Baseball is one of the most common sports for young children to play. It is a simple game to follow and something everyone can play. And for youth players who seem to have a knack for the game, it is important for them to be put in the right position with the right equipment to properly develop their skills. A baseball bat is especially important to a player’s game because it can have a large impact on their fundamentals and batting form. Luckily, there are multiple bats available today that will help get the best out of youth players.
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How To Select A Youth Baseball Bat
Before going into some of the best youth baseball bats on the market, it is important to know what to look for in a youth bat. These are some of the factors that you should consider before choosing a bat for your child:
The first thing that you must consider is the length of the bat you are looking to purchase for a youth player. Giving a young player a bat that is too long or too short could not only cause them to mishit the ball, it could also lead to bad habits in their swinging technique. So before purchasing a bat, measure your child first and refer to a sizing chart to ensure you select the correct bat.
Like the reasons that it is important to make sure the length of your child’s bat is correct, the same goes for weight. While the notion holds true that the heavier the bat, the further you are likely to hit the ball, more weight could hurt your child’s game. If your child can’t hold the bat, their swing speed will decrease, decreasing power potential. If the bat is too heavy, this will also throw off swinging fundamentals, teaching the child bad habits. So, make sure when choosing a bat that your child can swing it comfortably.
Drop weight is a combination of the length and weight aspects that you should consider when buying a bat. Drop weight is virtually the weight minus the length of the bat. The typical drop weight for a youth bat ranges between -7 to -13 so make sure that when you are making your decision on a bat that the drop weight falls in this range.
There are two different materials that you can get your bat in, wood and metal. The metal bats that are most often used are made of aluminum. For youth baseball, aluminum bats are the most likely material to be used because they are light weight, easy to swing and provide much more power. Some players prefer the feel of a wooden bat, however, so this is a decision that should be left up to the player to decide which material they prefer.
One factor that is usually overlooked is the type of alloy that your bat is made with. Technology has advanced a long way with bats and if you are choosing a metal material, there are different alloys that can be added in the bat that increase the distance of a player’s hits. So, if you aren’t afraid of spending a little more money, you could get an alloy that helps produce more solid, longer hits.
The barrel is the most important piece of the bat as that is where the ball will be making contact. There are bats that have big barrels and some that have smaller ones, each have their positives for players. Big barrels will allow for more contact and distance but they will also add weight to the bat, possibly throwing off a player’s swing. Smaller barrels do not provide as much contact but they do allow for a lighter weight that can increase bat speed for players who are looking for more power. So, depending on the type of player your child is, it will determine what barrel is better for them.
The grip of the bat is also an integral part of a youth’s bat. Typically, the grip of the bat gets narrower compared to the barrel, allowing for players to increase hand speed and swing faster. There are some bats out there, however, that have wider grips so that younger players can have greater control and stability when they swing, while also minimizing the vibrations that travel down the bat when contact is made. If shock resistance and stability is something your child is looking for, they may want to look at bats with these thicker grips.
The final factor that you want to consider when buying a bat is league regulations. In recent years, there have been increased regulations in leagues that look to control what materials and drop weights bats are allowed to have in order to be used. While these regulations are typically for those above the youth level, some youth leagues have regulations of their own. To determine if a bat you are looking to purchase meets your child’s league regulations, simply visit your league’s website or ask an official that represents the league if the bat is acceptable to use in games.
Best Youth Baseball Bats On The Market
After deciding what type of bat would be best for your youth player, it is time to hit the market in search of the best youth baseball bat you can find. These are some of the best bats available for purchase today:
Easton is one of the most trusted baseball brands in the country and this youth bat illustrates why they have that reputation. The S50 model is an aluminum alloy bat that looks to create a delicate balance between producing maximum power while also being lightweight.
- Big Barrel – This bat features a large barrel that will inevitably create more contact and power for any player that looks to use it. The fact that this bat is lighter than most with a similar barrel size makes this a huge positive.
- Durability – Much like any bat that has an aluminum base, it is a durable bat that can be used until a child grows out of it. The bat is also a one piece model, adding to the likelihood that it will last longer than most.
