As a baseball or softball coach, the best fungo bat is a must-have in your arsenal – fielding practise isn’t complete without one. If you’ve never heard of fungo bats, this guide will answer any questions you may have about these funny name, strange-looking bats.
Hitting for hours on the field using regular baseball bats during practice can be tiresome. Fungo bats address this. They’re popular in the MLB and amongst baseball coaches countrywide.
Their unique dimensions make them lightweight and extremely easy to swing. As a result, hitting ground balls to infielders or fly balls to outfielders is easy and won’t wear your arms out.
However, not all fungo bats are equal. Having hit with a number of fungo bats over the years, we’ve compiled a list that will help you in your quest.
If you’re short on time and would rather know our #1 pick, we chose the SSK 33″ PS200 Wood Fungo as the best fungo bat of the lot. But if that’s not what you’re looking for, read on – we have other fantastic recommendations.
High-end pure maple wood fungos, composite wood fungo bats or aluminum fungos are your best bet if you want a fungo bat that lasts a good long time, else, you’ll need to buy several fungo bats every year because some are quite prone to breaking. They are, after all, wood bats.
The Best Fungo Bat – Our Top Picks
After reading the rave reviews online and giving them a try ourselves, we can confidently say that this bat from SSK is the best fungo bat on the market, regardless of the budget you’re working with. Not to mention that they’re used widely by MLB teams, and for good reason.
The SSK’s construction features Japanese white ash wood, which is dense, makes it lightweight, and durable. Additionally, It has a long barrel and a smooth, balanced swing weight for better control.
The PS-100 is the shortest of the three. It’s 33 inches long and is great for infield drills although little league coaches can use it for all field hitting.
The PS-150 is 35 inches in length, while the PS-200 is longer at 37 inches. Both are suitable for use on big fields by skilled hitters.
What we like: Great pop, great feel, length, weight. Comes in every color imaginable which is a massive plus, and is hugely popular with lots of MLB players and teams.
Needs improvement: Bat slightly dents after hitting, but nothing major and still has the same pop.
The Louisville Slugger Ash Fungo bats is an all-purpose wood fungo bat made from Northern white ash. The K100 is lightweight and its natural wood finish gives it a nice classic look.
Hitting balls to outfield players takes little effort – the K100 is end-loaded which makes it extremely easy to swing for hours without killing your arms. However, this bat did feel somewhat heavier than other fungo bats which makes it quite demanding if you intend to swing it for extended periods.
The bottom line: This is a great fungo for its low price. Paired with a good baseball bat grip, this fungo should last you a good couple of seasons.
However, we feel like you’re much better off choosing a tougher, better quality maple (or other closed grain woods) like the Louisville Slugger S345, as opposed to an ash bat.
What we liked: This fungo is extremely accurate – With the K100, you can hit ground balls, pop flies or line drives with extreme precision to any part of the field. It also feels very solid and has great pop which makes it great for outfield and infield practice drills.
What needs improvement: The handle finish feels rough so you might need to tape it up. It also feels somewhat heavy but you get used to it over time.
It comes as no surprise that this fungo makes our best fungo bat list. The Easton Maple Fungo MLF5 is a single-piece, all-purpose fungo wood bat made in the USA from rock-hard North American maple. This traditional hardwood is durable, and has a classic “CRACK” on hitting.
The MLF5 is sturdy, lightweight (22 – 24 oz), and has a pro-cupped end for improved weight distribution and control over your swing.
Like the SSK, the Easton MLF-5 comes in a 34 and a 37-inch length. At 37 inches in length, the MLF5 gives you enough leverage to send the balls deep in the outfield.
What we liked: This is a good bat, at a great price. It feels great in the hands and has nice pop. Balls fly off the sweet spot effortlessly. It comes in 10 different color options, so you’re sure to find one that matches your team colors. The 37″ version weighs 17 oz making it extremely easy to swing and has an extra thin handle for more control.
What needs improvement: The 34″ MLF-5 is a tad heavier, weighing in at 20.3 oz, thus harder to swing.
In your quest to find the best fungo bat, you may want to check out this aluminum fungo from Easton.
This is an all-purpose fungo bat that features a durable alloy. The Easton F4 is 35 inches long and weighs 22 ounces. It is lightweight and makes it extremely easy to swing without turning your arms into jelly.
Its end-loaded design places more mass in the hitting zone, making it easier to build more momentum with less effort.
Additionally, its thin 31/32 inch handle makes the F4 easy to control, while a pro-taped grip makes it comfortable to use for long training sessions.
Alloy bats are a lot more durable compared to wood bats – They’re nearly indestructible.
The F4 is ideal for both little league & high school coaches. However, out of tradition and because most pros & coaches agree that wood is better, you might have to deal with a few sideways stares for using a metal fungo 🙂
The Louisville Slugger fungo wood bat is constructed out of durable, high-quality grade maple wood. Its balanced swing weight and cupped end helps improves balance, provides a better feel and great pop.
