ASHLAND, Ohio --
There is a new bat in the game of baseball, and it's changing everything. It's made by Baden Bat Company, and it's being used in all levels of the game including by Ashland University.
It sounds like a baseball bat when the ball makes contact, and it sure looks like a regular bat, but if you look really close, something is different.
"It's a whole new concept, but it kind of fits right in with the hitting mechanics we've taught for many years," said Ashland baseball coach, John Schaly.
One look at the knob and you understand how it got its name. It looks like an axe handle.
"The only difference from a normal bat is the bottom three inches," said Schaly.
Holding the AXE bat feels like holding a regular axe, except this is much lighter.
"Less friction on the knob of the bat with the bottom of the hand and so you can get better bat speed at the point of contact," Schaly said.
The AXE bat, made exclusively by Baden Bat Company, promotes a correct grip, a less restrictive swing and great bat speed.
"The axe handle helps the hitters being in the right hitting position palm up, palm down," said Ashland baseball player, Tyler Gray.
The AXE bat has been approved for use in amateur, collegiate and professional baseball and softball games, and is catching the attention of former major league baseball players like John Kruk.
"The thing I like about the bat is the way your hands fit when you grab it. It feels like your bottom hand is more free to swing through the ball, and it feels like your top hand never gives you that roll-over effect," Kruk said.
The AXE bat also prevents hand injuries and batter fatigue.
"Sometimes you get blisters on your hand, but from this, you don't have anything rubbing up against so it's more comfortable and helping your hitting," Gray said.
Whether or not the bat is a game changer, we'll leave that to the hitters.
"You see a lot more people driving the baseball, I mean hitting gap-to-gap, and I mean we hit more home runs down in Florida than we did last year," Gray added.
The cost of an AXE bat ranges from about $150 to $200 at various locations and on various websites.