Best Youth Wood Baseball Bats For This Upcoming Season + Buyer's Guide
The quality of your youth wood baseball bat makes the difference between pop flies that land at the warning track and home runs that clear the wall with ease. The quality of your youth baseball bat also makes the difference between shattering your bat at the plate, sending an easy ground ball back to the mound and a base hit that has the potential to drive in an RBI. So don’t believe the argument that any old youth wood baseball bat will suffice. There are meaningful differences between each unique youth wooden baseball bat.
Choose wisely and the bat you select will take your game to the next level, ultimately helping you reach your potential as a hitter. Below, we provide a look at the top ten youth wood baseball bats. We also provide a list of the top considerations and factors to ponder when shopping for a new youth wood baseball bat.
Top 10 Wood Bats for Kids
Check out the reviews for this youth baseball bat and you will find kids love it. Though there are certainly cheaper youth baseball bats on the market, this one is worth every penny and then some. Featuring Marucci's Signature M on the center of the bat, this youth model comprised of maple wood is quite stylish. The rest of the bat is all black but for its end which states it is handcrafted and designed for youth players. The bat is available in the following sizes: 26”, 27”, 28”, 29”, 30” and 31”.
Features of the Marucci CU26 Youth Model bat include the following:
- Large barrel
- Thin handle
- Traditional knob
- 1.31 pound weight
- Dimensions of 26 x 3 x 3 inches
Give the Marucci CU26 youth model bat a swing for yourself and you will find it has just the right balance, providing you with optimal control speed and also helping you move the bat through the strike zone with the velocity and force necessary to hit liners into the outfield or even “go yard” as baseball aficionados like to say.
This Easton youth baseball bat has a pattern inspired by the popular traditional 271 bat. Take a few cuts with this bad boy and you will agree it has a balanced feel. Made of North American Maple wood, this bat feels amazing in the hands and sends the baseball flying after contact.
Merits of the Easton Mako-9 Ash Youth Wood bat include but are not limited to:
- Balanced feel
- Thin knob and handle
- Weight drop range between -10 and -7
- Handcrafted in the United States of America
Though the Easton Mako -9 Youth Wood bat does not have a warranty, it is built to stand the test of time, ultimately proving strong after powerful contact is made at the dish. Part of this bat's appeal lies in its sleek aesthetic. While most parents will focus on the bat's affordable price, youth baseball players will gravitate toward the bat as it looks super cool. The metallic silver "E", which stands for Easton, is positioned in the middle of the bat. There is also a stylish silver ring positioned below the "E". The remainder of the bat is primarily jet black.
When it comes to youth wood baseball bats, few are as stylish as this beauty. The bottom half of the bat is light in hue while the midsection and barrel are darker. The two-tone style is sure to appeal to the youth baseball player in your family. If you don't care for the regular Deep Flame/Black design, you can choose between Red/Electric Blue, Natural (white) and all-black.
Features of the Louisville Slugger Youth Prime Maple bat include:
- ExoArmor finish
- -8 drop (+/- 2 ounces)
- Several colors available
- This beauty is available in 27", 28", 29", 30" and 31" sizes.
This all-black youth baseball bat feels just right in the hands. Though there are more stylish bats on the market, this one certainly has an eye-catching finish and plenty of additional features.
The bat’s features and specs are as follows:
- Mixed turning model
- Series 3x wood
- Natural Finish
- 1.9 pounds
- Dimensions of 35 x 3 x 3 inches
Head out to the batting cage with this bat and you will be impressed. The Louisville Slugger 2020 Youth Prime Maple Wood Bat swings fast and smooth through the hitting zone, resulting in line drives, flaming hot grounders and soaring moonshots.
This maple wood bat has a black natural hardline finish. The bat swings just as good as it looks. Pick up this bad boy and you will feel as though you can go yard even if you are a contact hitter.
- 1.5 pound weight
- Dimensions of 32 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches
- Regular top coat finish
The bat’s all-black handle gives way to a natural midsection and barrel creating a two-tone color style that is easy on the eyes. The iconic Louisville Slugger brand name is printed on the center of the bat, making it clear to everyone on the diamond that the little leaguer swinging this bat means business.
This wooden bat has a classic look and feel with a simple design that will remind you of your time on the sandlot. It is designed for training young children and should only be used with soft balls. It’s made of composite wood which makes the bat stronger and more durable. The bat comes in four sizes and is suitable for children and other beginning baseball players.
Barnett BB-W Baseball Bat features include:
- High-quality composite wood
- Simple design
- Sizes include: 24”, 28”, 30”, 32”
- Perfect for training and getting kids used to swinging a bat
- Light and easy for beginners to use
This wooden bat is a great option for youth teams and baseball programs that work with beginning players. Barnett designed this bat to be lightweight so young hitters can become accustomed to the basics of swinging the bat and making contact.
