Best Youth Little League of 2023: A Look at the Best Little League Bats For This Upcoming Season
Every baseball player is different in size, speed and strength. This is how it’s supposed to be, though, as every position on the field requires a certain type of athlete.
If you are interested in softball bats, make sure to check out our top 10 list and buying guide on fastpitch softball bats here.
A pitcher needs to have long arms and powerful shoulders to throw blazing fastballs. A shortstop should be lengthy and quick to catch low-fliers and groundballs coming at them from right-handed batters. And an outfielder needs to have elite coordination and quick speed to get to those awkward fly balls that travel quickly toward the back fence.
The differences in the build and athletic capabilities among players is a good thing. Without them, a team would be unable to fill fielding positions correctly.
But when it comes to stepping up to the plate, the type, size, and weight of a bat will make all the difference. Picking one of the best youth bats on the market will make all the difference.
A lengthy outfielder will have different requirements than that of a powerful hitting first-baseman.
So whether it is your first time purchasing a high-quality youth baseball bat for your child or you’re looking to get an upgrade from last season, this article has you covered with all of the important things to look for in a bat, and the best youth baseball bats for your player.
That's what we created this list of top ten best youth baseball bats (with reviews), so you can find the best option for your kid in the easiest way possible.
For information specifically on wood bats, check out our article here covering the top 10 best wooden youth baseball bats for this upcoming season.
|Demarini Uprising Junior||2020|
|Easton Beast X Hybrid||2018|
|Easton Ghost X Hyperlite||2019|
|Marucci CAT Youth Bat||2019|
|Louisville Slugger Select||2019|
|Easton ADV 360||2021|
|Easton HAMMER USA Youth Big Barrel Baseball Bat||2020|
|Louisville Slugger 2021 BBCOR Meta||2020|
|Louisville Slugger Solo||2020|
|Marucci CAT8 -10 USSSA Junior Big Barrel||2020|
|Easton Fuze 360||2020|
|Easton Speed Brigade||2018|
The Anatomy of a Youth Baseball Bat
It’s easier to determine which features to look for in a bat when you understand the composition of it.
The anatomy of a youth baseball bat has remained relatively constant over time, though modifications (like creating them with alloy and composite material) have been applied. Because of the addition of regulations and the change in play style of the game, bats have adapted into what we know them as today.
Baseball Bats Are Made up of Five Primary Aspects
- Knob: the end, or bottom, of a bat; the disk-like object that keeps the player’s hands from sliding off the end of the bat
- Handle: the portion of the bat where the hitter’s hands go
- Grip: a rubber material that enforces a hitter’s grasp on the bat
- Barrel: thickest region of the bat; the part that makes contact with the ball
- End Cap: the cap that sits on the top of the bat; designed to increase a hitter’s control and determine the swing weight
One-Piece vs Two-Piece Baseball Bats
In addition to these five sections, the modern bat can be classified as either one-piece or two-piece.
- One-Piece: a youth baseball bat that consists of the same material throughout its entire length, hence the name ‘one-piece.’ Displays very little flex which allows for retention of energy. 1 piece youth bats are a good choice for power hitters who want a balanced feel and don’t mind the occasional hand sting with poor hits.
- Two-Piece: a baseball bat that fuses a separate handle to a separate barrel. This allows for greater flex which produces a faster swing speed. 2 piece youth bats are a good choice for precision-hitting players who want to avoid the stinging vibrations.
When selecting which type of baseball bat is right for you, be sure that you know why it has the various features that it does. Deciding between one-piece or two-piece construction will be the difference in your player’s performance when they’re up to bat.
What Features Should You Look For in a Bat?
The most important criteria for choosing a the best youth baseball bat for your kid s understanding the features that your child or youth player requires and what they prefer.
It may seem confusing when you look at bats in terms of their width, weight, length, and material, but it is important to consider each of these when selecting the perfect one.
Here's what you need to know to find the right variation for you:
Bat Performance Factor
The Bat Performance Factor, or BPF, is the value used to measure how fast a ball will bounce off the bat.
This is commonly referred to as the trampoline effect as it describes the rebound on the ball given by a bat’s barrel. This is important considering that parents and coaches are always looking for youth bats with the most pop possible to maximize player performance.
