Top 10 Best Wood Bats for Youth Players

Best Wood Bats Reviewed

Before your or your youth baseball player hits the field, you want to acquire the best equipment necessary to be successful.

By choosing the right bat, you and your players get a head start on dominating the game at the plate.

There are a handful of reasons to choose the best wood bat, but if you’re looking for a quality and performance, there are a chosen ten in particular that players, parents, and coaches should pay close attention to.

Our Picks for the Best Wood Bats

 

#1 – Louisville Slugger Genuine Series 3X Ash Mixed

Louisville Slugger Genuine Series Ash Wood Baseball Bat

 

Louisville Slugger’s Genuine series are bats that are pulled from the original wood bat production line due to a small flaw in the bat that won’t affect the bat’s performance at all but it does mean that you can get big savings on a genuine wood bat that you can use for batting cages, for practice and even some games.

Check with your coach before using any genuine bats in a game. This is the same type of bat that the major leaguers use in a game. Just for that alone, it’s a great “cool” bat to own and have as part of your collection.

General Specifications

The Series 3X is a little bit heavier bat. It could good for a youth as a training bat, but probably best for 12 years old and up.

The bat is constructed using White Ash from a tree that is at least 50 years old. The Series 3 Genuine is available in three different finishes; all natural, all black or a black handle with a natural barrel.

Make and Feel

Since the Genuine series bats are pulled from the original production line due to a minor flaw, they are not subject to a single turning model and so could be one of the 4 different turns available.

The bats are available in three different sizes, 32 inch, 33 inch, and 34 inch.

#2 – Barnett BB-W Wood Bat

Barnett's Best Wooden Bat

 

The Barnett BB-W is a composite bat that is not meant for league play but is more for leisure and is best used by beginners who want to learn to hit with a wood bat or by children.

It is recommended that you use this bat with softer balls.

General Specifications

The BB-W is available in 4 different sizes, 25 inches, 28 inches, 30 inches, and 32 inches.

It does have a smaller barrel than some bats and so is good for children with smaller hands to help get them used to swinging a wood bat.

Make and Feel

The BB-W is a composite meaning that the bat is slightly more durable than a basic wood bad and you do not need to worry as much about hitting the ball with the grain.

The various sizes mean you can find a bat length for younger children to youth ranges.

The bat feels solid in hand and has a good swing to it to help boost confidence and perfect your hits.

#3 – Easton Mako -9 Ash Youth Wood Bat

EASTON Mako Ash Youth Wood Baseball Bat

 

The Easton Mako is a wood bat made using 100% USA lightweight ash.

This helps the bat to flex slightly to give increased distance to your hits and also helps to create a larger margin of errors.

The bat is pro-balanced to bring a higher level of speed to your swings and helps to transition from metal bats to wood bats for youth players.

General Specifications

The Mako Youth is 271 Turned meaning the barrel is 2 ½ inches in diameter, the taper of the barrel is quite long, and the handle thickness is 15/16 inches.

This turn model is good for contact hitters or power hitters and is just slightly end loaded in its swing weight.

Make and Feel

The Mako Youth is a great transition bat if considering moving up from youth leagues.

It feels good in the hand and will deliver a good power swing. The bat is available in 5 different lengths, from 27 inches to 32 inches.

It has a leather know label, and the barrel is laser-engraved with all of the bat’s information and branding.

A cupped bat end will complete the solid look and give you a powerful feeling in your swings.

#4 – Marucci JB19 Youth Maple Wood Bat

Marucci Youth Maple Wood Baseball Bat

 

Marucci makes a maple wood bat that is crafted with the very same specifications as the adult version of the JB19 meaning that every step of the manufacturing process is meticulous and scrutinized for quality and durability.

General Specifications

The JB19 is manufactured with a 2 ¼ inch barrel and a thick handle making the transition from barrel to handle long and elegant.

Every bat is bone rubbed to ensure the ultimate in wood density. A standard traditional knob is cut into the end for comfort.

The JB19 is available in 6 sizes from 26 inches to 31 inches in length.

Make and Feel

This bat is designed for versatile hitters who are looking to refine their skills in both power and consistent contact, a bat that is good for power hitting or for spraying liners in those gaps.

It gives a more balanced feel with its traditional barrel and its thicker handle.

Marucci does provide a 30-day manufacturer’s warranty on this, one of their best wood bats, so you can be confident in the bat’s construction and quality.

#5 – Louisville Slugger Youth 225 Ash Hornsby Wood Bat

Louisville Slugger Youth Ash Hornsby Wooden Baseball Bat

 

Ash bats are by far the lightest of the wood bats and pound-for-pound the strongest types of bats you can choose.

They tend to have a wider grain structure to them than other woods which helps to give a softer feel, and the lighter weight means you can work on getting faster swing speeds out of them.

