The rules and standard are changing for youth and little league baseball bats – this guide will aim to guide your through these new implementations, and through this, we can provide the best youth baseball bats and best little league bats available.
We would consider that having your own bat is the one of, if not the most important piece of equipment a youth player can have. The other, of course, is having the right youth baseball mitt.
In particular, finding the right bat is such an important aspect to an individual’s batting performance over the course of a season. A well-crafted, comfortable bat will both improve a player’s confidence, as well as improve the overall hitting distance a player can make.
Often people think that buying the best means that you have to break the bank – this isn’t entirely true. Whilst there are large discrepancies in quality between the cheapest and most expensive bat, there are some true gems that make a serious claim for best youth baseball bat without breaking a budget. In this guide, we provide a comparison with all the best youth baseball bats available in the current market for 2017 rules, whilst also going over the 2018 rules so you’re completely aware of what’s happening.
|Image||Product||Our Rating||Quick Notes|
|Easton MAKO Composite|
|Louisville Slugger Armor|
|Louisville Slugger Catalyst|
|DeMarini CF Zen|
Here is comparison table providing an insight into what the best youth baseball bats are in our opinion. Take note of the small features we highlight. Click to read more and jump straight to the relevant bat!
Baseball Bat Regulations
The current rules that apply in 2017 are integral in making a decision as to what youth baseball bat to buy for youth leagues, or little leagues. These rules will last to 31 December 2017 – before the new 2018 rules come into power.
You’ve probably seen this all over the place. BPF.
The 2017 rules requires that all bats meet a BPF rating of 1.15. In particular, BPF stands for Bat Performance Factor – of which measures how fast the ball comes off the bat. This was introduced as a way to protect pitchers and other youth players from being hurt whilst still learning the game. This rating of 1.15 is considered to be around the same as a ball coming off a wooden bat.
If you’re unsure whether the youth baseball bat you choose meets this standard, then just check it! All bats that meet this standard are stamped with the 1.15 BPF mark. Most aluminium alloy and hybrid bats are okay, but it doesn’t hurt to double check. To help you, all the bats on this list of best youth baseball bats meet this criteria.
If you are still unsure as to whether the standard BPF rating is required by your little league, just double check with the rules governing your league. This standard was put in place by the USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association), and is typically universal.
The next big standard that youth baseball bats and Little league bats require 2017 is that the bat does not exceed a barrel size of 2 ¼”. Again, this list ensures that the barrels all meet this specification.
So who knows how long these new rules will last, but either way, they’re here – and they come in force on the 1st January 2018. The reason they’ve pushed the date so far in the future is to ensure that branded baseball bats are given the requisite time to develop and create bats to this standard.
Now, in order to legally play with a youth baseball bat in a Little league, the baseball bat MUST have the USA baseball marking on it. For reference, all of the AABC, AAU, Babe Ruth / Cal Ripken, Dixie, Little League, and PONY will all be affected by this new USABat rule change. The logos will look like this
There is also a new size standard that will be allowed. The new maximum size is a 2 5/8″ barrel diameter – increased from the prior 2 ¼” allowable limit.
The following size guide are merely recommendations as to what sort of size baseball bat you should be looking at. As you can see, you need to know your height and weight!
When kids start to hit high school, intermediate leagues start to require BBCOR certification. We do not look at them in this guide.
However, when determining whether you’ve picked the right youth baseball bat for a young child, a fantastic test is to see if the player can keep their arm straight, perpendicular to their body, and hold the bat straight out for 10 seconds. If they can’t, then the bat is too heavy. Similarly, stand the bat up on the ground next to your leg – if you can touch the handle, then the bat is a good length. If you can’t, then you’ll need a longer bat.
The weight of a bat, also known as drop weight, is simply the the difference between the length and weight of the bat. For example, if the bat is 29 inches long, a drop weight of -10 will weigh 19 ounces. Keep in mind that the higher the drop weight is, the lighter the bat is.
Bat weight is measured by the minus or drop weight. Drop weight is the difference between the length and weight of the bat, so a bat that is 30 inches long and has a drop weight of -10 will weigh 20 ounces. The bigger the drop weight is, the lighter the bat will weigh.