When it comes to youth baseball bats, the Bat Performance Factor is important to understand as there are different requirements related to it.
The standard for BPF in many youth organizations is 1.15. This has been recorded as the approximate BPF given off a wooden bat. A youth bat that matches this requirement will be stamped with a ‘1.15 BPF’ marking, making it easy to identify if it is approved for use in your league.
USA Baseball governs the sport of baseball in the United States and has developed a set of standards that all bats used must adhere to rules, called ‘USABat’.
For the most part, the majority of youth bats fit those criteria. Some of the popular organizations that follow USABat guidelines include:
- Dixie Youth Baseball
- PONY Baseball
If you don’t know what standards your local team has adopted, it’s best to contact your coach or league director to confirm. Understanding BPF is important to finding the top youth baseball bat for your kids.
Youth Bat Width
The width of a bat is also known as the barrel size, or the barrel diameter of the bat’s barrel. This is important to consider with youth players. Picking the right youth baseball bat width will help with improving swing weight.
For athletes under the age of 12, it is advised that they use a 2-1/4” bat barrel diameter, though USA Baseball allows for barrel width up to 2-5/8”. In fact, some of the top rated youth baseball bats are of a 2 and 1/4" bat barrel.
A smaller width allows young players to focus on accuracy as their swings will be easier to control. As they grow and become stronger, they will be able to hit a ball farther and will then look for a wider barrel to add more power when they make contact with the ball.
Understanding Bat Weight and Length (Bat Drop)
Weight is very important to look at as you consider your options. A youth baseball bat's true weight is measured in ounces (oz.) but is more commonly marked by its drop.
Bat drop is the difference between the length and weight of a bat. If a bat has a length of 28 inches and a drop weight of -10, you can find its actual weight to be 18 ounces. The higher the bat drop is, the lower the true weight of the bat will be.
In order to choose the correct weight, it is necessary to find the right length.
To make things easier, we made a chart to help you find the right bat length based on the players height and weight
Once a length has been determined, the bat drop is dependent on your requirements and preferences. These values will be based on a player’s size and the physics and mechanics of their swing.
A slugger may want a heavier bat to put more distance under their hits. This would mean a smaller bat drop weight. And a player that is just looking to get on base consistently may want a lighter bat with a higher bat drop weight.
To make things easier, we created a chart for to help you find the ideal bat weight based on player height:
Some of the best youth baseball bats for players under 12 have a length under 32 inches and a bat drop weight between (-13) to (-10) (anything from -13 to -10 is what we recommend!)
Be sure to try out multiple lengths and weights to best suit you or your players’ needs!
Youth Bat Material
There are two different classifications of bats; wood and non-wood. Wood is pretty straightforward in material, however, it is primarily used in professional leagues or high-stakes tournaments. Non-wood bat materials are classified as composite, alloy, and hybrid.
Composite Youth Bats: This material is similar to that of carbon fiber, allowing for an easier way to control weight distribution through a balanced or end-loaded style. It reduces bat vibration on the hands and places more pop on the ball, but is more expensive and requires some time to break-in.
Alloy Bats: The most common bat type in amateur baseball. These are metal bats, typically aluminum. They are relatively inexpensive, last long even when damaged, and will dent as opposed to crack, making them still usable. However, they produce less of a pop and do not have a large sweet spot for initiating contact.
Hybrid: This bat is, well, a hybrid. It’s a good balance for players who are unable to decide between composite bats and alloy. It reduces hand-stinging vibration, can be used in all temperatures and has a larger "sweet spot" than alloy bats, but a smaller one than a composite bat.
It’s also important to note that USA Baseball adopted a new bat standard requiring affiliated Little League teams to have a USA Baseball certification sticker on their bats for them to be considered game-legal. If you are part of a USA-affiliated team, make sure to check the bottom of prospective bats before you buy.
The Top Ten Best Bats for Youth Baseball
So you've established the perfect width, length, weight and you've chosen which type of material you want. Now the fun part - picking the bat. The brand or manufacturer is important when it comes to selecting the best youth baseball bat for your kid, which is why we included only the best and most reputable brands in our list.
There are companies that are known for their quality baseball gear and are highly-regarded as industry leaders in developing great products.
