What's The Best Baseball Bat?
Purchasing a brand new baseball bat can feel like an overwhelming process, especially if it’s your first time buying a baseball bat. Even if you purchased bats in the past, due to the amount of baseball bats on the market, it can still feel like a daunting challenge to find the “right” bat.
With so many choices, how can you single it down to just one bat? What features should you be looking for? Do you need a specific bat model that meets certain standards? All fair questions, and we’ll be answering all of them below.
Before you buy a baseball bat, you need to think about “exactly” what you’re looking for. Durability, performance, weight, speed, size, and brand are all important factors when choosing a baseball bat. You want to make sure you’re considering everything, so… where do you start?
Buying A Baseball Bat? Get To Know This First
Before we dive in on our top 7 baseball bats lists, there’s a few things you need to be aware of before you go buy your baseball bat.
Let’s talk about it.
(1) League Rules And Standards
The majority of baseball and softball leagues have rules and guidelines, so understanding what those rules are will be important.
USSSA and BBCOR are two of the most common bat standards, so make sure you become familiar with them and what each means. USSSA, or United States Specialty Sports Association, is a governing body for youth baseball. Their primary goal is to coordinate opportunities for teams to compete in both leagues and tournaments around the world. They seek to promote a high-quality brand of baseball to directly engage younger players in the sport.
BBCOR stands for “Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution”. This is a standard that is enforced by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSH) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It requires non-wood bats (metal and composite baseball bats) to mimic the performance of wood bats by regulating how much energy is lost when hitting a baseball. Higher numbers in the test mean a greater trampoline effect.
(2) Bat Length
The length of your baseball bat can affect your swing mechanics and plate coverage. If you get a baseball bat that’s too long, you’ll be risking losing bat speed or improper swing mechanics. If you get a baseball bat that’s too short, you limit your plate coverage and reach. Having the right bat length makes sure you find that equal balance between good swing mechanics and plate coverage.
Here’s a few tips to help you choose the right baseball bat length.
- Take the knob of your bat and place it on the center of your chest. Next, you want to point it outwards to the side. Now, you can reach out with your arm, if you can comfortably reach the end of the bat with your fingertips, the bat is likely a good size for you.
- Take the knob of your bat and place it on the center of your chest, point the bat forward. If you can reach the barrel of the bat (not the taper) - the bat may be a solid fit for you.
- Stand up and measure the bat vertically against your leg. The end of the bat should be on the ground. Loosen your shoulders and open your hand and let the bat rest against your palm. If the knob reaches the center of your palm, you’ve found the right bat length.
If you’re unable to measure it yourself at home, use the size chart below as a guide to help you out. The size chart helps you get started, but the techniques described above will give you the perfect picture of which bat fits you best.
(3) Bat Materials
Now that you’re getting familiar with the rules and standards of your league, materials are very important when buying a baseball bat. There are two options in materials you can choose from: metal and wood.
Wood - Wood bats can be made from different trees like ash, birch or maple. Different types of wood means different qualities. Many wood bats have a -3 drop, but you’ll notice there’s a number of different drop sizes available.
Alloy or Aluminum - These bats are ready to use out of the box. With alloy and aluminum bats, they do not need to be broken in. A disadvantage is that the sweet spot is smaller, but they are great in any temperature and even last longer due to the durability of the bat. These bats are often more affordable than wood bats as well.
Composite Bats - These baseball bats have a larger sweet spot and absorb a lot more vibration, so your hands won’t hurt as bad after making contact. This can help reduce the stinging effect it gives after making poor contact with the ball. These bats are more expensive than wood bats and have a break-in period between 150 and 200 hits.
(4) Bat Weight
The weight of the baseball bat is another important factor you’ll want to consider before purchasing a new back. If you have a heavy weight, you may have a slower bat speed but it can provide more power at the bat. On the other hand, if you have a lightweight baseball bat, you’ll be able to swing the bat faster.
