There are hundreds of best baseball bats out there, and as a batter, you probably feel overwhelmed with that much options available in the market.
That is why we reached out to 40 professional MLB and semi professional players and asked a simple question:
“If you could buy only 3 Baseball bats, which three would you go for?”
I wanted to know the top rated bats which I must have and ignore the rest what I can live without.
As an average baseball player, I’ve been overwhelmed by all top 20, 50 or even 100 lists of Best Baseball Bats… All I wanted to know was the best one which I must have. That’s why we decided to reach out to some of the best players seeking their best advice. But first here are some tips for you to consider when buying a new baseball bat as there’s some guidelines you don’t want to get wrong.
How to Size a Baseball Bat for Length and Weight?
If you are investing in a new baseball bat, obviously you need to know how to pick up the perfect bat size based on your anatomy because everybody is different.
These are some general guidelines that you can use to pick out your bat and it’s a very simple two-step process. You basically do a test for length and a test for weight.
For the first one we’ve got to find the right length and now some guys like shorter bats and some guys like longer bats but this test is going to give you a good gauge to start with.
So, what you’re going to do set your bat down on the ground and you’re going to let your arms hang naturally down your sides. The knob of the bat should come up to about your wrist and that should be the maximum it should come up to.
From there you can go longer or shorter depending on your individual hitting style and what you like and how far you like to stand off the plate.
Now for the bat weight, this is the most important part about picking out a bat because you need to have complete and total control of the bat you are swinging.
If you don’t we are going to sacrifice bat speed and contact when it’s too heavy. At the same time, we don’t want to pick a bat that is too light because then we will be giving up a little bit of that weight that we can use for extra brute power.
So here is a simple two-step strength test that you can do to get the right bat weight. It’s key here not to get overconfident with your strength and say I’m going to swing a heavy back just because you think you are strong. You want to swing what you know you’re going to be successful with.
Ok for the general strength test, grab the bat near the top of the handle and you’re simply just going to make a couple of swings with both hands separately. First with your leading hand and then with your trailing hand.
You want to make sure that you can generate a little bit of speed without a lot of body involvement. You want to feel like you can whip it through pretty good and if the bag is too heavy, you’ll find this difficult and maybe some discomfort in your wrists.
Now you want to test your wrist strength and all you going to do is stand straight up with your arms right up next to your side. And you’re going to hold the bat out in front of you in your lead hand parallel to the floor.
You’ll have the bat pointing away from the hand and with the palm of your hands facing down towards the ground. What you do from here is simply rotate the bat up to perpendicular to the ground.
You’re going to do that a couple of times making sure that you have complete and total control of the bat. You should be able to stop the bat any point in this test. Do that with both hands just to make sure. Obviously, it might be a bit more difficult for the younger guys but it’s a good starting point.
Should you Swing a Wood or Aluminium Baseball Bat?
I’m just going to going to a few pros and cons about wood and aluminium bats.
Aluminium bats so popular right now in pretty much every single rank of baseball. You’ve got youth players, high school players and college players all using these bats.
First, they’ve got a much bigger sweet spot. The sweet spot of the bat is where you ideally want to strike the baseball from. With a larger sweet spot, there’s a much bigger margin for error which means that you can actually miss hit the baseball and you can still get a fairly decent hit. So, the best way to describe that is the aluminium bats are more forgiving.
With the wood bat, you’ve got a much smaller sweet spot and so you have to be way more accurate and skilled to strike the baseball cleanly. The benefit to this is that you get much more of an honest feedback as to how well you are hitting the baseball and your technique whereas with an aluminium bat, you might get away with it a little bit more.
Another advantage with the aluminium bats is that they don’t break or at least don’t break as often. It’s a rare sight to see an aluminium bat break. And they for sure as hell, break a heck of a lot less then wood bats do.
But like we mentioned earlier, you get more of an honest feedback with the wood bats. So, you’ll know that you need to work on a particular shot if you keep breaking your wood bat. It really reveals the holes in your swing and emphasise your weaknesses.
Another big advantage for aluminium bats over wood bats, is that aluminium bats have what is called the trampoline effect.
Now there’s a lot of science behind this effect and from our research, basically it says that the ball compresses more against a wood bat compared to an aluminium bat. So, the ball loses a lot of its energy and doesn’t fly off as much with a wood baseball bat.
