Best Baseball Bats
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Playing baseball has become more exciting than ever before. Batters are no longer limited to wooden or aluminum bats.
Instead, due to new technologies, a lot of bats are ergonomically designed, from their grip and caps. Furthermore, some bats are packed in a way where the ball simply bounces off with a pop.
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With all this new technology, it is a great time to go get started with playing baseball. However, since there are also so many options available on the market, knowing what bat to get might be overwhelming.
This is especially true if you have no idea where to start, from brand to length/weight.
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The game of baseball is a fun and exciting game that both children and adults play. As a player, it is important to get the right baseball bat that will make this experience even better. With the different bats available on display, it can become confusing and be tiring to pick the right one. The compiled list below has some of the best baseball bats that you can choose from.
Key Considerations When Buying a Baseball Bat
Before jumping into the process of buying a baseball, there are several things that you need to consider. As we mentioned above, bats are not the same standard wooden or aluminum as they once were.
There are so many companies that produce different kinds of unique bats that claim to be the best, a newbie might be a bit confused on knowing what to buy.
Therefore, before starting, make sure to learn about the key considerations down below.
- Length – If you are new to baseball, you might be surprised to find out that not every bat is manufactured the same length. Did you also know that the length of your bat, as well as its drop, is very important to determine your swing? Therefore, make sure that you get the right length when you are searching for that right item. This heavily depends on your height and weight. You can refer to our table below for more detail on how to properly know the length of the bat.
- Drop – The next step after figuring out the length of the bat is it’s knowing its drop. This refers to the length of the bat minus the weight. Therefore, the higher the drop, the lower the weight. Usually, coaches or seasoned players suggest getting a bat of a higher drop when first starting out, and younger you are. Then, once you get older, increase the drop number.
Generally, children that are 4 to 6 years old, people say you should use a tee ball bat. Then, from ages 7 to 8, use a -12 or -10 Senior League bat, from ages 8 to 9, use a -9 or -8 Senior League bat, ages 10 to 12, use a -5 Senior League bat, from ages 13 and above, use a -3 BBCOR bat. While this could differ depending on the child’s height and weight at that time, this is the standard.
- Material – This is largely influenced by what kind of game you are going to play. However, usually, the material of the bat is broken down into two major types: wooden or non-word. From there, if you choose to carry a wood bat, you can select either between maple, birch, ash, or bamboo material. If not, if you choose to go with non-wood bats, this breaks down as composite, hybrid, and alloy. These are described in further detail down below.
- Construction – The construction of a bat refers to how well it is made. Usually, people describe this by saying either one-piece or two-piece bats. For one-piece bats, they are a bit more balanced, however, they are slightly stiffer. Two-piece bats, however, are much more flexible (in comparison), but much like the former, have less vibration. Knowing which one to use depends on what kind of player you are. Contact hitters typically find that one-piece bats are better for balance, while powerful hitters benefit most from two-piece bats. However, at the end of the day, it is really up to you.
- Swing weight – Just as the name implies, swing weight is an important factor that determines how your bat’s weight distributes along the length. Even if two bats are of the same weight, they can feel very different depending on how that weight distributes across the bat. Usually, batters define this as being balanced or end-loaded.Balanced bats are, obviously, much more distributed in weight. They allow for a greater swing speed due to their nice balance. For this reason, a lot of contact hitters tend to prefer balanced bats because it offers them more control.End-loaded bats, on the other hand, put more weight at the end of the barrel. As a result, when swinging, a player has much more power. It is as if you are swinging a bag with bricks inside since there will be more of a whip effect. Heavy hitters tend to prefer this bat.
- Barrel Diameter – This is the widest part of the bat that you use to hit the ball. When playing baseball, you want to make sure the barrel is where the ball comes in contact with, since it can result in a powerful performance. The most common barrel diameters include 2 ¾ inches, 2 5/8 inches, and/or 2 ¼ inches. These are what is typically accepted by the league.
- Certifications – Often times, bats are labeled with specific stamps or certifications that signify whether the bat meets the standards required to perform/use. Some bats may meet the standard for one league, but another might not. This really varies depending on the type of game you play. We go into greater detail down below.
- Price – This might not be too important for some people, but for those on a budget, the price is definitely something to think about. You need to make sure that whatever bat you purchase is affordable enough for you. Therefore, before rushing into brands or names, look at the price.
