Youth sports have long been a staple in the lives of children and as such choosing the right equipment can make a huge difference in their overall success in sports. Baseball is a sport where the particulars of your bat, helmet, pads, and ball all make a huge difference in the overall success that you have with the sport.
While choosing the right bat can be terribly difficult, with the right information and the right tips, anyone can choose the bat that is going to turn your little hitter into the next Babe Ruth. Use our reviews and tips below to find the best youth baseball bat for the money.
Our Picks: Best Youth Baseball Bats (2017 – 2018)
What To Look For When Shopping For Youth Baseball Bats
Legal For Play – the first factor to keep in mind are the regulations of the particular league your child is playing for. Many leagues require that the bat you are using be stamped with an official bat supplier logo to insure that it has been approved and met official standards like weight, material, length, barrel size, and of course knob. Youth bats these days are almost all governed by the 1.15 BPF standard where BPF stands for Bat Performance Factor. The USSA and the ASA are both stamps to look for when buying your child’s bat.
Material – the next factor to consider is what material your child’s bat is going to be made of. Most youth players are going to be using metal bats for three particular reasons. For starters, metal bats are lighter. Lighter bats are easier for younger players to hold and actually be successful when using. The second reason is that metal bats last longer. A good bat is going to be an investment and is not going to come super cheap so being able to use a bat longer is a must. The last reason is that metal bats are going to be better for providing power and are going to be less likely to break than a wooden bat. Some youth players are still going to use wooden bats for training and these bats are likely to be made of ash.
Length – another factor that is going to depend entirely on the size of the child is the length of the bat. This measurement takes into account the height and weight of the child. A child that is under 60 lbs and 3’5”-3’8” would need a bat that was 27 inches long. You can find standard sizing charts online and may even be able to get the help of your local retailer when selecting the bat length that is going to be appropriate for your child. The length of the bat is super important for a few reasons. For starters, length is going to govern how much control your child has over the bat and therefore how much power can be delivered. The length is also going to govern how well your child can reach the ball and so on.
Barrel and Weight – these are two factors that go hand in hand. A larger barrel is going to provide a much larger hitting surface for your child but it is also going to add girth and weight to the bat. If you have a child that has the muscle to use a larger barrel bat it may be beneficial. However, if you have a child that is smaller a larger barrel may make the bat too large and too heavy to use. A heavier bat is going to provide more power behind the swing but it is also going to make it a bit harder for smaller children to use. Make sure you are testing the weight of the bat against the overall power that you child has so that you get a bat that is both heavy enough to deliver the power you want but not so heavy that your child gets tired using it or is not able to use it at all. You also want to keep drop in mind. This is the ratio of weight to length of the bat and it can make a huge difference in the overall way your child handles and uses their bat.
Handles and Grips – the last factor you may want to consider is the handles and grips on the bat itself. This makes a world of difference when it comes to the amount of control your child has over the bat. A thicker handle provides a better grip and in some cases better control while a thinner grip allows for faster movement. Almost all leagues require that a bat have a knob at the end to help give added safety to the bat and to prevent it from sliding out of players hands on swings. Depending on the size and weight of the bat, you can choose a thinner or thicker handle. You should also keep the ability of your player in mind when choosing the size of your grip.
These are all helpful tips to get you started on the path to the perfect bat for your youth baseball player.
Our Favorite Youth Baseball Bats Reviewed
Easton S300 Youth Baseball Bat Review
Batter up! If your child’s looking for increased hitting speed and incredible performance, this youth baseball bat is the perfect option. Featuring an evenly balanced design and lightweight construction, your child will enjoy super-fast swing speeds that’ll make both teammates and opponents jealous.
People rave about this bat’s lightweight feel that leads to more hits. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the S300 Youth Bat’s thin handle that offers a great feel. Your child will especially love its cushioned All Sports grip that gives ultimate comfort and minimizes painful vibration at contact.
Features and dimensions:
- 7046 aircraft alloy
- 29/32″ handle
- USSSA 1.15 BPF certified
- 21/4″ barrel
Choose from two color combinations: black/blue or blue/gray.
The Easton S300 Youth Baseball Bat has been approved for play in Little League, Babe Ruth Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, and Pony Baseball.
One disadvantage of this bat is that fast pitches may leave marks or dents on the bat. Other than that, this is a highly reliable bat that’ll likely elevate your child’s baseball ability in no time.
One final perk? The Easton S300 Youth Baseball Bat comes with a one-year warranty.
Easton S500C Youth Baseball Bat Review
It’s time to step up to the plate! With this super-powerful youth bat, your child will be hitting home runs in no time. The patented two-piece design is crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum and provides less sting on cold days. This unique bat’s handle is composite and its barrel is metal.
One benefit of this bat is that it has been known to cause a dramatic increase in not only swing speed, but also the power batters have. People even say it’s great for line drives.
Features and dimensions:
- 7050 aircraft alloy for fast swing speed
- technology maximizes energy transfer for optimized feel
- 29/32″ composite handle with All Sports grip
- USSSA 1.15 BPF certified
- 21/4″ barrel
The black and fluorescent yellow color combination help this bat stand out in the crowd. Plus, it’s approved for Little League play, so your child can start using it right away!
One disadvantage of this bat is that it’s barrel heavy, meaning that it may not feel exactly balanced when it comes to weight. Not completely happy with the Easton S500C Youth Baseball Bat? Enjoy the comfort of a one-year warranty.
