Standing on home plate, there is one thing you need to be able to rely on.
Composite bats started to make a dent in the market in the early 2000s.
Manufactured with high-tech carbon fiber, these lightweight, robust, and flexible bats are becoming increasingly popular.
Youth composite bats are now among the most common in many junior and senior leagues.
Even the MLB now allows a selection of the best composite wood bats.
The question is:
Are composite bats right for you?
Composite baseball bats are high quality bats made from a reinforced carbon fiber polymer aka composite.
This material can be used in making parts or the entire bat.
Baseball players and fans all over the world frequently argue about aluminum and wooden bats vs. bats made from composite.
Whatever may be the case, we believe that each player and fan is unique and has his/her own preference.
Composite Bats began to give serious competition to aluminum bats during early 2000.
These days, there are numerous different types of composite bats available in the market; bats with composite handles and aluminum barrels, bats with composite outer shells and over aluminum barrels and even some all-composite double-wall bats.
In this article:
We’ll go over the best youth composite bats, BBCOR composite bats, and more.
We’ll also touch on the benefits and features of composite bats, and help you shop for little league composite bats.
Types of Youth Composite Bats
Composite bats are generally divided into two major categories, depending on their fabrication process.
One-piece Composite Bats
One-piece composite bats are constructed from a single piece of reinforced carbon fiber polymer. The one-piece design ensures the bat is solid and has the necessary stiffness.
The carbon fiber adds impressive flexibility, giving these bats a very powerful pop.
Two-piece Composite Bats
Two-piece composite bats are structured as two separate pieces bonded with an adhesive.
They separate the barrel from the handle and typically feature different materials on each part.
Why different materials?
Handles need to be stiff and absorb vibration, while barrels need both stiffness and flexibility. So you’ll find different alloys combined with composites in two-piece bats.
The Easton Ghost X Hyperlite 2019 is a one-piece drop 11 composite baseball bat designed for speed and precision.
Sizes range between 27” and 31”. It’s an extremely lightweight and fast swinger.
One-piece balanced design and Hyperlite fabrication for superb weight control.
SpeedCap technology provides a flexible and responsive barrel performance.
EXACT carbon engineered optimized barrel for improved performance and energy distribution.
Suboptimal pops, somewhat underpowered.
Material tends towards superficial cracks under certain conditions.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Composite Bat
One-piece, two-piece, or three-piece?
Structure determines bat performance. Composite bats can be stiffer one-piece bats, or more flexible two/three-piece bats.
Composite bats can be made of a single carbon composite material, combine different composites, or combine composites and alloys.
Composite bats are manufactured in a range of sizes, from 25” to 34” and beyond. Composite BBCOR bats tend towards a range of 31”- 34”.
The weight of a composite bat determines its length-to-weight ratio, which in turn determines the leagues it’s approved for.
Youth composite bats can have a range of diameters, with the most common being 2 3/4” and 2 5/8”.
Composite Bat Features
Most two-piece youth composite baseball bats will feature special bonding technology. The point of union between the two pieces is susceptible to vibration and energy transfer issues. Special bonding technology addresses both issues.
Different manufacturers employ different composite materials or alloys in composite bats. Each has unique properties and advantages.
Custom Barrel Profiling Technology
Composite bats often have special techniques and processes applied to the barrel profiling. This optimizes the sweet spot and provides bigger pops and better performance.
Most composite bats have unique grip technologies to improve contact feel and reduce vibration feedback.
Getting The Most From Your Composite Bats
Performance Over Time
Composite bats are notorious for exhibiting improved performance over time. In fact, that quality meant composite bats were temporarily banned from several youth and collegiate leagues for a while.
Still, manufacturers and certifiers wised up and reformed the relevant bat standards. New, BBCOR/USABaseball Certified composite bats are perfectly legal in most leagues.
Care and Maintenance
Composite bats are sometimes susceptible to cracks under certain weather conditions. The rule of thumb most often cited is to avoid using them below 60°F.
However, not all composite materials are equally vulnerable. Newer generations of composite materials, and two-piece aluminum alloy barrel composite bats, tend to have better performance.
The Right Bat
Composite bats have to be the right fit for the player in question. Bat length and weight will determine the ease and confidence that you can swing the bat around with.
A number of bat sizing charts are available online. Buying the right bat size is crucial for an optimal swinging experience.
Fit for a League
Every league that teams participate in has its own baseball bat standards they enforce and adhere to. Making sure that the bat you buy is approved for the league it’s intended to be used in is essential.