With an aluminium bat, it actually keeps more of the energy within the ball and pings off much harder which gives it that further distance on your shot.
So, in terms of our recommendation, we would say that a wood bat is good for practice and learning to hit the ball in the sweet spot. This is because it will force you to become a better hitter and work on your technique.
But in a real game situation, you want to get all the advantages that you can get on your side and if you are looking to play competitive Baseball then you have to go for the aluminium bats.
Should I get a Baseball Bat Sleeve?
We get this a lot when people buy new bats because when it’s fresh out of the wrapper, your immediate thoughts are to save it.
This is why we recommend getting a hitting sleeve (like this one here on Baseball Monkey) which is essentially a training aid that protects your bat and keeps the ball marks off the bat.
The sleeve just slips on and is designed to fit any size barrels.
Interestingly, the sleeve adds roughly four ounces to the bat so becomes a fantastic training aid to get used to swinging the bat weight.
After testing it with some of our bats and a bucket of balls, we didn’t see a ton of marks on the sleeve itself and so a great tool for protecting your bats if you are worried about using it straight off the bat.
What BBCOR Bats have the Best Pop?
We get asked this so much…. which BBCOR bat has the best pop? Quite simply, every bat has pop as long as you get a goo bat. If you choose a good reputable company or an expensive bat, it’s going to have pop in it. You won’t get a $300 bat which has no pop and doesn’t make it beyond the infield.
But the key thing to good pop of you bat starts off with it feeling really good in your hands. We have felt $100 bats that feel way better than a $300 bat and it is a massive personal preference. You need to make sure you feel comfortable swinging through the zone. If you aren’t comfortable, then no matter how expensive the bat is, you won’t get the decent pop you are after.
So, it doesn’t mean that one bat is better than the other. Each person is different and it all comes down to feel.
Ok so now you are correctly sized up for your bat, lets go ahead and check out the best ones on the market.
Top 10 BBCOR Baseball Bats of 2018
Easton 2018 Ghost X BBCOR
The new Ghost X bat from Easton will surely make your baseball experience very much rewarding. It is technology applied to its highest level to provide you with a bat that will make your game shine. The Easton 2018 Ghost X is a two-piece, high performance composite bat designed to deliver speed combined with a great feel. Contact or power hitters alike will experience game improvement with the Ghost X more than ever before. The diameter of the composite barrel is 2 5/8 inches and the length to weight ratio is -3. This model has got the .50 BBCOR certification thus ensuring that both high school and collegiate players will be using it to get their best results in the season.
Easton innovative engineering team has created a balanced bat that has the exact carbon composite technology along the barrel with studied optimization of the sweet spot for a larger hitting surface. That means more forgiveness for the amateur player. Thanks to Easton extended barrel design, the Ghost X has the longest barrel in baseball. That means, this bat has extreme power at high speed for great pops. Another innovative feature is the dynamic feel system which gives you smooth feel with very much reduced, close to zero, vibration in your hand. This impressive feature aims to help you to maintain your game consistent along each play. As vibration is a frequent complaint of baseball bat players, the engineers have also dedicated much to improve the handle. The composite handle connects with the barrel with the exclusive Easton connection technology that transfers speed to the barrel and absorbs the vibration generated by the hit. The handle itself looks incredible with the cushioning provided by the hyper skin. The grip is perfectly wrapped in the factory with a 1.4 mm thick hyper skin tape for increased cushion. That means comfort to your hands while keeping a unique bat control for higher performance. And you can swing with confidence because the Ghost X has a full twelve-month warranty from the manufacturer. The Ghost X from Easton is really a supernatural bat.
AXE Elite Hybrid 2019
So, the Axe Elite line has been around for a couple of years. Straight-off the bat, there has been major upgrades with their looks which is usually black and blue. It’s now a silver and black colour scheme which we think gives it a really cool look.
In terms of construction, they have kept the two-piece barrel but introduced their new Premium MX8 alloy which is meant to be durable and high performing material. There is the composite handle which is super lightweight and has their new cancelling system brings more comfort and confidence out on the plate.
Both of these complement each other to provide a stiff and powerful feel on contact but cuts down the vibrations that are traditionally felt by using a connection point and a composite model.
