You may have a little slugger on your hands, but have no idea what to look for when it comes to finding them the best baseball bat for their size. Choosing the best youth bat is an important decision, not only because you need one that is the right size, but also because choosing the right bat can help improve the hitting distance of the ball. Make sure you are getting a home run choice before the first grand slam is even hit.
Things to Consider
Like youth gloves, it is important to know that not all bats are created equally. Bat manufacturers put a lot of thought into how to make the best baseball bat for young hitters. This list is so you don’t have to put a lot of thought into researching the best bats because the hard work is already done for you.
Different Types of Bats
The number one thing to consider when making this purchase is the two different kinds of baseballs that call for different types of bats; Tee Ball and Little League. When it comes to tee-ball the length of the bat can be no longer than 27 inches, while little league bats can be anything over that limitation, of 27 inches.
Top Youth Baseball Bat Comparison Chart
|Picture||Name||Type||Drop (Length - Weight)||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. DeMarini Voodoo Overlord Youth Baseball Bat||Alloy||-13||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|2. Easton 2018 USA Baseball 2 5/8 S550 Youth Baseball Bat||Alloy||-8||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|3. Easton Mako Composite Youth Baseball Bat||Composite||-12||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|4. Louisville Slugger YBAR152 Youth Armor||Alloy||-12||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|5. Easton Cyclone-10 Youth Baseball Bat||Alloy||-10||$||Check Price on Amazon|
|6. Louisville Slugger YBVA153 Vapor||Alloy||-13||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|7. Rawlings 2019 5150 USA Youth Baseball Bat||Alloy||-11||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|8. DeMarini 2020 Voodoo One Balanced 2 5/8" USA Baseball Bat Series||Alloy||-9 -10||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|9. Rawlings YB5R13 5150 Youth Minus 13||Composite||-13||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|10. Louisville Slugger Youth 225 Hornsby Ash Baseball Bat||Wood - Ash||-5||$||Check Price on Amazon|
Youth Bat Lengths
Now you are probably wondering how to tell what length baseball bat would be best. Typically you can figure this out based on the child’s age. As they grow older the longer the bat will need to be. Below is a list of how to determine what length you’ll need based on age.
|5-7 Years Old||24-26 inches|
|8-9 Years Old||26-28 inches|
|10 Years Old||28-29 inches|
|11-12 Years Old||30-31 inches|
|13-14 Years Old||31-32 inches|
|15-16 Years Old||32-33 inches|
|17+ Years Old||34+ inches|
Another thing to determine before purchasing a baseball bat is what material the bats are made from. There are many different composite and natural materials that baseball bats are made out of:
Despite what you see pro players use on TV, wood is the least common material used to make youth baseball bats. Wooden bats are heavier bats so it is harder for the players to swing them. Wooden bats also absorb the impact of the hit which can disadvantage the distance of the hit. There are some youth bats that are made from less dense wood, so it is easier for them to swing. But because most are made out of a dense wood, they can break down more easily. There are only three types of wood that are approved to be used for wooden baseball bats; Maple, Yellow Birch, and Northern White Ash.
Maple bats are lightweight, making them easier to swing. They also transfer more energy to the ball allowing the ball to travel longer distances to make that desired grand slam. Maple wood is smooth and makes you look like a pro from the stands
Yellow Birch wooden bats are best for rookies. While the density of these types of bats adds a little bit of weight, they still swing and hit the ball well. With a little bit of absorption, while hitting the balls, these types of bats pack a punch.
Northern White Ash
This seasoned wooden bat is normally used by well-seasoned hitters. It provides a jumping feeling while striking the ball. Because Northern White Ash is porous it makes the bat give a little and it is incredibly lightweight. In fact, it is the lightest wood approved for wooden bats.
Alloy is the most common material used for making baseball bats. But only the second most popular used by the youth. Alloy is a lightweight material, but it is also very solid so there is no risk of breaking these bats. Different companies use different types of alloys in their production of baseball bats so some have more advantages than others. For example, there are performance alloy bats that are made out of a mixture of more superior alloys which are meant to be the best performing bats on the market. But these “performance alloy” bats can easily get damaged in colder weather. It’s also recommended that youth players use batting gloves to minimize blisters when using alloy bats.
