Fungo Bat – Product Review – Easton MLF5 & MLF6

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Fungo Bat – Coach’s best friend

PRODUCT: Easton MLF 5 and MLF 6 Fungo Bat

PRICE: $44.77 to $59.99Fungo bat - product review

CHEAPEST PLACE TO BUY: Amazon.com

SIZE: MLF 5 -37 INCHES, MLF 6 – 34 INCHES

WARRANTY: NONE

RATING: 9



Easton MLF 5 and MLF 6 Product Review

fungo batEvery baseball practice for me starts the same way. I have the team go through their stretching and running. The team then throws to get their arms loose. At this point, we are going to break off and do some individual defensive drills. When we are done with individual drills the team gets together for the team defense portion of practice. This is when I reach for my trusted coaching companion. The fungo.


Like a lot of youth baseball coaches when I first started out I would grab one of the team bats and hit infield/ outfield. Then I got my first fungo bat. I have not used a youth baseball bat since.


The reason I am doing a review of these two products at the same time is simple. The only difference between them is the length. The MLF 5 is 37″ long and the MLF 6 is 34″ long. The length of the bat determines the whip that it will create. Whip equals power. So the harder you want to hit the ball the longer the fungo needs to be. However, you must remember, the longer the bat the harder it is to control.


The Easton MLF fungoes are strong and durable. They are made from rock hard North American maple wood. They have a large engraved barrel that makes them easy to swing. This is great for those long practices when you have to hit hundreds of balls. The cupped endcap makes the fungo really light weight.


My favorite feature of the Easton MLF fungo bat is that they come in 6 different color combinations. This will allow you to get the bat that you, as a coach, feel describes you best.fungo bat



Getting what you pay for

You can buy fungo bats for less money than the Easton models but you will get what you pay for. The Easton fungoes are going to give you consistent fly balls and ground balls swing after swing for a long time if you use them properly. Your fungo will last so long that when it finally does break, as all fungoes do, you will be sad.

« Better to buy one good fungo than to buy several cheap ones.»

The biggest key to making your fungo last is going to be how you hold the bat while you hit the ball. As with all wood bats, painted or not, there is a grain pattern. The manufacturers stamp their bats in the correct place so that you can get maximum performance out of your wood bat. You always want to hit with the label facing you. This gives the bat its greatest strength. So always hit with the label facing you if you hold the bat up by its handle directly in front of your face.



Conclusion

The Easton MLF 5 will give you a great fungo that is durable and easy to control. If you have never used a fungo before I would strongly suggest starting here. If you are planning on coaching players below the age of 13 I would also recommend this fungo bat. You don’t want to be hitting bombs over the 200-foot fence at practice.

The Easton MLF 6 is the fungo bat that you will want if you are an experienced fungo coach. You will also want this bat if you are working with outfielders on the big diamond. You will have to get used to the control of this bat, but before too long you will be hitting 280-foot fly balls with laser precision.

Easton has created a great version of an old time baseball staple.

Order yours online today and be the best coach you can be!

Thank you,

Coach Wood

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Best Youth Baseball Cleats- for younger players

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Best Youth Baseball Cleats- For Younger Players

This is a review of the best youth baseball cleats for younger players. We will compare cleats from Nike, New Balance and Under Armour. The purpose of this review is to give you a better understanding of what you are getting for your hard earned $$.



Nike

Nike offers four different cleats on their website nike.com for boys. These cleats range from size 10 to 7. The price and colors vary for each model. They have 2 mid-cut models and 2 low-cut models.



Nike Force Trout 3 ProBest Youth Baseball Cleats

This top of the line youth baseball cleat is priced at $62. It is a mid-cut cleat that boasts a synthetic leather and NIKE SKIN upper for durability. It also has Flywire cables to lock in fit. A Phylon midsole with NIKE AIR provides lightweight cushioning. It also has a twelve-cleat configuration to enhance traction.


While all of that sounds impressive and the fact that it comes in 5 colors will entice some of the younger shoppers there are quite a few negative reviews about this shoe. Most of the negativity revolves around the fact that NIKE designed this shoe with a fixed opening. There is no tongue on the shoe. It is one piece. While this is supposed to provide better support around the ankle it does make it very difficult to get a younger players foot into these cleats until they are broken in quite well.


