Baseball Sports

How to Choose the Best Baseball Bat for You

best baseball bats
Written by Ronald Friesen

Developing your skills as a baseball hitter takes a lot of practice. But having the best baseball bats is equally essential. After all, this is the main gear of every hitter. If its weight is not right or the sweet spot not large enough for your own requirements, you are looking at poor performance. And that’s the last any hitter wants. That’s why we put together several baseball bat reviews as well as plenty of information.

Choosing a new baseball bat is hard. In order to make the right choice, you must have a broad view of what’s available on the market but also a lot of information about bats.

Why is difficult to choose a baseball bat?

There is no one-bat-fits-all. And that says it all. You have to take into consideration the features of the bat and make sure they meet your requirements as a player. And not just that. There is a plethora of baseball bats because your personal characteristics (height, weight etc.), but also experience, age, and expectations also play a crucial role to your selection.

Why trust our baseball bat reviews?

  • We have made a thorough research and collected the most useful information for you
  • We have considered the pros and cons of baseball bat types
  • We have tried to open your mind in regard to bats since the bat which your best friend likes might not thrill you
  • We are totally unbiased since we don’t sell bats

So if you have questions about materials, the drop ratio, leagues requirements and brands, stick around and take a look of the following baseball bat reviews.

Best Baseball Bats in the World 2017

DeMarini 2017 CF - Best BBCOR Bats

All BBCOR bats should have the following stamp imprinted on the bat: .50 BBCOR certified. Their barrel is no more than 2 5/8 inches in terms of diameter and have a drop 3 in terms of weight/length ratio. From Easton to DeMarini and Marucci, there are several baseball bat brands available. But since our intention is to present you the best baseball bats for 2017, we choose DeMarini 2017 CF.

Click image to view on Amazon.com

So what are the benefits, qualities, and downsides of DeMarini 2017 CF?

Let’s start by saying that the DeMarini CF line is top rated in its category, which is high school and NCAA.

Interesting things

There are balanced and end loaded, one- and two-piece bats in the CF line and the price is ranging accordingly. They are all BBCOR certified and come out in two different lengths/weights but they all have a drop 3.

FEATURES

  • Two and one-piece bats
  • Balanced and end loaded
  • D-Fusion 2.0 handle
  • Composite barrel
  • 2 5/8” barrel diameter

BENEFITS

The 2017 DeMarini CF series includes paraflex composite and alloy bats. And they come out either balanced or endloaded to meet each player’s requirements. The handle minimizes vibration and allows energy to be redirected to the hot spot, which is really long.

Upgrade from previous model: DeMarini 2016 CF and why it is valuable to you

Although the 2016 DeMarini CF bat was equally well constructed, this year’s bat is enhance. Just consider the barrel of paraflex composite bats: it’s 22% more durable and this enables players to distribute weight in greater accuracy. Another upgrade is that there are several bat versions in the series allowing different players to pick the bat meeting their needs.

So, why choose BBCOR certified bats?

  1. You meet legal requirements
  2. Your bat will comply with the standards required for high school and collegiate games
  3. You have several choices and so you get to choose the best BBCOR bats for you
  4. They will enhance your game by offering the perfect trampoline effect

Easton S3 - Best Junior Big Barrel/Coach Pitch

With juniors, what you need is the right size and weight. But the big barrel would also come handy. This is what you get with the Easton S3 bat. Its low price makes it even more attractive since you get high value, great characteristics, and don’t break the bank. Can it get any better?

Click image to view on Amazon.com

  • Its main features include a 2 ¾” barrel diameter, -10, and a 29/32” ultra-thin handle. The grip is cushioned and the bat feels good in the hands and won’t tire the kid.
  • One of its benefits is that it’s a one-piece bat with a large barrel. Since it is made of Hyperlite matrix alloy, it is really strong and can increase the hitting distance.
  • Another advantage is that it is one step larger than the typical 2 ¼” bats and so the kid can have a smooth transition to a slightly bigger bat.
  • It is certified by USSSA 1.15 BPF (Bat Performance Factor). This certifies that the non-wood bat is qualified to produce the best trampoline effect without compromising the safety of players and is approved by the United States Specialty Sports Association.

Wondering if the Easton 2015 S3 bat is better than its predecessor, the Easton 2014 XL3?

Let’s just make clear that there is a difference between the S and XL bat series. The former offers hitters – with a difficulty to generate their own power – a balanced weight. The XL line bats are ideal for those who generate their own energy.  Both XL3 and S3 bats are one-piece alloy bats.

