As a baseball or softball coach, the best fungo bat is a must-have in your arsenal – fielding practice 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.
Fungo bats are popular in the MLB and amongst baseball coaches countrywide. Their unique dimensions make them lightweight and extremely easy to swing, such that 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 Z9 Professional Edge Wood Fungo Bat 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.
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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 they’re prone to breaking over time. They are, after all, wood bats.
The Best Fungo Bat – Our Top Picks
An SSK fungo bat will never steer you wrong. These are the best fungo bats for a reason, used by both professional teams as well as college team coaches for infield and outfield practice. 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.
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 Brett Brothers all played professional ball at one point, and set out to make the best wood bats once they stopped playing. This particular model is 36-inches in length, and one of the best fungo bats on the market today.
Great for hitting to infielders or outfielders, this Brett Bros fungo weighs approximately 20 ounces and is cut from durable rock maple wood. Our experience with this fungo has been superb. It’s lightweight and extremely easy to swing, is well balanced and feels great in the hands. It has excellent pop and should hit the ball far with minimal effort and holds up incredibly well to repeated abuse for a wood bat.
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.
This fungo bat is a product of Hakusoh, a Japanese lumber company with a history dating as far back as 200 years, with 70 of those spent manufacturing baseball bats.
The Hakusoh Spark is a 34″, 21oz drop 13 bat that features two wood materials, Ho and American hard maple. Ho, used at the bat’s core, is a Japanese material that’s preferred for its light and flexible characteristics. The Ho is then covered by American Hard Maple for added durability since Ho alone would dent on hits.
What struck us most about this particular bat is the excellent workmanship. The Japanese are renowned for their craftsmanship, and the Hakusoh is no different. The photos hardly do it any justice – it doesn’t look like it does in the pics, it looks better! Specifically, we picked up the F10C Charred 34” (pictured), which feels great in the hands, and looks really unique.
Construction-wise, it’s surprising that this bat isn’t more popular or more widely used. It’s a solid bat that’s extremely solid, performs great, and feels great in the hands. We love that this bat is easy to swing, lightweight, and has a handle that feels superb in the hands.
If you want something that breaks the mold, this might be the perfect pick.
In your quest to find the best fungo bat, you may want to check out this aluminum fungo bat from Easton. Durability is key here, as bats are a lot more durable compared to wood bats – They’re nearly indestructible.
The Easton F4 is an all-purpose fungo that’s 35 inches long and weighs 22 ounces. It is lightweight and its thin 31/32 inch handle makes the F4 makes it extremely easy to swing without turning your arms into jelly. Its extended barrel profile design places more mass in the hitting zone, making it easier to build more momentum with less effort.
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 only downside is the cheap, low-quality grip used on this fungo. Should you pick this up, check out our top picks for high-quality bat grip tape.
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.
What Is a Fungo Bat
Fungo bats are an essential training aid for improving players’ fielding skills. These lightweight bats are used by coaches and parents during fielding practice. Coaches simulate in-game hits by hitting balls to players, which helps position players work on their fielding.
Fungo bats are longer, have thin barrels and are lighter for more control, and precision. Coaches also won’t tire out as they would if they were to practise with normal size bats. Parents and coaches can get more reps in and make sure those reps count.
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.
What Size Fungo Bat Should I Get?
Sizing varies from player to player. Most fungo bats are between 32 and 36 inches long, and weigh between 18 and 22 ounces. Barrel diameter is typically a standard 2¼-inches. Various lengths will give you decent results, but it’s important to pick a length that suits your style of play.
Our preferred fungo bat length is 34 inches, but the best length boils down to personal preference. Usually, it’s best to pick a that’s longer than your regular bat. If you hit a 32 or 33 inch bat, a 34-inch fungo should work well.
What is the best drop weight for fungo bats?
Although this isn’t a one-size-fits-all, we’ve found that the best drop weight for most fungo bats is -12. A 34” fungo bat (our preferred length as well) would be 22 ounces for instance.
Hitting style is another thing to consider. If you prefer to toss the ball close to your body then longer fungo bats will not work. Shorter length fungoes between 33”-34” are your best bet for solid contact. Coaches who like to reach out and extend their hands when hitting should pick fungoes between 35”-37”.
Weight-wise fungos differ depending on the type of drill. Longer heavier fungo bats are best when hitting long fly balls since they have more pop than smaller bats.
35” fungo bats would be your best bet for effectively working both the infield and the outfield.
What is the Best Type of Wood for your fungo bat?
Most fungo bats are maple or ash or maple, while some fungos use birch wood.
Maple fungo bats tend to be a little top heavy, especially longer ones in the 35-inch to 37-inch range. This is important to note, since this endload will give your forearm a serious workout! The biggest advantage to hitting with maple is its durability – maple is incredibly compact and thus won’t break easily.
Ash fungos are going to feel lighter and have a more balanced swing. These are great for infield work when you need the utmost precision. The disadvantage is that over time, ash bats eventually start to splinter. Because of this, some coaches will tape the barrel to keep it from splintering and possibly even breaking.
Bamboo wood bat fungos will work you harder as they don’t give you the pop you get from some of the best fungo bats on the market. While hickory is durable, it is too heavy.
The best fungo bats, in our experience, are maple or birch fungos. These materials are durable and offer the best weight distribution.
Should you tape your fungo bat?
Taping boils down to personal preference. Some coaches use athletic tape or hockey stick tape for better grip, while some prefer bat grip tape such as Lizard Skin grip wraps for the tack and cushioning they provide. The choice is entirely up to you.
Wood vs Metal fungo bats – Which is better?
Performance-wise, wood makes for the best fungo bat, as it gives the most control when hitting to specific spots on the field. Wood fungos are also better in cold temperatures, as even the best metal fungos are likely to dent when hitting denser water-logged baseballs.
In terms of feel, coaches prefer wood fungo bats for their flared knob which doesn’t beat on the bottom of the hand causing discomfort.
Metal is often preferred by coaches or parents who may not take proper care of their wood fungos. Metal fungo bats can handle poor storage conditions and take more abuse than wood bat fungos. Aluminum fungos benefit fielders because they simulate in-game situations for leagues that require metal bats.
Players get used to the sound of the ball off the bat, which trains the mind and improves player reaction times.
How Much Should You Pay For a Fungo Bat?
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.
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 tiring 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.