Considered the best material for youth baseball bats, composite is a mixture of synthetic materials and metals. Most companies have their own concoction to make this material. The nice thing about composite bats is that they are so durable, they can last through many home runs and seasons. The only downfall to composite bats is that they need to be broken in. Just like any player, these types of bats need a lot of practice.
Breaking in Composite Bats
The idea of breaking in a bat might be a little confusing since it is not something you wear. But breaking in bats is relatively easy. All you have to do is use the bat! Most bats on average take about 500 – 700 hits before they are broken in, and you want to make sure you are; rotating the bat between a quarter to a half an inch with every swing to help with even distribution and you want to start off by swinging with less power than you normally would when naturally swinging.
Half and Half
To have the best of both world’s some baseball bat companies make bats out of two different materials. These bats typically have a different material for the barrel and the handle. This type of combination has the advantage of being able to absorb more energy while striking the ball. In these bats, it is typical that the handle is made out of composite and the barrel from an alloy like aluminum.
Bat Drop Weight
Knowing the drop weight of the baseball bat is important because some league and age ranges have limitations. Figuring out the drop weight may seem a little confusing at first, but after some explanation, it should make a lot of sense. The drop weight is simply the ratio between the weight and length of the bat. Youth baseball bats, from ages 7 – 13 have a drop weight anywhere between -7 to -13.5. The higher the number is after the negative sign, the lighter the bats are.
As you get up to ages 13 and over you can see a drop weight as little as -3. While normally the heavier the bat the farther it can send the ball, it can also disadvantage the child by slowing down their swing. Make sure that the weight of the bat is something the hitter is able to hold and swing easily, without too much strength.
Needing to address the issue of legality, some leagues require that the bat that the child is hitting with be stamped with a logo of an official supplier. These stamps ensure that the length, material, barrel size, and weight have been approved and double-checked before being put onto the shelves in stores. Currently, most youth bats are governed by the 1.15 Bat Performance Factor. This number refers to how fast the ball comes off of the bat. Before purchasing any bats for your child after signing them up for tee ball or little league, check with the league and see if they have any specification on the legality of the baseball bats your little slugger can use.
Top Ten Youth Baseball Bats Reviews
Below is a list of youth baseball bats that have stolen a base and found their way home to the top ten best bats for young sluggers. While most bats have the same features or average sizes, it is important to notice the differences between these bats that make them all truly unique.
Ever since Bryce Harper hit a 502 foot home run at the age of 16, the DeMarini Voodoo has been a very popular baseball bat among the youth. This 2015 model has a drop weight of -13, so it is incredibly lightweight and easy to handle. With a 2 ¼ inch barrel diameter and an Ion V end cap youngsters should find it comfortable to handle with very little vibrations from the ball and bat collision. Another comforting feature in the DeMarini Voodoo is the firm grip on the handle, which allows the hitter to have total control. This bat is made out of an alloy with X12 alloy added into it, giving it more strength and no break-in time needed. And although it has no effect on the use of the bat, this bat does come in many different colors and designs.
- No break-in period required
- Absorbs shock with no impact
- Lightweight and Comfortable
- Cold weather can cause it to crack
- Painting and designs chip off over time
The Easton S550 bat is relatively cheap in terms of other youth baseball bats. It is a one-piece aluminum alloy (Alx50 Military-grade aluminum). Because the alloy used in this bat is not as light as it could be, it gives the bat a drop weight of -8, making it easier to send the ball over the heads of the outfielders. Also, the Easton S550 has a 2 and 5/8 inch barrel making it hard to ever strike out.
Easton is one of the most popular baseball bat manufacturers in the world and this model tends to be the most popularly bought bat for youth baseball. Whether it is because of the varying lengths you can purchase it in or the reasonable price, or even the fact that it is a 1.15 BFP certified and legal for many different leagues.