For what you have to pay for the shoe I think you should at least be able to get your child’s foot into it without the use of a crowbar.



Nike Vapor Ultrafly Pro MCS

Best Youth Baseball CleatsThis is NIKE’s second most expensive model. At $47 this low-cut cleat offers a synthetic leather and TPU mesh upper for durability. Flywire technology for a lock-down fit, a Lunarlon midsole for lightweight cushioning, and solid rubber outsole with 11 cleats for traction and an inner sleeve that creates a sock-like fit.


All of these technical advances come in 2 colors, black with white or white with black. This is a sturdy shoe and if your player is going to log some miles will hold up inning after inning. The look is sharp and I found no complaints with this cleat.

 



Nike Vapor Ultrafly KeystoneBest Youth Baseball Cleats

This cleat is the hallmark of Nike cleats in my opinion. The Keystone model has been around for what seems like forever. A synthetic leather and TPU mesh upper for durability. The Phylon midsole providing lightweight cushioning. A solid rubber outsole with 12 spike configuration provides excellent traction, and an inner sleeve to provide a sock-like fit. All this and they added flex grooves to the sole that promote the natural movement of a players foot.


This staple of the Nike lineup comes in black or red and white. It is a basic cleat that will look good and provide the player with a lot of innings before it is ready to retire. The icing on the cake for this cleat is that it sells for $30.



«Click Here to Buy NIKE Cleats Now»


NIKE makes some of the best youth baseball cleats. They have been doing it for a long time and know what works. They run true to size. Well if you are Nike you are the size. The only negative to the Nike cleats is that they only come in standard width. So if you passed the wide foot gene onto your offspring these cleats might not fit them the best.



New Balance

New Balance offers two of the best youth baseball cleats on their website newbalance.com. The mid-cut runs from sizes 1 to 7. The low-cut is offered from size 10.5 to 7. The mid-cut model comes in one color, while the low-cut comes in four colors. Both models offer standard and WIDE widths.



New Balance Mid Cut 3000 Rubber Molded CleatBest Youth Baseball Cleats

This cleat is 8.9 ounces of big league support for little players. It Has a mesh/synthetic upper and rubber molded bottom. While there is not a lot of technical hype associated with these cleats they are what New Balance is all about. A good solid functional shoe that works for the person it is designed for.


New Balance is not big on telling you how good they are so I am going to have to do it for them. New Balance cleats are flat out comfortable. They look good and last a long time. OK, maybe I am not the best spokesperson for them either. It is just that there is not a lot of effort spent on the sizzle in the New Balance lineup. It is all about the substance.



New Balance 4040v3 Rubber Molded Cleat

Best Youth Baseball CleatsA lot like the mid cut cleat this low cut model is not going to bring the disco ball to the party. All though it does come in four colors, black and white, black and blue, black and orange and black and red.


It provides amazing mid-foot support, low profile cleats for superior grip and strategically placed cushioning so the other players have to play catch-up to you. It offers a camo lining. Durable synthetic upper and a trusted molded bottom.


New Balance does not give you a lot of options, but, the ones they do offer count. The fact that you can get all of their cleats in standard and wide width make it easy to find the cleat that will fit your young player the way they need it to.


When you are out on the field your equipment should work as hard as you do. The team at New Balance has made sure that will happen with these cleats. At $44.99 For either model, you can’t go wrong here. I would put these at the top of my list as the best youth baseball cleats.

«Buy New Balance Cleats Here»



Under Armour

Under Armour has quickly made a name for itself around the game of baseball. They provide good quality and take into consideration that players in team sports still have individual styles. UA has given youth players some options to customize their cleats while staying within a reasonable budget. All of this makes for some of the best youth baseball cleats available today.


Under Armour offers 8 different youth baseball shoe options. I am going to go over three of them. They offer 3 low-cut models, Four mid-cut models, and a low-cut turf/ trainer model. The cleats range in price from $54.99 on the high end to $22.99 on the low end. Under Armour offers several different color options that vary from shoe to shoe.