The Best Youth Baseball Bats
Naturally, when looking for the best youth baseball bats in the market, the first place you look is to your wallet and decide what sort of budget you want to set. These range of prices on these bats can be astronomical – ultimately dependant on branding and overall quality that you need. When looking for any baseball bat, however, it’s always good to make sure you’ve got the very best batting gloves to suit.
It’s also important to understand the major differences of these quality youth baseball bats. First, bats can be either one piece or two piece. One piece bats refer to bats where there is no separation between the handle and barrel – all one-piece of metal. This favours the stronger hitters as there is no real give to the bat.
A two piece bat, however, is one that has two types of metal, that is, where one metal is used to make the barrel, and the other metal is used to make the handle. Bonded together, it creates a much more flexible bat which minimises vibration, as well as creating more power through the extra flexibility it has. A two-piece bat should be considered if your child does not have much power, and cannot clear the rope with even their best of swings.
With these considerations in mind, the following list is what we consider to be the best youth baseball bats in the current market under current regulations.
Without a doubt, Easton is currently the most popular maker of youth baseball bats in the current market, and have been making quality aluminium bats since 1969. They were the first company to introduce aluminium bats, and they have been the market leaders ever since.
If you buy an Easton, you know you’re buying quality… with a 1 year warranty
Why is this on a list of best youth baseball bats? Well in reality, it’s a fantastic beginners bat that younger kids can really practice their form and swing with. In saying that, there’s nothing that really stands out about this bat other than it’s extremely affordable price.
It’s an excellent, cheap drop -10 baseball bat that meets the required 1.15 BPF certification and 2¼” barrel. If you’re worried about durability, this particular bat is made with an extremely durable aluminium alloy, and even though it’s one of the lower range bats, it still has Easton’s 1 year warranty! If you’re on a seriously tight budget, then this is the perfect beginner’s baseball bat.
If you’re just starting out, don’t have a huge budget, but still want decent quality? It’s extremely hard to go past the Easton S500. Not only is it one of the most popular bats in youth leagues, but it’s one of the best youth baseball bats on this list. This bat has a nice -13 drop weight. It’s also a one piece design that has a really nice pop!
In terms of materials, it’s created with a 7050 Aircraft Alloy allow that offers an extremely high level of durability, as well as the necessary swing speed to do well in Little League. The pro tack grip is also extremely grippy for youth players – and with a barrel diameter of 2 ¼” it meets all the required youth league 2017 standards. A fantastic contender for best youth baseball bat, and should be taken into consideration by any prospective buyer.
Easton MAKO Composite Youth Baseball Bat – Our Top Pick
This is our Top Pick for best youth baseball bat – made by Easton, and perfected by Easton. We won’t lie, this bat is sold at a premium price. However, the price is made up with all of Easton’s main selling points. In particular, this baseball bat is made with Easton’s patented two piece ‘ConneXion’ technology, of which they claim will maximise energy transfer through the bat and provides an excellent.
Their TCT (Thermo Composite Technology) is also a massive factor to consider – which provides a huge sweet spot, whilst not compromising on bat speed. It’s grip is also soft, comfortable – yet durable and tacky. If in doubt, it comes in both -11 and -12 drop, with the -11 having a slightly bigger sweet spot than it’s counterpart. A seriously good youth baseball bat that can be used in youth leagues including Little League, Babe Ruth, Dixie, Pony, AABC and USSSA.
Louisville Slugger, an extremely reputable brand that not only offers some of the highest quality baseball gear, but also provides some of the highest quality bats. Most people think they don’t supply the big boys with their bats, but a recent survey saw that Louisville actually supply around 18.5% of MLB players with their bats.
A real interesting fact is that in all-star games, between the years of 2012-2015 Lousiville made up 26.5% of bats used in the All-Star game. These bats can’t be ignored when looking for the best youth baseball bats.
This is Louisville Slugger’s middle range baseball bat that is not only extremely durable, but offers everything you need to excel in the Little Leagues. This particular bat is a drop -12 meeting all the required specifications for youth leagues – with a good ‘pop!’