Different Bat Material
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to the material of the bat. As we described above, the major types come in wood and non-wood. Once you know what type of bat you want to swing, then you can go into more specifics as we list below.
Types of Wood Bats
The great thing about wood baseball bats is that they are powerful, but lightweight. They are tradition and a lot of players believe that swinging these help to increase strength. The following are the different types of wood bats you can choose from.
- Maple – These bats are from a dense wood. For this reason, maple bats tend to be very stiff and tight structured. These are the types of bats that give that extra pop sound when hitting a ball with a lot of force. Highly durable, maple wood bats are less prone to flaking – when the bat separates between the rings of the wood. If you are searching for maple bats, make sure to search for Rock Maple, since they are considered one of the strongest wood for bats.
- Birch These bats are similar to maple bats in the sense that they have a tight grain structure. However, they are slightly more flex, giving them a lot of power and strength. Birch bats are popular with a lot of players because they are able to withstand awkward impact hits.
- Ash – These bats are opposite to the Birch or Maple bats. Rather than being strong and dense, they quite flex and lightweight. It gives a trampoline effect when coming in contact with the ball. This means that the ball will spring off. Therefore, ash bats are more popular for first time players who are starting off. Unfortunately, the bad thing about these bats is that they can break or flake slightly if the ball comes into contact with the end of the bat.
- Bamboo – These bats are the most unique out of the three. They are not as common, and the way they are manufactured is interesting as well since they are made from multiple chutes of bamboo. Since they are from bamboo, they are extremely dense and strong. Often times, you will find these types of bats in batting cages (since they need to be reused over and over again).
Types of Non-Wood Bats
Since wood bats are usually for professional baseball players or practice bats, it is most common to see non-wood bats. This is especially true if you are a younger player.
Therefore, if you know what each individual type of bat is like, it might help to choose the right product.
- Composite – These are one of the most common types of non-wood bats that players use. They are made from a material that is similar to carbon fiber. As a result, players can easily control the weight distribution. Depending on the style of the bat, manufacturers can be both balanced or end-loaded. The good thing about using these types is that they have reduced vibration on the hands. Moreover, they have a great pop sound when hitting the ball. However, on the flip side, you need to spend more time breaking them in. It takes about 150 to 200 hits to get this done. They also are a lot more expensive, usually costing anywhere from $200 to $400 USD.
- Alloy – These bats are also called aluminum bats. They are a bit less expensive than composites, ranging from $50 to $300 USD. Just like hybrid types, they are ready to use right out of the wrapper and you can use them at any temperature. They have a smaller sweet spot with less pop. There is more vibration when you hit, however the positive is that they last much longer at bats. Even if they are damaged in some way, you can still continue to use them.
- Hybrid – These are a combination of composite and alloy. The good thing about these bats is that they do not require any breaking in, as they are ready as soon as you unwrap them. They also have a larger sweet spot compared to alloy bats, but a smaller one compared to composite. There is a reduced vibration on your hands as well. Overall, they are moderately priced at $200-$300. The distinctive feature of a hybrid bat is that they have a composite handle, but an alloy barrel.
The Common Stamps of Bats
As we mentioned above, there are plenty of stamps that you will notice labeling the bats. If you are new to baseball, you might have no idea what any of this means.
These are certifications that permit players to use the specific bat for whatever governing league. Below is a list of some of the stamps you may see.
- BBCOR – This is the certification and current standard that governs adult baseball bats. It is the most common stamp of approval you may see on bats. It stands for Batted Ball Coefficient Of Restitution. Overall, it measures how much energy you lose from the ball colliding with the bat. This helps to ensure that non-wood
- USSSA – Standing for United States Specialty Sports Association, this refers to the standard for ages 14 and under. Bats with the label mean that you can swing a 2 ¼ inch youth bat, or a 2 5/8 inch big barrel bat. Most people refer to this as Senior League bats.
- USA Baseball – For players that are in the Little League (age 14 or under), it is necessary to swing a USA bat. This label usually is right above the grip and are also available in 2 ¼ inches or 2 5/8 inches.
In conclusion, when it comes to pitching and batting, it is important to get the right baseball bat the will not only provide adequate protection from the sting. But, it will also give you the best pitches in the game. For any player whether older or younger to enjoy the game, you have to get a bat that gives you power and control when batting. This will, therefore, help you get the best result when it comes to pitching.