our list of the best have primarily focused on those made of composite materials. However, there are some leagues or even tournament where a player is required to use a wooden baseball bat instead. If that fits your league or team, then please continue reading our review of this premier Marucci bat.

Features of the Marucci Chase Utley

Marucci Chase Utley review

2014 Marucci Chase Utely

Although composite bats are still the primary choice used by many leagues across the US, there are several states such as New York and North Dakota who have already banned the use of composite at the high school level. In addition to this, many academies are recommending younger player at least train with a wooden bat as it produces better swing technique and improves hand eye coordination. In other words, if you can hit well with a wooden bat, then composite will be even easier.

The main inclusions in the Marucci Chase Utley include:

  • Carefully crafted – The nice thing about a Marucci bat is the careful manufacturing process that takes place. Made by hand, each and every Marucci bat promises to use the top Maple from naturally grown trees.
  • Bone rubbing – Back in the olden days, players would use old cow bones to rub their bats. What this did was compress the wood making it sturdier and better performing. The team at Marucci has applied the same technique to the Chase Utley Maple Wood bat. After all if it worked for famous sluggers like Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth back then, it will surely work today as well.
  • Beautiful finish – Nothing beats a wooden baseball bat with a nicely coated finish. In this bat Marucci has used what they call an Ultra Penetrating Stain to give an incredible looking black finish as evidenced by the photo used on this page.

We certainly believe when it comes to wooden baseball bats that the Marucci Chase Utley is one of the top choices. Not only will it help you perform better but it will get you more used to the bats used by top level leagues like the majors. As mentioned earlier if you can master your swing with a wooden bat, you’ll have no trouble with others.

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The Easton S400 BBCOR

Today we are going to provide you with an Easton S400 BBCOR review, which is one of the best valued bats around. Replacing the popular Easton Typhoon, the 2014 S400 BB14S400 is believed to have just as much success, if not more than its predecessor. The S400 is not only popular in the BBCOR world, but is used quite a bit in slow pitch, youth and senior leagues. For years the Typhoon (and now the S400) has been known as a bat that provides a great amount of pop at a consistently low price. For all non-competitive players, this is a perfect bat. It’s not easy to find a high quality BBCOR bat for under $100, let alone have it be made by Easton. Players who are in a little more competitive leagues may look at the advanced models, but for most people the 2014 Easton BB14S400 baseball bat will be all you will need.

S400 BBCOR: Top Features

Easton S400 BBCOR review

Easton S400

As we mentioned earlier, the S400 BB14S400 is perfect for both new and recreational players. Where some models only contain older player sizes, you can find this bat from 29 inches all the way to 35 inches. This is perfect especially for beginner players who may eventually outgrow their swing. Some of the other major features included in the 2014 version include:

    Pros:
    • Less expensive than most
    • Comfortable cushion grip

  • High performance barrel – Easton has made the S400 using a 7046 alloy. Although there are better alloys around that provide more durability and pop, getting an alloy like this on a $60 BBCOR bat is quite substantial.
  • Faster Swings speeds – To create a faster swing speed, many bats will lower the bat weight. In order to comply with BBCOR standards, the BB14S400 has been designed with carefully placed areas along the barrel to achieve BBCOR requirements. Identifying key areas has allowed this bat to result in quick swing speeds while still maintaining all required standards.
  • Comfortable handle – Layered with cushioned grip all throughout the handle, this bat provides hitters with a nice comfortable swing each and every time.

Sizes available: 29 in/26 oz, 30 in/27 oz, 31 in/28 oz, 32 in/29 oz, 33 in/30 oz, 34 in/31 oz, and 35 in/32 oz

Our final thoughts

For numerous years, this bat has been one of the most often purchased bats for softball, youth and senior league players. Now with a new BBCOR version, you can enjoy and see what this great bat has to offer. With a good amount of power and a nice comfortable swing, a hitter can’t go wrong spending $60 for the 2014 Easton S400. Easton also offers other great equipment including a great line of catchers mitts for baseball players.

If you are instead looking for wooden bats, you may want to check out our other post for that.

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In-Season Training For Baseball

The following is a post related to in-season training from Jason @ GreatDayForBaseball.com.

Hey Guys,I hope you are doing well and enjoying what’s left of the summer!  I just enjoyed my 11th Anniversary weekend with my wife changing diapers on our 2 month old and potty training our 3 year old… What can I say, I’m a hopeless romantic.

Anyway, I received a great question via email the other day and I wanted to share it with everyone instead of responding privately because I think it’s something that most coaches struggle with. The question was:How do you combine the anaerobic, aerobic and strength training In Season with the techniques-tactical? Well, let’s get the simple part of the answer out of the way first… we don’t do aerobic training in-season… or pre-season… or off-season… so we don’t have to worry about fitting a 30 minute jog of bike ride into our training/practice sessions.

anaerobic and strength training

We incorporate at least 5 minutes of high intensity anaerobic work into just about every practice session & weight room workout.  These are circuits or primarily body weight exercises (sometimes medicine balls) that can be done anywhere and all you need is a stop watch. Arrange your exercises as follows:

Explosive Power (Squat Jumps, Split Squat Jumps, Medicine Ball Slams, Sprints, etc)
Lower Body Strength/Endurance (Speed Squats, Alt. Lunges, Rotational Lunges, Med Ball Overhead Squats, etc.)
Conditioning Drill (Mountain Climbers, Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope, Ladder Drills, Cone Drills, etc.)
Upper Body Strength/Endurance (Push-Ups, Medicine Ball Throws, Pull-Ups, etc.)
Full Body Conditioning (Squat Thrusts, Burpees, Up Downs, etc.)