If you have owned an Axe bat before, then you will also recognise their Hyperwhip end cap which ultimately help give you a lighter swing weight for a faster and higher performance bat.
Sometimes with the two-piece construction, there can be tendencies for it to feel a bit too much weight on the end of the bat but this just feels really nice in your hand.
Worth also noting that the handle will come with AXE’s exclusive patented handle which just feels absolutely awesome as you come through the zone. You almost feel like you naturally grip the bat correctly because it feels so nice in your hands. To top it off, it is engineered to line up directly with the hitting zone to allow for more consistent and high performance over a longer period of time.
Rawlings 2018 Quatro
The new 2018 Rawlings Quatro is a four-piece composite baseball bat designed for those who want to be high performers this season. Rawlings has been producing sports equipment since 1887. Its technology has made a home run developing this bat that is completely designed and manufactured in the United States. The Quatro is perfectly balanced, has a standard barrel diameter of 2 5/8 inches, and a convenient drop 3 length to weight ratio. Both college and high school players will have the opportunity to greatly improve their game with the new Rawlings Quatro this season because it has got the BBCOR certification printed in the factory. The designers have made sure that power hitters and contact hitters will take their game to a higher level with the new balancing technology of the Quatro.
The tradition of quality Rawlings has in baseball articles is second to none. Backed by the tradition of quality, the company designers have created this 4-piece bat to ensure you get the best pop and your ball flies much further than ever before. That means more forgiveness to the amateur player. The Quatro has a light weight end cap that has an important effect of weight distribution of the bat. The end cap reduces weight at the end of barrel which gives you more control with the feeling of reduced weight during the swing. To power speed and swing control, the designers have also added increased comfort. Between the handle and the barrel, this model features the Quatro Collar which is a collar infused with silicone to absorb the negative vibration. The Quatro Collar is the vibration dampening technology (VDT) developed by Rawlings so that the Quatro gives you a unique comfortable feel during impact. Rawlings is so proud of its new material that has decided to show the carbon fiber composite with the Tru-View technology. Pride is also confirmed by giving the new Quatro a full twelve-month manufacturer´s warranty. Several players use Rawlings bats professionally.
Axe Avenge 2017 BBCOR
The AXE Avenge L154E is a slow pitch softball bat that features the most recent developments of bat technology for this great sport. The Avenge L154E is a two-piece composite bat that is balanced to perfection. The engineers have reached this balanced design keeping the durability of the one-side hitting surface. The composite used by AXE in this model is fortified BPC Carbon fiber which is known to provide extremely high strength transfer whereas keeping the overall weight low. The L154E got the approval to play in the most important leagues such as ISF, NSA, USSSA, ASA, and ISA. This model ensures you the best pop in softball.
The diameter of the barrel is 2 1/4 inches and the end cap contributes a lot to improve the weight distribution along the barrel providing a much better feel and swing control. The end cap gives the sensation of low weight during your swing. As you practice with the L154E, you will notice that your swing will become more natural due to the perfect balance and weight distribution. The hitting surface, which in softball bats is one-sided, is designed to completely transfer the swing power to the ball for a nice, long flight. The Plus-Plus Axe technology adds performance and amazing durability to the one-sided hitting surface. That means you will see the ball flying further consistently, swing after swing. AXE has redesigned the grip to give you a better sense of stability and control whereas keeping it comfortable to your hand. The handle has a ergonomic design that provides a natural fit with relieved pressure. The tape wrap adds cushion for hand comfort. This model has been extensively tested with high speed videos in AXE development center to make sure you get the best in softball bat technology. That is why you can count on a twelve-month full manufacturer´s warranty on the new L154E softball bat. Definitely, a bat to make a home run with.
Marucci CAT7 Connect
With the new CAT7 baseball bat, Marucci has honored the game one more time. The Louisiana bat manufacturer founded by three baseball professionals has done it again. This masterpiece model is made of one piece of aluminum alloy with standard 2 5/8-inch diameter and drop 3 length to weight ratio. Alloy bats are more affordable than composite bats but Marucci engineers have done a great development job to ensure that affordability does not compromise bat quality. They have worked to create an alloy bat that is perfectly balanced and has a much improved barrel. By re-designing the aluminum distribution along the barrel, Marucci has created a model with a sweet spot that is two times larger than the sweet spot of their predecessor model. In addition, the CAT7 features no dead spots, thanks to the ring-free technology they have used in the barrel, so you will always have solid impact when you hit the ball. In order to increase strength, barrel surface is made in high quality AZ4X alloy which also increases the durability of this new model aimed to fit the needs of different players. The large sweet spot together with the surface alloy resulted in increased forgiveness so amateur players of different game levels can have a much more enjoyable baseball experience.
