There are several things you need to take into consideration when picking out the best baseball bat.
Below, we’ll list out the most essential factors that you need to look out for such as length, construction (One piece vs. Two Piece, Balanced vs. End Loaded), Material (Composite vs. Aluminum Alloy), grip, and lastly, your budget.
This guide will help you pick out the best bat according to your needs, without breaking the bank. We’ll tackle each of these factors separately, and by the end of it all, you’ll quickly determine the best bat for your budding champion.
Choosing the right length for your new bat is one of the most important first steps.
As you experiment with different bats, you’ll eventually learn your ideal bat length. Individual players may prefer to swing shorter bats for more speed and control through the zone, while others may prefer to swing something longer. Stronger players often prefer longer bats because he is strong enough and a longer bat equals a larger barrel and greater force when making contact with the baseball.
As much as I think the online charts and various methods such as having your child hold out the bat in front of them could help, finding the right bat ultimately boils down to personal preference.
You can use these charts to get a feel of what might possibly work, but swinging an actual bat gives invaluable feedback on the right length or weight for your child.
If you can constantly get good contact, then that bat is the right choice. However, if you are continually getting jammed, then the bat you have chosen is most likely too long for your child to use. Likewise, if your young athlete hits the ball on the end cap, the bat you have picked may be too short.
Material: Composite vs. Aluminum/Alloy Bats
Baseball bats are made out of metal or wood. Metal bats can come as either composite and aluminum alloy bats. There isn’t a clear cut choice when it comes to picking the right one. Again, it all boils down to personal preference.
However, each material has distinct benefits that may help you pick out the right bat based on your playing style and your budget.
Benefits of composite bats
Kevlar, fiberglass, and graphite are joined to make composite bats. Composite bats have the advantage of being lighter and structurally stronger. Because of this, manufacturers can make a light-swinging bat that is much longer than its alloy counterparts which also means that composite bats can have a much larger sweet spot.
That said, however, one of the only downsides is that composite baseball bats need to be “broken in” to reach their full potential.
Benefits of Aluminum Alloy Bats
Depending on the manufacturer, aluminum bats can be made from a range of different alloys or metals.
Aluminum bats are stiffer than composite bats. When you hit the ball, there is little give, so the bat is a lot more responsive – the feedback is immediate. Additionally, aluminum bats are incredibly durable meaning you get value for your hard earned money.
Finally, aluminum bats DO NOT need to be broken in, unlike composite baseball bats. They are hot out of the wrapper, meaning you can take them right from the box and head straight to the pitch to hit bombs right out of the park.
Construction: One-Piece vs. Two Piece Bats
Now that you know the pros and cons of the different bat materials, it’s time to focus on your bat’s construction. Do you want a 1-piece or 2-piece bat? Each option offers unique benefits depending on your style of play, and personal preference.
One-piece bats are made out of a single piece of metal – either composite or aluminum alloy. When you hit the ball, little to no energy is lost because they are stiffer and have flex through the hitting zone. One-Piece bats are ideal for power hitters because of the lack of flex.
A 2-piece bat, on the other hand, is made out of two parts: a handle and a barrel that are then joined together by a connective piece. The two-piece design allows the bat to flex more, which provides for a powerful whipping sensation through the zone which then results in more speed and power.
Two-piece bats are tailored for contact hitters and anyone who’s just starting out in the game because the two-piece design makes them easier to control. Moreover, the two-piece design gives the bat a much lighter feel. Another great benefit of the two-piece design is that it does well to reduce painful and uncomfortable vibrations by restricting the energy created by hitting the ball, in the barrel instead of letting it travel down to the handle.
Balanced vs. End Loaded Bats
Stronger players with strong arms prefer using an end-loaded baseball bat. These players are commonly referred to as “power hitters.” Power hitters leverage the extra weight towards the end of the bat to generate more power in their hits, thus hitting farther.
Contact hitters, on the other hand, prefer balanced baseball bats because they provide more control through the zone.
Liking your bat’s grip is mostly dependent on preference. The grip also has everything to do with the overall feel of your bat.
Bat grips help reduce sting on mishits. The last thing you want is to have to wince at the thought of the pain that 80+ mph pitch will produce. Different manufacturers use different grips on their bats, so ensure you pick a bat that not only feels comfortable in your hands but actually works to dampen sting on mishits.
Price is one of the most important, if not the most critical factors of all when it comes to picking out the best baseball bat. Wouldn’t it be nice to have unlimited bags of money to spend on bats as you please, and replace them as you wish?
Unfortunately, this isn’t possible. Fortunately, however, websites such as thebatnerds provide comprehensive baseball equipment reviews, saving you from having to do the grunt work yourself.
This way, you can make a well-informed decision while saving time and money.