- Reasonably priced
- 15 BFP Certified
- Slugger weight of -8
- Thin handle
- Not super light for speed (though it will give the ball distance)
At first glance, the Easton Mako bat looks cool and professional with a two-tone gray and orange color blocking combination. The gray and orange diamond handle on this bat is detachable making it a two-piece composite bat. But don’t let the material steer you away. This bat is made with TCT Thermo Composite Technology which is said to allow the batter to hit at lightning speed. Plus, the length to weight ratio is -11 making it easier to hit those out of the park home runs. The barrel is measured at 2 ¼ inches, which is about the average with for most youth baseball bats. And this bat comes in a variety of lengths for your slugger of any age and size. There is so much to say about the Easton Mako baseball bat because it is so popular among the youth. It is even one of the top bats that is used in the Little League World Series.
- TCT Thermo Composite Technology
- 1.15 BFP Certified
- Many sizes available
- Can crack in cold temperatures
- A little pricey
The Louisville Slugger may be the most infamous baseball bat company since they have been making bats for over 100 years. Despite what you may be expecting, this bat is not a wooden bat. In fact, it is made out of one single piece of aluminum that is strong enough to last many seasons. Although some aluminum bats have a tendency to vibrate upon strike, this bat has a vibration dampening end cup to help with the shock. This vibration cup makes using the bat more comfortable for children.
The drop weight of the Louisville Slugger is -12, also making it easy for children to use since it is so lightweight and can be swung quickly. But it also features a narrower barrel than most bats, at only 2 inches in diameter. A narrower barrel doesn’t mean it is a bad thing, in fact, when hitting the ball with a smaller barrel gives you more control over the placement and angle of hitting the ball.
- Vibration dampening cup
- Single piece design
- Low-quality handle padding
The Easton Cyclone youth baseball bat is perfect for beginners or someone who needs to work on their batting technique. Created with an extended barrel that provides strength and a balanced swing. Plus the hitter can swing this bat faster when compared to other youth baseball bats.
The Easton Cyclone bat is a two-piece 28″ bat that absorbs the shock and vibrations from the impact of the pitch. With a socket pivot point connecting the two parts, it allows the bats to have thinner walls which gives the hit a popping sound that most grand slams sound like, just like the pros.
- Has popping sound
- Pivot point reduces vibrations
- Color finish can fade
- Connecting pieces can break
This performance alloy bat provides a traditional feel when stepping up to the plate. For a reasonably priced bat, it provides durability and power to last for many seasons. With a comfortable taper 7/8 inch handle and synthetic grip that won’t feel any vibrations while hitting grand slams. Another advantage to this bat when it comes to swinging is the drop weight.
This Louisville Slugger Vapor baseball bat is made from a durable 7050 alloy, but its drop weight is only -12, making it an incredibly lightweight bat. The barrel size of the vapor falls into the average range of most youth baseball bats at 2 ¼ inches wide. A larger barrel like this helps move the ball in the intended direction with ease.
- Durable and strong
- Handle grip wears easily
Rawlings says it likes to keep things simple with regards to their design mandate: Make a big sweet spot, eliminate vibration and keep it affordable. Nice. But did they do it? We think they sort of did, but let’s explore. The 5150 comes in well under $100 on Amazon, and it IS APPROVED by USA Baseball so it can be used in Little League and most other leagues! Of course, like many bats, it’s made of aircraft-grade 5150 alloy and it has proprietary “PoP 2.0 technology” for an expanded sweet spot. We’re not sure with that is, but anything that expands the sweet spot is okay by us! It’s a single piece design for added durability and balance.
The 5150 really has a lot of options for drop weight, length and weight. In fact, there are way more options that we’ve seen for any other make or model. This alone makes it one of the absolute best options for, well, …OPTIONS!
- Approved by USA Baseball so it can be used in most leagues
- Lots of size, weight and drop weight options when ordering on Amazon
- Great price
- Some have claimed that weights and lengths on the order chart (on Amazon) are not all accurate
The best thing about the DeMarini Voodoo One baseball bat is that it is made by, well, DeMarini! Anything that comes from this high-end company is typically very good and we feel confident in endorsing it. This bat is made of a one-piece alloy construction which gives maximum stiffness. It’s a 30-inch bat weighing 20 oz and it comes in both -9 and -10 drop weights. We love that it’s approved for USA Baseball standards as well.
The X14 Alloy Barrel delivers maximum pop and distance while giving young players the durability and light weight they’ll need to succeed at their age level. The end cap is also a very cool tech upgrade since it’s built with a blend of lighter and stronger material. The ReAction end cap offers increased barrel performance without sacrificing swing speed.