It uses something Louisville calls Exo Armor – a hard coat which makes the surface harder than previous models and makes a nice “ping” sound.
At 35 inches long, you get the leverage you need to hit balls deep into the outfield. Moreover, its ultra-lightweight design means you can swing away to your heart’s content without getting burned out.
This Axe fungo bat features a combination of hard maple and composite pieces to produce a tough, durable fungo bat.
The shape of an axe handle is the inspiration behind this patented Axe handle. It provides an ergonomic fit that works to get rid of hand fatigue, reduce the risk of injury and provide the comfort you need when out training for long hours. This definitely gives the Axe bat an edge over its rivals.
The Axe bat is also lightweight, so coaches get quick swing speeds, better bat control, and can spend long hours working on infield/outfield drills with less hand fatigue.
For all this, it’s quite a bargain given its price. Also, its composite structure means it won’t break as easily as other fungo bats.
The R114CF composite wood fungo bat is a drop 16 bat features a durable bamboo and maple wood composite which provides great pop on contact. This wood fungo bat is 36 inches in length and has a skinny 2 1/4-inch barrel.
This particular model weighs 20 oz making it lightweight and giving it an extremely well-balanced swing weight for better control and accuracy.
The R114CF is suitable for both infield and outfield practice. If you are looking for a fungo bat that will hold up to daily use, this is one of the best.
The Mizuno Classic is made from multiple pieces of Chinese Whitewood (also known as White Wax Wood) layered together. Chinese whitewood is tough, yet flexible.
What we like: This particular fungo is 36.5″ long, and is specifically for outfield practice, but works just as well for infield practice. It is lightweight, durable, feels solid, and has decent pop.
What needs improvement: Nothing so far.
What Is a Fungo Bat
Fungo bats aren’t your typical game-day baseball bats. Instead, they are practice bats for coaches during infield and outfield drills for more accuracy and less fatigue.
For instance, a fungo bat would come in handy if a coach is looking to hit ground balls to a shortstop, or pop flies to their fielders during practice.
How Is a Fungo Bat Different from a Regular Bat?
A baseball fungo bat is markedly different from a regular baseball bat. The bat’s construction is what sets it apart from your typical regulation bat. Here are the main differences:
- Fungo bats are longer than regular bats – Regular baseball bats only go up to 34 inches. Fungo bats are typically 35 to 37 inches long.
- Are lighter – Fungo bats weigh between 17 and 22 ounces, while a normal adult baseball bat can weigh up to 31 ounces.
- Have a thinner, longer barrel -Fungo bats will typically be 2 1/4 inches in diameter. This goes a long way in helping to increase control through the hitting zone, giving quick swing speeds and a lot more accuracy.
Because a normal baseball bat regularly deals with pitches, they are heavier and larger than fungo bats.
How To Pick the Best Fungo Bat
This mostly boils down to personal preference, but here are some things ought to consider while you’re out shopping:
Because fungo baseball bats are practice bats, you don’t need to break the bank for one. Still, if you want one that lasts a long time, you may need to shell out slightly more. The best fungo bats range anywhere between $30 to $70.
Little league coaches prefer shorter fungo bats (34 inches) while high school coaches prefer 37-inch fungo bats for outfield practice – hitting pop-ups into the outfield.
We prefer lighter fungos because they don’t tire you out as fast.
Some of the best fungo bats are wooden, others aluminum, and others, composite. These different materials provide different performance or overall feel. The pros prefer wood fungo bats to metal fungo bats, and rightfully so. Wood bats feel great in the hands. One big disadvantage of using metal fungo bats is they often sting the hands when practicing in cold temperatures. However, metal fungo bats can withstand a lot more abuse/misuse than wood fungo bats can. They are also cheaper and have the added advantage of being a lot more durable than wood fungo bats are.
Always check if the fungo bat you want to buy has a listed drop weight. If it hasn’t, that wood fungo is likely improperly weighted. The best fungo bats have a drop weight or actual weight for a stated length listed. We’re fans of the -12 drop weight for hitting fly balls and grounders.
For the average coach on the average team, metal fungo bats should suffice. On the other hand, coaches who are serious about honing their craft will most probably use a wood bat.
Ash wood is the most common material that makes wood bats. Maple, bamboo, or wood composites make others fungos. A few fungo bats are made out of aluminum.
Bamboo wood bat fungos don’t have as much pop as their maple wood counterparts and will make often make you work harder to hit deep fly balls or moon shots to your fielders.
Hickory wood fungo bats are durable but are too heavy. Ash is another option that’s cheaper, but flakes over time owing to its grain structure.
We’ve found the best fungo bat material to be birch or silver maple. These bats are durable and feel great in the hands.
Success on the field depends on not only the picking the best equipment but spending countless hours in practice as well.
Fungo baseball bats and softball fungo bats have become a staple of baseball/softball for players and fans alike, helping coaches hit grounders and pop flys accurately for hours on end without getting worn out too quickly.
Choosing the best fungo bat largely boils down to personal preference. Each of these bats offers something unique from their length, weight, and price.