So, let’s get back to our original question. The S3 Easton 2015 is an upgrade of the 2014 XL3 bat basically in terms of its barrel’s material. It features a Hyperlite matrix alloy barrel which is better than the scandium alloy of the 2014 bat. Two of the complaints some players had with the 2014 bat included:

  • the sweet spot was hard to find
  • it was a better option for players seeking a light swing
  • it behaved more as a wood bat but in a higher price

And so Easton improved its 2015 S3 bats by enlarging the sweet spot and enhancing the strength without compromising swing weight. So if you are looking for the best junior big barrel bats, consider the 2015 versions.

DeMarini CF Zen Balanced - Best Youth Baseball Bats

There is no doubt that it is hard to choose among youth baseball bats. After all, the characteristics of each bat in relation to the characteristics of each kid vary. But as an overall the benefits of the DeMarini CF Zen balanced -11 2 ¼” baseball bat are plenty.

Let’s see why:

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  • The bat is certified by AABC, Pony, Dixie Youth, USSSA, Little League, and Babe Ruth.
  • The drop 11 make the bat easier to swing
  • The barrel is made of paraflex composite. And what this means is that it will be ready to use out of the box. And that compensates a little for its rather expensive price since there is no waiting-to-break-the-bat period
  • The sweet spot is large.
  • DeMarini has a great reputation for making D-Fusion 2.0 handles. What this means is that it is strong, yet flexible. It provides stability, but also allows energy transfer to the barrel

DeMarini has created some of the best youth baseball bats in the history of games. Whether you have already used a DeMarini baseball bat in the past or not, we chose to make a short comparison of the current CF Zen Balanced bat with previous models:

  • DeMarini 2014 CF6: The D-Fusion two-piece handle is made of paradox composite, which is strong but then feels soft and enables energy transmission to the barrel. It also features a thermos fused taper.
  • DeMarini 2015 CF7: The 2015 version keeps the best characteristics of the previous year and features a paradox plus composite barrel and D-Fusion flame tempered handle. It also has a low pro end cap, which maximizes the balanced swing weight.
  • DeMarini 2016 CF8: In 2016 DeMarini makes the barrel even lighter and stronger by presenting a carbon fiber paradox +plus composite barrel. DeMarini keeps the thermos-fused taper and low pro end cap and presents D-Fusion 2.0 handles.

What we notice is that DeMarini has made improvements over the years. It focused on the tapered grip, the strength of the handle, the excellent balance, and durability. And in the latest version, we see changes in the barrel, PCK knob, and the size of the sweet spot. So, these are a few upgrades.

Easton 2015 SL15MK10B - Best Senior League/Youth Big Barrel Bats

What gives extra credits to the Easton 2015 SL15MK10B Baseball Bat is the combination of the light weight with a big barrel.

But let’s take a quick look of this bat’s features first:

Click image to view on Amazon.com

  • It features a 2 ¾” barrel providing a large sweet spot which makes it hard to miss the ball.
  • It is made of a thermo-composite material. The benefit? The ball will be batted by making a great sound. It also enhances the trampoline effect.
  • It has a low swing weight.
  • Its length/weight ratio is -10, which means extra light.
  • Easton utilizes connexion technology which enables maximum energy transfer while it reduces vibration.
  • It has a USSSA 1.15 BPF certification.
  • Its handle is extra thin – 29/32” and features a diamond grip.

Can’t get any better, especially if you consider that this two-piece baseball bat is ideal for both power and contact hitters. And such benefits justify its rather high price. It’s not the most expensive product on the market, but it’s not cheap either. But you are compensated by its great features, which make sure you don’t waste energy. So, if you are seeking the best youth big barrel baseball bats, take a swing with this one. You will love it.

Easton MAKO Aluminum - Best Tee Ball Bats

Tee-ball games are a bit different from the usual youth and adult baseball games. They are actually appropriate for the young fellows up aged 4-8. The intention of this game is to introduce children interested in the baseball game to its philosophy. The goal is to enhance their batting, running, and catching skills. And so kids need an easy to use bat, which can fill them with confidence.

The best we found on the market is the Easton MAKO Aluminum Youth Tee-Ball Bat.

Its features do all the talking:

Click image to view on Amazon.com

  • It has a drop 13.5, which means extra light for the young folks
  • It has a rather big 2 ¼” barrel diameter, which will allow kids to learn easier thus enhancing their confidence
  • It is USSSA BPF 1.15 certified
  • It is also approved by Babe Ruth, Little League, Pony, and Dixie
  • Its end is rolled providing maximum safety for the child
  • Its ultra-thin 29/32 handle makes it easier for the little hands
  • This is a one-piece bat and is made of composite material

The whole idea behind the Easton MAKO construction is to allow kids to grow skills by using a comfortable t-bat, which has many similarities with the bats used by adults. And it has the features to turn your young ones into serious players.

