Who hasn’t been at bat and wanted a little extra power in their swing?
There’s a lot of different baseball bats out there. Choosing the right bat is one of the most crucial decisions a player can make.
Big barrel bats offer girthier options, with a larger diameter, weight, and power. Regular bats are good enough for most baseball players and leagues.
So, why would anyone need big barrel bats?
There are many reasons to consider a big barrel bat.
In some cases, they may be the preferred choice.
In this article:
We’ll go over some of the reasons you may want to start with or switch over to a big barrel bat.
We’ll also cover the different types and materials that these popular bats are made from.
And of course, our guide wouldn’t be complete without reviewing the best big barrel bats on the market today.
In fact, let’s jump into our Top 10 models now:
Available in combinations ranging from 30″/27oz to 34″/31oz, this bat is fit for players of all sizes. With a barrel diameter of 2 5/8”, the Marucci Cat7 is a BBCOR-certified drop 3 big barrel bat.
Best Overall Big Barrel Bat
- Custom-engineered wall thickness profiles improve barrel-end balance and increase swing speed.
- Two-piece hybrid construction for maximum power with minimal vibration.
- Improved anti-vibration knob dampening system, reduced negative vibrational feedback.
- The alloy this bat is made from has been known to chip slightly during regular use.
2. Marucci CAT8 Senior League
The Senior League version of Marucci’s Cat8 is a solid, reliable big barrel bat. BBCOR-certified and ranging from 28″ to 32″, the SL Cat8 has length-to-weight ratios ranging from 4 to 8. They have barrel diameters of 2 5/8”, and are USSSA 1.15 bpf certified.
Best Senior League Bat
- Special AZ105 alloy confers the bat added strength and a higher response rate.
- Responsive and optimized barrel design, with custom barrel-end balancing design.
- Lighter and more precise than the MCBC8CB Cat8.
- The grip on the handle can be somewhat abrasive, despite anti-vibration features.
3. Marucci Cat8 Junior Big Barrel
Continuing the excellent Marucci collection of big barrel bats is the Cat8 Junior. Sizes range from 25″ to 27″, with drop 10 length-to-weight ratios. They have slightly thinner diameters than the other Cat7 models, at 2 3/4”, and are USSSA 1.15 bpf Certified.
Best Junior Big Barrel Bat
- Extremely light alloy allows for faster, more precise swings, even from the young ones.
- Stiff, one-piece structure with a larger, optimized sweet spot for more hitting power.
- Excellent weight distribution and balance for better pops and superior handling.
- The special alloy used in this bat can sometimes dent with ease during regular use.
4. Easton Speed Comp
Easton’s 2020 Speed Comp model is an outstanding youth big barrel bat. It comes in four sizes, 27″ through 30″, and all are drop 13 baseball bats. They feature 2 5/8” diameter barrels.
Best Composite Bat
- Extremely lightweight one-piece composite fabrication with special Hyperlite, high durability material.
- Speed Cap technology for a more flexible contact response on the barrel and better-sounding pops.
- Ultra-stiff Carbon Zero Handle reduces vibrations to the minimum.
- It tends to be a little heavier than the listed weight, affecting the length-to-weight ratio.
5. Louisville Slugger Omaha Junior Big Barrel
If you have a hitter between the ages of 13 and 17 that wants a bit more weight in the bat they swing, then this bat is perfect.
The Louisville Slugger 2020 Omaha Junior Big Barrel comes in 4 sizes, 25″ through 28”. They are all drop 10 baseball bats, with a barrel diameter of 2 3/4”.
Best Speed Big Barrel Bat
- One-piece thin-walled barrel design for better and louder pops.
- 6-Star 1-shot end cap technology that increases swing speed without compromising on control or handling.
- Synthetic Leather Grip provides a firm, secure grip that remains easy on the palms.
- While a speedy slugger, this little league big barrel bat is lacking in explosive power.
6. Louisville Slugger Prime 916 Senior League
When Louisville Slugger developed its TRU3 Explosive Power Transfer technology, it knew that it had something that was going to change the way hitters looked at composite bats.
This is technology that not only eliminates the stinging sensation that comes with bad contact, but it also creates a trampoline effect that launches the ball further. The 7/8-inch tapered handle helps to create a sense of comfort, and it is also part of the TRU3 design that makes the Prime 916 Senior League bat in such demand.
Louisville Slugger includes its Lizards SkinsATM grip on the Prime 916 to help enhance the sensation of comfort, and it brings the whole bat together with its Fuse Carbon Structure heating process that makes the handle and barrel feel like one piece.