The CAT7 has got the BBCOR certification so it is legally approved for high school and collegiate play. The vibration of the one piece of alloy is drastically reduced by the new AV2 knob. This specially designed knob has a red synthetic insert in its base that significantly absorbs the negative feedback, that is the vibration, which provides a much better grip feel. That is a key feature of the CAT7 because vibration in the hands is the top complaint among amateur players of baseball in the country. Marucci backs its masterpiece bat with a twelve-month manufacturer´s warranty. It simply could not be better. Marucci has shown once again its dedication to bat development and has made a great step forward in quality with the new CAT7.
Adidas Aero Burner
Adidas is a leading brand for sports material in general and they manage to rank high in all sports they develop material to. The Aero Burner keeps that tradition of quality supporting the upward path Adidas is struggling to take in the baseball industry. The 2017 Adidas Aero Burner Comp -10 Senior League Baseball Bat is a fully composite, 2-piece bat aimed to the senior league players. This model has a drop 10 length to weight ratio and a 2 3/4 inch diameter. Adidas has designed this bat to have an ideal weight distribution with a massive barrel to give players better control when they swing to hit the ball. The end cap, made of a material called textine, extends the sweet spot of the massive barrel. It also gives the sensation of reduced weight at the end of the bat, which contributes to a more natural, free-flowing swing. The red color of the end cap contributes to the sleek design of the metallic red graphics giving the bat a fancy look. The advanced engineering applied by Adidas in the Aero Burner has resulted also in increased forgiveness. A hit in almost any point in the barrel will make the ball fly much better than if hit by a competitor´s bat. That is a very important feature in the senior league market.
Although many baseball players still do not remember the brand Adidas when they are about to buy a new bat, they could quickly change their opinion with a single trial session of the Aero Burner. The bat feels extremely light weight during the swing which is also a major issue in the senior league market. In addition, Adidas has designed this model with a connection between the two composite pieces, they called it Energy Recoil System, that significantly reduces the transmission of vibration from the barrel to the handle but, at the same time, delivers good feedback to the player´s hands. In addition to the twelve-month manufacturer´s warranty, Adidas offers to buyers of this model the 30-day challenge, which is, they return your money if you are not satisfied with your purchase within one month. Definitely, Adidas is aiming to make a home run in the market.
Easton Beast X Loaded
Designed for power hitters, Easton makes three versions of the Beast X: a hybrid, speed and loaded. Our favorite is the loaded design which we think is one of the best on the market.
This bat is a one-piece alloy construction which is designed using their newly developed ATAC alloy which we think is one of the most powerful barrel that Easton has ever created. You may have read our stuff earlier on wood vs aluminum bats and with this bat, you’ll get a stiffer wood-like feel.
Towards the end of the bat, you can see their extended barrel design which uses their Z-core for a massive sweet spot and heavier swing weight so you can get massive momentum behind the ball.
Looking down the handle, Easton have wrapped the alloy in thick Hypserskin which improves control and helps reduce shock to the hand that typically comes with a one-piece bat.
The bat also looks like a beast with the white and black color scheme along with the gold… pretty awesome.
Demarini CF Zen
So, this baseball bat is a two-piece fully composite design and it is constructed out of Demarini’s Paraflex composite. Now, this material is supposed to be 22% more durable than all previous materials.
You’ll also see there 3fusion system which is a connection piece which helps reduce vibration in the hands and transfers all negative energy back into the barrel for even more power.
Another part of the 3fusion system is in the end cap of the baseball bat. This is designed with balance in mind as the technology will help optimize that weight while improving the overall durability.
Compared to the 2017 model, we noticed that this is a little lighter in weight which means much better swing weight through the zone. Also, this one comes in multiple sizes whereas the CF Insane only comes in the BBCOR size.
But for us interestingly while testing this bat, we found a difference of almost 10mph in swing speed which is quite considerable compared to the CF insane.