As a college baseball player I get my options of a few different team purchased bats to use every year. In the past the NCAA has allowed bats with a BESR certification, but this year they have moved to a new BBCOR baseball bat standard which is supposed to reduce ball exit speed off the bat.
My bat of choice in previous years has always been the Demarini Vexxum. I have had many successful seasons using the Demarini Vexxum, and assumed this years model would be just as good even with the new baseball bat standards in college baseball.
As our spring season is getting underway I pulled out the new Demarini Vexxum in batting practice to try it out. Aesthetically the bat was very easy on the eye. I just couldn’t wait to see how it hit in practice. I expected some good results.
After a few swings the first thing I noticed was the sound off the bat was different. It didn’t have that loud ping like most other metal bats have. It had more of a thud sound. It wasn’t very appealing to the ear. Even when you hit a ball square as well as you can hit it, the sound just wasn’t rewarding. At least with even a wood bat you get a rewarding crack of the bat when you know you squared up a pitch.
Not only did the bat sound bad, but the results weren’t great either. Balls that I have hit in the past that I knew would have been a home run in batting practice bounced two or three times before it rolled to the fence. The Demarini Vexxum really restricted ball flight, and exit speed off the bat.
College baseball might be changing as we know it this year. With the change to the BBCOR bats the game will have fewer home runs and scores much lower. The game is definitely changing in favor of the pitching. As far as safety things are changing for the better, but as a hitter it is changing for the worst. The Demarini Vexxum was disappointing in 2011. I will have to look for a new bat to use this year.