Comparing The Best Baseball Bats On The Market (BBCOR)

best baseball bat

Whether you’re playing baseball in high-school, college or local team:

You’ve come to the right place.

While there are many options to choose from, not all BBCOR bats are going to suit all needs and budgets – which is why we created this guide. In it, we cover all the best baseball bat brands, types, and budgets to help you make an informed decision.

All the bats you’ll see below are BBCOR certified, so you can be sure they adhere to all the regulations you’ll need.

Let’s begin with my top picks:

  NameMaterialBarrel WidthRating 
Best Overall
Rawlings Velo Hybrid Balanced (BBCOR)Single Piece Hybrid2 5/8''5.0/5Check Price
Read Review
Best Quality
Easton BB17MK Beast (BBCOR)Single Piece Hybrid2 5/8'4.8/5Check Price
Read Review
Beginners
Marucci Cat7 (BBCOR)One Piece Alloy2 5/8''4.5/5Check Price
Read Review
Big Barrel
Easton SL17MK10B Mako Beast SeniorComposite Two Piece2 ¾”4.0/5Check Price
Read Review

Side note: If you’re looking for the best baseball bats for youth (Little League, Pony League, etc), please check out our page dedicated to youth baseball bats.

Best Baseball Bat

Baseball Bat Comparison Chart

rawlings velo hybrid
Best Overall!

Rawlings Velo Hybrid Balanced (BBCOR)

  • 5.0/5 Rating
  • Single Piece Hybrid
  • 2 5/8”
  • -3 drop weight
rawlings velo hybrid

Recommendation

An incredibly well-balanced bat with a drop 3 weighting.

With its single piece hybrid design, the Rawlings Velo is able to maintain its BBCOR certification without sacrificing anything for balance. An all-around quality bat for serious players.

Our Rating: 5.0/5

TECH SPECS

Material
Single Piece Hybrid
Barrel Width
2 5/8”
Drop Weight
-3
BBCOR certified
Yes
Handle
Alloy hybrid
Special Features
Composite end-cap

Rawlings Velo Hybrid Balanced (BBCOR)

Who Should Buy

Brandishing the BBCOR .50 stamp, the Rawlings Velo is a prime, ready out-the-wrapper choice for athletes competing in high school and NCAA competitions.Click here for the Rawlings Velo Hybrid Balanced (BBCOR)

Review

The Rawlings Velo is back, with an emphasis on balance. And Rawlings have outdone themselves on this account. This is a hybrid bat, but not in the usual sense. The classic alloy barrel with a composite handle combo is not followed here. Instead, we find a single piece of alloy with a composite end-cap for achieving better balance.

Another great thing about the alloy barrel is that it gives the traditional ‘ping’ sound on well struck balls. The Rawlings Velo has even made efforts to amplify this effect, with what they call the pOp 2.0. If you were to dissect the bat, you would find a small groove lining the inside of the barrel. While this might negatively affect the bat’s durability, I have found almost zero complaints on this point. Besides, the alloy material used for this barrel is of a sturdy make and is generally very durable.

With a drop 3 weight, the Rawlings Velo is approved for high school and NCAA competition. This makes it one of the best baseball bats in the world for up-and-coming, serious athletes.

Pros
  • BBCOR Certified
  • Perfectly balanced throughout
  • pOp 2.0 technology
  • Traditional ‘ping’ sound
  • Great for contact hitters
Cons
  • Slight sting effect
easton mako beast
Best Quality!

Easton BB17MK Beast (BBCOR)

  • 4.8/5 Rating
  • Single Piece Hybrid
  • 2 5/8′
  • -3 drop weight
easton mako beast

Recommendation

Easton has lived up to its name on this one. The Easton BB17MK Beast is the new BBCOR approved model for big hitters.

Meeting the 2 5/8” barrel width and drop 3 weight requirements, this fast-swinging, long-barreled Beat model is a fine choice for serious players looking to meet BBCOR requirements.

Our Rating: 4.8/5

TECH SPECS

Material
Single Piece Hybrid
Barrel Width
2 5/8′
Drop Weight
-3
BBCOR certified
Yes
Handle
Alloy hybrid
Special Features
Composite end-cap

Easton BB17MK Beast (BBCOR)

Who Should Buy

The Easton BB17MK is a Mako Beast model for high school and NCAA athletes. A fantastic popping bat with unrivalled swing speed.Click here for the Easton BB17MK Beast (BBCOR)

Review

Finally, we get to the Mako Beast that can be unleashed on high school and NCAA fields: the BBCOR certified, Easton BB17MK model. Made with its Thermo Composite Technology barrel, this Beast has the longest barrel yet. A good 1.5” longer than previous Mako Beast models, while still maintaining that ever-important drop 3 weighting.

