Choosing the right bat is a big decision that can improve hitting distance and player confidence. Whether this is your first time looking for a quality youth bat, or perhaps upgrading from an older model, there are definitely a few front runners that demand your consideration. Below, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular and absolute best youth baseball bats of the year, including pictures and full reviews. Happy hitting!
2016 DeMarini CF8 Youth
DeMarini is ready to take over the youth baseball bat market in 2016 with its CF8 bat. The D-Fusion 2.0 handle is stiff, which means that it offers that full feeling of control that hitters want. The stacked barrel of the CF8 is made up of layers of composite materials that work together to maximize the energy of every swing. Between the energy transferring ability of the D-Fusion 2.0 handle and the trampoline effect the layers in the barrel create, the 2016 DeMarini CF8 is prepared to give youth hitters results they never dreamed they could get. This is going to be one of the most popular bats of 2016, especially among hitters who want to get the most out of every hit. Read the full review of the 2016 DeMarini CF8 here! You can also read up on the entire CF8 line of bats for 2016 to see what else DeMarini has to offer!
2016 Combat Youth Maxum
Combat have become masters at creating durable baseball bats consisting of one piece, composite designs. The first thing you’ll notice about the 2016 Maxum is how absolutely huge the barrel is. You may be out of luck if you prefer an end-loaded version, which isn’t offered this year, however it offers plenty of sizing options to accommodate any player and almost everyone who gets their hands on one will love the way this bat swings and feels. Like all Combat bats, it comes with a super-comfy Lizard Skins grip, and is surprisingly durable. This makes it a fantastic choice for individuals, or for teams to share. See our full review here!
2016 Easton S500C
Just how does the 2016 Easton S500c stay so lightweight, but retain the stiffness and durability hitters are looking for? The 2016 S500c is made from a special aircraft alloy that provides the durability hitters need, and maintains the lightweight feel hitters want. When this special alloy is combined with the Connexion technology that transfers energy back into the extended barrel of the bat, you get a combination that will make this one of the most popular bats of 2016. The extended handle and soft grip make this bat as comfortable as it is effective. See our full review of the 2016 Easton S500C here!
2016 Rawlings Velo
The 2016 Rawlings Velo is a balanced bat that gets great feedback from just about any player who takes a swing on it. It feels a bit lighter than the Mako and has tons of pop right out of the wrapper, though should still be properly broken in as it is a 2 piece, composite bat. You’ll barely feel any sting or vibration when you make solid contact and hit one over the fence. The Velo is any contact hitter’s dream. See our full review of the 2016 Velo here.
2016 Easton Mako Torq
The 2016 Mako Torq was designed with control in mind. Even the -10 drop weight was used to help enhance the other features and make this a real hitter’s bat. The 360 Torq system turns the bat in the hands of the hitter to offer a more consistent swing, and the Torq Taq grip makes holding on to this bat easier under every situation. The innovative handle on the 2016 Mako Torq makes this bat one that is destined to be on the wish list of every youth baseball player in 2016. See our full review of the 2016 Mako Torq here!
2016 Easton S2
The -13 drop weight of the 2016 Easton S2 will help to make this one of the most coveted bats in youth baseball for the coming year. The power of the S2 is in the black carbon handle that is connected to the barrel using Easton’s special Connexion technology. With the special drop weight of this bat and the energy transfer technology in the Connexion process, the S2 becomes a power hitter’s dream bat for any situation. When you want to get the most out of every incident of contact, then you want the 2016 Easton S2 youth bat. Read our full review of the 2016 Easton S2 here!
2016 Easton Mako XL
Easton has a habit of improving their bats from year to year, and there is plenty to get excited about when it comes to the 2016 lineup of Mako bats. The TCT composite technology makes for a lighter bat, but with the stiffness batters need to feel in complete control of every swing. The Connexion fusion process brings together the handle and the extended barrel in such a way that all of the energy from every incidence of contact circulates through the barrel to give optimum results. Everything hitters liked about the Mako bats in 2015 has been enhanced for the 2016 line, and they have a Mako for everyone. See our full review of the Mako XL here!
Highest Rated Youth Bats of 2015
DeMarini CF7 – DeMarini has a serious crowd pleaser on their hands with the 2015 CF7. This fully composite bat provides one of the lightest swings we’ve ever experienced and deserves a serious look. The CF7 has a very balanced swing, which makes it appealing to a wide range of players. With that said, a power hitter could potentially squeeze a bit more performance out of the Easton Mako Comp. Read our full review of the 2015 DeMarini CF7 here!
