Before stepping up to the plate, you may want to play close attention to what we feel are the top bats made specifically for youth players for the 2016 season. Reading reviews has become a common practice in today’s fast paced world so we aim to give you the proper information right away so you can find the right bat based on your situation. We break down the main features such as type of alloy, and the performance level you can expect. We then balance this with the amount it will cost you out of pocket. Choosing the right bat is normally an individual decision and what works for one hitter may not necessarily work for the other. So check out our table below to begin your search process and click on the ‘Read Review’ link to find out more info on each.
- 1 Guide to finding the Best Youth Baseball Bats
- 2 Best Big Barrel Bats
- 3 Best Youth Composite Bats
- 4 Sizing Youth Bats – Some tips
- 5 Composite Vs. Aluminum
- 6 Little League Baseball Bat rules
Guide to finding the Best Youth Baseball Bats
Want to see what we feel are the Top-5 choices for younger players? Check out this table below.
|Demarini CF Zen|
|Material||Composite||Composite||Half and Half||Composite|
|Length to Weight||-11||-12||-12||-11|
|Construction||Two piece||Two piece||Two piece hybrid||One piece|
|Swing||Balanced||End Loaded||Balanced||End Loaded|
|Approved for Little League?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Approved for Babe Ruth?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Approved for Dixie?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Approved for Pony?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Approved for AABC?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Approved for USSSA?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Barrel||Paradox +Plus||TCT Thermo Composite||X12 Alloy||IMX Composite|
|Barrel Diameter||2 1/4"||2 1/4"||2 1/4"||2 1/4"|
Quick Youth Bat reviews
Demarini Vexxum – The first of our youth baseball bat reviews is the Demarini Vexxum. We chose the Vexxum as our top youth bat as we feel it provides the most value. With a nice balanced swing, many people are already raving about how much pop it provides. For the amount of power it provides, it is also constructed to be incredibly lightweight giving it the best of both worlds. Read our full review.
Easton Mako – Although more expensive than the Demarini Vexxum described above, for younger competitive level players there may be no better choice than the brand new 2016 version of the Easton Mako. The Mako provides just as much power as the XL1 (described below), but swings 1 ounce lighter. Many people believe the Mako is the next big one to come onto the scene and more than likely will be seen used by many top youth players this season. Read our full review.
Demarini CF8 – The next choice for younger players is new and improved Demarini CF8. Players who used the CF6 and CF7 in years past claim that they see significant improvements in power right away. What is really nice about the CF8 is that it is also very lightweight providing you with one of the smoothest swings you’ll ever make. Read our full review.
Easton XL3 – Our choice when it comes to providing the most power possible is the next item in our list: the Easton XL3. With a massive sweet spot, the XL3 is geared towards stronger youth-level players who are able to swing with more weight easier than other players. Easton has packed the XL3 with its top alloy and handle making it one of the top sellers for power hitters around the country. Read our full review.
Based on the reviews above, we believe that the Demarini Vexxum will be perfect for most players regardless of the league they play in. Less expensive than the Easton Mako and the Easton XL1, we believe that the Vexxum could be considered as a premier choice for the average youth players for the 2016 season.
That being said, the Easton Mako, Easton XL3, and Demarini CF8 (although higher in price than average) do provide more competitive youth players with several advantages. If you are looking for more power than all 3 of these models will without a doubt help you see substantial improvements. One word of caution with the XL1 though is that you should have quite a bit of strength to use it. It feels a bit heavier than the others but still provides the most power of the ones we’ve reviewed.
Best Big Barrel Bats
Contrary to what most people think, selecting and buying a bat is not a simple transaction that involves going to a sports shop, picking up a good bat, examining it for any defects, paying a meager amount and walking out of the shop flinging the bat around happily…absolutely not! The decision of buying a selecting a bat is an extremely trivial and careful process, one must take into account a number of factors that will affect the prowess of the player depending on the bat he is playing with.