In accordance with BBCOR requirements, the barrel width is 2 5/8”–making it slightly thinner than other big barrel bats out there. However, with the added length and thinner barrel, this beast has one of the fastest swing speeds on the market. And with its –3 length to weight ratio, this fast bat speed will be backed by the full force of a well-weighted TCT barrel.

Easton’s two-piece Connexion technology also features in the Easton BB17MK. This design works to increase the energy transferred from handle to barrel, so that you don’t lose the feeling of a traditional one-piece bat. Or any extra yards on your swing. Truly one of the best baseball bats ever made from the Easton Mako line.

Pros
  • BBCOR Approved
  • Extended barrel length
  • Hyperskin grip
  • Two piece Connexion technology
  • TCT barrel
  • Very fast bat speed
Cons
  • Not exactly cheap
  • Thinner barrel than other beast models (to meet BBCOR requirement)
marucci cat7
Beginners!

Marucci Cat7 (BBCOR)

  • 4.5/5 Rating
  • One Piece Alloy
  • 2 5/8”
  • -3 drop weight
marucci cat7

Recommendation

The Marucci Cat7 is an astonishing upgrade from the Cat6.

With its improved AZ4X alloy for a sweet spot twice that of the previous generation, the Cat7 is almost a new bat altogether. Add to that the 2nd generation Anti-vibration knob feature and you have yourself a well-balanced, great popping bat for contact hitters.

Our Rating: 4.5/5

TECH SPECS

Material
One Piece Alloy
Barrel Width
2 5/8”
Drop Weight
-3
BBCOR certified
Yes
Handle
Alloy with Av2 knob
Special Features
Sleek White Design

Marucci Cat7 (BBCOR)

Who Should Buy

Contact hitters playing in NCAA and high school competitions will love the Marucci Cat7. A single piece of well-weighted alloy with a massive sweet spot.Click here for the Marucci Cat7 (BBCOR)

Review

The Marucci Cat7 seems to have taken what was already a good bat in the Cat6 and fine-tuned it. The result is impressive. As with the Cat6 model, Marucci have stuck with the single-piece alloy design, for a traditional balanced feel. The Cat7 has upgraded to the new AZ4X alloy, though, and this has done wonders for the barrel. It claims to double the bat’s sweet spot, and while I’m not sure how accurate this testimony is, I can certainly say that it doesn’t feel like there are any dead spots on this impressive barrel.

Another great added feature is the Av2, 2nd generation, knob. A harmonic dampening technology designed to reduce the bat’s sting effect. Also, with the added 2oz of weight beneath your hands, this means that the length from handle to barrel feels lighter. It allows for impressive swing speeds and an overall balanced feeling to the bat.

Lastly, the bat is BBCOR certified. And while this bat also has a great pop to it, the Marucci Cat7 is not exactly limited to big hitters. Contact hitters will also appreciate the weight-distribution, and traditional one-piece stiffness.

Pros
  • BBCOR Certified
  • Av2 Anti-vibration knob feature
  • AZ4X Tapered Alloy barrel – extending barrel sweet spot
  • Fast swing speed
  • Traditional one-piece stiff feeling
  • Well-balanced
Cons
  • Expensive bat
  • White design shows dirt
easton big barrel
Big Barrel!

Easton SL17MK10B Mako Beast Senior

  • 4.0/5 Rating
  • Composite Two Piece
  • 2 ¾”
  • -10 drop weight
easton big barrel

Recommendation

The Easton Mako Beast is another great example of Thermo Composite Technology (TCT) at its finest.

With its huge 2 ¾” barrel and –10 drop weight, the swing speed for this composite two piece is very impressive. Since it is a lighter bat, not every swing will clear the outfield. But when you do connect with the Beast, you’ll certainly know about it.

Our Rating: 4.0/5

TECH SPECS

Material
Composite Two Piece
Barrel Width
2 ¾”
Drop Weight
-10
BBCOR certified
No
Handle
Hyper skin grip
Special Features
Thermo Composite Technology Barrel

Easton SL17MK10B Mako Beast Senior

Who Should Buy

Senior league players looking for a well-priced bat with a big barrel. The Easton SL17MK10B is not, however, BBCOR certified and thus cannot appear on high school or NCAA playing fields.Click here for the Easton SL17MK10B Mako Beast Senior

Review

The Easton Mako Beast is another great product from the Mako line. It’s a beefy upgraded bat that is perfect for big hitters in leagues that do allow a 2 ¾” barrel size. With a drop 10 weight and a meaty barrel, when the Mako Beast connects, it really connects.

