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August 25, 2020 | by Brian Duryea | @BatDigest
We used HitTrax to compare the 2020 Louisville Slugger Meta vs 2021 Mizuno Hot Metal B21
Our 18-year-old had fun comparing a single piece aluminum in the Mizuno Hot Metal to Slugger’s 2020 Meta. We’d guess most would predict the Meta to destroy the otherwise unknown Hot Metal from Mizuno. However, those on the inside of the bat industry know the Hot Metal is a ball killer. It showed as much here as it performed as well as the Meta (if not better) in most categories. Granted, the Hot Metal does have a heavier swing weight by about 5%. So, the higher exit velocities are not surprising.
After 30 hits on each bat, rotating every five to ten hits, the hitter did “better” with the Hot Metal by 0.3 mph. In practice, that is all but no difference whatsoever. 0.3 mph means all of 1 foot on the best of hit balls.
We used an 18-year-old that is 5 foot 11 and 200 pounds. This is a power hitter who can swing a 33-inch. We are not surprised they did very well with the single piece, end-loaded Hot Metal from Mizuno.
NOTE: We’ve measured thousands of bats over the years. We’ve found, in large measure, bat results are very hitter dependent. Most comparisons we do are very, very close. The 1 or 2 mile per hour difference is hard to attribute only to the barrels performance. We think the hitter determines upwards of 70% of the exit speeds. The other 30% is the bat.
After 30 hits, the maximum velocity achieved by this particular player on the Meta is 80.9. For the Hot Metal, it was 91.0. Again, a very close comparison with the advantage to the Hot Metal—which also swings a measurable amount heavier.
After measuring as many bats exit speeds as we have, we’ve found that swing weight is an essential factor in determining exit speeds. Without surprise, bats that weigh more can also hit the ball farther—assuming you can maintain the same bat speed.
The swing weight, also known as MOI, which stands for Mass Moment of Inertia, was 9045 fo the Meta and 9466 for the Hot Metal. This 400 point swing represents a 4 to 5% change in swing weight. Most players can tell, just by feel, the difference between 4 and 5%. Much less than that spread, and it is tough to tell.
Composite and aluminum have different enough properties that comparing barrel compressions likely doesn’t attain much utility. However, we think compression—which is how difficult it is to make the barrel compress—is a good indicator of exit speeds. We aren’t sure, though, this comparison is that useful. But, it might still be fun to observe.
The Meta has a 1200 lb compression while the Hot Meta has a 1550 lb compression. This was 6 inches from the end cap.