In terms of material, the Armour is a one-piece bat that is created with 100% 7050 Aluminium Alloy. If you’re unsure what that means, the 7050 stands for the composition of the aluminium in the bat – and 7050 is a much tougher and durable aluminium when compared to the standard 7046 aluminium. If you don’t like Easton, or would prefer something made by Louisville, this is a top youth baseball bat without overly breaking the bank!
Again, a better than average all-round bat for a slightly higher price. If you have a budget then this might not be the bat for you – but compared to some of the other expensive bats on this list, it isn’t completely outrageous. What makes it so good? Well it’s a light-weight, drop -12 baseball bat that is extremely well balanced. It is an extremely consistent bat.
In particular, this one-piece bat is made with Louisville’s C1C composite material, with the highly durable 7050 aluminium alloy. It’s also designed to minimise vibrations. A side note, however, is that the barrel is slightly thinner than usual. If you want a higher than average bat, without paying over the top, then this is the one for you.
DeMarini have been around for a while now, and have consistently created fantastic bats for both youths and adults. In particular, 1993 saw them create the first ever ‘double-walled’ baseball bat. In saying that, a key feature of these bats is the huge sweet spot they offer for increased power.
If you’re after a large sweet spot, then this could be one of the best youth bats that you’ll find.
The DeMarini Uprising is seriously a top youth baseball bat with a drop -12 weight made completely with a highly durable aluminium. It’s not the priciest bat on this list, nor does it have the most outstanding features, but it provides a light option with a huge sweet spot.
This one-piece bat also meets all there required standards for the Little League, Babe Ruth Baseball, Dixie, Pony, AABC leagues. A great bat at a great price… with a great pop!
Offered as a -11 drop, this is DeMarini’s latest and highest quality youth power bat that is exceptional straight out of the store. Not only is it extremely well balanced, but it’s bat speed is generally noticeable with contact hitters. An absolutely enormous sweet spot. Be aware though, it is in the higher price range of this entire list of best youth baseball bats.
Some people claimed that the grip on the previous CF7 model was a bit average, but it seems that the overall quality of the bat has gone up a notch. Take note that this is a composite material bat. Meeting all the required specs for youth leagues, if you have the money, then this is a fantastic bat to own and play with.
Finally we look to one of the top selling youth baseball bats, by a brand that people know, but don’t go too crazy about. Combat typically specialise in some of the top composite baseball bats in the market – and have a great range of youth composite bats.
Naturally, however, as composite material aren’t allowed in some leagues (you should always check with your own before you buy any bat), Combat can struggle for market share.
This drop -12 youth baseball bat is seriously one of the lightest swing weights you’ll feel across all the bats in the market – providing an absolutely enormous sweet spot. A one-piece composite bat, it also meets all the required specs for most youth leagues.
A well balanced bat that’s fast through the zone, if you’re not big on the large brands that baseball has to offer, then this provides an excellent alternative. However, it has been said that the pop on the bat isn’t fantastic. Regardless, fantastic value for money – something to be considered as one of the best youth baseball bats, and a must try if you ever get the chance to get your hands on one.
Every player needs to have absolute best youth baseball bat they can get their hands on. Not only will it do a child’s confidence a world of good, but it can aid the ball travelling further when the sweet spot is hit! Naturally, finding the best youth baseball bats means that spending time to look at all the available options is integral when shopping.
An excellent thing about youth baseball bats is the price range. There’s legitimately one for every range – and whilst the more you pay typically means a better quality bat, you can seriously find some hidden gems at low prices.
Keeping this in mind, finding the best youth baseball bats is definitely worth the time to research. Research will lead you where you want to be – at the top of the shopping pile with an absolute bargain! Our tips are generally to check out Amazon reviews for authentic customer feedback. Similarly, ask your coach, friends, peers, anyone who may have experience for their ideas. Anything will help, especially if you have no idea about youth baseball bats!
Also, if you love a brand, and have had no issues with them, then you really don’t need to change unless for an exceptional circumstance (such as a bump in budget).
None of these considered the best youth batting bats to you?
If we have missed a baseball bat that you consider to be affordable, and satisfies all the requirements of being the very best youth baseball bat out there then let us know here. We’re always on the hunt for personal reviews and opinions!