Each exercise combined with its rest period will take 1 minute.  5 exercises = 5 minutes and you’ve got a great anaerobic workout completed. The work:rest times will vary depending on the age & conditioning level of your ballplayers. Begin with the shorter work:longer rest and progress to longer work:shorter rest according to your guys abilities.

In-Season Strength Training for baseball players

One thing that I absolutely can not stand is when guys tell me that they are too busy with games & practices to get into the weight room.  That’s like saying you have to far to drive to fill your car with gas.  It just doesn’t work and something is going to break down! I’m not suggesting that baseball players need to spend a few hours in the weight room each day. 

In fact, the opposite is true.  I have my guys in & out of the weight room in 30-45 minutes with our warm-up & cool-down included. Our weight room time is focused entirely on 2 things: Recovery & Progression.

The first thing that our guys do is take care of their muscles with the foam roller & light stretching (10 minutes).  Once the muscles are cared for we warm them up with some movement drills geared toward either acceleration or agility (5-10 minutes).  Now that we are warmed up we get busy with a circuit of 3 exercises focused on strength & power (low reps, heavy weight) for lower body, upper body pushing, & upper body pulling (10 minutes).  Then we finish off with another light stretch for 5 minutes and kick them out of the weight room.

The lifts that we do are all big compound movements where you will get the most bang for your buck.  Where else do you think you are going to generate all that power from…your baseball bat? We do a lot of lunging (forward, backward, lateral, walking, dumbbell, barbell, you get the idea.  With all of the variations it’s easy to keep the guys interested in the workouts.Our upper body pushing is really anything that you can think of other than shoulder presses.  We do shoulder presses off-season but not in-season.  We also favor dumbbells over barbells for pressing movements for a few reasons.  First, they allow your body to move more freely.  Second, they encourage right/left symmetry.  Third, they are a lot faster than having to load/unload/change weights on a barbell.Our upper body pull is always the opposite of our upper body press.  We look at the angle of the press and pull in that same path.  If you are going a flat press (bench press, push up) we will do a rowing type movement (DB row, seated cable row, inverted row).  If our press is an incline we will do more of a vertical pull (pulldown, chin up, pull up, etc.).

We also vary the grips on our upper body from pronated to supinated to neutral grip to change the shoulders involvement in the movements.I hope that helps give you some insight into what we do with our guys during the season.  To be perfectly honest, I just kinda brain dumped my info here and it all makes sense to me, but if you have any questions, comments, or snide remarks don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments section down below.

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Throwing Mechanics

Are you new to baseball? If so you will quickly learn the most important skill to have is throwing. Everything in the game of baseball revolves around throwing the ball. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 or 55, throwing a baseball starts with building a solid foundation. Its all about the fundamentals. When you learn how to throw the right way not only will your game improve, but you will also protect yourself from injury.

Anytime you throw the ball it will place strain on your arm. However, you can limit the risk of injury by learning proper mechanics, warming up before you throw and limiting how much you throw. Below we will focus on how to grip the ball as that is the first step to throwing a baseball the right way.

How To Grip A Baseball

The first step is to find your grip. For best results, especially if you are a beginner, focus on the four seam grip. With this type of grip all four seams will rotate once you release the ball into the air. While each grip is different and will provide different results, the four seam grip usually allows you to throw the ball with greater speed and straighter than most other grips.

How To Execute The Four Seam Grip

This grip is relatively easy. Pick up the ball and notice how the seams are designed. They look like a horseshoe. Now take your middle finger and index finger and place them across the horseshoe shaped seams. Your thumb should be below the baseball. If you are a young player chances are your hands aren’t yet big enough to properly execute this grip. If that is the case just use your ring finger for added support. This will help stabilize the ball making it easier to grip.

You are now ready to throw the ball. When throwing the ball the most important thing is to make sure you release the ball with your fingers on top. When it comes to release points, you ultimately have to do whats most comfortable for you. Try to throw as close to directly over the top as you can. Doing so will put less strain and stress on your elbow. Check out this great resource for baseball glove reviews so you can catcher these four seems with ease!

Practice, Practice, Practice

Your natural throwing motion will be different than the next persons. That’s because we are all created different. No matter what your natural throwing motion, as long as you know the basic mechanics you will be just fine. The key is to keep practicing. Practice how fast you can throw the ball as well as how far you can throw it. Knowing the basic mechanics of throwing will allow you to get better at both. On the opposite side of things practice is also incredibly important. Oh…and so are the softball bats you use.

When you practice always use proper throwing techniques. This will help prevent injury to your shoulder and elbow. It will also translate into a real game.

Throwing a baseball will be easy for some and more difficult for others. Either way, it is a skill that anyone can learn if they put in the time. It is quite important for catchers as well. You should make it a point to play catch everyday. Pay close attention to your mechanics. Eventually you will be throwing like the pros. If you are looking for the best way to hit against the best of the best, you may want to check out this 2015 baseball bat reviews website. You can see brands like Easton, Demarini, and many more.

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