Under Armour MLB Switch Low Jr.Best Youth Baseball Cleats

The MLB Switch Jr has a synthetic leather upper for step-in comfort and durability. A mesh tongue adds breathability to help keep the foot dry. A full-length EVA midsole for cushioning and comfort and dispersed cleat pressure. While the rubber molded cleats provide traction for all field surfaces.


Best Youth Baseball CleatsAll of this is really cool for you but, the hook that will reel your young player in will be the clear window on the tongue that they can put their team color in. They also have the option of placing the logo of their favorite MLB team or their own name or number in this slot.


All of this is offered by Under Armour for just $39.99. If you can find a customized cleat for less than that please let me know.



Under Armour Leadoff MidBest Youth Baseball Cleats

With a synthetic leather upper that provides durability and support. This cleat is a top seller. It has a mesh tongue for breathability keeping the foot cool and dry all game long. The full-length EVA midsole adds comfort, cushioning and disperses cleat pressure. While the rubber molded cleats provide great traction on the field.


This cleat is available in 6 color combinations that I am not even going to try to describe. You have to see these cleats to believe how good they look. For only $37.99 your young player will stand out on the field wearing a pair of these. If their game is as flashy as the shoes on their feet your superstar will be hoisting a trophy at the season’s end.



Under Armour Ultimate TurfBest Youth Baseball Cleats

This is a product that many parents will want to invest in. The $54.99 price tag won’t seem that expensive when your ballplayer is wearing these to all the indoor practices instead of his school shoes.


They are built to stand up to the rigors of the off-season workouts or be worn to and from the field for practice. They can be used in practice, or for games if you are playing on artificial turf fields.


Constructed of a combination synthetic leather and lightweight breathable mesh they are durable. Packed with high rebound SuperFoam® insole they absorb shock. The full-length Micro G® midsole gives better feel and stability. Finally, the anatomically inspired non-marking rubber outsole provides traction for multiple surfaces.


Knowing what kids shoes go through isn’t it a smart choice to provide them with a durable and similar shoe to the one they will be playing in when they practice too.

«Shop Under Armour Youth Baseball Cleats»



When shopping for youth baseball cleats you should take into consideration that your child probably won’t wear out the shoe. So at the end of the season, there will be plenty of innings left in the shoe. Chances are they won’t fit your child by the time they need the shoe again. If you have the opportunity donate your shoes to a local charity or a younger player who’s family doesn’t have the means to buy new cleats. Too many kids miss out on the lessons and fun that youth baseball has to offer because they just can’t afford the equipment. Open your heart and help build a dream.


Looking for a place to Donate? Best youth baseball cleats


OUR MISSION (From Pitch in for Baseball website)

Pitch In For Baseball® (PIFB) is a registered 501(c)(3) not for profit organization that provides new and gently used baseball and softball equipment to boys and girls in the United States and around the world who want to play ball but lack the equipment to do so. PIFB helps to reduce barriers to play by providing equipment grants directly to leagues, schools, and organizations around the world to start, continue, and/or expand their youth baseball programs.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Youth Baseball Glove Review

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Youth Baseball Glove Review

Today’s episode will be a Baseball glove review. This will be a comparison of four brands of gloves, three levels of glove for each brand. This will allow you to make a better decision of what brand better fits your eye and price along with the quality of glove you can get in your price range.



Brands: Rawlings, Easton, Wilson, and Mizuno.

Entry Level

These gloves are entry level or introductory level gloves from all four manufacturers. I would recommend these gloves for a player who is just getting started and isn’t sure if they are going to continue playing baseball. Also, these gloves are recommended for players looking for a good “stop gap” glove. Something that will work for a couple of years until the player is committed to a position.


Product: Rawlings® RCS 11.5 Youth baseball glove review

Review: A good entry level glove. It does not take much to break-in this glove. Rawlings® puts this glove in the 20% break-in category. A few days of steady play with it and it is ready to go.

The leather is not top notch but the price is. At $69.99 this is the least expensive model that I am reviewing. With the black leather and stylish red Rawlings® logos there is a distinct look to this glove. It uses Rawlings® pro style design so the glove looks just like the ones seen on T.V.


