Check out the size of the bat Bryce Harper is swinging in the first half this video, which was posted to YouTube this week. It's a 36-inch, 47-ounce Marucci, custom made for the 2010 No. 1 draft pick.
If you're not familiar with bat sizes, that's like swinging a tree trunk. Most major-leaguers use bats between 32-34 inches and 30-34 ounces. Many years ago, sluggers would sometimes use heavy bats, notably Babe Ruth, who reportedly started his career using a 54-ouncer but in his prime was at about 40. I held one on the 54-ouncers in a Hall of Fame exhibit, and it's tough to imagine swinging it with any speed.
Heavier bats hit the ball farther (look here for more than you ever wanted to know on the subject), but it's a tradeoff for bat speed. Even though players are bigger than ever now, most sacrifice bat size for the confidence they can catch up to a 100-mph fastball -- and be assured Harper would look a lot different taking those hacks against Aroldis Chapman than in a BP setting. I asssume the monster bat is just for show and the 34-ounce models shown later in the video are his game bats.
(Also, in case you were curious, the bible verse Harper has engraved on his bats, Luke 1:37, reads "With God nothing shall be impossible.")
Anyway, just an interesting video on a slow news day.
-- David Andriesen