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5 Features to Look for in a BBCOR Bat, with Jorel Ortega

BBCOR bats are typically made for players ages fourteen and up, and they’re the natural next step after swinging a USSSA bat. 

While all BBCOR bats have the same drop weight and max barrel size, there are a lot of nuances too. From weight to balance and more, each BBCOR bat brings different elements to the game. 

Jorel Ortega, a Guardian Athlete, is known for doing damage at the plate. After a steller sophomore season at #1 ranked Tennessee and being drafted by the Twins, Ortega has a bright baseball future. 

He took time from his busy schedule to help us answer a big question: what features should you look for in a good BBCOR bat? 

Let’s learn from Jorel. 

But first, what is a BBCOR Bat?

As we’ve shared before in our bat buying guide, BBCOR bats are explosive bats built for high school and college baseball players, and you’ll also find them in various Men’s League play.

These bats are typically used by ages 14 and up, and unlike USSA and USA bats, they have a specific size and drop weight expectation: all BBCOR bats are drop -3 and have a max 2 ⅝” barrel. As far as length goes, you’ll often find them in 31", 32", 32.5", 33", 33.5", 34".

BBCOR stands for “Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution.” This is a standard to measure the among of energy lost during the contact of the bat and ball. Greater energy loss means more “trampoline effect” for the bat, and the National Federation of State High School Associations and the NCAA decided to cap that number at .50 for BBCOR bats. That’s only slightly more explosive than a wood bat, and it’s why you see “.50” stamped on BBCOR bats.

Jorel Ortega’s Top 5 Features to Look for in a BBCOR Bat

Here are Jorel’s Top 5 preferences of a BBCOR bat. 

1. Balanced feel 

First, you want your bat to have a comfortable balance for a smooth swing at the plate. While every batter will have preferential differences as to how they want their bat’s weight distributed, having a good balance will lead to better control. 

Some bats are more end-loaded than others, so balance is not a one-size-fits-all option. Find the perfect option for you. 

2. Weight 

While heavy bats might feel more powerful, they also will slow down your swing. As Jorel notes, “You gotta be able to handle the bat when you’re facing high-velo pitching.” Find a weight that you can swing well against the fastest pitchers – this will vary from batter to batter based on their size and strength. 

3. Barrel size 

The bigger the barrel, the more room batters have to do damage. Jorel prefers a big barrel so there’s a big, powerful sweet spot and there’s a better margin for error. 

4. Bat Constructions (1 piece bat or 2 pieces)

BBCOR bats are either one-piece or two-piece in construction. Jorel prefers the 2 piece bats because the extra flexibility gives you more whip in every swing. 

What’s the difference?

Whether they’re metal, wood or composite, one-piece bats have no break in the material between the barrel and the handle. This makes the bat more powerful upon contact but it also increases stiffness and cuts down on the amount of flex batter’s can expect. 

Two-piece bats are constructed by bonding two pieces together between the barrel and handle. Sometimes they can feature a blend of materials: composite, and metal.  The two-piece bonding technique gives the bat more flex upon contact with the ball and helps generate more of a whip effect.

5. Get what I feel comfortable with, not what is popular

Don’t be afraid to be different. Jorel emphasized that you need to swing the bat that feels best for you  – not necessarily the popular bat that your teammates are swinging. As he explained, “just because everyone uses the same bat it means it's going to work for you. They all have a different feel, and go with what feels comfortable for you.”

Ready to put Jorel’s advice into practice?

Jorel is making a career out of knowing the game inside and out, and if you’re ready to put his advice into practice and get a new BBCOR bat, Guardian Baseball has you covered.

You can shop our BBCOR selection here.

Or, you can shop BBCOR bats from some of the most popular brands: Easton, Marucci, Rawlings, Stinger, Guardian Baseball, Axe Bat, and more. 

Don’t just play the game. Dominate the game with Guardian Baseball and Jorel Ortega.