This baseball bat also furnishes Thermo Composite Technology—the most effective barrel technology for increasing swing speed while maintaining significant girth. With its larger and cleaner sweet spot, the Mako Beast is really made for big hitters who like clearing the outfielders. You will still get significant distance if you strike at the end of your barrel, but since it is a drop 10 weight, there is not the heavy barrel behind it to really send a ball that isn’t perfectly struck.

Another feature of the Mako Beast is its composite handle. Made with Easton Conation technology, the two piece composite design reduces vibration and takes away much of the sting effect felt in your hands.

Pros
  • Huge barrel
  • Great sweet spot
  • Fast swing speed
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Composite handle
Cons
  • Not BBCOR certified
  • Poorly struck balls will not travel

How To Choose The Best Baseball Bat

The Definitive Buyer’s Guide

baseball bat buyers guide

Baseball Bat Buying Checklist

  1. Does the bat fit your size?
  2. Does the material suit your individual needs? And
  3. Does it meet the drop weight (and other BBCOR) requirements of your league?

Here’s a nice infographic on how to choose the perfect baseball bat:

How To Choose The Perfect Baseball Bat

How Long Is A Baseball Bat?

It’s important to find the bat length which feels most comfortable.

Most baseball bats vary in length from 27-34 inches. Anything longer than that is actually banned from some competitive fields.

A bat that is BBCOR certified, for example, cannot exceed a length of 36 inches.

Now, when it comes to finding the perfect baseball bat for you within that range, take the following steps:

  1. Use the below chart to pick the right size.
  2. When you receive the baseball bat make sure to verify that it’s the right fit. Test it out with the below method. If it doesn’t fit, return it!

How To Size A Baseball Bat?

You can always follow a simple chart like this:

Bat Size Chart

How To Measure For A Baseball Bat?

Hold an arm out to your side: The most comfortable bats are the same length as that distance measured from the center of your chest to the tip of your outstretched arm.

If you have a bat in mind, you can test if it is the right fit with two easy methods.

  1. Rest the head of the bat on the floor beside you. If your palm can reach the handle, it is likely a good fit.
  2. Place the handle of the bat to the center of your chest. If you can reach the barrel of the bat with your hand, this means it is a good size.

How Much Does A Baseball Bat Weigh?

Another important thing to consider is the weight of a bat. Not only do baseball bats vary in length, but there is a significant range in terms of weight. Heavy bats are obviously more difficult to control and require a stronger athlete. They also can generate serious power. A strong athlete that is using a light bat will never reach his full potential.

An easy test for weight can be done in under 30 seconds.

How To Choose The Right Weight Baseball Bat

Hold the bat just above the handle and raise your arm, horizontal, in front of you. If you cannot hold this pose for 20 seconds without faltering or shaking, then the bat is likely too heavy. You want a bat that you are comfortable with, not just the heaviest bat for the biggest hits.

Sometimes athletes will train with an intentionally heavier bat. This is a weighted baseball bat, and its purpose is strictly for training. These bats are never used for competition.

What Are The Types Of Baseball Bats Available?

The first division is between wooden and non-wooden bat. The pros use wooden bats, of course. But this doesn’t mean that you necessarily should, too. For lower leagues (all the way up to college) non-wooden options are the standard choice.

Composite Baseball Bats:

Composite bats are easily manipulated to meet one’s need, and some of the best baseball bats on the market are composite bats. They are made from a reinforced carbon fiber polymer, which is a fancy-sounding material that makes it easy to distribute a bat’s weight. Manufacturers of composite bats can produce bats that are weighted evenly throughout, or shift the weight so that the bat is end-loaded.

The thing about composite bats is that they require a few break-in swings. Roughly 150-200. This will give the bat its sweet spot (another advantage of composite bats is that this sweet spot is larger than in other types). Generally speaking, composite bats will be on the higher price end than options to come, but they are a quality choice.

Alloy Baseball Bats:

These bats have been around a bit longer. You might also hear them referred to as metal or aluminum bats, though alloy is the most accurate term for the category as a whole. There are two major advantages of alloy over composite; price and break-in time.