DeMarini Fungodelic DXFUNDE - Best Fungo Bats

Fungo bats are special. Designed for coaches to fly balls for outfield and infield practice and hit ground balls, they ought to be lightweight. They also have a special design and so they are not made for games.

We chose DeMarini Fungodelic Fungo Baseball Bat: DXFUNDE for you. Why?

Click image to view on Amazon.com

  • It is end loaded which makes hitting ground balls easy
  • It is constructed with composite material, which makes the bat strong and provides a light swing weight
  • The 2 ¼” barrel is made of wood
  • Its length is 35 inches
  • It is extremely light and so it won’t strain the arm of coaches

It is a high quality fungo bat, but has a rather high price too. Though, it has the features required for regular infield and outfield practice and will make the life of coaches easier.

Benefits of Choosing the Right Baseball Bats

  • The bat must feel good in your hands
  • If it’s heavier than the weight you can handle, you won’t perform right
  • If it doesn’t meet certain standards and requirements in terms of size, it won’t be allowed by your league
  • If you don’t choose the right material, it might get damaged sooner
  • But the material is also important for league requirements and has to do with its price too
  • It makes a difference if you are a contact or power hitter
  • It also makes a difference if you want it for yourself or your kid

Choosing the right baseball bat is essential for your performance. And so it must be the perfect bat for you. Not your son, or best friend. Just for you. It will help you to hit the ball better and further away and thus maximize your performance. And it will not get damaged after a few games.

How to Choose the Best Baseball Bat for You

Gearing up properly to play baseball right is not easy. There is a lot to consider in regard to the whole baseball gear. And the bat is the main tool of all hitters. If you choose the wrong size, weight, length, or type, you might not score at your full potentials. That’s why every little detail counts.

So let’s take a quick look of what you need to consider in order to choose the best baseball bat for you.

Pay Attention to the Bat Characteristics

Baseball bat length shouldn’t be more than 42” long. But most adult bats are 31-34” with some exceptions which are 29.35”. 8-9 year-olds would need 26”-28” bats. In order to find the ideal baseball bat, you should use available charts. These allow you to find the right baseball size by matching your weight and height.

The rule of thumb is that the heavier the bat, the further the ball will go. But this is not always true since it depends on your size and power too. For example, a player with 56 in. height would need 18 oz. bats. A player weighing 110 lbs. would need 20.5 oz. bats.

But the most important thing is the length-to-weight ratio. The difference between the two would give you a negative number, which determines the actual weight of the bat. The bigger the negative number, the lighter the bat.

For players under 12, 2 ¼” barrels are best. But some leagues would also allow 2 ¾” barrel diameter. Maximum barrel diameter for high school and college games is 2 5/8”.

And here comes another big question: Big or small barrel?

The truth is that big barrels help you strike better and easier. The sweet spot is larger with thicker and bigger bats and that results to a greater success rate. But the larger the barrel, the harder to swing. And so it all comes down to technique. As an overall, it’s best to start with smaller barrels and carry on with bigger ones.

How Old Are You?

Your age, experience, body build, weight, and height also play an important role to the selection of the right baseball bat. That’s why charts are valuable. And that’s why there are so many choices between bats. So, you must always correlate your personal characteristics to the bat features.

Which Bat Type Is Best for You?

Hybrid Bats

What are they?

They are a mix and match of materials. Most of them have an aluminum handle and composite barrel.

PROS

  • Very strong
  • Resistant to dents, warping, and any defects

CONS

  • Their price is high and thus aluminum baseball bats become a more attractive solution
  • Not all leagues permit them

Wood bats

There is no need to explain what wood bats are. But it’s important to mention that they are made of different types of wood.

  • Ash wood was traditional used by the Major League Baseball and its best advantage is its density and thus strength.
  • Nowadays, most professional leagues use bats made of maple wood. And that’s because they are lighter. Their downside is that they can break easier.
  • Lately, bamboo and hickory wood bats have also become popular. But they are not allowed by most leagues. Birch is also very popular.

Alloy bats

A deeper look into alloy baseball bats

Alloy is actually a blend of metals. We often refer to alloy bats as aluminum bats. They became popular in the 1970s as an alternative solution to wooden bats. And their popularity grew thanks to their durability. Leagues allow aluminum bats as long as they comply with the BBCOR standards.