The weight is often based on the feel. If you can, pick up the baseball bat and take a few swings. If the bat feels heavy or begins to drop during the swing, the bat is likely too heavy for you. To check if the bat has the perfect weight for you, try holding the bat handle and extend your arm to your side. If you can’t hold your arm extended for 30 to 45 seconds or when the bat starts to drop, the bat might be too heavy for you.
Make sure you look at the “drop weight” as well. A bat’s drop is the amount that’s left after you subtract the weight of the bat from the length of the bat.
Here’s an example: If you have a baseball bat that weighs 22 ounces and is 30 inches long, the drop would be -8. We get a lot of questions on baseball bats with those metrics, now you know what it means. So, the bigger the drop weight, the lighter the bat is. This is how you can tell if the bat is on the light side or the heavy side.
Players that are big and strong tend to favor less of a drop weight. This can allow them to get more powerful hits. Smaller players often go for a bigger drop rate, this helps them increase the speed of the bat.
(5) League Ages
Every league will follow a specific bat standard for equipment regulations, this is true regardless of the age. Here’s how those standards follow;
- Players aged between 4 and 6 will likely need a tee ball bat.
- Players aged between 7 and 13 will likely need a bat meeting USA or USSSA standards.
- Players aged between 14 and 18 will likely need a bat meeting BBCOR standards.
To help make this process a little easier, we've built this guide that covers 7 high quality bats and outligns specific features of each bat.
With that said, let’s take a look at the top 7 baseball bats that made our final list.
Top 7 Baseball Bats For 2021
MARUCCI CAT 9 2021 CONNECT BBCOR BASEBALL BAT
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER 2021 BBCOR BASEBALL BAT
EASTON B5 PRO BIG BARREL BBCOR BASEBALL BAT
RAWLINGS QUATRO PRO 2021 BBCOR COMPOSITE BASEBALL BAT
DEMARINI CF 2021 BBCOR COMPOSITE BASEBALL BAT
EASTON ADV 360 USSSA YOUTH BASEBALL BAT
RAWLINGS MANTRA USSSA FASTPITCH SOFTBALL BAT
(1) MARUCCI CAT 9 2021 CONNECT BBCOR BASEBALL BAT
Designed for undeniable power and an end-loaded feel, this two-piece CAT9 Connect baseball bat combines a carbon composite handle with the strengthened, thermally treated AZR alloy barrel. The unique outer locking system creates one of the stiffest connections on the market, while dismissing virtually all vibrations on contact for a strong, smooth swing.
This Marucci baseball bat utilizes a three-stage thermal treatment process, the new AZR alloy offers a more responsive microstructure for better feel, more forgiveness and more performance while maintaining the same strength as its predecessor. Using a Longitudinal Groove System™, LGS™, across the thickest section of the barrel wall allows for excess weight reduction while also increasing flexibility for an increased performance zone.
(2) LOUISVILLE SLUGGER 2021 BBCOR BASEBALL BAT
This BBCOR bat has a wide range of benefits to help you improve your game. The 2021 Meta (-3) has the EKO™ composite barrel, which is engineered for the highest level of performance; light swinging, huge barrel, and one of the truest sounds in the game.
This Louisville Slugger baseball bat has a three-piece construction featuring the patented 3FX™ Connection System, which provides a stiff feel on contact that, when paired with its barrel design, leads to a light-swinging bat with an enormous sweet spot. New to the 2021 model, the Premium GT1™ end cap further maximizes the barrel length and swing speed, which is specifically what this Louisville Slugger is all about. the Meta’s calling card -- helping you power your way to the top. If you’re looking for a bat that has a balanced swing with speed and power, you can’t go wrong buying this baseball bat.
(3) EASTON B5 PRO BIG BARREL BBCOR BASEBALL BAT
This new Easton 2021 B5 PRO Big Barrel -3 BBCOR Baseball Bat gives you a great vintage feel but make no mistake, it performs like modern baseball bats.
This Easton baseball bat is made from ATAC Alloy that maximizes barrel performance. The one-piece aluminum BBCOR utilizes a ringless barrel design with different layers of alloy spread across the barrel to create a large sweet spot, smoother feel, and eliminates dead spots in the barrel like many other BBCOR bats on the market have.