Product: Easton® EMKC 11.5

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: The entry level glove from Easton® also has slightly less than top notch leather. It will also only require about 20% break-in by the player. This is good for the younger player whose hands are not as strong.

At $89.99 this glove is the most expensive model in this category. Easton® has made it a tough choice for the player though. With the black and gray base of this glove, along with a splash of accent color, this glove will stand out on the field and for a flashy player who likes swag it might be worth the extra $20.


Product: Wilson® A800 Showtime 11.5Youth baseball glove review

Review: The A800 is a true Wilson glove. Wilson has a great reputation in the game of baseball right now because they provide quality that works for the player. This glove is constructed from less than Wilson’s best leather, however, it is still good quality for the price point. All baseball gloves work, some just work better than others.

Wilson® has what is called Pedroia Fit. It is a special design that makes the wrist cuff and finger slots slightly smaller so that you get a tighter fit. This is a great feature for young players who are still growing. At $89.99 it is the most expensive model in the category.


Product: Mizuno® Franchise 11.50

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: The Franchise is a good glove for the price point. The leather is very soft. This making break-in very easy. The drawback? These gloves don’t last that very long. If you get two seasons out of this glove you will have maxed it out. This is a good glove if you are only going to play a season or two of recreational ball. Less than 20 games in a season with 1 or 2 practices a week.

The cost of this glove is a middle of the road $75.00 but it is probably the weakest contender of the 4 in the entry level category.


Summary of Entry Level gloves

I would strongly recommend the Rawlings® or Wilson® gloves. The Easton® is a strong contender and if you are big on style it is a must have. The Mizuno® is not a bad glove I just don’t feel it is going to hold up as long as the other, but it will be the easiest to break in.



Mid Level

Next are mid-level, good quality gloves that will last a number of years. I would recommend these gloves for players who are young and going to play baseball a lot during the course of a season. For example, travel players or rec players who are going to play spring and fall baseball. Players in this level are committed to playing baseball and willing to put a little effort into break-in. This is also a good level of glove for older players not planning to play more than their school season.


Product: Rawlings® Gamer 11.5youth baseball glove review

Review: When I am looking for a glove I look for  a style and comfort that goes along with fit and quality. I love it when I find a glove that covers all of these. I do cartwheels when I find one that has all of this and is only $139.99.

The Rawlings® Gamer gives you style with it’s red logos on the black leather. The contrast lacing just pops off the glove. With the pro style design and quality leather you get the fit and quality you expect from a Rawlings®. The fact that Rawlings® has done 80% of the break in for you makes this glove a winner in my book.


Product: Easton Core Pro 11.5

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: Easton® comes in at this level with a glove that is more substance than style. Don’t get me wrong the chocolate against a more orange brown leather looks good. It is just not as flashy as most of the Easton products. The price is flashy though at a mere $119.99

The technical specs on this glove are impressive though. Diamond Pro steerhide that is tanned to be really soft makes this glove durable and game ready. A hand oiled palm liner adding to the feel of the glove combined with rolled leather welting and USA- tanned professional rawhide lacing with a tensile strength of 100 lbs. give this glove what it takes to come back year after year. It will require a 30% player break-in according to Easton but a little love for your glove and she is all yours for years of playing pleasure.


Product: Wilson® A1K DP15 11.5

Review: If you aYouth baseball glove reviewre a young player who is going to spend some time on a baseball field and would like to announce your presence with authority, this is your defensive weapon of choice. It looks like it’s ready to play with its black and silver coloring.

Technically this glove is everything you want. Based on Dustin Pedroia’s game glove this glove gives a snug fit and the control a player dreams of. The top shelf leather gives you the quality to make this glove last for years of high level use. Looking good and performing better set this glove apart. That and the $199.95 price tag, but in this case you will get what you pay for.


Product: Mizuno® MVP Prime 11.5

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: The MVP Prime is a good quality glove. The black glove with contrasting gold stitching really makes this glove pop. The price of $105.00 makes it jump off the shelf.