Built similar to the adult AP5 bat, this youth maple bat will have the little leaguer in your family feeling like the Angels’ Albert Pujols when at the plate. This is a fairly light bat yet it packs a punch, creating the potential for your Little Leaguer to blast some truly epic long balls.
- Tapered knob
- Traditional handle
- 1.3 pound weight
- Dimensions of 26 x 3 x 3 inches
Designed for optimal power, this end-loaded bat has a sizable barrel that will help your little leaguer rake at the plate.
When you think wood bat, your mind may go to the old school brown bat, but Rawlings has designed a modern and sleek black wood bat that looks more at home in the modern game.
The bat is made of Adirondack Ash, a lightweight wood that provides for more flexibility in a wood bat. It comes in fours sizes from 31” to 34”, so this bat is best for teenage ball players.
Additionally, it’s fairly inexpensive for a wood bat, coming in on the lower price side compared to other bats on this list.
- Sizes from 31” to 34”
- Weight: .68 kilograms
- Constructed with lightweight, flexible Adirondack Ash
If you’re in the market for an inexpensive yet sleek wood bat then Rawlings has you set up with this bat.
Easton designed this one-piece bat to have one of the longest barrels and biggest sweet spots for a youth baseball bat. Your young slugger will get plenty of joy swinging for the fences with this bat. It’s designed with computer-controlled precision molding technology to give it a smooth and precise lightweight wall to give you a consistent swing. To improve the precision even more, Easton used 360-degree engineering to tune the barrel and provide uniform barrel strength. Overall, it’s designed for a perfectly balanced swing giving young players the best chance to succeed at the plate. A great, balanced feel that produces results on the field and keeps your hands safe.
- Cushioned flex grip for increased comfort in your hands
- Barrel is 2.75” and tapers down
- Lizard Skins™ custom bat grip
- Certification: USSSA 1. 15 BPF
- Super lightweight making it easy to transport
This youth poplar bat has a unique dark grey hue with blue branding that hits just as good as it looks. Head out to the batting cages with this bat, take some cuts and you will find its light weight makes it that much easier to swing with ease.
The bat’s features include but are not limited to:
- -10 (give or take 2 ounces) target drop
- Regular finish
- Light weight
The bat’s poplar wood sets the stage for the youth baseball player in your family to power through fastballs with ease.
Things to Consider When Buying a Youth Wood Bat - Bat Sizes and Density
Wood youth baseball bats are made with either a skinny barrel, an average size barrel or a big barrel. However, the barrel size is not as important as most make it out to be. Though skinny barrels and big barrels certainly have different sizes, a larger barrel will not turn a .200 hitter into a .300 hitter or transform a contact hitter into a power hitter. However, the bat type and barrel diameter are still fairly important considerations as the design of the bat affects the manner in which the ball is struck and sent into the infield and outfield.
Skinny barrel bats with a barrel diameter of 2.25 inches are perfect for smaller, thinner and lankier players who get on base with singles and doubles. Skinny barrel bats also have a barrel diameter of 2 3/8 inches.
Big barrel bats measure between 2.5 inches and 2 5/8 inches in diameter. Such large barrel bats are optimal for contact hitters who have power. These bats are designed with comparably large little league baseball players in mind.
Though barrel diameter is certainly important in the context of contact and power, the density of the wood is more important in the context of hitting success. The greater the density of the wood, the more pop the youth baseball bat has. Wood bats that are less dense have comparably less pop.
As an example, maple bats have more pop than those of the ash and birch society as it is that much more dense than other wood varieties. However, the denser the wood, the more it weighs so that much more muscle is necessary to swing the bat with power. Skinny barrel wood bats sometimes have more pop than comparably large bats. Opt for a skinny barrel youth baseball bat with particularly dense maple wood and it will have ample pop. However, a maple skinny barrel bat will be heavier than other wood bats as it is quite dense.
There are even some skinny barrel wood youth baseball bats that are heavier on their ends to provide additional pop. The downside to skinny barrel wood baseball bats is that their contact point is not as forgiving as that of larger barrel bats. Opt for a bat with a bigger barrel and you will benefit from the larger sweet spot that provides that much more forgiveness.
Bat Balance and Weight
A balanced baseball bat is particularly important as it ensures weight is properly distributed throughout the bat. Some bats have a bit more weight toward the barrel while others are perfectly balanced throughout the full length of the bat. An even distribution of weight across the entire bat makes it that much easier to generate the fast bat speed necessary to hit with power.
