There’s a better way for coaches to hit grounders to their players, and it’s called a fungo bat. A smaller, thinner version of a traditional baseball bat, the fungo bat has allowed coaches and others to hit the ball with more consistent control, giving their players more reps and helping them develop better skills in the field.
But how did they come to be?
History of the Fungo Bat.
The exact origins of the fungo bat are unclear, but it seems that they have been around as long as baseball has. They aren’t designed to be used in actual play, but their slim design leads to a significant amount of built-in ‘pop’, and the extra control lets coaches get more reps in for their players.
The word fungo itself also has unclear origins. In 1937, David Shulman wrote in the American Speech “My guess is that the word, which is baseball slang, may be explained through the elements of a compound word, fun and go.” Another theory centers around the Scottish verb ‘fung’, which means to toss, pitch, or fling.
How Are Fungo Bats Made?
Fungo bats are generally between 34-37 inches long, weighing between 17 and 24 ounces. They look like a cross between a broom handle and a bat, which may give hints to its origins. They are long and skinny and more lightweight than a regular bat for ease of swing and repetition. Fungos come in a variety of options and are commonly made out of Ash, Birch, Chinese Whitewood, Maple or Bamboo to name a few.
What Fungo Bat options are available?
There are a number of options when it comes to Fungo Bats, below are a few examples to get you started.
A popular option is the B45 Pro Select Infield Fungo. which comes in at 33.5”. The small diameter allows coaches to easily hit pop-ups to catchers and infielders. The B45 Pro Select Outfield Fungos measure 35.5”, and is a specially designed bat used by baseball coaches for practice purposes.
The Mizuno Classic Fungo is made out of Chinese Whitewood – renowned for its great feel, durability, and lightweight qualities. Its sanded handle allows for better grip and feel, and it measures in at 35.5”.
The Brett Pro Style Outfield Fungo comes in at 36”, is a well-balanced training bat ensuring ease of swing and durability. Its strong buildup allows for a little more power behind warmup pop flies to outfielders, and the fungos are known for keeping the warmups going as long as they need to.