- All Sports Grip – Easton has added an all sports grip to the bat, allowing for players to have a more stable and comfortable grip.
- Weight – While Easton advertises this bat as being light weight while having a bigger barrel, it is still heavier for some youth players, making it hard for some younger players to swing.
Much like Easton, Louisville Slugger is the pinnacle of baseball equipment. This model that is made specifically for younger players is advertised as a comfortable, easy swinging bat that is sure to improve any young hitter’s game.
- Durability – Much like the Easton bat that was discussed above, this bat is a one-piece aluminum model, ensuring that it will be one of the most durable bats on the market.
- Lightweight – This bat is more of a lightweight model that will help players that are on the smaller size of their age group. The lightweight model allows for a greater swing speed, increasing power for smaller players.
- Tapered Handle – The handle that is included on this bat is one of the most comfortable on the market and provides strong stability to couple with the soft feel.
- Minimal Power – Because this is a lighter weight bat than usual, it does not have any part that increases how far a player will hit the ball, possibly minimizing power potential.
Contrary to the previously mentioned Louisville Slugger bat, this model looks to maximize power instead of making a lightweight bat. While this bat may be heavier, it still has plenty to offer to any youth player looking to improve their game.
- Composite Bat – This bat, unlike most of the youth bats available, is a composite bat that allows for a greater trampoline effect off of the bat, allowing for greater power potential for younger players.
- Minimal Vibration – Another positive that comes from this being a composite bat is that it is more likely to absorb vibration, making it more comfortable for players when they make contact with the ball.
- Massive Sweet Spot – This bat also has a massive sweet spot on it, increasing the likelihood of making contact, and sound contact, for players that have problems putting the ball in play.
- Price – While this bat has a lot of perks that are not found with a lightweight bat, there is a price to be paid. For a youth bat, this will be expensive for a bat that is not a long term solution.
The Mako model seems to be the prized bat for the Easton manufacturers, as they tout a new technology that allows for a massive sweet spot while keeping the bat at a minimal weight for smaller players.
- Massive Sweet Spot – This bat features one of the largest sweet spots of any of the youth bats on the market today, allowing for an increased likelihood for hits and increased power.
- Low Drop Weight – While this bat seems to offer some of the same perks as other big barrel bats, the drop weight is lower than other models, making it one of the lighter big barrel bats on the market.
- Minimal Vibrations – Because this bat is a composite bat, it is more likely to absorb the shock waves that go down the bat when one hits a stinger, making it more comfortable to use for any youth player.
- Not BBCOR Certified – The one knock on this bat is that it is not BBCOR certified. There are many leagues now that require a BBCOR bat be used, so this could eliminate this bat from consideration for many players.
The DeMarini bat is the first bat featured here that is a two-piece model, as opposed to the typical one piece. This technology allows for the bat to have a stronger barrel while using different materials to improve the weight and swing speed.
- Composite Handle – The first part of this two-piece design features a composite handle. Because it is composite, the handle will absorb much of the vibration that comes with making contact, making it more comfortable.
- Half and Half Design – Because the bat is a half and half design, the barrel of the bat can be large with a big sweet spot without sacrificing the lightweight of the composite handle.
- Paradox Composite Barrel – Using a design specific to DeMarini, this special composite barrel allows for energy to be stored in the barrel, allowing for the maximum energy transfer from bat to ball.
- Durability – While the two-piece design provides its benefits, it takes away from the durability. A one-piece bat is more solid and the two-piece is more likely to break or dent from extended use.
Overall, there is a lot that goes into selecting the best youth baseball bat and there are plenty of options that are available on the market. Personally, it seems that the Easton Mako model is the best youth bat on the market. It offers a big barrel model bat and many of the same perks, such as limited vibration, but also has the lowest drop weight as a one-piece model. The only drawback is that it is not BBCOR certified but that does not typically matter as much in youth leagues. Do you agree that this is the best bat available for youth players? If you believe there is a better bat for your child, feel free to comment with the bat you prefer.