The most significant scam first; rolling metal bats. Every bat roller in the business knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that bat rolling, heated bat rolling, or any other type of bat rolling does not benefit an alloy bat. It does not increase durability, and it does not increase distance. An aluminum bat will hit the same out of the wrapper until the alloy dents and breaks down; this is the way it has been for decades. There are companies who state that bat rolling aluminum bats work. Companies say things like, "Yes, we will roll your aluminum bats" or (bat rolling) "helping to prevent against denting in metal/aluminum/alloy bats"; both of these claims are deceptive. And even worse, some companies are selling new rolled alloy bats, knowing there is no advantage to rolling aluminum bats. You will be able to tell extremely quick who cares about their customers and who is motivated by profit by researching who sells rolled aluminum bats. To be honest, I expected all my competitors to sell rolled alloy bats, and I will mention who does not because it shows some integrity. Companies that do not sell rolled alloy bats: Big Dawg Bats (that's us), Home Run Derby Bats Only, The Bat Doc, and Gorilla Bats. That means all other companies are selling rolled metal bats and swindling their customers. If they are using a compression tester, they are knowingly cheating them (which all of them use). Also, Two companies sell bat rolling services for $70, which is outrageous, but one of those companies sells a "ProMax" roll for $90 and claims to take the compression of a bat past the legal limit. That claim is impossible with an alloy bat, and the three other companies I mentioned above would agree that it is a ridiculous claim. The compression test number of an alloy bat will not change even with a standard roll, a heat roll, or a super-max roll. Bat rolling an aluminum bat will not increase the trampoline effect, not increase exit velocities and not increase the bat's durability as some would have you believe. This the biggest money-grabbing scam going on in the bat rolling industry.
There are two bat rolling companies out there charging $70 for a heated bat rolling. Most other companies charge $30 for that service. A company is also charging extra for a “Max roll” and marketing that it will produce compression numbers past the legal limits (or right up to the limits). One company charging $70 gives you a video of the bat being rolled. You are getting a 15-second video of the bat being rolled with extremely light pressure. It might be cool to view, but you are not witnessing the actual roll. I once created these videos for customers, and the videos showed the changing of roller pressure and rolling directions; they were also a lot longer than 15 seconds. ESPN took one of my bat rolling clips for use in the Outside the Lines series. As I scanned through this bat roller’s clips I noticed he also rolls alloy bats, which is useless. The other bat roller that sells their heated bat rolling service for $70 also provides compression pictures of before and after readings. This is also something cool to look at, but looking through all their pictures on Instagram, the compression readings are off and, in some cases, farfetched. It seems that baseball customers are the ones getting hoodwinked the most frequently. Baseball bat compression picture results after picture results have inflated beginning numbers and after rolled pictures had dubious low readings. Things got interested when I looked at the “Max roll” compression numbers, especially on the BBCOR bats. Again, inflated starting compression numbers and dubious ending numbers. A 2022 Easton Hype BBCOR bat has a starting compression number of around 1200 lbs (that number varies slightly with different length bats), and when it is heat rolled, it will drop to about 1130-1170 (and that is with the bat completely cooled down). Instagram picture numbers are 1370 starting compression, heated bat rolling number 1060, and “Max roll” 890. This is a 480 compression drop from a beginning reading and an absolutely unattainable number with heated bat rolling or any other break-in technique (bat shaving will yield a number like that with an aggressive bat shave). Another obvious example would be a 2021 BBCOR Demarini Zen, which has a 1-inch ring located at the point of the compression tester spot and typically tests at 1300-1500 depending on the length of the barrel. The Instagram pictures have the starting compression at 1320, so that picture is most likely is correct. The problem comes from the following two readings of 1010 (heated bat rolling) and 900 ("Max roll"). The readings go from 1320 down to 900, a 420 psi drop in compression. Absolutely impossible because the Zen has a metal 1-inch restrictor ring in the center of the barrel. And the most blatant example of deception is the drop in compression on the alloy BBCOR bats. Demarini The Goods starting compression of 1350 psi or higher, depending on the barrel length. One photo shows a BBCOR Goods going from 1360 psi to 1020 psi. This is impossible, knowing that alloy bats do not drop in compression with any kind of rolling and The Goods has a solid resin ring in the middle of the barrel on top of the previous fact. The Instagram page is littered with these types of examples.
The higher pricing caters to customers who think higher costs equate to better service. If you have a company that will take your money, knowing that rolling an alloy bat is worthless, then why not just charge even more and offer a propagandized better "Max roll" to complete the scam?
Some bat rollers would have you believe they have amazingly come up with a new and improved way to roll bats with heat. Some companies push that heat rolling is the only way to break in a bat, and others state that it does nothing. I, along with a couple of other bat rollers, understand that heat can help break in certain bats. I started to heat roll bats in 2011 when Easton came out with their new slow-pitch bats. The outer shell of these bats was cracking with less bat roller pressure. I experimented with temperature and found by heating the bat, more pressure could be added without breaking the outer shell of the barrel. It took about two years for others
to catch on to what I was doing, and in 2013 heated bat rolling was “a thing.” Heat can also be more effective when breaking in Bbcor bats. I have also found that not all bats can withstand heat, making the outer shell more prone to breaking. Heat can also cause decals or paint to slide or come off the barrel. When heated and rolled, there is some composite bats that do not break in when heat rolled, as in no change in compression from the initial compression reading. Let that same bat cool off and reroll it without heat, and the break-in process occurs. There are bats that you can heat, roll, cool-off, roll, and heat again, then roll that produces an exceptional break-in. Where I am going with all this is that heated bat rolling is not some magical all-encompassing break-in technique.Other break-in strategies need to be utilized, or you will not get every bat broken into its fullest potential.