Disclaimer: This site uses affiliate links. Learn More.
We took our Rapsodo hitting device and tested pre and post-break-in exit speed velocities on a brand new out of the wrapper 2018 Rawlings Quatro in a 31-inch drop 10. We found a slight increase in ball exit speed (1.0 mph faster) after the 200+ swing break-in period.
Although the exit speed is positively correlated with the USABat Quatro break-in, we are not ready to make such a claim for every bat. The data is encouraging enough to assume that what manufacturers have been telling us for years is true: composite bats perform better after they are broken in.
30 Hits Fresh out of the WrapperAvg: 58.4mph Rapsodo Exit Velo
30 Hits After 200+ Work In HitsAvg: 59.4 mph Rapsodo Exit Velo
Pre Break-In Composite Exit Velocity
Post Break-In Composite Exit Velocity
We hit the Quatro off a tee 250 times. Between each hit, we rotated the bat between a 1/8th and a 1/4 of a turn. Although not always successful, we rotated between hitting the ball on the inside of the sweet spot and the sweet spot. We also used several different hitters and did our best to use hitters that were much stronger than what the bat required.
6 Steps to Break-In in a Composite Baseball or Softball Bat
The scientific answer to that question is not possible for us to answer with the limited data and resources we possess. Insight from articles like this from Dr. Russell at Penn State is where better answers can be formed.
Our anecdotal test says that the composite Quatro appeared to improve in exit speed after it was broken in. Our 30 hits average increased by 1.2mph of exit speed or, at a perfect angle, about 5 feet of distance. If you are playing on a 210-foot fence, then 5 feet might be all the difference you need.
We think it likely other composite bats run similar in terms of break-in and changes in exit velocity. And as such, we suggest you break in your composite baseball or softball bat with at least 200+ hits to get better performance.