Alloy bats tend to be cheaper than composite and other bats (wooden and hybrid, included). If you are looking for the best baseball bat for your money, this is probably it. And when it comes to break-in time, there’s no discussion. Alloy bats are ready to go out of the wrapper. The sweet spot, however, is generally much smaller than with composite bats. There’s also the problem of vibration. Where composite bats are designed to reduce the sting from vibration, alloy bats are not. Keep in mind that the sweet spot is smaller on such bats, too, and so a miss-hit is also more likely (no matter how good you are).

Hybrid Baseball Bats:

If only there were a way of combining the best parts of each… this is the inspiration behind hybrid bats. They take a non-vibrating composite handle and stick an alloy barrel on the end of it. Simplistic, but surprisingly effective in its purpose.

These bats really do have a reduced sting effect. And due to the cheaper cost of an alloy barrel, the price range of the whole bat tends to fall somewhere between that of alloy and composite (as you might expect). The only setback has to do with balance—and this is only a setback for some hitters. See below.

One Piece Baseball Bat

One piece bats refer to wholly aluminum or composite (or wooden, for that matter) bats. That means the bat is a single piece from end to handle. This is what allows for such significant vibration in the alloy, even if baseball bat grip is high quality. But this same one-piece quality also gives the bat a more even weight distribution. These are the most balanced baseball bats and suit contact hitters best.

Two Piece Baseball Bat

Two piece bats generally follow the combination described above in the hybrid section. They are composed of a composite handle, with an alloy barrel. Not only are alloy barrels ready to use on purchase, but they are more durable. Two piece bats are some of the most common baseball bats on the market.

One setback of two piece bats has to do with achieving a perfect balance between the alloy barrel and its composite handle. The materials are differently weighted, and so two piece bats are often end-loaded. That means they are heavier in the barrel than in the handle. This can suit power hitters but makes it more difficult for faster-swinging batters to get the right feel.

What Is A Bbcor Certified Bat?

BBCOR stands for Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. A mouthful, yes, hence the (slightly) easier acronym. It’s a number, calculated to determine the trampoline effect of a bat. And a BBCOR certified is really just a bat that has been toned down to meet some basic restrictions. Let’s just spell it all out, then:

  • BBCOR bats cannot exceed a barrel diameter of 2 5/8 inches
  • BBCOR certified bats cannot exceed a length of 36 inches; and
  • A bat’s length to weight ratio cannot exceed a figure of –3.

Which leads us to another fun term.

What Is Length To Weight Ratio? (and Why Is It Often A Negative Figure?)

Length to weight ratio is also known as a bat’s drop weight. You’ll need two figures to determine this. The length of the bat in inches, and its weight in ounces. Here is the simple formula for determining your bat’s drop weight:

Weight of bat (in ounces) – Length of bat (in inches) = x (drop figure)

So, if you have a 34-inch bat which weighs 31oz, your bat will have a –3 drop figure. And the drop figure is an important thing to know about a bat. Not only for getting the best performance for your game but so that you don’t go breaking any rules.

Baseball Bat Barrel Size

First, let’s talk barrel size. The limit for barrel is diameter is 2 5/8 inches. And a larger barrel size will do two major things:

  1. Increase your sweet spot; and
  2. Increase the weight of your bat.

We will discuss more about why you want to be careful about increasing your bat weight when we speak about length to weight ratio. For now, just know that if you want to increase you bat weight, a larger barrel size will do it.

Sweet spot and ‘pop’

The sweet spot on your bat is the area in which the ball meets your bat for the greatest output. It’s the prime zone you want to hit when trying to clear the fence. And a bat’s ‘pop’ just refers to how much power can be generated on the ball. Bats with good pop mean that when you strike a ball well, it will really go flying. These are what all the best baseball bats in the world have in common; a great pop.

A bat with a larger barrel size will often have a larger sweet spot. But remember, material has something to do with it, too. Composite baseball bats, after being broken in, tend to have naturally larger sweet spots. And bats with larger barrels also tend to have bigger sweet spots.

Senior League And Youth League Drop Weights

Depending on which league you or your child play in, there will be different regulations on drop weight. In younger categories of Pony League and Little League ball, say, the drop weight can be low as –13.5. This is because the kids need to use seriously light bats, while still having a bit of length to them. The best baseball bats for youth leagues usually hover between -12 and -13.5.

High school and college bats, on the other hand, are required to have a –3 drop weight. Precisely –3. This means that you can opt for a longer or shorter bat, but the weight will already be determined by that choice (and vice versa).