Let's dive into the top-rated bats that will increase any youth players' performance throughout the 2023 season:
This is a brand-new design from Demarini, and it has several features that will give you an upper hand at the plate. The bat has a drop weight of -10 and is a lightweight one-piece alloy bat. It has several features that contribute to its light weight, thus increasing the bat speed. For example, the end cap is designed to optimize your performance at the plate by keeping the bat lightweight and
balanced. As it’s a one-piece bat, Demarini prioritized the stiffness of the bat which gives an explosive pop to it when you make connection.
DX1 Alloy Barrel: a durable and strong barrel
1-Piece Alloy Construction: Increased stiffness and optimized bat speed
ION D End Cap: Lightweight design for a comfortable and consistent swing
Easton has always delivered some of the best youth baseball bats to the market and their 2018 Beast X USA Bat is no exception. Being one of the most superior youth composite baseball bats, the Beast X provides an improved connection between handle and barrel through the extension of the barrel, which provides a larger sweet spot for those satisfying drives. On top of its impressive design and trustworthy name, some of the notable features of this bat include:
Dynamic Feel System: Its hybrid design gives an improved feel for the hitter
Exact Carbon Handle: Creates a slight end-loaded approach while maintaining a balanced feel
Advanced Thermal Alloy Construction (ATAC): Strong and durable aluminum enforces the barrel’s power
Z-Core X-Tended Barrel Design: Big barrel core technology that gives a greater sweet spot.
Coming in at number three is yet again Easton; this time with their 2019 Ghost X Hyperlite. Its two-piece composite material provides a balanced swing weight, while the optimized technology in the 2-5/8” barrel offers big-hitters the mass they need to get under the ball, making it one of the greatest composite youth bats around. Here’s what contributes to its explosive power and pop:
Exact Carbon: Advanced Carbon Technology one-piece construction leaves the hands of the hitter feeling great and adds more pop on contact
One-Piece HYPERLITE Design: Brings a lightweight feel that puts speed behind the ball when contact is made
SPEED CAP: Brings a better and more flexible barrel and enhances the sound of contact
Custom Lizard Skin Grip: Cushions the hands and provides stronger tack for the perfect grip comfortability
This bat is not to be confused with the Easton Ghost Advanced 2020, which is the softball fast pitch version. For more information specifically on softball fast pitch bats, click here!
Marucci brought together their strongest alloy yet to develop this bat. Designed to improve durability and a higher response rate, the CAT youth bat will enhance your performance at the plate. Its one-piece configuration boasts many features:
AZ105 Alloy: Marucci’s strongest alloy increases responsiveness and durability
Multi-Variable Wall: Enlarges its sweet spot through a thinner barrel wall design
2nd Gen AV2 Knob: Enriches the feel of the bat and gives upgraded vibration reduction, making it one of the best alloy bats around
Ring-Free Barrel: Flexibility of barrel walls is increased to combat dead spots
One-Piece Construction: Give the hitter a cleaner and smoother swing with consistency in the aluminum alloy material
Precision-Balanced: Increases bat control and lowers the natural tendency to resist angular swing motion through precision balance
A three-piece hybrid bat that will help you dominate the league. The hybrid design features a composite handle to mimic its fully-composite bat rivals, while the aluminum barrel provides a strong and durable structure. Louisville Slugger came through with some ultimate features for this one:
Hybrid Design: A premium ST 7U1+ alloy barrel combined with a composite handle encourages strong and powerful hits while providing a comfortable feel that helps increase pop
Speed Ballistic Composite (SBC) End Cap: Perfectly designed to increase bat control.
Premium LS Pro Comfort Grip: The precise combination of grip cushion and tack to keep hands set and promote swing control
VCS Connection System: Louisville Slugger's elastomeric connection gives independent movement between the handle and the barrel that reduces vibration and creates a satisfying feel when contact is made
Balanced Weight: The balanced aspect of the bat brings nothing but speed and power to its swing
Rawlings has been a staple in the sports gear world for quite some time now. Being one of the most popular brands in baseball, they have created a bat perfect for the smaller player who loves the traditional bat feel that provides an easier swing through the zone. This alloy bat comes through with some great upgrades, making it one of the best youth bats on the market. Let's take a look and see what features it comes with:
pOp 2.0 Engineering: Enlarges the sweet spot and improves the feel of the bat for those smooth and in-control swings
5150 Alloy: Rawling’s strongest alloy material with elite responsiveness, designed with aerospace-grade alloy to increase performance and bat durability
Hyper-Lite Speed Cap: Brings that lighter feel.