If you’re looking for the lightest bat available from DeMarini, check out the SABOTAGE (Amazon Link)
HISTORY: It may be helpful (or at least interesting) to read about how the DeMarini bat company started. Check out this biography from the company:
Ray DeMarini (1946-2001). Meet the man behind the brand.
Ray DeMarini was one-of-a-kind. At the age of 40, playing on his company softball team quickly turned into a full-blown obsession with the sport. His scientific approach to training, a 96 mph batting speed and a bombastic attitude quickly earned him the reputation of a savage competitor among the biggest guys in his league. Ray turned his attention to creating an earth-shattering high-performance bat. “The top bat manufacturers weren’t innovating. I realized there was a great opportunity to create a technical bat for the sophisticated ball player.” Ray was the personification of insane dedication. Even after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 1998, Ray kept working. When the cancer eventually claimed his eye, he was still out at the field—hitting in an eyepatch. Ray’s intensity and drive remains at the core of the company today.
- USA Baseball approved
- 1-piece alloy construction
- Iconic, high-end brand
- A little on the pricier end
This brightly green colored baseball bat is a little different from your typical little league bat. It features a lot of stuff that I would think extreme overkill until I realize some kids have high goals and could really use the best equipment to give them every advantage for the future. The features begin with aerospace-grade 5150 Alloy from Rawlings, which is their absolute highest performing alloy. The one-piece construction is a big bonus for balance and speed. Speaking of speed (of swing that is), this bat is made with a composite end cap with 36% more carbon fibers which increases your kid’s swing speed! Amen to that!
The sweet spot size just got an upgrade in this model so it’s 25% bigger (that’s a lot by the way!) so your kid’s stats will change almost immediately! However, having said that, some leagues won’t allow it because it does not have the USA Baseball stamp on it!
- Expanded sweet spot
- Rawlings’ highest-end alloy
- Decent price
- Finish may fade
- Not USA Baseball approved, so may not be able to play in Little League
Priced at the lower end of the price spectrum, the Youth 225 Ash Hornsby offers very good value. It’s strong and durable and it has a large sweet spot. Consistent performance is a hallmark of Ash construction as well. Ash has higher moisture content and is much more porous than most other woods. It’s vacuum dried and compressed to ensure a very hard hitting surface so your only worry is to connect an airborne ball with the sweet spot moving quickly!
The Louisville Slugger line of Ash bats is proudly made in the USA, and the Youth 225 Ash Hornsby is made specifically for the younger athlete with increased flexibility and a lighter swing weight.
The 225 is approved for most youth leagues in the country.
- Easy to swing
- Distributed weight
- Made in the USA
- “old school” look that is the envy of lots of younger players
- Won’t generate as much power as a metal bat
- Can break if the ball is hit hard a little too close to the handle
Overall, all of these baseball bats could be the best bat to use for youth leagues. But it is important to figure out what bat works best for the hitter. Whether it is to determine how easy it is for them to swing the bat, or if it means that you have to follow the rules of the league about what type and size of bat is allowed to be used. Even though there are suggested lengths based off of age, it is important to keep in mind that is based off of average ages and sizes of the child. Every hitter will be different and may require a different length bat than what the suggested size is. The best way to determine what size of bat, or even what type of bat to buy would be to go to a store and having the hitter try out the bat.
When it comes to this list of baseball bats, the overall best bat to purchase would be the DeMarini Voodoo baseball bat. After purchasing this bat, it is ready to use immediately without any break in period needed. Plus it absorbs the shock and vibrations created while hitting the ball that can be uncomfortable and disturbing to beginner hitters. Lastly, because this bat is so lightweight with a drop weight of -13, it is safe to say that it is easy to swing this bat quickly to hit many balls out of the park.
But if you are looking for the best bang for your buck, the Easton S500 would be your go to bat. It is relatively cheaper than the rest of the bats on this list, but it performs just as well. With a drop weight of -13, it is easy for any slugger to swing this bat and hit the ball into the outfield. Another nice advantage to this bat is that it is 1.15 BFP certified so you don’t have to worry about it not being legal in any league that the player may be enrolled into.