Louisville Slugger comes out swinging with the Hard Maple Youth baseball bat, using professional grade, hand-picked maple to make this bat. Maple is a very dense timber with a greater surface hardness than ash, leading many players to believe it gives them a sizable bump in performance. Maple wood is a very close-grained timber, and this unique grain structure prevents the barrel from flaking. The quality of timber used by Louisville Slugger on these bats is second to none, making for a very high quality product. With a pro cupped end, the M9 is great for maximizing bat speed offering a 2 Â¼ inch barrel diameter to give you the best sweet spot possible. No compromising bat speed for durability. This bat is great for the player just starting to swing wood bats. The black handle with a wine barrel finish gives you the opportunity to swing what pros swing.