Youth bats are extremely lightweight and have a greater degree of flexibility that allows for a much larger and more forgiving sweet spot.

General Specifications

The Youth 255 is turned at a youth turning model meaning it is good for younger hands and a great bat to transition from BBCOR Aluminum bats to a wooden bat.

The Youth 255 Hornsby is finished in a beautiful maroon/red color and stand out among the natural wood or black bats that are a lot more common.

The 255 comes in five bat lengths, from 27 inches to 31 inches in length.

Make and Feel

Louisville Slugger bats are made from the best cuts of Ashwood and are turned to very exacting standards.

This is a bit of an end loaded bat that can help develop your power swing yet even with the bat being end loaded, the overall weight of the bat is good due to the wood type.

A decent sized sweet spot helps to give a good solid drive.

#6 – Marucci Youth CU26 Pro Maple Black Wood Bat

Marucci Youth Pro Maple Black Wood Baseball Bat

 

The CU26 is built with the contact hitter in mind. This is a bat that is perfectly balanced for the ultimate level of control.

The perfect bat for someone who is a consistent gap hitter yet is not afraid to hit one out of the park from time to time.

General Specifications

Made from the best top-quality maple, the CU26 will give you the best in responsiveness. You will be able to feel the ball leaving the bat when you make contact.

It is a medium diameter barrel with a thin handle and a traditional knob for control.

The wood is bone rubbed for the best in wood density.

This bat comes in four sizes, from 31 inches to 34 inches in length.

Make and Feel

Marucci uses the best in quality woods for their bats, and the CU26 is no different.

The bat is big league-grade ink dot certified and comes with a 30-day warranty so you can be assured you are getting a quality product.

#7 – Marucci Albert Pujols AP5 Youth Maple Wood Bat

Marucci Albert Pujols Best Youth Maple Wood Baseball Bat

 

The AP5 Youth model is crafted with the very same specifications as the adult AP5 version of the Maple Pro Model used by Albert Pujols.

The bat has been scaled down to a 2 ¼ inch barrel to meet the youth standards.

General Specifications

This is a very balanced bat with a traditional handle and a tapered knob. The barrel is larger giving it a more explosive hit.

The bat is finished in a beautiful gloss finish on the barrel but leaves the handle a natural color. You can get the bat in 6 different lengths, from 26 inches to 31 inches in length.

Make and Feel

This is an end loaded bat giving the hitter more power in their swings.

This bat is also best used by powerful players who want to smash the ball time and again.

It is made with the highest quality maple and is bone rubbed for the ultimate in wood density.

#8 – Rawlings Velo Youth Ash Bat

Rawlings Youth Velo Ash Drop 7.5 Ultra Thin Tac Grip Wood Bat

 

The Velo Youth bat is done in a solid piece of Ashwood. It is guaranteed to have a drop of 7.5 or lighter for your swing.

These bats are set with a larger hitting surface to make that sweet spot as large as possible.

General Specifications

The Velo Youth bat is a 2 ¼ inch diameter bat with a ⅞ inch handle. An ultra-thin tac-grip is included for that enhanced feel in the handle.

The bat has a nice polished surface and comes with a cupped end. There are four lengths available, from 28 inches to 31 inches in length.

Make and Feel

The Velo Youth is a very balanced bat that will really help to maximize your swing speeds.

With the increased sweet spot and enhanced feel in the handle, you will find yourself with a bat that really responds well to a swing and gives the batter plenty of plate control.

#9 – Louisville Slugger Youth 125 Maple Genuine

Louisville Slugger Youth Maple Genuine Best Unfinished Baseball Bat

 

The Youth 125 Maple is a budget bat that is designed specifically for younger hands. The maple used for these bats will give you a great surface hardness and will be less prone to flaking.

General Specifications

The 125 Maple is turned to proper youth specifications. It is painted in a split pattern with the barrel painted, and the handle left as its natural wood color. The label is laser etched right into the barrel so you will have no problems seeing what side of the bat to hit with. This bat is available in four lengths, from 27 inches to 31 inches in length.

Make and Feel

The Genuine 125 is a low priced bat, but that does not mean it is low on quality. The Maple makes the bat very durable and with slightly heavier than Ash to swing, still is well enough balanced to keep great control through the swing zone.

#10 – Easton Mako Comp Maple Wood Bat

Louisville Slugger Youth Maple Genuine Best Unfinished Baseball Bat

 

The Mako Composite bat brings some of the design expertise from their metal bats to their wood bats.

Made entirely from USA handcrafted rock-hard maple, so you get an amazingly durable bat.

General Specifications

The construction of the composite Maple produces a much straighter grain making the bat perform better than expectations.

Composite resin covers the entire handle for incredible durability to ensure for fewer breakages.

The large barrel is done with a cupped end to help reduce the weight and keep the bat as balanced as possible. There are two lengths available for this bat, 32 inches and 33 inches in length.

