Fungo 101: Everything You Need To Know About This Unique Practice Bat

Fungo 101: Everything You Need To Know About This Unique Practice Bat

Published by Phoenix Bats on Friday June 21st 2019 12:58:59 PM

Fungo isn’t just an entertaining name. It’s also an incredibly useful tool for coaches who want a way to make fielding practice more precise and less tiring. If you haven’t used a fungo bat before, this post will tell you everything you need to know about this versatile practice tool. If you’re a seasoned user, it will give you some helpful inside information about choosing your next one. So let’s dig in.

What is a fungo bat?

A fungo is lighter, thinner and typically longer than a regulation game bat. Plus the barrel itself is longer. It is used by coaches to hit ground balls and fly balls to players during practice.

Why are fungo bats such popular practice tools?

Because they’re so light, fungo bats don’t wear coaches out like a regulation bat would, making it easier to hit more balls and practice more drills. They also allow coaches to hit the ball with more accuracy.

How do you hit a fungo?

The fungo is designed to hit balls tossed into the air rather than thrown pitches. Most coaches hold the ball in one hand, toss it up, grab the bat with both hands and still swing in plenty of time to hit the ball to their infielders or outfielders.

Are fungo bats legal for use in games?

Fungo bats are neither legal or illegal. They’re just not designed for use in game situations. Because they’re so light and thin, they would break very quickly against game speed pitching.

What’s a typically-sized fungo bat?

Most fungo bats are between 32 and 36 inches long, weighing somewhere between 18 and 22 ounces. They have a barrel diameter of 2¼-inches. By comparison, a game bat for a 12+ year old youth to adult player would be a minimum barrel diameter of 2½ inches.

What are fungo bats made from?

Most coaches prefer a wood fungo bat, since it gives the most control to hit to specific spots on the field. We’ve seen and tried plenty of fungo bats and the wood we prefer is birch. We think it provides the perfect balance between swingability and durability, and those attributes are key.

What are the different types of fungo bats?

We offer three different types of fungo bats: the Coach’s Fungo, the Pro Fungo and the Infield Fungo (which has the same specs as a softball fungo). Each is designed for a different need and preference.

The Coach’s Fungo is our most popular by about a 4:1 margin. A lot of younger coaches like it because it flares out at the end of the handle so there’s no real defined knob at the end. It’s a great choice for coaches whose hands don’t get too sweaty and don’t want them sliding down and banging against a defined knob.

Our Pro Fungo is the original-type fungo with the button-style knob at the end. It’s popular with “old-school” coaches who prefer that style, as well as those whose hands tend to get sweaty and want the knob there to keep the bat from flying out of their hands.

Our third fungo, the Infield Fungo, is heavier and thicker through the middle than the Coach’s or Pro fungo. It’s good for hitting ground balls with a little extra oomph behind them. While it’s not ideal for outfield baseballs, the extra weight makes it a durable choice for softball coaches.

What is the proper length and weight for a fungo bat?

The most popular length for a fungo bat is 34 inches, but the proper length is best determined by the coach who’s using it. Keep in mind that you’ll want a fungo that’s longer than your typical baseball bat, so if you’re used to hitting a 32-33-inch traditional bat, a 34-inch fungo might be a place to start. Our Coach’s and Pro Fungo bats are both -14 drop weights (14 ounces less than they are long), while our Infield Fungo is a -12 drop weight. The drop weights we use (length - drop weight = ounces) are based on years of experience crafting wood fungo bats. We believe they best balance the bats’ swingability and durability.

Should you tape the handle of a fungo bat?

Taping is totally a personal choice. A lot of coaches use athletic tape or hockey stick tape just to be able to handle it a little easier. Some prefer Lizard Skin grip wraps, which are a popular choice and have a bit more cushion to them. But the choice is entirely yours.

Can fungo bats be customized?

Absolutely. We have lots of color choices for barrels and handles alike, and we can add a logo and engraving, too.

So whether you’re looking to try a fungo for the first time or need a new one in your bag, keep these keys in mind. You’ll be adding an extremely useful tool to your coaching arsenal, making each swing a little easier and more purposeful, and developing finer fielders, too.

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