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Sports Equipment Technology

Inventor Builds a 'Better Baseball Bat'

June 06, 2013


Is the old-fashioned American baseball bat something that can be improved upon?

One inventor, Grady Phelan, says yes – and thinks his patented design provides amateurs and pros alike a home run.

The Pro-XR is a patented ergonomic bat. Phelan claims it provides a “responsive swing, precise control, quicker hands, improved grip, better plate coverage, smoother swing and actually helps reduce injuries to the hand.”

He criticizes other versions of baseball bats. Their knobs can “crush the bottom hand during the swing,” causing what he calls, the “speed-bump effect.”

But the Pro-XR aligns the “angle of the knob to the natural motion of the batters hands throughout the entire swing.”

It was recently announced, too, that Giant Project, Inc., has launched a Kickstarter project to field-test the performance of the ProXR bat. It runs through June 30.

The money will be used to comparatively test ProXR's bat and traditional bats. 

"We've player-tested ProXR technology, on a limited basis, at every stage of development," Phelan said. "The vast majority of players like the swing ProXR delivers, and would love to have ProXR technology as part of their preferred bat. But, we're not a bat company, and we're not in this to become one."

“Our goal with Kickstarter-funded field testing is to generate more comprehensive quantitative data to shed light on 'Why' ProXR delivers significant performance benefits,” he added in the statement.

Phelan says the bat already underwent preliminary tests at the Washington University Biometrics Lab. Those findings showed there was less compression with the ProXR bat.

Phelan began developing ProXR technology in 2003, after an unintentionally thrown bat was thrown in his St. Louis backyard.

He says he “narrowly” missed hitting his young son after the traditional bat slipped from his hands.

“It was that moment I knew something wasn’t right with the way baseball bats were designed,” Phelan said.

Edited by Alisen Downey