7.) Rawlings Raptor
Rawlings may be most known for their gloves, but they also produce great bats. This composite bat is made for players 10 years old and younger. It’s sold in sizes from 26-30 inches, and Rawlings designed it with entry-level players in mind. Therefore, it has an ultra-light -10 drop weight for speedy bat speed and a huge sweet spot.
If you want to ease your young player into batting and prepare for higher-level play, this bat will familiarize him with a composite bat and give them the confidence to hit it out of the park.
Durable Alloy: aluminum, 1-piece design
X-Tended Sweetspot: give your player the confidence to swing for the fences
-10 Drop Weight: Lightweight for increased bat speed
An excellent youth bat, coming in different drop and length/ weight options, is available for all kid of different ages and size. The Easton ADV is constructed with the Launch Composite and Ultra-Lite carbon fiber materials, ensuring a lightweight and durable bat for any aspiring pro.
Ultra-Lite Launch Construction: Utilizing the proprietary Launch Composite materials, Easton perfectly optimized the barrel profile to enhance player performance.
2-Piece Construction: Utilizing the Nitrocell foam technology, Easton has created a new and lighter than ever 2-piece bat construction without compromising feel.
Speed Cap: The all new Speed Cap provides a more flexible and responsive barrel with a more natural look, feel and sound.
This big barrel bat comes in four sizes and is a great lightweight option for youth players who want to swing for the fences. Based on the available sizes, this bat is most suitable for players aged 8-12. For the quality of this bat, it comes in at a sweet price point for an alloy bat. It has a cushioned grip and is a durable option so young players can get multiple years of use out of it before they grow out of it. Let’s look at some of the bat’s most important features:
ALX50 TM Aircraft Grade Alloy construction: This makes it lightweight and durable
Cushioned 2.2mm Flex grip: Comfortable to hold and use during long BP sessions
Concave end cap: Removes unnecessary weight and gives the batter more control
Certification: USA Baseball, so you know you’re getting a high-quality bat
Louisville Slugger bats are on this list so often for a reason, they are constantly innovating and improving their products. This one is one of the latest from the trusted brand and it’s as stylish as it is functional. It’s a composite barrel and a premium one at that. Louisville Slugger engineered this bat to have the perfect sound and huge barrel. It also has an incredibly balanced swing that gives the batter more control than they’ve ever had before. The list of great features is long on this one so let’s get right to them:
EKO Composite Barrel: Light swing, big barrel, and a sweet sound on contact
3FX Connection System: Three-piece design with patented technology to make the bat feel stiff yet reduce vibrations on contact
Premium GT1 end cap: Optimizes barrel length and improves swing speed
Fulfills BBCOR standard
The bats that made the top ten list are some of the highest quality and best-performing youth bats on the market today. This does not mean that they are the only ones you should consider, though.
There are a few honorable mentions to bring to light that might be in line with your preferences. Not to be looked over, these bats are worth checking out if any of the previously mentioned options didn't quite fit what you're looking for.
The old and faithful baseball brand that hardly ever disappoints. Louisville Slugger has brought a smaller barrel to the market (2 1/2”) for the youth players who are younger or undersized and are not able to produce strong results with the common 2 5/8” barrel bats. This model allows the player to enjoy a lighter weight to help them focus on accuracy and increase swing speed, consequently increasing power. The Solo SPD is comprised of an SL Hyper alloy, Louisville Slugger’s thinnest aluminum material. The thinner walls also make up the -13 drop which boosts a player’s swing consistency through the zone. Check out some of the appealing characteristics of this stick:
SL Hyperlight Alloy: Thinner aluminum barrel walls favor a greater pop and lighter feel
One-Piece Construction: Stiffens feel and sends more energy to the barrel on contact
Speed Ballistic End Cap: Composite cap adds more control with an attractive design and color for a sleek look
LS Pro Comfort Grip: Grip cushion that maximizes comfort and decreases vibration intensity on poor ball contact
Balanced Configuration: Promotes high-speed swings without sacrificing control
In terms of alloy bats, you can’t get much better than this Marucci big barrel bat. It’s a one-piece alloy bat that’s made with a super strength aluminum alloy. Due to its smart design, this bat also has a bigger sweet spot than you will find in other comparable bats. The two biggest qualities of this bat are its durability and its precision. Hitters have more control over their swing because the bat has a precision-balanced barrel. It’s truly a top-of-the line alloy bat with features that will take your hitting game to the next level.