Louisville Slugger 2016 Select 716 Bbcor Baseball Bat Review
There was a time when the Louisville Slugger only came as a wood bat, expertly crafted and stamped with a burned in logo that identified it as the original product, bar none. Today, with the available technologies online for batmakers, the Louisville Slugger has also evolved, taking advantage of new methods of construction, better raw materials, and better designs. The result is the Louisville Slugger 2016 Select 716 Bbcor Baseball Bat.
This bat is crafted with an alloy barrel, providing both a stiff, strong hit surface as well as taking advantage of different metal mixes for lighter weight but stronger energy transference to the ball. One of the big problems in the past has been the reverse shock of hitting a ball sent back into the batter’s hands and wrists. The design of this Louisville Slugger negates that shock with the core materials that dampen the impact vibration. Further, better control is provided through the composite handle and unique grip system, allowing for a better swing, control and direction of the bat sweet spot to the ball, and better swing-through form by the batter.
With this Slugger model a batter won’t be worried about how to hit the ball; he’ll be asking how far the fence line is for his next hit.
Easton S4 Maple Wood Baseball Bat Review
For the baseball purist, the wood bat is still the ideal of traditional baseball, playing the game the way it was 100 years ago. The Easton S4 Maple Wood Baseball Bat provides that classic feel of a Babe Ruth power punch with a solid piece of organic wood.
The grade of wood on these bats is intentionally chosen and cut for as straight a wood grain as possible before the bat itself is carved and crafted. This provides a far longer-lasting bat, as well as improving it’s flexibility to take impact versus splitting on a sideways grain.
There are plenty of computer-designed aluminum and alloy bats available, but the Easton S4 is definitely a class to itself as a solid plank of quality wood crafted to expert shape.
Louisville Slugger Youth 2015 Armor Baseball Bat Review
This durable bat comes made of 100% Performance 7050 alloy. There is a 2.25-inch barrel and a 7/8-inch tapered handle. Choose either an orange or orange/silver/black color scheme.
Benefits of This Product
The Louisville Slugger brand has been a leading name in baseball equipment since 1894. This bat is one of its latest editions. The bat is rugged enough to withstand heavy use. Owners should experience no denting from regular game play.
The resistant alloy material is strong but not heavy. Amateur batters will be able to develop a fluid, fast swing. Players of all sizes should find this bat comfortable for them. The middling weight proves compatible for small and large athletes.
Louisville Slugger Youth 2015 Armor Baseball Bats are good for both young and more experienced amateur players. Quite often youths develop bad swings because of poor functioning bats. One that is either too large or too light can be the problem. This product is the right size to help young players develop a full, confident swing; also, older players may want to switch to this Louisville Slugger in order to improve their connection with the ball as well.
Disadvantages of This Product
On the downside, the handle padding can wear away much more quickly than most users would like. Replace as needed.
Overall, the Louisville Slugger Youth 2015 Armor Baseball Bat is regulation-sized and well-suited for amateur ball players of all ages and experience.
Wood vs Alloy vs Composite Bats
Baseball bats come in three different varieties: wood, alloy, and composite. Each bat has different advantages and disadvantages, and have a different feel when hitting a ball. Different leagues allow different types of bats, so if you are playing in an organized league make sure you buy the appropriate type.
All professional leagues around the world have the wood bat as the standard. However, there are several different types of wood used in their construction. Some use maple, which is an extremely dense bat but is very light. Maple rock wood has very little give, which means the bat absorbs a lot the contact when it hits a ball, making it fly much farther than other types of wood bats. These bats have a very small sweet spot and can be difficult to use for someone just starting out using a wooden bat.
Birch bats are considered a solid training bat. It is not as dense as a maple and has a decent size sweet spot, allowing newer users to become familiar with how to use a wooden bat.
Ash bats are the classic bat that has been used since the early days. It is extremely lightweight, making high speed swings much easier than the heavier maple or birch. It also has the largest sweet spot, because the wood has a porous, springy surface.
Alloy bats are made out of aluminum alloy and are much easier to use than wood bats. They are extremely lightweight and durable, which give them more power when connecting with a ball. They are usually extremely resistant to damage, and take a lot of effort to dent.
A single wall construction is fast, but a double wall construction has a large sweetspot. So depending on your goals, you can choose one or the other.
Composite bats are made out of a carbon fiber composite material. This polymer is much lighter than both wood and alloy. They are also use design mechanics to create better durability and control. These bats must also be broken in by repeated use to get to its maximum power. They also reduce the sting in the hands when the ball is mishit.
What Type Of Youth Baseball Bat Is Best?
Depending on what you want to do, any of the three types of bats can be better than the other. Wooden bats are the only allowable types at the highest level of play, so if you are looking at becoming a professional, it is mandatory to learn how to hit with a wood bat.
Alloy and composite are both used in amateur play. Alloy bats are much cheaper than composite, and are much more durable.
Composite is the superior choice for someone wanting to hit the ball farther and faster. The materials in a composite bat can be shaped in a way to make them either top heavy or balanced, depending on taste. The cost might be more expensive than the other two, but the ability to hit the ball is the best.
Some leagues do limit the use of composite, so make sure you are allowed to have one. Little League, for example, limits the size of composite bats due to how fast the ball can come off of the bat, which can be dangerous for younger users.
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