PROS

  • They are not easily damaged
  • They are lightweight
  • They allow high speeds
  • They create a better trampoline effect
  • They are cost-effective

CONS

  • They often have a smaller sweet spot
  • They offer less pop

Composite bats

What are they?

They are a mixture of plastic, graphite, and often titanium. And these materials enable precise weight distribution. So you can easily find end loaded and balanced composite baseball bats.

PROS

  • They are lightweight enabling increased swing speed and longer distance coverage
  • They offer greater pop than alloy bats
  • They often have a larger sweet spot
  • They reduce the sting hitters feel from miss-hits

CONS

  • They are relatively expensive, especially compared to alloy bats
  • They require over 150 hits breaking time
  • Not all leagues allow composite bats

So, wood, alloy, hybrid, or composite bat for you and your kid?

The age and experience both play an important role to choosing bat materials. As far as children are concerned, most youth bats are made of aluminum because they are lighter. As an alternative, they might use composite bats too.

If we consider that hybrid are a bit pricey and not allowed by all leagues, it’s easy to understand that most adult players use wood or composite bats.

That leaves us with the question: wood or composite?

Composites offer better balance but require a long break period and are affected by the temperatures. At very low temperatures, composites might crack whereas wood is not affected. But it has to do with your personal preference too and what is allowed by your league.

Important Things to Keep in Mind when Choosing Baseball Bats

League requirements

It is extremely important to check with your league. They all have restrictions and regulations as far as bats are concerned. For instance, college and high school leagues require BBCOR certified bats. Little league requires all bats to be up to 33” in length and 2 ¼” in diameter. And all non-wood bats must have a BPF 1.15 or less certification.

Feel

The way the bat feels is determined by the swing weight. And this is the measurement at a certain point which is usually 6 inches and is also related to the weight and the time needed for the bat to swing. And that’s what we also refer to as MOI (Moment of Inertia). The heavier the bat around the barrel, the harder is to swing. When the weight is better distributed towards the handle, the MOI will be lower and it will be easier to swing.

Size

View the chart below to check out what lengh is right for you. (Note: this is only reference information, because it’s vary from people to people, depends on many factors which you can read in this section).

Bat size recommend – Click image to view in large version

Cost

Prices vary. You can find very cheap bats but also very expensive ones. As an overall, hybrid baseball bats are the most expensive ones due to their complex manufacturing process. The next most expensive in the list are the composite bats. But alloy bats can also get pricey. It all comes down to the brand, model, and barrel size.

Brands

There are several ones. Let us review the most popular ones:

  1. Louisville Slugger: the company dates back to the late 1800s. Bud Hillerich decided to use his father’s shop to make a baseball bat for player Peter Browning when he witnessed the player’s bat breaking during a game. And that’s what happened. Over the years, the brand utilized the best technologies and supplied bats to the most reputed players worldwide.
  2. DeMarini: it opened its doors in 1989. The founder was Ray DeMarini. The company introduced the double wall bat and has made many improvements over the years. Due to its success, it attracted the attention of Wilson Sporting Goods which acquired DeMarini in 2000. Since then the company has seen even better days.
  3. Easton: the company was founded by Doug Easton in the early 1900s but it didn’t produce baseball bats till 1969. In 1999 they acquired Stix Baseball Inc. and started making wood baseball bats Easton supplies tens of players with its bats and has made a difference by utilizing the matrix & carbon nanotube technologies.

There are tens of baseball bat brands on the market. From Rip-It, Madden, and Dinger to BWP, MaxBats, and Mizuno, there are choices for everyone.

Why is it important to stick to a well-known brand?

Big brands have established a reputation and you can easily find out more about them. Due to the high competition, they do use the best technologies to make quality baseball bats in an effort to stand above the competition. Since they have many things to gain and so much to lose, they adhere to standards and keep producing better and better bats year after year.

Conclusion

When you get the best baseball bats for you, you maximize performance. And that’s the secret of successful hitters. There are baseball bats for all ages. From t-bats to adult leagues, there are wood, composite, hybrid, and alloy bat choices. The question is which is best for you? Want more trampoline effect? Need a larger sweet spot? There is abundance of options and that’s because each player is as unique as every bat. Have you found yours yet? Use the information provided here and our baseball bat reviews to make the right choice.

About the author

Ronald Friesen

Hey there, I'm Ronald, founder and editor in chief here at FHS+. I have passionate through choose best things around us. And we want to share it with you. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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