With a big sweet spot and balanced feel, the Prime 916 Senior League bat will help to add numbers to your game, and give you the kind of results you want.
7. Easton S2 Senior League (SL16S210)
The Easton S2 brings together all of the technology that has helped to make Easton bats some of the most popular big barrel bats on the market.
The Hyperlite Matrix alloy creates a barrel that is both light and durable. The weighted end cap means that you have a perfectly balanced bat in your hands whenever you step up to the plate.
Users who make the transition to the S2 for the first time report hitting more home runs than they have ever hit before, and that is not by accident. The S2 is designed to deliver a better swing that results in more hits and more home runs.
The SICATM carbon handle is fused to the barrel using Easton’s heat fusion method that creates an energy channel which pushes all of the energy from each contact back into the barrel.
The design of the S2 reduces the vibration associated with each swing, and it makes those moments when the ball strikes the massive sweet spot even more memorable.
8. DeMarini Uprising (WTDXUP)
When hitters put the DeMarini Uprising in their hands for the first time, the initial impression is that this is a very comfortable and precisely balanced bat.
The combination of the tacky feel of the hybrid performance grip and the gradually tapered handle work together to make this bat feel natural in any hitter’s hands.
This junior big barrel bat is easy for hitters at any level to handle, and it definitely makes a big impression at the plate.
The 2 ¾-inch diameter of the barrel helps to develop a sweet spot that turns any contact into a challenging hit for fielders.
This drop 12 bat is available in lengths ranging from 28-32-inches, which means that you get the length of bat you need without having to boost the weight at all.
When you need a good hitting solution at a reasonable price, then the DeMarini Uprising is your answer.
9. Easton S3 (SL16S310B)
Easton always likes to challenge themselves when it comes to innovating bat designs, and the Easton S3 is the latest innovation to come from the company that is known for delivering quality big barrel bats. The S3 is a one-piece bat that delivers all of the feel and control you would expect from that type of traditional design.
The one-piece design means that the S3 is stiff and offers a versatile sweet spot. As the bat tapers towards the handle, a hitter is still able to maintain control over each hit and get the results they are looking for.
The thing that helps this bat to be so effective is that it is made using Easton’s HyperLite Matrix alloy from end cap to handle. The S3 is perfectly balanced to allow contact hitters and home run bombers to get the best possible results.
Easton put its Hyper SkinATM grip on the S3 to make sure that the hitter experiences nothing but premium comfort from the moment the swing starts right to the follow-through.
10. Combat Portent G4 Senior League
The design on the Combat Portent G4 Senior League bat is so precise that hitters who move up to higher weights do not notice any difference in the way the bat handles.
That means that you can get the benefit of a bigger bat, but without the feeling that you are swinging more weight.
Combat uses its single-wall construction to create a stiff barrel with a very long sweet spot. The Portent G4 eliminates much of the margin for error that other bats create with their shorter sweet spots.
One of the design innovations that Combat put into its Portent G4 is what is known as seamless construction.
This refers to the process of running reinforcing fibers the entire length of the bat to give that coherent feel that comes with single-piece construction.
This enhances the stiffness of the entire bat, and allows for a smoother feel in the grip.
The Precision Molding Technology method of computer design makes sure that the continuous feel of the Portent G4 allows for a better swing, and a balanced bat that can help anyone to make the right contact each time.
There are tons of amazing big barrel bats that are available, and hitters have more great choices than ever before.
Whether you are looking to get more from each incident of contact or you simply want to put the ball over the fence more often, you will find what you need in this year’s picks of the top 10 best big barrel bats.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Big Barrel Bat
When buying a junior big barrel bat or a senior league big barrel bat, consider the following factors.
Big barrel bats typically come in lengths between 25” and 33”. The ideal length of the bat depends on the height of the player. Taller players will need longer bats.
The weight of the bat determines both how powerful swings are and how hard it is to swing the bat. Bats should strike the right balance of weight and maneuverability for the player in question.
The most common materials for one-piece and two-piece big barrel bats are aluminum alloy, followed by composite.
Big barrel wood bats exist, but they’re both less durable and less popular.
More lightweight big barrel bats are designed for fast, precise swings
The best big barrel bats for delivering power swings are the heavier ones, but they’re slower and harder to handle.
Big barrel bats are generally considered to be those exceeding 2 1/2” of barrel diameter. They go all the way up to 2 5/8”, but can be difficult to control or slow to swing.
