Bat Digest supports our readers with thousands of hours of independent testing to help you find the bats that work best for you, your swing, and your budget. You support us through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission.
The articles on this site are by parents and players who have real experience with bats. Brian Duryea, the owner of this site, has written most. Through the years, he has met several online and elsewhere that like to contribute occasionally too.
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About Brian Duryea
Brian founded Bat Digest (formerly known as Just Bat Reviews) in 2014. The site was born out of necessity. He was looking for a new bat for his son by comparing the previous year to a new model. The bats looked identical except for the paint job and a $100 difference in price. So, as many would have, he bought both.
When he received them, he took the bats to the field for testing. Both he and his sons used the bats. He then read a few scientific physics articles on a bat’s performance, sent a few emails to the bat’s manufacturer, and built a DIY device to measure swing weight by hanging ropes from the beams in his basement. The information he gained from those experiments and real swings he compiled in his first bat review: The 2014 Combat Portent.
To his surprise, the review got traction. He quickly learned he wasn’t the only dad out there, sorting through the marketing hype of bat manufacturers.
With a love of baseball and a Dad’s desire to hit, his hobby soon turned into an obsession.
Since the early days of 2014, Brian has led the industry in independent bat reviews. Some of his accomplishments include:
- Writing over 1,500 articles on bats with a combined total word count nearing 1,000,000.
- Writing and published more about baseball and softball bats than anyone in the history of the world.
- Swinging at least 400 different models of bats since the site’s inception.
- Recording and watching others swing different bats at least 10,000 times.
- Interviewing every bat manufacturer.
- Learning from several bat engineers.
- Developing practical solutions for bat size charts and swing weight testing for the average consumer.
- Publishing articles on bats that have been read by more than 4 million people.
- Getting interviewed by the New York Times, twice, for his ‘bat expertise.’
- Consulting with significant companies on bat design.
- Surveying tens of thousands of individual bat buyers about their experience with bats.
- Working with dozens of experienced writers to deliver content on BatDigest.com.
- Fielding an uncountable number of questions from readers and manufacturers alike.
His fundamental desire, aside from to do some good in the world, is he loves to hit. He is proud of his max exit speed at 96mph on a drop 5 USSSA CF Zen. Although now in his young 40’s, he still believes he has a chance to clip 100. He lives in Utah with his wife and seven children–many of which help him in his endeavors to review every bat.
The best way to reach him is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the past six years, we have dedicated thousands of hours reviewing and writing about baseball and softball bats. Our insight comes from living it—as we travel the country, joining many of our readers, playing in high-level tournaments as well as local rec leagues.
We think the massive attribute that separates our insight compared to so-called industry reviews is that our reviews are authentic. We are not living bat performance through others or deriving our insight from manufacturer bullet points or anonymous review boards. Bats feel a certain way at contact—we know this because we hit with them. Bat’s have different exit velocities relative to each other depending on the impact speed—we know this because we measure them.
Our experience with bat performance is not from some Facebook group, either. Instead, it is recorded by watching players at the plate—day in and day out. It is documented by watching real at-bats from real players and then talking to them about it afterward. We know what bats are good because it matters to us on Thursday night at the local field or a Saturday in July at a national tournament in Las Vegas or Phoenix or Fort Lauderdale.
Amateur baseball is our passion. Our reviews are our own and have biases no doubt, all ballplayers have preferences, but those biases aren’t born from inventory levels or enforced by our employer. They exist because we try to develop players and win baseball and softball games. And, in that process, we find what bats and gear work for what type of player. Then, we write about it.
Our Promise to Readers
We will never sell bats. We may very well have biases, all players and parents do, but we do not form our opinion by our inventory levels or our employment contract. Too many so-called review sites or Facebook groups are bat reps or companies trying to drive the conversation their direction. We promise our independence.
If that information is helpful to you, we can only hope. But, in the end, it’s the most we can promise.