The big barrel bats are a trending and popular innovation in the baseball industry, these are bats with barrels larger than 2 1/4 inches in diameter, a youth big barrel baseball has approximately 2 5/8 inches in diameter. Big barrel bats have a height ranging from 27-32 inches, and a weight ratio ranging between a -7 and a -10. These bats can be used by players of any age, provided, their league allows its use, however, their use is typically commonly in players ranging from age 10-14. The largest barrels available in this product are the 2-3/4 inch barrels, which are famously referred to as the “monster barrels”. Remember, the most important factor in determining your selection is to find a bad that fits your size and compliments your age and ability in order to have complete control and outstanding performance with each swing. However, if your bat is too heavy for you, which is what mostly happens in the case of big barrel bats, you will lose the control of your swing and the ability to make square contact with the ball. So, before buying a big barrel bat, check the rules and regulation related to the barrel size set by your league. The section features our top big barrel choices: the Easton XL3, and Demarini Overlord.
A latest and innovative development in the big barrel bats is the new Easton XL3, it is a one piece, excellent aluminium alloy equipped with an end load. The bat has a barrel profile that is huge for the body of a one piece aluminium bat, however, it offers more durability, and its thin walls make it light and easy to swing with its big sweet spot. In addition to that, the new Easton XL3 has an incredibly smooth feel, along with its sleek looks, it is definitely an improvement in alloy. However, several users have pointed out that the new Easton has exhibited a tendency of wear and tear or denting after considerable use, which is a common problem prevalent in aluminium bats. Players who prefer the feel of a metal bat that stings in your hands, enjoy the ping of the aluminium and the ease of one piece bats, find it easy to swing using end loaded bats, seek to enhance and improve their bomb dropping and home run abilities and those who want to improve their prowess at the plate, we recommend the new Easton XL3 as an intelligent and satisfactory purchase.
Demarini Voodoo Overlord
The Demarini Voodoo Overload is also a latest and trending development, which has taken the baseball industry by the rage! It is equipped with a Paradox Plus Composite Barrel that serves to make the bat feel lighter, and give the player more power in delivering a confident swing. Its D-Fusion FT Handle helps in preventing any unwanted or involuntary vibration, and assists in focusing all energy towards the barrel. The FT, which is basically flame tempered, serves to give the barrel a stiffer feel and prevent vibration. Furthermore, the bat is equipped with a Low Pro End Cap, which is basically a dual density flat end cap, that servers to balance the weight of the swing, and maintain the smoothness of the barrel. Its RCK Knob is a specialized, anatomically designed knob that will make the bat a perfect fit in your hand!
Best Youth Composite Bats
Now let us take a look at composite baseball bats, which are basically a composite of carbon fiber polymer infused into the bat’s structure throughout its design, bats that are solely made with this composite of polymer are called composite bats. These bats are extremely common and popular for having various benefits over aluminium or wooden bats. Firstly, their swing weight is more easily controlled and shaped, and they have a much longer durability as compared to wooden bats. They are usually single piece or two piece bats that have a lower swing weight and assist in making a smooth and easy swing. However, composite bats are the most expensive of bats and cannot be used in cold weather. They often crack more easily as compared to aluminium bats, and gradually with time, they increase in trampoline effect.
The DeMarini CF8 Youth Baseball Bat is an innovative and advanced development by the innovative DeMarini, which has a knack for delighting and satisfying its loyal customers with new and revolutionary products. The bat is a two-piece full composite product equipped DeMarini’s signature Half & Half technology. DeMarini has extended the profile of barrel to provide players the longest fully-comp sweet spot. The new bat features a barrel that is 2 ¼ inches in diameter and -11 in length and weight ratio, in addition to this, the bat also sports a recent advancement of the D-Fusion 2.0 Handle that facilities a stronger grip and allows greater transfer of energy towards the ball. This new innovative product has been Approved for Play in Little League, Babe Ruth, Dixie, Pony, AABC, and USSSA. DerMarnini is backing this latest product, which has already created a rage in the market and is being coveted like a prized possession, with a Full Twelve Month Manufacturer’s Warranty.