Big Barrel Bat Features
These are the most common special features to look out for when shopping for big barrel bats.
Many of the best big barrel bats feature uniquely designed handles. These custom handles help to reduce vibration feedback, giving players more precision and control in every swing.
They also provide a more responsive bat. Two-piece big barrel bats often feature handles made of unique materials with special benefits.
While cheap big barrel bats often feature the most basic types of grip surfaces, the best big barrel bats don’t.
Instead, they introduce specialty grips, custom-tailored to their bats and materials.
These grips help players deliver powerful swings without wrecking their hands in the process. They also provide a more secure grip, so they can swing more confidently.
Custom Barrel Lining Technology
The best youth big barrel bats will often feature custom, in-house developed barrel lining technology.
Better barrel lining uses multiple variables to craft barrell walls different in different sections of the bat.
This allows for stiffer bodies that can still deliver flexibility and bounce when the ball hits them.
Sweet Spot Optimization
Most power-focused youth big barrel bats will feature extensive sweet spot optimization technologies and design elements.
Often, the barrel is designed to be thinner across increasing sections of the bat, enlarging the sweet spot.
This makes it easier to deliver power swings and make big pops every time.
Balancing End Caps
Hefty and large, big barrel bats can have a lot of weight for players to balance.
Many youth big barrel bats feature balancing end caps, using high tech materials and designs to improve swing balance.
Getting the Most from Your Big Barrel Bat
Picking the Right Bat for the Player
The most important part of buying a bat is getting the right size and weight.
When buying a big barrel bat for someone else, you must know what size they use and how it feels.
A bat that’s too short or too long will negatively impact their game.
A bat that’s too heavy will slow them down too much, too. Meanwhile, a bat that is too light won’t have enough pop.
If you need more help, there’s a handy online bat size calculator you can check out.
Keep League Standards in Mind
It’s not just finding the right bat for the player, though.
The relevant league needs to approve it for play.
Each league has its own definitions and standards, though most stick to a larger certification body, like the USSSA.
Learn more about current Little League batting standards in the following video.
Pick the Right Material for Your Region
Most big barrel bats are fairly durable under the right conditions.
The strain from excess cold or heat can take its toll on some materials. Research how the material performs in your area before settling on a specific big barrel bat.
Best Big Barrel Bat Brands
Marucci Sports is one of the most well-established manufacturers in the baseball industry.
They produce high-quality, handcrafted big league wood bats, as well as medium-range alloy and composite bats.
A subsidiary of sports titan Wilson, DeMarini is a manufacturer of high-quality baseball and softball bats and baseball gloves.
They’ve been around for decades and have risen to prominence for their polished products.
Easton is a less specialized manufacturer, but operating at a larger scale.
One of the major players in the global sporting goods industry, Easton, specializes in high-performance products.
They tend to be on the pricier side.
Louisville Slugger are the makers of the Official Bat of the Major Leagues.
A company with more than 150 years of history, Louisville Slugger are one of the most trusted names in baseball. They have a lot of affordable options in their lineup.
The following are some of the most common questions about big barrel bats from our readers.
Is a Bigger Bat Barrel Better?
Not for everybody.
A small barrel bat is easier to swing with precision and speed. Big barrel bats can be more challenging for some players but deliver more swing power.
What Is Considered a Big Barrel Bat?
Big barrel bats are generally considered to be any bats with a barrel diameter that exceeds 2 1/2”.
Most big barrel bats are either 2 3/4” or 2 5/8”, with length-to-weight ratios between -3 and -12.
What Is the Maximum Barrel Size of a Bat That Is Legal for Youth Baseball Players?
It depends on the league.
For leagues following USSSA, players 6-13 years old can use 2 1/4″, 2 5/8″, or 2 3/4″ barrel diameter bats.
14U & below players may use a 2 3/4″ or 2 5/8″ diameter bat.
Players 15U & above must use a 2 5/8″ BBCOR barrel or an adult baseball bat.
What Is the Difference Between a Senior League Bat and a Youth Bat?
In theory, Senior League bats should have somewhat bigger barrels.
Manufacturers use these terms loosely, and for most intents and purposes, senior bats and youth bats are identical.
When it comes down to it, shopping for a big barrel bat is all about weighing the factors.
Age, height, experience, and style of the batter all come into play.
Different bats will bring out different qualities in a batter, loading their power delivery, balancing their swing, tightening their grip.
Reading youth big barrel bats reviews can help decide which bat is the best choice for you.