Comparing the Best Youth Baseball Bats

best baseball bat

There’s something about getting a brand new baseball bat that puts a huge smile on every Little-Leaguer’s face:

Their excitement is infectious, and you’ll soon realize that your investment will pay off in your kid’s appreciation, and added dedication to the sport.

When choosing the best youth baseball bat, there’s something important you’ll have to take into account:

Youth leagues have regulations regarding which bats can and cannot be used, and they’re not optional.

For example, Little League rules state that a bat “shall not be more than thirty-three inches in length nor more than two and one-quarter inches in diameter.”

If your kid is playing in Pony League, their baseball bat should have the USSSA stamp on it. While most new bats will come with this stamp, it’s always best to make sure.

Here’s a quick comparison of my top picks, after which you will find an in-depth review of each one:

  NameMaterialBarrel WidthRating 
Best Overall
Easton S500One piece alloy2 ¼”5.0/5Check Price
Read Review
Beginners
Easton Mako Beast JuniorComposite Two Piece2 ¾”4.4/5Check Price
Read Review
Light Alloy
Easton S3 Big BarrelOne Piece Alloy2 ¾”4.0/5Check Price
Read Review
Seniors
DeMarini CF Zen BalancedTwo piece composite2 5/8”4.0/5Check Price
Read Review
W

hen my son asked me to buy him a baseball bat for Little League, I immediately went into “dad knows best” mode. I mean, I’d played my fair share of baseball when I was younger, so I obviously knew a thing or two about choosing the best youth baseball bat.

Needless to say, my baseball bat research took me on a deep dive into the world of Little League, Pony League, metal and wood bats, and a whole lot more.

I realized:

There’s a LOT to know when buying a baseball bat. Much more than I ever thought when I was a kid.

So I decided to distill all I’ve learned about youth baseball bats into this in-depth guide.

It covers 4 of my absolute top picks for youth, with a detailed review of each one.

Let’s begin:

Best Youth Baseball Bat

Baseball Bat Comparison Chart

easton s500 baseball bat
Best Overall!

Easton S500

  • 5.0/5 Rating
  • One piece alloy
  • 2 ¼”
  • -13 drop weight
easton s500 baseball bat

Recommendation

The Easton S500 hits a home-run as my #1 best baseball bat for youths.

With a -13 drop weight and a thinner barrel, this bat will be a comfortable choice for most youth players. Its one-piece alloy design allows for a balanced feel in the hands and lets a player feel in control of his or her own swing technique.

Our Rating: 5.0/5

TECH SPECS

Material
One piece alloy
Barrel Width
2 ¼”
Drop Weight
-13
BBCOR certified
No (youth leagues approved, though)
Handle
All Sports grip
Special Features
Ultra-thin handle

Easton S500

Who Should Buy

This is a great selection for youth players of all leagues. With its slimmer and lighter dimensions, the Easton S500 is a terrific bat for young players looking to become more comfortable with their swing.Click here for the Easton S500

Review

This is one the best baseball bats for youth players. The Easton S500 Youth Baseball Bat has a few distinct advantages which earn its no.1 spot on this list. To begin with, it is a great, light baseball bat for kids. Often it can be difficult for kids in youth leagues to find the right connection with their swing. The Easton S500 has a drop 13 length to weight ratio, making it incredibly light and easy to swing.

Made from an evenly balanced 7050 aircraft alloy, the bat is not end-loaded like many others. Opinion varies on this topic, but I’m a fan of the one-piece design for younger players. Particularly when the bat is well-balanced, it can be a great way for a learning child to feel comfortable with his or her swing. The Easton S500 design is well-suited to this kind of learning curve.

One thing to note about one-piece alloy bats, however, is that there can be some significant sting in the hands. The S500 is not a big-barreled bat, so the sweet spot is a little finer than others on this list. That means that when you don’t quite connect on a ball, there will be some reverberating feedback. Then again, that’s all part of the learning experience. And this baseball bat still earns my number one recommendation for young athletes in competitions ranging from Little League to Babe Ruth, Dixie and Pony Leagues.

One of the best baseball bats for kids on the market.

You can also read the full review of the Easton S500 here.

Pros
  • Lightweight bat
  • Fast swing speed
  • Fantastic price
  • Evenly-balanced
Cons
  • Expected sting effect
  • Smaller sweet spot
easton mako beast
Beginners!

Easton Mako Beast Junior

  • 4.4/5 Rating
  • Composite Two Piece
  • 2 ¾”
  • -12 drop weight
easton mako beast

Recommendation

The Mako Beast Junior is a drop weight 12 bat for youth league players. With a massive sweet spot and more-than-impressive bat speed, the Beast can now be enjoyed by younger athletes. With a slightly friendlier weight. The best youth big barrel baseball bat for its price.

Our Rating: 4.4/5

TECH SPECS

Material
Composite Two Piece
Barrel Width
2 ¾”
Drop Weight
-12
BBCOR certified
No
Handle
Hyper skin grip
Special Features
Thermo Composite Technology Barrel

Easton Mako Beast Junior

Who Should Buy

This is an ideal big barrel bat for players in 12 and under leagues which allow a 2 ¾” barrel width. The Mako Junior Beast is approved for both AABC and USSA leagues.Click here for the Easton Mako Beast Junior

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 12 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
  • Massive Sweet Spot
  • TCT barrel
  • Unmatched swing speed
  • Very light
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Not BBCOR certified
  • 2 ¾” barrel not always allowed
easton s3 baseball bat
Light Alloy!