Baseball Bat Regulations

In recent years, not only has the game changed significantly but so have the rules. For example, with the growth in baseball bat technology, there have only been more restrictions put into place. For those playing in Little League, there is even a specific list of approved little league baseball bats to choose from. The best baseball bats for kids will always fall within these limits, though, so there isn’t too much cause for worry.

And while college and high school bats are not exactly listed, they might as well be. They must be BBCOR approved. We mentioned what that entails above. Just remember that it is about the trampoline effect of a bat. It is also worth noting that by putting a limit on this effect, you are putting a limit on your potential hitting distance. This means that you really wouldn’t want to use a BBCOR certified bat unless you have to.

What About Major League Baseball Bats?

These are another thing altogether. Remember, all Major League bats have one significant difference to all of the baseball bats we have already discussed: they are wooden. There is significant variety among wooden bats (which will be discussed below) however, there is one common factor. They are not nearly as powerful as the advanced materials used in composite, alloy and hybrid baseball bats.

What if the pros used non-wooden bats, then? How different would the league be if athletes used alloy, composite or hybrid bats? Well, let’s just put it this way—we would be seeing home runs on repeat. The effectiveness of non-wooden bats is so much better that the game would likely have to adjust its field dimensions. Also, you would need to put netting across all fences to protect the fans. Seriously. People would be getting hurt. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start protecting the pitcher with mandatory head guards, too. Hence BBCORs strict regulations.

Best Big Barrel Bat?

We will talk more about the best baseball bats in each category later, but for now, let me just offer a quick personal favorite for large barrel bats.

The Easton JBB16S400. With a barrel diameter of 2 5/8 inches, this beast has a huge sweet spot for all you big hitters out there. And the pop on this beauty will have the ball truly sailing. It is one of the best BBCOR certified bats on the market.

The Best Baseball Bat Brands

So, ‘where can I buy a baseball bat?’ You might be starting to think a little more practically, now, with all this information. You might already be wanting to find the best baseball bat for your money. Well, I’ll offer a couple of choices.

Easton baseball bats always rank highly, for a start, with some of the best baseball bats in the world. The Easton BB17MK is one of the most popular drop 3 weight bats, and is always up there on the college athletes baseball bat ratings. Many Easton lovers stay loyal for life, claiming that their Easton bat is the best baseball bat ever made. I don’t know about this, but they are always of a high standard.

Other leading brands include Combat and Rawlings. In the Combat range, you can find some of the best baseball bats for your money. Rawlings is a more comprehensive brand. I even read a ‘best baseball balls review’ which noted Rawlings at the top of the list.

Demarini baseball bats are also very popular. Of course, there are many factors that will decide which bat is right for you. Again, it’s difficult to say which is the best baseball bat in the world, outright. However, if you find a product from any of these brands in your size and style, then you cannot go far wrong.

How Are Baseball Bats Made?

It depends upon the material, and the quality. Alloy bats can be manufactured from different grades of aluminum and other metals. The higher the quality of alloy, the pricier it will be—and the better the performance. However, wooden bats also have a variety to them. The most common wooden bats are made of: Maple, Bamboo, Birch and Ash. And each of these has its own list of pros and cons.

Do Big Barrel Bats Hit Farther?

Does a 3-wood drive a longer distance than a 7-iron? In my hands, maybe not always. But generally speaking, the answer to this question is yes. A bigger barrel will also tend to have a larger sweet spot, which will give the bat a better chance of achieving its maximum distance potential. Then again, if you particular swing is not suited to a heavier, large-barreled bat, then you might experience a less effective swing. And therefore, bigger barrel doesn’t always equal bigger hit.

Why Is The End Of A Baseball Bat Hollowed Out?

This has to do with the trampoline effect we have spoken about. Since there is a hollow space at the end of the bat, when the ball strikes the material of the barrel, the material can bend back slightly and then spring back into place. This launches the ball much further than if the bat were solid all the way through. It also means that bats can be lighter. Imagine if your bat end was just one thick block of metal… you’d be lucky to even swinging the thing. Let alone kids. All of the best baseball bats for youth are not only hollow at the end, but very light.

High School Baseball Bat Regulations?

Remember the section on drop weight? Well, that has a lot to do with answering this question. Most high school leagues require that athletes use a bat with a drop weight of precisely –3. This means that if you want to use a 34 inch bat, then your bat must also weigh precisely 31oz. There are ways of manipulating the dimensions through barrel size and length in order to get a bat that suits your individual game. However, this drop weight figure of –3 must always be met.

Happy Batting!

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