The Easton Mako is another recent and trending development in the baseball industry. It has an oversized barrel, and the lightest swing weight in the entire Power Brigade series that is known for it light swing weight, however, due to its large barrel it is heavy in weight. We recommend the new Easton MAKO for players who prefer the use of light swinging bats, enjoy indulging in trending and extravagant purchases by technological innovative and leading brands, and look forward to technological advancements and experimentation with innovative new products. However, players who are on a tight budget and enjoy the use of a one piece aluminium barreled bat, the new Easton MAKO is not for you!
Sizing Youth Bats – Some tips
The best youth baseball bat means nothing if it is not sized properly! The following are some tips that you need to follow when looking to size your bat:
- One of the most important things that you need to think about is your body size (height and weight).
- Hitting is a tough thing to do and hence choosing one that fits your height and weight will allow you to perform to the best of your ability. For instance stronger players can look for a bat which is longer, and/or heavier. Smaller and younger players instead can opt for ones that are lighter in weight so that they can swing through faster.
- Decide on the right length. One way to tell is to keep the bat at the center of your chest and reach out with your left hand and make sure that you are able to cover the base with your palm.
- Another method you could use is to place the bat with its end cap on the ground next to your right leg. The height should be such that you are able to easily hold it in your palm while pointed down.
- Always use the one that feels the most comfortable even if you feel your swing is too light or heavy. Youth sized bats are normally designed to be a bit light, and have a drop from -10 to -13.
Image from: slugger.com
Composite Vs. Aluminum
Youth bats have gone through a lot of changes since starting with traditional wood. Nowadays both aluminum and composite material are incredibly popular. So, which of these two is the better choice for you?
- Aluminum came into existence in the 1970s and it was when manufacturers started using aluminum alloys and advanced design techniques that the aluminum started to outperform the traditional wood bats.
- Composite material is a recent introduction to baseball and came only in the mid 80s. But, it did not perform as expected and disappeared shortly only to emerge back stronger in early 2000s using graphite fiber material.
- Aluminum models are composed of aluminum alloys and are offered with singe and double wall barrels.
- Composite models are made out of a wide variety of materials like: wood and composite combination, barrels with carbon or steel alloys and so on. They tend to be durable and offer better performance than aluminum.
- Aluminum models are lighter and thus offer better swinging speeds.
- Composite bats are lighter than aluminum bats and offer flexible handles, and larger barrels.
- Aluminum models have the tendency to dent over time and hence are less effective. They are ready to use right away and do not need any break-in time.
- Aluminum models tend to be slightly cheaper than the composite bats.
Little League Baseball Bat rules
Lastly, let us take a quick glance at the Little League specifications and standards, which have the most significant influence on your decision making. Firstly, the bat must be a baseball bat, specically, a smooth, round stick, preferably wood, or any other material or colour that is approved by the Little League. For Little League majors, the bats must not exceed 33 inches in length, and more than 2 ¼ inches in diameter. All Junior League bats must not exceed 34 inches in length or 2 5/8 inches in diameter.
The intermediate and Junior League players must ensure that their bats do not exceed 36 inches in lengths and 2 5/8 inches in diameter. All bats that are not made of a single wooden piece shall meet the standard of the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) and these bats will be labelled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark, which will be placed a half-inch on each side on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting colour. Aluminium and composite bats will be marked by a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark.
For senior league, the bat must not exceed 36 inches in length and 25/8 inches in diameter. All composite bats must meet the Batted Ball Cofficient of Restitution performance standard, and marked with the permanent certification mark. Bats that not made by a single wooden piece shall meet the standard of the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) and these bats will be labelled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark, that will be placed a half-inch on each side on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting colour. Aluminium and composite bats will be marked by a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark.
We hope that you have enjoyed our 2016 guide on finding the best youth sized bats to fit your swing. As a reminder please take a look at the menu and sidebar for convenient links to other reviews and equipment that we overview on this website. Thank you for stopping by and keep swinging for the fences!