Easton Mako Comp – Easton showed off their engineering skill and released their powerhouse Mako Comp for 2015. Featuring a massive sweet spot and a balanced swing, the Comp makes it easy to send the ball where you want it. This bat isn’t the cheapest on the market, but if you want one of the top bats on the market, this one might just be worth the price. The diamond grip is well designed and compliments the bat by making for a very comfortable grip and swing. Read our full review of the 2015 Easton Mako Comp here!
DeMarini Overlord FT – DeMarini has a strong reputation for making great youth bats, and the 2015 VooDoo Overlord helps to enhance that reputation. The X12ATM steel alloy barrel has a huge sweet spot, and offers control other bats cannot deliver. This alloy also allows DeMarini to make the VooDoo Overlord lightweight and perfectly balanced. The innovative Ion-V cap offers technology that contains all of the energy from each hit in the barrel of the bat to make every hit count. The RCKATM grip is comfortable and helps the hitter to maintain control from the moment the bat leaves their shoulder, to the time when they are admiring their hit as it sails into the outfield. Read our full review of the 2015 Overlord FT here!
Easton S1 – The Easton S1 has a balanced and lightweight 2 1/4-inch diameter barrel that hitters have come to expect from the engineers at Easton. But the S1 brings together Easton’s IMX composite material with its Diamond Design grip to create a bat that gives every hitter a chance to make good contact. The S1’s SIC black carbon handle is easy to grip, and has a design that funnels all of the energy from each hit into the barrel. No matter what type of hitter your youth player wants to be, the Easton S1 is the bat that will help them to get the results they want with every swing. Read our full review of the 2015 Easton S1 here!
DeMarini Vexxum – DeMarini engineers are always looking for the best possible ways to build a better youth bat, and the Vexxum is proof that DeMarini engineers never run out of ideas. The X10 alloy mix that makes up the barrel of this bat is said to be specifically engineered to make hitting easier. This lightweight bat is made up of independent layers that act like springs to push the ball further. This is the bat for the youth player who wants to be a power hitter, but lacks the strength to get the ball into the outfield. The DeMarini Vexxum does all of the work for the hitter after contact is made. This Vexxum is one of DeMarini’s top rated youth bats for 2015, along with the popular CF7 and Voodoo Overlord.
Highest Rated Youth Bats of 2014
Easton Mako – This is Easton’s bat to beat. Aside from looking amazing, the Mako can really perform which is what makes it a top choice for little league and youth players alike. It is available in a -11 drop weight this year and has a very large barrel, which is only slightly smaller than Easton’s popular XL1 (which falls at number three on my list.) The sweet spot on the Mako is HUGE which means if you can make contact with the ball, it is sure to rocket further than you’ll ever see from a lower quality bat. Read the full review here!
DeMarini CF6 – DeMarini has really made an impressive youth bat with their CF6. It uses double wall construction, which in turn creates a HUGE sweet spot. DeMarini also really shows us what they are capable of with their D-Fusion handle, which virtually eliminates all vibration. This means you can swing away without fear of a nasty sting if you somehow manage to miss the sweet spot. Although the CF6 is rather pricey, it isn’t just for advanced players. This is a balanced bat that nearly any player will find easy to swing. Assuming you can afford the rather hefty price, this bat can be any youth player’s secret weapon. Read the full review here!
Easton XL1 – The XL1 is another one of Easton’s top bats. Slightly more end loaded than the Mako, this bat was designed with the power hitter in mind. If you can swing this bat fast enough, then you’ll be sure to see what this bat is really capable of. While Easton’s Mako bat is known for having a large barrel, the barrel on the XL1 is slightly larger. It’s a good thing that it has such a large sweet spot though- if you manage to miss it, you’ll definitely feel the sting. This may be the only drawback of the XL1, but the handle just doesn’t absorb vibration as well as the Mako. Even so, the XL1 is still a great choice for the right player. Read the full review here!
DeMarini Vexxum – Although the list seems to be dominated by Easton and DeMarini already, the Vexxum definitely deserves it’s spot on the list. This is a great bat that anyone can just pick up and swing. It has a nice, balanced swing and overall it just feels really nice to swing. Coming in at around $100 less than the Easton Mako, the Vexxum is a great value for the price. The X10 alloy does a great job of taming unwanted vibration, which is just an added bonus. Due to it’s tremendous performance and relatively affordable price point, the Vexxum is widely popular among youth teams and is a favorite of many. Read the full review here!