Make and Feel

The Mako Composite gives you the ultimate in balance and swing speeds. The hard maple creates great exit velocity upon contact with the ball, making this bat great for contact hitters and gap hitters.

Wood Bat Buying Guide

There are as many types of wood bats out there are there are companies who make them, so how do you know what kind of bat you should be looking for when buying a wood bat?

As with any bat you are considering buying, you should always consult with your coach about what is best for the league you are playing in and what is legal to use in games.

Not all bats are legal for many leagues, and some leagues don’t allow wood bats and other leagues that are only wood bats.

Wood bats are also great for practice or for use in batting cages.

As a player progresses in age and begins playing in more professional leagues, it is useful to transition from alloy bats to wood bats, and like everything, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way.

Just jumping onto any old wood bat is not going to give you the control or the swing you need to hone your batting skills.

Turn Models

There are several different turn models for bats that are used by the various companies that manufacture bats.

This means that bats are made to a certain set of specifications ensuring that bats meet a certain standard no matter what company it is that is making them.

These turn models are listed here.

110 turn

Barrel Diameter: 2 ½ inches

Long Taper

Handle Thickness is 1 inch.

The 110 is the balanced of balanced bats. This is the best option for someone who is new to wood bats and will help to ease any transition from using BBCOR style bats. Its thick handle gives a high degree of durability, and its balanced nature helps give a faster swing yet still gives great contact.

271 turn

Barrel Diameter: 2 ½ inches

Long Taper

Handle Thickness 15/16ths of an inch.

The 271 is very close to the 110 but does have a slightly quicker taper between the handle and the barrel. The thinner handle and the quicker taper will give the bat a slightly higher end load giving you more power in your swings but can still be used by either contact hitters or power hitters.

I-13 turn

Barrel Diameter: 2 ½ inches

Medium Taper

Handle Thickness is 15/16ths of an inch

An I-13 is a little more end loaded than the 271 due to the quicker taper between the barrel and the handle. This bat is great for those who are looking to work on their power hitting as the end load gives the bat a stronger swing.

243 turn

Barrel Diameter 2 ⅝ inch

Medium Taper

Handle Thickness 29/32 or 15/16ths of an inch.

The 243 has the thinnest handle, and the barrel goes up slightly in size making it the most end loaded of the four types of turns. This is for sure a power hitter bat, and contact hitters will find it much more difficult to control and definitely not recommended for someone who is newer to wood bats.

For more on the different types of turns on bats, you can check out this video:

 

Best Wood Bat Types

Ash Wood Bats

Ash is the lightest bats on the wood types of bats.

They are the most flexible bats and do tend to be forgiving, but they also have a tendency to break if not hitting the bat with the grain of the wood.

Be sure to keep the logo of the bat straight up or straight down while you are hitting to be sure you are hitting the ball with the grains of the bat.

Because of the lightweight, ash bats are the best bats for swing speeds.

This can help to develop control during your sing and precision when making your hits.

Ash does have a wider grain structure than other woods, and so they can feel softer than other bats when hitting.

Ash bats also tend to flex during a swing and if done correctly can add a touch of whip effect to your swing making the speed even more through the hitting zone.

Maple Wood Bats

Maple is the most commonly used woods on bats.

Maple is a very dense wood, so the barrel does tend to be quite responsive when you hit the ball.

You can feel the ball leaving the bat on a good swing when you make the correct contact.

Maple bats are more durable than ash because of its tighter grain structure.

This means the bat can be a little more forgiving when you hit the ball, not on the grain, but it is still recommended that you work on hitting the grain to extend the life of your bat.

Maple bats can have ink dot tests on the more high-end models.

This dot will show you the straightness of the grain in the wood. The straighter the grain is, the more durability the bat will have.

The dot will also show you the hardest side of the bat, so you know exactly what side to hit on.

Composite Wood Bats

Composite bats would be the most durable bats just due to their construction. Composite bats are made in several different ways.

They could be wrapped in a composite sheath, they could have a core that is then wrapped with a maple laminate, or they could have a composite handle with a maple or ash barrel.

A composite bat will give results similar to a wood bat but have the benefit of being stronger and so will last longer.

They may have a break in period, unlike wood bats, where you will need to use the bat for a while before it is actually ready for the best hits possible.

Composite bats are perfect for players who are wanting to move up from an alloy bat to a wood bat as they will feel similar to an alloy bat in swing but will have the hit and possibly the sting of a wood bat.

They are widely used in batting cages for their benefits.

Composite bats don’t always meet the proper requirements for league play so be sure to check with your coach or your league rules to be sure it is legal.

The technology that has gone into the best wood bats for youth baseball has been advancing steadily for years and offers players a great alternative to bats made from other materials.

Wood bats offer young players to get the feel for making contact with the same types of bats used in the big leagues and the power that can come from a wooden bat hit is often unrivaled by any other materials.

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