Easton S3 Big Barrel

  • 4.0/5 Rating
  • One Piece Alloy
  • 2 ¾”
  • -10 drop weight
easton s3 baseball bat

Recommendation

The Easton S3 is my number option for true contact hitters.

With its single piece alloy design, you can enjoy the traditional stiffness and balance of a one-piece bat. A balanced bat with a large barrel, the S3 Big Barrel is a great choice for those looking to swing a lighter alloy baseball bat.

Our Rating: 4.0/5

TECH SPECS

Material
One Piece Alloy
Barrel Width
2 ¾”
Drop Weight
-10
BBCOR certified
No
Handle
Hyperskin grip
Special Features
Hyperlite Alloy Barrel

Easton S3 Big Barrel

Who Should Buy

Players looking for a lightweight large barrel should consider the Easton S3. Not approved for high school and NCAA competition, the bat is USSSA certified and perfect for contact hitters in youth leagues that allow 2 ¾” barrels.Click here for the Easton S3 Big Barrel

Review

The Easton S3 is a big barrel bat for contact hitters. With its single-piece alloy design, the S3 maintains the traditional stiffness found in one-piece bats. So all the energy you produce in your swing will travel from handle to barrel without waste. Made with Hyperlite alloy material to give a –10 drop weight, the S3 is a light bat with a good sweet spot for youth league players.

The single piece alloy design also means that you can expect a lot of feedback. For balls that are well-struck in the sweet spot, you will get that rewarding feeling in your hands. However, when the ball is a bit off-center, don’t be surprised by that single piece alloy sting. The Hyperskin baseball bat grip doesn’t do anything to protect against this, but it does give you a nice tight feeling on the bat, in general.

You can also read the full review of the Easton S3 here.

Pros
  • Hyperlite alloy barrel
  • Traditional stiffness
  • Good alloy pop
  • Large barrel width
  • Great price
Cons
  • Not BBCOR certified
  • Some sting effect
demarini cf zen baseball bat
Seniors!

DeMarini CF Zen Balanced

  • 4.0/5 Rating
  • Two piece composite
  • 2 5/8”
  • -5 drop weight
demarini cf zen baseball bat

Recommendation

The DeMarini CF Zen Balanced model is made from high-quality material. Its composite barrel is 22% stronger paraflex, and has an almost perfect weight distribution. This drop 5 bat will have you thinking that you are still swinging your old –10 weight, but with 5 ounces of added punch to your swing. One of my favorites, the DeMarini Zen means business.

Our Rating: 4.0/5

TECH SPECS

Material
Two piece composite
Barrel Width
2 5/8”
Drop Weight
-5
BBCOR certified
No
Handle
Comp + D-Fusion 2.0
Special Features
Paraflex composite for balance

DeMarini CF Zen Balanced

Who Should Buy

Ideal for players between 12-14, looking to work their way up to a drop 3 weight, BBCOR certified category.Click here for the DeMarini CF Zen Balanced

Review

As the name suggests, this is an incredibly well-balanced bat. The DeMarini CF Zen Balanced baseball bat uses paraflex composite material for its barrel. This allows for perfect weight-distribution throughout and actually works to improve the bat’s swing speed. A common experience with this bat is to feel that it is lighter than you know it is. With a drop 5 listed weight, people often don’t notice the extra ounces.

As you can see, those younger athletes looking to work up to the required drop 3 weight for high school and college really appreciate this one.

The balance of this bat allows for a great bat speed, even with a drop 5. If you are used to a lighter drop 10 categories, jumping up to a –5 can be daunting. The DeMarini Zen Balanced model allows you to make the transition smoothly. With terrific results, too.

USSSA certified this is a high-quality piece of equipment coming out of the DeMarini factory. It will cost you a pretty penny and is our most expensive bat on the list, but if you are looking for quality it is well worth the price-tag. One of the best baseball bats ever made for younger players, the DeMarini Zen has come up with the goods.

You can also read the full review of the DeMarini CF Zen here.

Pros
  • Paraflex barrel material
  • Perfectly weighted
  • Feels lighter than it is
  • Great bat speed
  • USSSA certified
Cons
  • Not BBCOR certified
  • The most expensive bat on this list

How To Choose The Best Youth Baseball Bat

The Definitive Buyer’s Guide

baseball bat buyers guide

How To Choose The Right Youth Baseball Bat

Picking the right baseball bat is complex for this age group. They are difficult in the sense that there is a much wider variety in size and length.

You cannot say for sure that a child of 10 should use a certain length bat, because, well—have you seen many 10-year-olds? They’re all over the place. In height, weight, strength, and development. All of these things are to be taken into account when choosing a bat for your child, but you can begin by following the chart below Find the appropriate height and weight of your child, then you can find the best length bat from there. Other considerations like weight and barrel size will depend upon something called ‘drop weight’. This will be discussed in detail further on.

If you are simply looking to work backward from a reliable brand, that can be an option also.

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.

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.

Check out our full buyer’s guide for further details on types of baseball bats available.

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).

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.

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