It has all the quality of the other gloves at this price point. Good leather, strong lacing and comfortable feel. The one thing this glove does not take into consideration is smaller hands. So if you are looking for a glove for a younger player with small hands you are going to want them to try this on before you buy it. A loose fitting glove is hard to control.


Summary of Mid Level gloves

In this category the Wilson® takes my recommendation hands down. If the price has you frowning then the Rawlings® is a great runner up. I would put the Mizuno® third if your player has a hand big enough for it. Finally the Easton® it is a great glove I am just not sure the players will like the look of the glove.



Top Level

In this category is a review of gloves for serious players as they will require some time and effort to break-in. You can’t go from store to field with these bad boys. In some cases these gloves will require a couple of weeks to a month of serious effort to bend them to your will. Once you get them where they need to be though, oh man, what a piece of leather you will have!


Product: Rawlings® Heart of the Hide 11.5Youth baseball glove review

Review: Stiff is the first word that comes to mind when I look at this glove. It is a very raw glove that will require a considerable amount of love to break in. Sharp as a tack black and red with the popping lighter lacing. Brrr, it sends chills down the opposing team’s spines.

You are not going to find better materials used to make a glove. These gloves have been used to define the careers of some of the greatest to ever play the game and you could be next. With a narrower hand opening and slightly less padding in the heel making this glove easier to close you will fall in love with it. I am sure that is why they named it Heart of the Hide.

For just $249.99 this glove is not cheap but you will get everything you pay for with it.


Product: Easton® Mako 11.5

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: The Mako 11.5 is made to stand out in a crowd with the black base and brown accent leather on the base of the fingers and web and the accent orange logo’s. The look is catchy and so is the glove with kip leather and SYNTECH HIDE™ construction giving this glove a softer pro level feel. Easton® also added padded pinky and thumb loops with their molded back of hand pad to give the player more control.

This glove breaks in quickly for the price point. A couple of weeks of work and it is ready to go. You can roll out onto to field with this quality piece of leather for $249.99.


Product: Wilson® A2000 Dustin Pedroia DP15 11.5Youth baseball glove review

Review: When you walk out on the field and see this glove on someone’s hand you don’t have to ask if they are a ballplayer. It is like a billboard screaming watch what I can do. This black glove with gray lacing and white logo’s just yelling from your position, “Hit it here if you dare!”

Top end materials are used to construct this work of art. Rolled dual welting help with quicker break-in and that is a good thing because without it you would take a year to break-in this beauty. Wilson® has used extra long laces and Double X lacing to connect the web to the pocket. This is the Dustin Pedroia model, so feel free to get it a little dirty once in a while, it will hold up.

This model goes for $249.95 so you can save four cents compared to the other two we have reviewed so far. With all you get in this package that is quite a savings.


Product: Mizuno® Classic Pro Soft GCP66SBK

Youth baseball glove reviewReview: In my eyes Mizuno® has a hidden gem in this glove. I don’t know why you don’t walk out onto every ball field in the world and see players from the age of 12 up using this glove. This glove is a great looking piece of leather. Top quality construction that will last for multiple seasons. Everything that goes into all the other top end gloves is in this Mizuno® product. The one thing that is not in this product is cost. This glove is $190.00. That is right, I repeat, $190.00.

You get all the quality of the other top end gloves for about $60 less.


Summary of Top Level gloves

this category is where the player makes the final decision. I would push hard for the Mizuno®. I really love the glove and you save enough money to buy half a pair of cleats. If you are the kind of player whose game speaks for itself give it a try. If you have to go with the glove that will speak volumes for you though you can’t go wrong with either the Rawlings® or the Wilson®. Both are great quality gloves that will give you a lot of bang for your buck. The Easton® I rate last only because I can’t get over the reputation of Easton® as a bat company. Don’t get me wrong Easton® has made some good gloves I just don’t put them up there with the other guys yet. I will have to see some Mako’s out on the field in five years still kicking up dust before I go all in.



Food for thought

Overall I think you have some food for thought here when you start looking for your next glove. There are gloves out there that are less expensive than the ones I pointed out in this review. I would not recommend them because they are throw away gloves. You will be disappointed in them and if you are buying them for your child, you will be disappointed in the fact that they don’t help your child become a ball player.

