It is often times difficult to find the best baseball bat to suit your youth player. Some are just learning, some are beginning to join the league, some are already pro with the sports. However, you must heavily guide them in choosing the right equipment. What is their age? What should be the right size of the bat of fit them? What are the different components of the bat? Will the price be worth it? What about the rules of the league they are in? The young ones will depend heavily on your guidance and you better have enough knowledge of these equipment and how good they actually are.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Young Baseball Bat
There are actually a lot of youth baseball bats brands available in the market. Aside from that, they have different models and variations and it is very common for a brand to release upgrades of a particular model yearly. So yes, we can say that these brands are evolving. But before focusing on a particular brand or model or the technology used, there are actually important factors to consider on buying a good youth baseball bat.
Baseball bats come in different weights and sizes. Following a good set of guidelines can ultimately help you get the right bat for your little one.
Below is a summary of the important factors that you need to look at:
First thing first — size and weight
The bat will work hand in hand with the player so these two are automatically the most important factors. The right bat with the right size and weight that is appropriate for the player can aid greatly with the swing speed, batting stance, and hitting capacity.
Age of the player
Little kids usually start playing baseball at the age of 4. Some do it for fun and others do it to train and prepare for a league. Youth baseball, in this matter, usually have players from 4 up to 18. There is no standard bat to embrace the wide margin of age. A young kid could not possibly hold a heavier bat. More factors will be discussed later on in this article but remember that age plays a huge role in buying a bat.
The legality involved
Different leagues, different rules. Ask the coach freely about this and ultimately look for the certification of the bat. This will lead you to know which league it is allowed to be played.
Youth baseball bats come in variety of prices too. The price range is very wide so it is best to still consider your budget. If your kid is just starting, invest in a good yet affordable bat. There are a lot of brands offering just that and you’ll be surprised on the capacity even though they’re relatively cheaper. But for those who are playing for a league, it is best to invest in durable bat with a higher price point. Don’t worry, It’s going to be worth it.
Now that you are aware of the 4 simple factors to consider, it’s time to familiarize yourself and get to know the top youth baseball bats available. Check below.
Top 10 Best Youth Baseball Bats 2019
Easton is one of the most affordable yet durable brand of baseball bats available in the market today. This model, the S500 is one of the top choices among parents for their little kids because it is very lightweight and is good for the young ones who are just starting to play baseball.
What draws parents and kids first to this brand is their designs. The S500 is brimming in bright yellow and black colors that would look absolutely good in the field. It is a one piece design with a -13 drop weight so holding it will be a breeze for kids. It has a barrel diameter of 2 1/4 inch and is offered from 27 to 32 inch options. The pro tack grip on the handle is great for little ones as it reduces vibration but may sting a bit especially for those who still has to get the hang of it.
The S500 Speed Brigade, just like any other Easton bats, is made from 7050 aircraft aluminum. It is 1.15 BPF certified and can be used for high school and collegiate play. Each of the bat that is part of the Speed Brigade series is made carefully to balance out the weight and its capacity to hit the ball. Undoubtedly one of the best for youth baseball!
Another good product from Easton is the Mako Composite Youth Baseball Bat. This might be on the higher price range but it certainly won’t disappoint. The amazing combination of green and black looks so attractive and sharp. This one of perfect for little kids who are trying on joining youth leagues.
The Mako Composite is definitely lightweight but brimming with performance. The bat boasts of a massive sweet spot brought about by the Thermo Composite Technology (TCT) which is the foundation of Mako Technology. It has a drop weights ranging from -11 to -19 allowing easier movement of the barrel.
The Mako Composite has a Hyperskin Gripthat provides a softer feel on the grip. It also has a patented 2-piece ConneXion technology isolates the handle from the barrel, maximizing energy transfer and eliminating vibration, which little kids will surely love. This bat is 1.15 BPF certified.
While the Mako Composite is a good bat overall, it is good to note that a fully composite bat is not suitable for use in all leagues. If your child is just starting out, it won’t hurt to ask the coach if a composite bat is allowed for that specific league.
Easton has a good customer service and has knowledgeable staff willing to give you a detailed information to help you on what to buy
The CF Zen Balanced from DeMarini is another valuable composite bat that does pretty welll in the field. It was introduced in the market back in 2017 and was able to introduce new technology that can help kids in the playing field. The brand used a two-piece build with composite material to produce a well-balanced swing that will greatly aid little players.
The handle of the CF Zen balanced is made from a specialized D-Fusion 2.0 handle which helps greatly in reducing vibrations. While it has all the good technology, the CF Zen is only available in one size that is mostly suitable for players 8 to 12 years old.
The CF Zen has a drop weight of -5. However, as the name suggests, it is so well-balanced that even if your kid is transitioning from a frop -10 to -5, the extra ounces are almost unnoticeable. The paraflex composite material used in the barrel also allows an even weight distribution so the bat generally feels lighter.
The DeMarini CF Zen Balanced is USSSA certified. It is also on the higher price range but for those who are already in the youth league, this is such a good buy.
If we talk about reliability, Louisville might even top this list. The company has been making baseball bats for the last century. The slugger series is one of their latest releases and it is composed of durable and quality bats for youth baseball.
