What Bats and Batting Gloves Do Pro Baseball Players Use? Here’s Your 2023 MLB Hitting Report
We recently brought you the 2023 Glove Report so it’s only natural that we follow up with the tools of the trade for the offensive side of the game. Unlike leather, Big Leaguers have proven to be more open to having different brands in the rotation for when they step into the box. Here is that breakdown:
Juan Soto swings a 34-inch Old Hickory Maple AJ25.
In order to make this report and the others like it, WPW spends the year cataloging MLB starters (not including pitchers) equipment based on Baseball-Reference.com’s team pages, as well as a few others. When it comes to what the pros are swinging, we focus on what bat or bats each starter uses the most. It’s also important to note that some of these guys will use a plethora of brands throughout the season, but WPW focuses on the two brands that they are most loyal to.
2023 Bats Used By MLB Starters
Victus and Marucci maintained their same exact percentages from 2022 to 2023 at 24 and 22, respectively, accounting for nearly half of the league.
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What Bats Do MLB Starters Use?
2023 Bats Swung By MLB Starters
In 2023, league-wide bat usage did not change too much.
Nearly 75% of bats used by MLB starting hitters come from four companies: Victus, Marucci, Louisville Slugger, and Chandler. Louisville Slugger dropped a percentage point, while Old Hickory saw an even bigger decline (-4%). On the other hand, Chandler saw a very solid jump from eight to 13.
Here’s a look at the seven major brands being swung around the MLB:
Victus | 23.5% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-0.9%) from 2022
Victus has only been making bats since 2012 and may have the most impressive rise amongst bat companies as it only took them 10 years to beat out the powerhouse bat makers like Louisville Slugger, which has made bats since the 1800s. After taking over the league in 2021 and becoming the most widely used bat amongst MLB starters, Victus has continued to grow in popularity.
Kiké Hernández loading his Victus lumber into the bat rack at RingCentral Coliseum.
Victus is swung by young stud Adley Rutschman, who posted a strong .277/.374/.435 slash line in his sophomore campaign with the ADLEY35. Fernando Tatis Jr. also swings his own signature model – the TATIS23. Although Victus was acquired in 2017 by Marucci, they’ve continued to operate independently.
25-year old Adley Rutschman steps in to the batter’s box.
See all of our featured Victus bats here.
Marucci | 21.5% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-0.9% from 2022)
Marucci holds second position with nearly the same share of starters since 2019. After the savvy acquisition of Victus in 2017, the two brands are used by a combined 45% of MLB starters.
Trea Turner looks up into the stands holding a Marucci BH3.
Luis Arraez follows through using a Marucci NC23-M.
Luis Arraez, who won the batting title in the American League following a stellar 2022, repeated as such over in the National League last season. Other notables include:
See all of our featured Marucci bats here.
Louisville Slugger | 14% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-1% from 2022)
Ronald Acuña Jr. picks up a hit with his signature model Louisville Slugger RA13.
Louisville Slugger saw a very small slip in its usage from 2022 to 2023, coming in at third and used by 14% of MLB starters. Louisville Slugger has been making bats since 1883 and is a staple in the baseball world. Here are a few more of the league’s best that rocked one of the oldest brands in baseball:
See all of our featured Louisville Slugger bats here.
Chandler | 13% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (+2.5% from 2022)
Chandler Bats jumped up another 2.5% for the second straight season. After being rescued from bankruptcy when Yoenis Cespedes purchased the Chandler bat company in 2019, Chandler quickly reestablished itself among Big League power hitters. Here are some of the other sluggers that join Ohtani on the list of players swinging Chandler Bats:
See all of our featured Chandler bats here.
Old Hickory | 6% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (-4% from 2022)
Christian Vázques’s Old Hickory maple bats.
Old Hickory dropped another couple points for a second straight season, but their roster still carries a list of very decorated names. Their quality has still remained to the standards of J.D. Martinez, Mike Trout, and Nolan Shanuel. Other names include:
See all of our featured Old Hickory bats here.
Tucci Lumber | 4.4% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (+1.9% from 2022)
MJ Melendez using his Tucci Lumber bat during the 2023 season.
Tucci slotted in behind Old Hickory for the six-spot as the most used bat in the bigs, seeing their fleet double from one year to the next. Two-time All-Star Bo Bichette has continued rocking with the Indiana-based company, with MJ Melendez and Xander Bogaerts joining the mix as well.
See all of our featured Tucci Lumber bats here.
