Through the years, aluminum baseball bats have developed into powerful weapons thanks to combinations of metal and fiber. But the Japanese High School Baseball Federation has introduced a new metal bat with less pop to take away the advantage the batters had.
The Takanoren (Japanese High School Baseball Federation) has introduced a new bat which is less powerful. The diameter of the new bat is 3 mm thinner and the metal is thicker to reduce the repulsion of the bat.
The older bats had so much pop, the number of home runs increased a lot during the Koshien season. As a result, pitchers got a lot of extra pitches to throw which led to a higher workload ( which was high in Japanese high school baseball already), which resulted in injuries.
As a result, Takanoren decided to review the standards in September last year to reduce the repulsion of metal bats.
The new bat still needs to be tested thoroughly. On February 17, Takanoren did some early tests but in the near future, the Product Safety Association will set new standards for metal bats based on performance tests and Takanoren will introduce metal bats with reduced repulsion from next year.
So Japanese high school pitchers need to be patient for one more year. Help is on the way.