AZ105 super strength aluminum alloy: thinner walls, more durable, and better response rate
Ring-free multi-variable wall design: this expands the bat’s sweet spot and balances the feel for more control of your swing
AV2 Anti-Vibration knob: Improves the feel and reduces negative vibration feedback
Micro-perforated soft-touch grip: Improved comfort and control
This might be one of the hottest youth bats available for Little League players. Revealed during the Little League World Series in August 2019, it immediately showed its ability to give a lightweight swing and put more power behind any pitch. Easton also put some incredible engineering into the creation of this bat; from the carbon handle to the Nitrocell Foam handle-to-barrel connectivity. Having a stacked list of features and distinct technology, the 2020 FUZE 360 was extremely popular with the players in the 2019 Little League World Series, and it’s easy to see why:
Launch Comp Handle: 90% carbon fiber composition reinforces the stiffness of the handle
Advanced Thermal Alloy Construction (ATAC): Popular style barrel presents a durable and strong body while giving a lightweight feel to increase swing speed
Two-Piece iSo CXN Construction: Separates the handle from the barrel using Nitrocell Foam technology to improve bat feel and deliver more power through the zone
Power Boost Soft Knob: Helps strengthen the player’s leverage while swinging and reduces the vibrations from poor ball contact to create ultimate comfortability for the bottom hand
Forged Composite End Cap: Improves the trampoline effect from the thin aluminum barrel walls and allows for a quick swing through a lighter and tougher cap
Custom Lizard Skins Grip: A perfect grip to cushion the hands and increase grasp with a strong tack
Last Year's Picks
This section is dedicated to our favorite picks of last year. Because we are constantly updating our buying guides and top 10 picks, we wanted to still keep last years top youth bats in here... that's because they're still great bats! And we figured you guys might be able to get them on sale!
This lightweight bat from Rawlings has a -11 drop and a huge sweet spot, so it’s designed for young sluggers who want to swing for the fences. This series of lightweight alloy bats comes in five size options ranging from 26-30 inches. It’s also a good price for a high-quality bat that is made with aerospace-grade alloy. This bat is consciously designed for power with a 2 5/8", but Rawlings says it’s suitable for any type of youth batter. If you want a nice pop of your bat, this might be the one for you. Here’s a quick rundown of its top features:
Massive sweet spot: Designed for batters who are trying to swing for the fences
2 5/8" barrel design: to help batters make contact more easily
Ultra-lightweight construction: increases bat speed
USA Baseball certified: fit for use in all USA Baseball sanctioned leagues
It is important to make sure you understand your child’s preferences and requirements before you decide on which bat to purchase. How they will perform at the plate depends on their preference, size, and strength.
Are they more conservative? Do they approach their swings placing their focus on making precision contact? Look toward balanced and lighter weighted bats with smaller barrels.
Do they struggle to pack a punch to the ball? Are they not able to properly utilize their strength on contact? Consider an end-loaded and heavier weighted bat with larger barrel size.
Being able to identify the type of bat or the perfect combination of features that improves batting performance is crucial.
Take a look at your old bats to determine what brands or sizes have worked in the past, and what specs have contributed to the success at the plate. Once you have decided what works, use this list as a guide to your decision-making process.
Compare these options, paying attention to the details and features of each bat to customize the perfect product for your player.
Consistency is key as a hitter. A bat that is proven to promote consistency and enhance a player's abilities makes all the difference. It may be one with elite engineering and innovative features or one that has simply proven its reliability through its classic design and traits.
The search for a new bat can be a complicated journey to go on. However, this article has brought together the top-performing bats available on the market for the 2023 season, equipping you with the only guide you will need.
Choose one of the elite options from this list, and let the bat take it from there. It’s time to elevate your player’s game to the next level. And remember, to bolster your kids game at the plate even more, a baseball training aid can also help take them to the next level!
Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment below or share this article if you found it to be of value!