Harrison Bader owes his excellent playoff record to a newly designed bat

Harrison Bader hitting a home run against the Guardians.
Sara Molnick
Wednesday November 2, 2022

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Harrison Bader struggled during the 2022 MLB season in St. Louis. However, he had an excellent postseason following his arrival in New York. Bader’s turnaround owes a lot to the newly designed bat he used in the playoffs.

The bat made by Grady Phelan of ProXR was based on biomechanics and it enables Harrison Bader’s great performance in the playoffs. He became the only Yankee with a good offense while most other big hitters had nothing going for them. Phelan’s bat also helped Bader improve his season record, which was much better in New York than it was when he was with the Cardinals.

During the regular season, Harrison Bader batted .256 with 21 RBIs in 72 games for the St. Louis Cardinals. During that time, he hit five home runs in about 300 at-bats. He spent time on the injured list with plantar fasciitis before being dealt to his hometown team, the New York Yankees, at the trade deadline.

Harrison Bader joined the Yankees’ active roster at the end of the season after being on the disabled list, and he went to the postseason with them. During the team’s playoff run, it was great to see Bader get back to his old self. He hit five home runs in 30 at-bats in the playoffs, which nearly doubled his OPS from the regular season.

This led many to wonder what helped him in this resurgence. Indeed, it was the new-style, biomechanical bat made for him. According to Grady Phelan, “He first got those bats five days prior to the playoffs.”

Phelan made a new kind of baseball bat and got a patent for it in 2006. He did this because he had used the modern kind and knew how it worked. Nineteen years ago, he was playing with his son when the bat flew right out of his hands and almost hit his son and left a mark on his hand.

The incident inspired him and an idea was born. Based on biomechanics, the handle of the bat he made is now called the Pro XR. The new bat allows players to “pronate their wrist, move it toward their pinky side and the knob compressing into the palm, which acts like a speed bump in their hands and improves their swings.”

The bat fits the hand’s range of motion when a player swings through and increases the exit speed making it less likely for batters to get bruises and welts on their hamate bone when they hit.

This change of bat powered Harrison Bader’s performance in the Major League.

Bader’s trade criticism is a thing of the past now

The playoff performance by Harrison Bader has put to an end the criticism of the Jordan Montgomery trade. Fans were unhappy when the Yankees sent the reliable lefty to St. Louis in exchange for the injured center fielder Harrison Bader. After being bought, Bader didn’t play for a whole month, but once he did, he quickly became a fan favorite and was one of the few reliable hitters in the postseason.

He hit five home runs in nine playoff games, giving him a 252 wRC+. For most of October, he batted first for his team. Though he has some quirks in his swing that make him prone to hot and cold streaks, it seems to be normal for glove-focused outfielders.

No Yankees fan could be unhappy with what Bader gave us in 2022, even though it was too short. Harrison Bader’s first full season as a Yankee will be in 2023. If he can get his swing to be more consistent, the Yankees might be able to count on him for many wins in 2023.

How do you rate Harrison Bader for the Yankees next season?

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