One of the best option from the series is the Louisville Slugger YBAR152. This one is a good bath not just for league trainees but also for beginners. It comes with a 2 ¼” barrel diameter that is perfect for kids because of the large contact area and it has a-12 drop weight, making it very light and easy to control.
This bat is made from one-piece aircraft grade Aluminum 7050 alloy which makes it light yet strong. Often compared to some Easton model, this one also allows the player to move the bat with ease and hit with power.
The YBAR152 is designed with Vibration Dampening End-Cap, installed at the tip of its barrel. It also comes with 7/8” tapered handle with a firm leather grip attached to it for comfort during play.
The YBAR152 comes in 5 different sizes and is certified for use in the Little League, as well as other leagues such as the USSSA, the AABC, Babe Ruth, Dixie and more.
The Louisville Slugger 2016 Omaha 516 boasts of “ultimate balance and maximum control”. This may be an old model but a top favorite nonetheless.
This bat is made of the exclusive Slugger’s 7U1 alloy which is very lightweight and could be a perfect match for little kids who are new to the youth baseball sports. It has a 2 1/4 barrel and a 7/8 inch tapered handle — dimensions that are quite common for bats in the little league. The barrel for the Omaha 516 however is 25% longer that other Omaha bat. The reason for this is that this bat is specifically made to increase increase power while being extra lightweight. And with its weight and length, it gives little players the utmost balance and control. It is available in 5 sizes from 27 to 31 inches in lenght and has a drop weight of -13.
The tapered handle of the Omaha 516 has a Lizard skin grip. There are some however who are not fan of this claiming that the grips seems somewhat uncomfortable sometimes during swing. The bat is 1.15 BPF certified.
This big barrel bat is perfect for senior league players and it does deliver with its strength and power. This may be an old model but still continues to be in the list of top favorites because of what it can do. The design is very clean and sleek as well, just right for teens.
The 2016 Maxum is made from composite material and has a -12 drop. It has a 2 1/4 inch composite barrel and is available in 4 sizes: 28, 29, 30, or 31 inches. The Maxum is USSSA 1.15 BPF certified and is approved for play in Little League, Dixie, Pony, AABC, and Babe Ruth, making this a smart choice for league players.
The Maxum is a one-piece composite bat and has probably one of the largest sweet spot and it has unique technology that aids greatly in ones play. It has the Combat’s Precision Molded Seamless Construction that uses single fibers in running int he whole of the bat. This makes it extra durable.
This bat is incredibly light weight and provides balance especially when players swing it. It is also all about giving enough power as it hits the bat.
The Marucci 2017 Hex Connect is well-thought off from the technology used down to the smallest details. This bat, no doubt, should be part of this list because it performs and it is very durable.
Hex Connect is a two piece composite bat that has a low swing MOI and a larger barrel. It is made up of quality materials and conceptualized using Marucci’s innovative technologies just to give amazing and maximum performance in the field. Marucci uses the new SDX (Shock Dissipating Connection) Technology that conjoins the barrel and the handle to provide a smooth feeling at contact. It has a sting-free knob the provides utmost comfort and reduce vibrations. Its ring-free barrel technology boasts that their will be NO dead spots in the play.
The bat has a -10 drip, a 2 3/4 inch barrel diameter, and has USSSA 1.15 BPF certification. It also has the maximum allowed size barrel length to enhance confidence, and a bigger sweet spot to aid with hit.
Here’s another one from DeMarini that delivers utmost performance in the field — the 2016 Voodoo Raw. There are definitely newer versions from DeMarini but this one received many praises because of its precision and its technology.
The 2016 Voodoo Raw has 2 1/4 inches barrel diameter and is made of state-of-the-art X12ATM alloy, which can help in creating impact when hitting. This type of alloy, according to the brand, provides the maximum possible strength and flexibility even at its thinnest points. It has a-13 drop.
The bat is made as a two-piece that is given a smooth taper by the thermo-fusion technology. THis adds additional strenght in the bat’s hitting capacity while being light weight so there won’t be a problem with the swing. The tapering is carefully done to energy from reverberations can be directed into the swing of the bat, increasing the overall force of contact during the process.
2016 Voodoo Raw has the original Low Pro End-Cap used by DeMarini. This original cap helps in maintaining balance and control and reuces vibrations. The grip on this bat however, has the new D-Fusion 2.0 technology that gives players a really strong grip and helps with the transfer of energy from the player to the bat. The Demarini Voodoo Raw 2016 is USSSA 1.15 BPF certified.
Rawlings Raptor may be one of the most affordable baseball brands in the market but their products are guaranteed durable. Plus, they always delivers with utmost performance.
This bat is an ideal choice for sluggers who seeks power in every hit. This is one of the latest models with a -10 drop and 2 1/4 inch barrel. With its ultra-light drop weight, the player generally has edge when it comes to speed. The weighted end cap also helps in reducing unwanted weight making the overall feel of the bat light and comfortable.
The bat has a one piece construction so its expect it to generate vibrations. Strong hit can cause sting as well. However, it is very durable and the little vibrations won’t affect the game for sure. Plus, it has a pre-wrapped tacky grip on the handle, making it very comfortable to hold.