I chose to try and review similar models from each company. I tried to keep the size and web style as close to the same as possible for the purpose of comparison. All of these gloves come in different sizes and with different web styles. As a player, or someone purchasing for a player, you will need to decide which is best for you, or the player, at the time of purchase. Feel free to drop a comment or an email if you have questions about what web style or size is best for the position played.

Parents keep in mind that most pro infielders are using gloves that are between 11.25 and 11.75 inches unless they are first baseman. Pitcher’s are somewhere between 11.5 and 12 inches and Outfielders go anywhere from around 12 to 12.75 inches. Knowing that will help you when your 10 year old tells you they need a new glove because theirs is too small. They may need a new glove but if it falls into that size range mentioned above, it isn’t because the outside is too small.

I hope this is helpful and look forward to fielding your questions about your youth baseball glove purchase.

Thank you,

Coach Wood

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Youth Baseball Bat Review

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Youth Baseball Bat Review

Easton S3 -13 2 1/4″ Aluminum Baseball Bat


Product:Easton S3 -13 2 1/4″ Aluminum baseball bat.

Price: $159.99 (Retail)Easton S3 baseball bat

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon $159.99

SPECS: Lengths from 28″- 32″ all weights -13 oz. (subtract 13 from the length to get weight in oz.)

My Rating: 7 out of 10



Easton S3 -13 2 1/4″ Aluminum Baseball Bat Review

Youth league baseball bats are not a very complicated subject. Picking the right one is. I have been asked countless times, “What bat is the right one for my child?” The answer is simple. The one that they like. The hard part is guiding them to the one that they like. I subscribe to the Ted Williams theory on selecting a bat. Swing the biggest bat you can handle. The Easton S3 is a good quality bat. It uses quality aluminum compounds to create a durable bat that will last the season. It has nice graphics and all the key ingredients you need to control the bat.



The Players Perspective.

A good looking bat that is light and responsive. With the -13 weight to length ratio you are at the max end of drop. The stunning blue, black and grey graphics are sharp and simple. With a thin handle that will allow you to keep a good grip and create good whip this bat has everything you could ask for.



The Pros for the Parents

Most parents are looking at the purchase of a baseball bat while rolling their eyes. “I just bought you a new bat last year,” has been repeated more times in this house than I can count. You are going to have to get used to it. If you are going to buy your player their own personal bat you are going to buy them a new bat almost every year until they are about 16 or 17 years old. The problem with bats is that you have to have the one that fits your swing. A player’s swing will change every year almost as they grow. A bat that works for your 8 year old who is around is a little over 4 feet tall and weighs about 55 lbs is not going to work for him when he is 10 and 4′- 6″ tall and weighs about 70 lbs. The players physical dimensions have changed and so should his bat. Your player is getting stronger as well so the drop weight ( The drop is calculated by subtracting weight of the bat from the length. ex. 28 in. – 15 oz. = 13 therefore -13 is the drop.) The player may still like the bigger drop but should get a longer bat so it is heavier. Now you can go out and buy the top of the line bats and drop $200 to $300 every season or you can purchase a second tier bat that is going to perform well but has a better price point. In the case of Easton’s S3 $159.99. Usually these bats can be passed down or sold on the internet as used. I usually donate my son’s bats to the local Little League at the end of the season.



Why Buy at Price PointMoney

I have said it before but here it goes again. When you buy baseball equipment, most of the time you get what you pay for. I would love to have bought my kids a brand new top-of-the-line baseball bat every year. It just doesn’t make sense. I bought my kids a great bat for the last year they played Little League then when they played their first year at the middle school level and usually 2 top-of-the-line baseball bats for high school. Other than that middle of the road works great for one year.



What is the Conclusion

I like this bat because Easton has made a good looking bat that players will like. Style has a lot to do with young players equipment decisions. The bat is made from good quality materials and should last at least the season if not more. Finally the bat provides the technological features that will help the good hitter have a good season at the plate. Check out the Easton S3 here.

Coach Wood

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest