Laurila: Two Birdmen break down the bat business

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on March 29, 2019:

Yasiel Puig may or may not have been swinging a Birdman in yesterday’s opener. The Cincinnati Reds slugger — according to Birdman Bat founder Gary Malec — is “one of those guys who’ll you see go back and forth” with bat models over the course of a season. Last year, several of the minus-twos and minus-threes Puig wielded were supplied by Malec’s Bay-Area company.

If you’re not a player yourself, “minus-two” and “minus-three” are likely unfamiliar terms. How bats are manufactured, regulated by MLB, and typically purchased are probably also foreign to you. Frankly, there’s a decent chance you haven’t even put any thought into those things. You simply know that players swing bats, and sometimes those bats propel baseballs far distances.

Two members of the Birdman crew — Lars Anderson and Cody Silveria — were pleased to inform me that Puig’s longest 2018 home run came off the barrel of one of their bats. Ditto the ball Puig hit with the highest exit velocity, and San Francisco Giants outfielder Chris Shaw’s first big-league homer. More importantly — at least in terms of the purpose of this article — they explained how the bat business works.

With continuity and flow in mind, Anderson’s and Silveria’s voices aren’t differentiated within the text of this interview. The conversation itself took place during the Winter Meetings.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 29, 2019. Last Updated: March 29, 2019.