Fungo Bat vs Regular Bat – What’s The Difference?
Becoming a good baseball player takes a ton of effort and countless hours of practice.
And while we all know how hard it is to master pitching and hitting, learning to play infield and outfield is just as grueling.
It can be very tiresome for both coaches and the players. Fortunately, some pieces of equipment can make these difficult tasks a bit easier.
Among those, the fungo bat is perhaps the most helpful.
Fungo bat is an irreplaceable training tool that allows coaches to run endless repetitions of fielding drills with much less fatigue and less injury risk.
When deciding on fungo bat vs regular bat for training purposes, the choice is clear.
While they’re not particularly useful in real games, fungo bats offer many advantages when it comes to practice.
Below, I’ll explain why are they so effective as a practice tool and what separates them from standard bats.
Fungo Bat vs Regular Bat – What’s the Difference?
When comparing fungo bat vs regular bat, the difference is obvious, even at just a glance.
The design and construction of these two types of bats are notably different.
Fungo bats are thinner, longer, and lighter. This is because fungo bats are designed to hit the balls that are gently tossed in the air.
The balls hit with the fungo bat have to be, more than anything accurate. How far and how fast they will fly is of less importance.
On the other hand, with regular bats, players hit pitched balls or balls coming out of the pitching machine.
These pitches can easily reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, so they have to be tougher, sturdier, and less prone to breakage.
Fungo bats are longer than standard bats.
The regular bats can’t be longer than 34 inches. The length of fungo bats is commonly between 35 and 37 inches.
Fungo bats also don’t weigh as much as regular bats.
The bats used in games and for batting practices can have different weights depending on the competition levels.
Still, they are rarely less than 30 ounces for adult leagues. They are often significantly heavier than that, at 33-34 ounces.
Fungo bats are nowhere near that weight, and most of them are between 17 and 22 ounces.
This allows coaches to hold them in one hand only, and use the other hand for tossing the ball.
Again, the barrel diameter depends on the league and age, but in general, fungo bats have thinner barrels than regulation bats.
The barrel diameter of fungo bats almost never exceeds 2 1/4 inches. This allows better control, more accuracy, and quicker swing speed.
Benefits of a Fungo Bat
- Chinese whitewood: great feel and lightweight design
- Infield fungo design: lightweight with 35'' length for better control in infield work
- Sanded handle: better grip and great feel
- Superior combination of lightweight and durable
Fungo bats are among the most useful practice tools coaches have at their disposal.
They’re used to simulate real-game hits to help position players work on their fielding skills.
A proper fielding practice demand numerous repetitions and hundreds of balls sent to the fielders.
If coaches (or parents) were using the regulation bats, they would quickly get tired due to their weight and weight distribution.
As we all know, coaches and parents are usually not in the best shape, so fatigue would catch up with them rather quickly.
If nothing else, their shoulders and arms would get sore pretty fast.
As fungo bats are much lighter, they allow coaches to hit numerous balls to fielders without getting too tired.
Better Accuracy and Swing Speed
Fungo bats also allow coaches to hit the balls more accurately.
As they are longer and lighter, coaches can have better control of the swing and easily send the balls exactly where they want them for a certain drill.
They can hit ground balls, fly balls, or backoffs with a lot of precision and put their player in specific simulated in-game situations.
Plus, due to less weight, they can hold the bat in one hand and toss the ball with the other.
Durability and Cost Saving
Using fungo bats at practice allows teams to save regular bats for games and prevent their wear and tear.
As fungo bats are used only with tossed balls and not with thrown pitches or balls from pitching machines, they don’t face too much stress.
This makes them more durable and decreases the costs of buying new bats.
The lifespan of fungo bats can even be prolonged by taping them to prevent splitting and flaking.
Are there any Alternatives to Using a Fungo Bat for Fielding Practice?
- Weight: 1.6 lbs (25.6 oz)
- Scientifically weighted to easily and accurately slap baseballs or softballs all over the field
In case you don’t own a fungo bat, there are some alternatives you can use for fielding practice but they’re rarely that efficient.
Of course, if you have no other option, you can use the regular bat. However, you will likely lose some accuracy and get tired much quicker.
Another option is a Fungo Racket , a piece of practice equipment sold by some of the baseball manufacturers such as Accubat.
It looks a lot like a tennis racquet, hence the name.
The Fungo Racket is rather light so it is helpful for long fielding practices with many hit balls and is rather accurate.
However, it’s not as durable as the fungo bat and lacks the authentic feel of a baseball bat.
Is Wood or Metal Better for Fungo Bats?
Fungo bats are commonly made of either wood or metal (aluminum in most cases).
Which one you will choose depends mostly on personal preference and which type are you more comfortable using.
Both types have their advantages and drawbacks.
Metal fungo bats are typically more durable and can take more beating. They’re harder to break and don’t have issues with splitting or flaking.
In addition, they are easier to store.
Metal bats can survive improper storage during the offseason as they can withstand harsh environments and are resistant to various weather conditions.
On the other hand, most coaches testify that they have a better feel with wooden fungo bats.
It gives them more control over the speed and direction of a hit ball. Typically, at higher levels of baseball, coaches prefer wooden fungo bats .
In addition, bats made of wood don’t produce the annoying ping sound.
The thing that comes before every success on the baseball field is quality practice.
Proper baseball training, besides a lot of time invested, also involves the use of the best possible training equipment.
Fungo bats are among those pieces of equipment that make the practice much more efficient and easier.
They’re extremely beneficial to both coaches and players.
Using fungo bats has been a staple in baseball for more than two centuries and they have over and over proven their value in fielding practices.
They are an essential tool that helps coaches create simulated game scenarios and prepare their players for the real thing.
Last update on 2023-03-29 at 16:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API