Dove Tail Bat | 2.7% of Bats Used by MLB Starters (+0.6% from 2022)
Two-time All-Star, Silver Slugger, and Batting Champion Jeff McNeil swinging his DTB.
Offering a bunch of different knob styles, such as the Pro-XR, puck knob, and the style McNeil swings (above), Dove Tail Bat has been very popular in Queens. Pete Alonso and Mark Canha joined their teammate in picking up DTBs, with Harrison Bader, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez also taking a liking to the company that made its Big League debut in 2014.
No wood bat is complete without a perfectly applied pine tar job, as seen here on Josh Naylor’s gamers.
These are the remaining brands swung by MLB starters:
B459Overfly7Birdman6Homewood5Rawlings4Sam Bat4SSK4Cooperstown2Max2Trinity2Tater2Phoenix2Mizuno1Mark Lumber1Warstick1Asics1Zinger1Under Armour1
More MLB Hitter Insights
ProHitter Hitting Aid Used by 54% of MLB Starters (+1% from 2022)
ProHitter is a small hitting aid worn around the thumb that provides padding between the thumb and index finger. According to their website, ProHitter helps the batter improve the position of the bat in their hands which in turn leads to an increase in bat speed and an uptick in power. The rubber also absorbs some vibration off the bat leading to less sting. The tiny piece has been a tremendous success in MLB as it, and similar pieces like the Thumbpro, are worn by a whopping 147 MLB starters (a 10% jump from two years ago!), including Aaron Judge and Austin Riley.
Teoscar Hernandez rocking a Pro Hitter on his top hand.
ProHitter is worn on the top hand and designed to maximize extension and bat speed. Over half of MLB starters can’t be wrong. It just may be worth the $12-$14 cost at Dick’s.
Lizard Skins Bat Wraps Used by 51% of MLB Starting Hitters (No change from 2022)
One of many the bats around the MLB donning the Lizard skins grip tape.
Another hitting accessory that elevated from “popular” to “dominant:” Lizard Skins. While Lizard Skins have been a popular grip in past years, we saw 140 starters use them in 2023. Marucci acquired Lizard Skins back in 2021, and with Marucci and Victus (a Marucci company) being used by around half the league this information comes as no shock. Lizard Skins has been a popular alternative to standard tape in the MLB for a decade now, and are available at Baseball Express for $15-$18.
Franklin Batting Gloves | Worn by 44.5% of MLB Starting Hitters (+2.5% from 2021)
Elly De La Cruz’s Franklin CFX Pro batting gloves.
Franklin slightly dropped in their usage across the league from 44.5% in 2022 to 41% in 2023. With a number of different options of high-quality batting gloves – including the CFX Pro, Pro Classic, and Powerstrap – they have a comfortable 33-player lead on Nike. Here’s a few of the hitters using the league’s most popular batting gloves:
See all of our featured Franklin batting gloves here.
Nike Batting Gloves | Worn by 29% of MLB Starting Hitters (-3% from 2022)
Bo Bichette’s Player Exclusive Nike Batting Gloves.
Nike usage dropped a tad from 2022, which had 32% of MLB starting hitters rocking the swoosh. Nike, the official uniform of MLB, has been #2 behind Franklin for the past couple of years. Still, the brand’s magnetic attraction has lured a talented group of players. This includes:
See all of our featured Nike batting gloves here.
Adidas Batting Gloves | Worn by 9% of MLB Starting Hitters (+1% from 2022)
Luis Robert rocking the three stripes.
After Franklin and Nike, there’s a pretty steep dropoff with Adidas coming in third. Adidas’ roster has a lot of talent, all of which rock the long-standing Adidas Adizero 4.0 Batting Gloves (Available at BaseballExpress.com for $20-$35). Here’s some of Adidas’ heavy hitters:
See all of our featured Adidas batting gloves here.
Here are the remaining batting glove brands worn by MLB starting hitters:
Under Armour16Bruce Bolt11Jordan Brand5Lizard Skins5Mizuno5Marucci 4None4JAX2New Balance2Chandler1Asics 1Easton1Rawlings1
Trent Grisham is one of few MLB starters that is known to go gloveless in the batters box.
And a drumroll for final category up for consideration in the WPW 2022 Bat Report: men who go barehanded at the plate. This category contains four MLB starters, and here they are:
Trent GrishamMatt CarpenterHenry DavisJoey Wendle
For our loyal readers who made it all the way to the end of this report, check out cool detailing on Masataka Yoshida’s Under Armour batting gloves.
What do you think about our 2023 MLB bat and batting glove report? Let us know in the comments.
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