The unbeatable performance of this B5 Pro Big Barrel BBCOR is because of the VRS Insert inside the handle that makes the handle stiff and reduces the vibration /sting from getting to your hands and the Natural Pro results in a balanced feel, making it the perfect bat for both speed and power.
(4) RAWLINGS QUATRO PRO 2021 BBCOR COMPOSITE BASEBALL BAT
The Rawlings Quatro Pro BBCOR baseball bat is engineered to speed up your swing without sacrificing any power, because at the end of the day speed IS power.
Thanks to its Accelerated Carbon Performance (ACP) end-cap and laser-engineered pOp sweet-spot, it gives you one of the best combinations of speed and power on the market.
As a result, you'll make explosive contact with more pitches, and you'll drive in more runs. In addition, the Velo ACP's strong alloy and precision crafted handle give you the lightest-weight, best feeling bat available in the game today.
(5) DEMARINI CF 2021 BBCOR COMPOSITE BASEBALL BAT
The Demarini CF BBCOR composite baseball bat has great technology maintains its place as a premier two-piece composite bat engineered using Paraflex™ Plus Construction for the most consistently responsive barrel and handle possible. The new 2021 Demarini baseball bat features 3Fusion™ Connection Technology with improved weight distribution for optimal vibration reduction and enhanced feel on contact. This Demarini bat is also equipped with the New ReACTION End Cap, that comes in the perfect combination of strong and light materials for increased barrel performance without compromising on speed.
This 2021 baseball bat is also versatile, the barrel measures 2 5/8 inches, with a -3 weight drop, and comes in a variety of sizes and weights.
(6) EASTON ADV 360 USSSA YOUTH BASEBALL BAT DROP -10 2 3/4 IN. BARREL
The Easton ADV 360 USSSA Youth Baseball Bat is an exciting new addition to the Easton baseball bat lineup. It claims to have one of the most advanced 2-piece composite bats in the game.
To provide an optimized balance point and hitting precisely the sweet spot right out of the wrapper, Easton incorporates the Launch Composite Barrel Technology which is a barrel layup design with 360 Engineering for 360 degrees of barrel-tuned precision, optimizes the barrel profile, and pushes the limits of performance.
The two-piece iSO CNX construction features a new lighter iSo ConneXion made with proprietary Nitrocell foam, which isolates the handle from the barrel for solid feel, more power through the zone and to give you increased power potential. The Power Boost Knob is a "soft knob" technology that gives the hitter more leverage and power potential while vibration is being reduced and improves comfort for the bottom hand. The Lizard Skin custom bat grip provides the ultimate feel, cushion, and tack.
(7) RAWLINGS MANTRA USSSA FASTPITCH SOFTBALL BAT SERIES DROP -10
For those of you that are looking for a high level USSSA softball baseball bat, you won’t go wrong with the Rawlings Mantra USSSA fastpitch softball bat.
This Rawlings fastpitch softball bat is designed for High School and College Fastpitch Softball Players with perfect combination of power and control where this Mantra Fastpitch Softball Bat allows players who swing it to maintain a fast, powerful, and smooth swing.
This new softball bat has a 15% thinner outer barrel creating a distinctly more reactive barrel than any previous model. It also has a 3-step inner barrel, built to help you optimize performance, strength and weight distribution for a fast, powerful connection through the swing.
The Rawlings Mantra smart bat is the first on the market, the Mantra knob cavity seamlessly incorporates a Blast Motion sensor (Sold separately) providing real-time feedback and analyzation metrics without disturbing swing weight or hand-feel.
Now that you know what to look for when buying baseball bats, we hope it gives you the knowledge and experience to find the right type of bat for your unique scenario.
If you need to pick up some new batting gloves as well, Guardian Baseball has you covered.
We understand buying baseball bats online can be a challenge, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you have any questions about the baseball bats listed in this guide or any other baseball products we carry.
You can always reach us via email at email@example.com
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