ProXR Kickstarter Project Proposes Changing The Baseball Bat
Thrown Baseball Bats Landing in the Stands and Players Suffering Broken Hamate Injuries Indicate the Need to Test and Reconsider the Design of the Iconic Baseball Bat.
ST. LOUIS (June 5, 2013) – Giant Project, Inc., has launched a Kickstarter project to field-test the performance efficacy of its patented ProXR bat technology. The funding campaign, called “Power To The Batter,” runs through June 30 and seeks funding to comparatively field test performance characteristics of ProXR’s ergonomically correct bat versus conventional bats.
“We’ve player-tested ProXR technology, on a limited basis, at every stage of development,” said Grady Phelan, ProXR’s inventor. “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. Then bat companies can decide whether they want to offer players a better choice,” says Phelan.
ProXR bat technology is distinguished by its uniquely angled and contour-shaped knob that works with the range of motion of the human hand. The angled knob enhances swing performance and provides protection against thrown bats and hand injuries. Hundreds of player tests indicate ProXR technology provides greater bat control and power transfer from the hands to the ball. Further, Phelan believes ProXR provides protection against thrown bats and hand injuries.
“Early on, we teamed with Washington University Biometrics Lab researchers to establish some quantitative benchmarks,” said Phelan. “Results showed increased levels of compression from conventional bat knob design and reduced compression with the ProXR technology.”
Phelan theorizes that conventional bat knobs induce batters to lose or weaken their grip while swinging, causing thrown bats – putting fans and players at risk of injury. He also maintains that bat knob compression may be the leading cause of broken “hook of the hamate” injury, an increasingly common injury among baseball players.
“This impacts ballplayers at all levels,” said Phelan. “It’s a fact that marquee players like the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval and the Orioles’ Nick Markakis are breaking their hamate bones while batting. Given the value of players’ careers and the money that’s on the line, I’m betting the Players Union, team ownership and bat companies would be interested in a solution to this problem. That’s why we’re pursuing this field testing project” says Phelan.
Phelan began developing ProXR technology in 2003, following an unintentionally thrown bat in his backyard. From his St. Louis basement workshop he developed prototypes, later contracting with small, custom bat makers for limited quantity test bats. The ProXR angled knob technology, patented in 2010, is approved for use in play by both MLB and the NCAA. Some of these ProXR bats eventually made it into the hands of MLB players, including the Mets’ Mike Hessman and power hitter Prince Fielder. In 2010, the ProXR bat technology was first used in regular season MLB games. Later in 2011, ProXR was accepted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the first bat of its kind ever used in MLB.