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Why Do Bats Sting Your Hands?

If you’ve ever played baseball then you know all too well what it’s like to get that sting in your hands after making contact with a baseball during your swing. Maybe the pitcher jammed you and your swing didn’t make it through the strike zone in time or maybe the ball was pitched outside and you made contact with the end of your bat. Either way, not making contact with the sweet spot of the bat seems like you’re just being punished.

So why do bats sting your hands? The reason bats sting during our swing is due to the vibrations from the bat making contact with the ball. Not hitting the ball with the sweet spot of the bat causes more vibrations, which causes the sting for the batter.

Hitter wearing number 12 making contact with a pitch

According to Science Daily, human hands are sensitive to vibration frequencies between 200-700 hertz and we experience the most pain when those frequencies are between 600-700 hertz.

You may still be wondering what the different causes are for the bat to make more of these painful vibrations. Let’s take a deeper look into why our hands hurt from performing our swing.

Poor Swings Can Sting Your Hands

Every baseball player has experienced the sting from making contact with the baseball, especially during colder weather, and it’s natural for all baseball players to wonder why their hand hurts after batting.

The number one reason the bat will sting your hands has to do with the quality of the swing.

If you swing and hit the ball, but miss the sweet spot of the bat, then chances are higher that your hands will sting.

The higher the quality of the swing, the higher the likelihood the ball will find the sweet spot of the bat (and prevent that dreaded sting from occurring).

Inside-Out Approach Exposes the Handle

A lot of players get a sting from the bat by taking an inside-out approach to the pitch.

While an inside-out approach is a great strategy for most players, taking an inside-out approach will keep the bat further back in the strike zone and expose more of the handle of the bat.

This approach results in the handle of the bat getting hit more often, which then causes the bat to vibrate and create that sting.

Hitting the Ball off the End of the Bat

Hitting the ball off the end of the bat is what most players would consider to be the worst sting you can get from swinging, especially when it’s cold.

Players are more likely to hit the ball off the end of the barrel when they pull their body away from the pitch or if they are swinging too early.

It’s important for players to stay balanced during their swing and to focus on driving the ball up the middle so they aren’t accidentally swinging too early.

Getting Jammed on a Pitch

Sometimes players will just get jammed on an inside pitch. If a player is not suspecting an inside fastball they may be starting their swing a little too late.

When their swing starts a little too late they will make contact with the pitch on the handle of their bat. If you’re one of the unlucky players to get jammed during an at-bat then you could end up with some fingers that are numb well after the game ends.

Swinging Late on an Outside Pitch

Just the opposite of being jammed, starting late on an outside pitch can lead to a sting from an at-bat. No one wants to be late on a pitch, but if you happen to be late on an outside pitch then there is a good chance you’ll be making contact with the very end of your bat.

Players at all levels have experienced this issue and have been rewarded with their hands stinging from making contact.

Cold Weather Prevents Bats From Expanding

Cold weather causes hands to sting more when making contact with a baseball. If you’ve ever played baseball in cold weather then you know this statement to be true.

Why does cold weather cause bats to sting? This has to do with how the baseball bat reacts in certain temperatures. The warmer the bat, the more it will be elastic and expand. Colder temperatures prevent bats from expanding, which causes more vibrations in the bat from making contact with the baseball.

Do Wood Bats Cause More Sting than Aluminum Bats?

There may be some discrepancies when comparing a specific wood bat to a specific aluminum bat, but in general, aluminum bats have wider sweet spots than wood bats. Due to the larger area for the sweet spot, aluminum bats will cause less sting than wood bats.

How To Reduce Bat Sting

Simply put, it hurts when the bat stings your hands. So it’s natural for players to wonder how to stop the bat from stinging their hands.

Although it’s impossible to reduce 100% of the sting, there are some tools designed to help you reduce bat sting.

Using Batting Gloves Reduces Sting

Batting gloves are a great first step in trying to reduce bat sting. In fact, batting gloves are probably the best bat-sting reducer.

Batting gloves will absorb some of the shock associated with the increased vibrations from the bat. If possible, try finding some batting gloves with additional padding.

If you’re in the market for batting gloves, I recommend looking at the high-quality batting gloves made by Bruce Bolt. Learn more about the current price of Bruce Bolt batting gloves on Amazon or learn more about why Bruce Bolt batting gloves are worth the cost.

Bat Grips Reduce Bat Sting

If batting gloves don’t help then it may be time to try wrapping the handle in an extra layer of tape.

Bat grips help with your grip, but this extra layer of tape will also help absorb the vibrations from the bat and decrease the sting from making contact.

I prefer to use Lizard Skin bat grips on my bats. They’re considered one of the best bat grips out there and I think they’re worth the money.

Use a Thumb Guard

Using a rubber thumb guard can be another great way to absorb the vibrations from the bat. This rubber acts as a barrier between your hands and the bat and reduces the sting when you accidentally miss the sweet spot of the bat.

While I’ve never used a thumb guard when hitting, I have seen others use them. And the most common thumb guards I’ve noticed are these VanCho thumb guards you can get from Amazon.

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Steve Nelson

I'm the owner of Baseball Training World. I live in Denver, Colorado and I enjoy playing baseball in an adult baseball team in the surrounding area. Read more about Steve Nelson.

2 thoughts on “Why Do Bats Sting Your Hands?”

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