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Baseball is back. It seems like a year ago that the 33” 2020 Meta was banned, causing players and parents all over the U.S. to lose their minds. I mean, if a kid doesn’t have a bat that has been on the market for all of 5 seconds, how will they possibly survive?
As soon as the NCAA and NFHS ban took place, the prices of 2019 33” Metas skyrocketed to double or triple the amount, then poof, no high school or college ball.
Covid-19’s unfortunate end to NCAA Spring sports prevented us from tracking bats used in the 2020 CWS, but we were able to do that in 2019. If there is one thing we have learned over the years — the one thing folks still don’t seem to realize — is that when you assume you know what the “top” players swing, they bust out something random or super old. (See Kyle Schwarber).
The 2019 Meta wasn’t the only bat to shatter the market with an inflated price while no one was playing baseball. Yesterday, I happened to scroll through a bat forum and saw a person selling a two piece “The Goods” 33” for $700. I had to re-read the post because I assumed it was a misprint. Then I went to eBay, and my shock was confirmed.
Let me back up first. We all know the stories about over-inflated bat prices at the youth level, but now it’s BBCOR’s turn during a pandemic. We all know the story of the person who sells a NIW -10 Demarini neon big barrel or 2017 CF Zen. The price goes upwards of $750-$1500, people lose their minds, the bat gets purchased, and a parent smiles as their kid shows up to the plate. To each his/her own.
Now, whether that kid bats .086 on the season or hits 25 HRs is not known in our tale. However, at the youth level, we have seen a larger sample size and known (excess of) performance standards that are much higher than BBCOR. After all, the sole reason the USA Baseball standard even exists was to maintain the “integrity” of the game. Nothing else. Close to four years from the August 2015 press release, and no one has defined “integrity.”
But I digress. While anyone is free to buy what they want, the sad part is that data could have provided that kid and parent with a much cheaper, better fitting option, but as I’m noticing lately, it’s “data schmayta” for many folks out there.
Back to The Goods. How did this two-piece hybrid bat go from a relatively unknown release masquerading as an updated Voodoo Insane to become a $700 bat during a pandemic with nary a sample size?
Speaking of sample size, in the 2019 CWS, The Goods generated eight hits, a double and an HR – very similar to other bats you can get used for far less on eBay. We also know that the National Champions didn’t use it, but it’s worth $700 now.
(Note on this graphic, for 2019 CWS, The Goods single piece was not yet released and available to these hitters. So, The Goods is the two-piece version. See more comments on this chart here).
So we have a pandemic, no high school or college ball, and a 2020 hybrid has doubled in price?
Then I saw a description on eBay:
The Goods is the undisputed champion of BBCOR bats. They tested all 2020 BBCOR bats on the market, and this bat was the undisputed champion of them all. Now, read that last sentence with either the theme from “Rocky” or the Lord of the Rings intro in your head.
Hold it right there.
And that is how social media just doubled the price of a bat.
The seller is referring to the Baseball Bat Bros. I throw no shade their way. I love their videos, and I like it when I get notifications of a new video. Assuming I am correct that this caused the inflation, it appears that the subjective opinions of two men with more power than the average human has turned a $350 bat into a $700 unicorn overnight.
Demarini must be thrilled. Another one of their bats achieved GOAT status without the need for banning them or filling warranty claims. Since the same parent company owns Slugger and Demarini, both can boast of having cornered the market on the best bat inflation on the planet.
It is not the Bros. fault either. They are having fun, they liked the bat, they hit the ball far, and they benefit from end-loaded bats. All “Good.” (insert Dad joke here).
For the rest of you who consider a $700 sticker price, are you basing your purchasing off a YouTube video with zero comparisons to your kid? How about any data or any comprehension of their swing? And what kid has $700 sitting next to their PS4? Maybe grandma and grandpa just can’t say no to that smile.
How many kids swing a 33” end-loaded stick anyway? Not a lot, but it sounds like the hype is going to cause more and more kids to try to swing The Goods than ever before.
I can feel a cool breeze outside my window from barrel lag.
The bottom line is this. We have so much access to data, charts, video, and social media to help us make informed decisions. If you want to throw it all out the window, that’s fine. For the cost of “The Goods” on the secondary market, you could buy a Bonesaber, 3-4 OG CWS bats from eBay, extra lessons, some weights, heavy balls, and lots of other good stuff.
(Or, why not buy the Voodoo Insane, which is all but the same bat and found for a fraction of the price. Or, better yet, a Voodoo Balanced, which is the same bat with a swing weight the average high school kid can handle).
Then again, if you can afford all that and the bat, what’s money anyway. Just make sure your kid can handle a bat most kids won’t.
By the way, when you watched the videos of the hitters that went in Rounds 1-5 of the 2020 MLB draft, show me how many of them swung a Red Meta or The Goods last year. (The answer, if you must know, is approaching zero).
Once again, bat marketing and bat hype got us. It got us Good.