Baseball bat weight also matters. If the bat is too heavy, your little leaguer will struggle to swing it through the strike zone at the rate of speed necessary to hit balls out of the infield. However, if the bat is too light, it won't provide the pop necessary to hit balls quickly and with considerable distance. The more weight the bat has the faster the baseball moves after being contacted. Find the bat with the right weight and your little leaguer will be able to hit baseballs with more speed, sending the ball that much deeper into the outfield.
Kids between the ages of 5 and 6 are best served with a wood bat that weighs between 21 ounces and 23 ounces. Youth baseball players between 7 and 8 years of age will find a wood baseball bat that weighs between 23 ounces and 25 ounces is just right. And kids between the ages of 9 and 10 are best served with a wood bat that weighs 23 ounces to 27 ounces.
Those between the ages of 11 and 12 will find a wood bat between 25 ounces and 28 ounces is best. Kids in the age range of 13 to 14 will need a wood bat that weighs 27 ounces to 31 ounces. Finally, tweens and teens between 15 and 18 years of age should use a wood bat with a weight of 29 ounces to 36 ounces.
Can you use Wood Bats in Little League Games?
Yes. In fact, some little leagues have banned the use of metal bats as they provide much more power than is necessary, potentially putting the pitcher in danger. Keep in mind, professional baseball players use wood bats as opposed to those of the metal variety. It only makes sense for youngsters to start out with wood bats as they will continue to use those of the wood variety if they become professional baseball players. Even some amateur leagues such as the California Collegiate League and the Cape Cod League require that players use wood bats rather than metal bats. The bottom line is every type of wood bat is legal for use in youth baseball games, regardless of the level.
What kind of 'Wood' bat to use - Maple - Ash - Birch
The type of wood used for your youth baseball bat is particularly important. Maple, ash and birch are the top types of wood bats used by little leaguers. Maple wood is preferred by batters looking for additional pop. Ash wood is held in high regard by players who want the baseball to jump off the bat with considerable force, similar to a springboard effect. Ash wood bats also have a comparably large sweet spot, providing that much more surface area to make contact with the ball. Birch wood bats are ideal for those who struggle to make contact with baseballs at the sweet spot of the bat.
Maple is a particularly dense and hard wood. Maple’s surface hardness is usually around 20% more than that of ash bats, creating a bat that proves durable as time progresses. Swing a youth baseball maple wood baseball bat for yourself and you will find it has less give, meaning that much more effort is necessary to hit the baseball with force. Maple is favored by some as it has a comparably tightly grained hardwood that stops the wood from separating or flaking.
This comparable hardness creates a substantial rebound in regard to how the baseball moves off the bat after contact is made. The contact with the particularly hard wood causes the baseball to travel 10 to 15 more feet than would occur with a bat that has wood with less density.
Glide your hand across your maple youth baseball bat and you will find it is quite soft and smooth to the touch compared to other wood bats. However, the quality of one maple bat is not guaranteed to be the same as the next so be sure to run your hand over the one you are considering to ensure the wood is tight. Choose maple for your youth baseball bat and you will likely be quite happy with the purchase as this hard wood makes it that much easier to hit with power.
Ash is considered a medium hard wood. This wood’s grain is wider than that of other woods. The wider grain makes it that much more visible, creates more flexibility and has a comparably soft feel. However, ash is not as hard as maple and proves less durable than maple. The enhanced flexibility of ash helps batters to quickly move it through the hitting zone. Ash also creates a springboard effect. The increased flexibility even reduces splintering when the bat breaks.
Opt for a birch youth wood baseball bat and you will find it is flexible yet quite hard. Birch wood bats’ surface hardness is about 20% more than that of youth baseball bats made of ash. Birch is quite flexible compared to maple, resulting in enhanced durability and flexibility. The grain of birch is that much wider than the grain of maple. Birch bats have tighter grain than ash wood bats. The hardness, durability and flexibility of birch bats helps you hit baseballs harder and farther.
Composite wood baseball bats are also available though they are not as popular as other varieties. This type of bat consists of several different blends of wood laminated to inner support. In general, composite wood bats provide the same results as regular standard wood youth baseball bats. However, the composite variety typically lasts longer and prove more durable than regular wood bats.
The youth wood baseball bat you select will shape your success as a baseball player. Do not fork over your hard-earned money unless you are absolutely certain the bat you have in mind will help you perform better at the plate. Your bat should feel comfortable in your hands, remain intact instead of shattering when hitting baseballs, be the perfect weight and feel perfect throughout the entirety of your swing.
Do not stop searching for the best youth wood baseball bat until it meets all of the criteria listed above. Once you find a wood bat that meets this criteria, purchase it even if it is a bit more expensive than other options. Price should not be a deal-breaker as settling for an inferior but more affordable baseball bat will be disappointing in terms of poor performance at the plate and a higher likelihood of shattering. Opt for the cream of the crop and you will have a comfortable, reliable and effective youth wood baseball bat worth every penny and then some.