After undergoing wrist surgery last year, outfielder David Peralta says he’ll be switching to an ax-handled bat, making him the third Diamondbacks player to make the change in the past two years.
The Axe Bat, made by Baden Sports, is different from a regular bat in the way the handle is designed. Rather than a round knob, the Axe Bat has a sort of ergonomic design that features an oval grip for the bottom hand and a flat backside rather than knob that goes all the way around. Some hitter say the result is a bat that feels more natural in their hands.
Peralta will join Jake Lamb and Chris Owings as Diamondbacks players who use Axe Bats.
“I think it’s going to be better for my hand,” Peralta said. “It feels good. Everybody’s starting to use it. I guess it’s getting popular. I’m not doing it for that; I’m doing what’s best for my hand. I started trying it in January and it feels good. I think it takes a little more pressure off your hand when you’re swinging. Whatever I have to do to take care of myself, I’m going to do it.”
Peralta said that with a normal bat he sometimes feels discomfort in his bottom hand as a result of the knob. He says he feels more “free” in his swing with the ax-handled bat.
Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is perhaps most high-profile player in the majors to use it, and he began using it because he was coming off surgery on his hand. Lamb began using it for the same reason.
“I just like the way it feels in my hand,” Lamb said. “I’ve had some hand problems in the past so it feels better than other bats.”
Lamb continued, “I think it helps pulling your hands through the zone. It helps with being in a strong position at contact. That’s kind of when I’ve noticed. At the same time, I’m not swinging it for that reason. I’m swinging it because it feels better on my hand. That’s why I switched.”
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Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.