The 2019 Raptor Tball rounds up our list of the best bats for youth baseball. It is very affordable, it has bold and sharp colors that looks so good on the field, and it is very light even little kids can enjoy playing with it without the sting.
The bat has a drop weight of -12 and a 2 1/4 inches barrel. It is available in 3 sizes — 24″, 25″ and 26″ length variants and 12, 13, and 14 ounces respectively. This bat is ideal for young players who are just starting with baseball.
The 2019 Raptor Tball is made from durable alloy with a large sweet spot, making the transfer of energy from the bat to ball just perfect and the bat swing faster.
Guide to Buying the Best Youth Baseball Bats
As parents, it may be a challenge to find what’s best for your little one. Sometimes when they become so interested in the sport and want to play right away, we tend to get a little overwhelmed a buy the things we think are good enough. But proper research it still the key. It is also best to talk to the league’s coach about what bat to buy and its certification.
So now that you know the factors to consider and you have the knowledge about the best available youth baseball bats in the market, it’s time to get familiarized with the other things to consider when buying one. We’ve sum up a buyer’s guide that you can use.
A Bat Should Adhere to Rules and Regulations of Youth Baseball
There are many different types of youth baseball leagues in the US and each has different rules. The rule of one may not necessarily apply to another so you have to consider and follow the rules of the league in which your kid want to be a part of. The highest standard or measure of a youth bat is the United States Specialty Sports Association of USSSA. If a bat is USSSA certified, you will see a thumbprint mark on bats larger than 2 1/4 inches that says USSSA 1.15 BPF.
For the Little League Standard bats in Little League Major Division and below, the bat shall not be more than 33 inches in length, nor more than 2⅝ inches in diameter. For wood, it should not be not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter at its smallest part.
Hollow composite bats are banned in the NFHS unless they pass the Ball-Exit Speed Ratio (BESR) test or the Batted-Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) certification.
You Should Take Into Consideration the Age of the Player
For starters or for very young players between the age of 4 and 6, a tee ball bat is suggested. For players between 7 and 13, a bat certified by the USSSA is considered. For teens between the age of 14 and 18, a bat should be meeting BBCOR standards.
The weight of the bat should be considered along with the age. In general, a larger or older player can handle heavier bats and in addition to this, a larger bat can give them more power when hitting the ball. For small players however, a lighter bat is needed which they can control in full speed.
Materials and Composition
When buying a bat, you’ll notice that there are actually different materials to choose from. And if your little one is new to the sport, it is easy to get confused as parents. One of the most common bats are the alloy type bats. These are made of aluminum (some are aircraft grade) and are generally lightweight. This type is also the most affordable. Bats made of alloy are suitable for the younger ones because they don’t really need time to break in. Your kid can actually use it right away. But since it is made of alloy, it is prone to dent. The alloy type is perfect for starters and during trainings.
Another popular type of bat is the composite bat. They are made out layered fiber materials and the ones that usually has all the best technology because of its composition. Composite bats usually work to minimize the amount of vibration felt by the player during the game. They have nice sweet spots and usually give a good pop. Used in most leagues, composite bats are expensive and require a longer break in time.
Hybrid bat is another type of baseball bat that is a combination of aluminum and composite. The hybrid bats are generally less expensive than full composite but has the power and durability of one.
Wood bats are not allowed on the playing field on most youth league but some coaches allow the use of wood bats during trainings because it can help greatly with the swing.
Importance of Drop
You often hear the word drop in the world of baseball bat but what is it, really? The drop is actually the weight to length ratio. The bigger the drop weight, the lighter the bat will actually weight.
It is common for youth baseball to have a bat with a drop ratio between -10 to -12. These are generally considered perfect for young players. The drop is actually weight minue the lenght. Weight is smaller than the lenght so drop is in negative number.
Also, a higher drop means a faster swing and a small drop means more powerful.This shall depend on the player’s preference.
Handles and Grips
These two are essentially important for young players. A wide grip and uncomfortable handle might give them the sting so when buying, these should be given enough consideration.
A thicker bat handle means more stability and balance and it has the capacity to widstand the shock on every hit or even miss. A thinner handle on the other hand, promotes speed because it allows the player to move their hands quicker. Most youth baseball leagues requires the knob found at the handle end so that the bat won’t slip during high impact swing, preventing accidents and other children players from being hit.
There are a lot of different brands of youth baseball bats out there. Some have the best materials, some are light weight, and some have the best technology. What we’ve rounded up are the top favorites because of their power in the playing field and because of the reliability of the brand that manufactures them. When it comes to the composition and measurement, it is important to consider the age of player, the league and the capacity. Coaches can help a lot and can give a lot of advices just to start with but parents also need to be equipped with the right information. Remember that each kid’s capacity changes as they grow so this means changes as well on the equipment they are going to use.
Just remember this: for stronger players the use of a heavier bat for power is usually the trend. For beginners or intermediate players, a light weight bat with thicker handle is recommended. And before buying, make your child hold the bat up for up to 30 seconds. If he is comfortable, then the bat is most likely for him.