Anderson TechZilla XP – Anderson gives Easton and DeMarini a run for their money with the TechZilla XP. Although it doesn’t come cheap, this is another case where you get what you pay for. It swings slightly heavier than some of the other youth bats in its class, but most players warm up to it very quickly when they see what happens to the ball after making solid contact with the TechZilla XP. This bat is slightly end loaded, but isn’t designed only for power hitters. After a few practice swings, just about any player will be impressed with what this thing can do. Read the full review here!
How to Choose a Youth Baseball Bat
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No matter how many bats are on the market, the best choice is always the one that compliments the player’s body type and their swing. A general guideline is to find the heaviest bat that player can swing, while still being able to control the bat. If a player is strong, then they would benefit the most from using a slightly heavier bat. This page is a great resource if you’re totally new to the game and are starting research from scratch. For a more in depth look about how to select the right one, check out this very helpful video and don’t forget to check your league’s requirements to make sure that you don’t have to return that shiny new bat!
What is Drop Weight?
Drop weight is a concept that may sound confusing at first, although it is really just the ratio of the bat’s length compared to it’s weight. This metric provides a basic way of measuring how easy a bat will be to swing. To find the drop weight of any baseball bat, all you need to do is find the weight of the bat (in ounces) and subtract the length of the bat (in inches). For example, a bat that weights 32 oz. and is 29 inches long would be said to have a drop weight of -3. It should also be mentioned that wood bats and slow pitch bats are not measured by this metric.
Types of Bats
Wood – Wood bats are required for the American Major Leagues, and generally accepted in most youth leagues. These are the tried and true, classic baseball bats that have been around for ages. Although now competing with more advanced types of bats which allow for faster swings, many still prefer the wood bat for their classic look and feel, and especially the unmistakable cracking sound they make when they connect with a ball just right!
Alloy – Alloy bats are made of metal, and most commonly aluminum. Alloy bats are very popular because they can generally hit a ball faster than wooden bats, and with just as much power. These bats are also approved for use in most youth leagues, high school, and college leagues. Alloy bats are the most popular bats for youth baseball because they provide excellent performance for their cost.
Composite – Composite bats are the most advanced bats available. They started to become popular in the 80’s for softball, but have made major advances in quality since then. Composite baseball bats are similar to aluminum bats in that they both have the same aluminum exterior. Unlike aluminum bats though, composite bats have an inner wall made of woven graphite, which makes the bat feel lighter and stronger. It also has a dampening effect, which helps to reduce unpleasant vibrations that can happen with some aluminum bats. Composite bats have the same regulations as alloy bats and are acceptable for use in high school and college baseball leagues. One word of warning though, if you do choose a composite bat. You should be aware not to use it in very cold temperatures, as the barrels are at higher risk of cracking in cold temps. In general though, composite bats are superior to the other types and are known for making the ball really explode off the barrel!
Half and Half – Some baseball bats are now being made out of separate materials for the handle and the barrel. This is called half and half construction and most commonly, a composite handle would be combined with either aluminum or another alloy for the barrel. One huge advantage of this type of construction is that when the handle is decoupled from the barrel, it is able to absorb much more energy from the ball being struck which helps to ease the pain when the ball is struck out of it’s sweet spot.
Break-in Period for Composite Bats
Some composite bats do have a break-in period. For example, the Easton Mako is said to require between around 500 to 700 hits before it will perform its best. If you do end up going with a composite bat, it is definitely advised to check the manufacturer’s website to see if it must be broken in. During break-in time, it’s best to start by swinging with a lot less power than you normally would. With time, you can eventually ramp up your swinging speed. Finally, and perhaps most important, you should be rotating the bat between a quarter to a half inch with every swing to ensure that the barrel gets struck evenly. If you take your time in the break in period, you’ll be setting yourself up for years of enjoyment from your new composite bat and your team will be thankful that you did too!
So that wraps up our guide of the best youth baseball bats. Be sure to check out the in-depth reviews and don’t be shy to comment! We want to know what you use, what your team uses, what’s good and bad! Let’s hear some opinions! Did we miss anything that deserves a spot on here?
As always, have fun! We’ll see you at the plate!