Best Baseball Bats for 2018
Every year new baseball bats come out and every manufacturer is trying to top the previous years model. In this Best Baseball Bats guide we breakdown who has the tops bats for their respective categories in 2018.
When we choose what baseball bats are on top of the game, these are the key aspects that we look at:
Each bat has to have pop. What do I mean when a baseball bat has pop because we all know that I do not mean the bat literally explodes like popcorn or something. In baseball, the term pop refers to how the ball comes off the bat and if you are a physicist, this is also known as exit velocity. Depending on the bat size and material, the pop of the bat varies. It is always great to have good pop on a bat because this can give you a little more distance with your hit, allowing you to score a few more homers or gets you more solid line drives.
Pop of the bat all depends on many things of the bat. One thing that the pop is impacted by is the material. Aluminum other metal bats usually have some good pop. Another material in bats is composite, which has a medium pop from my experience. Another contributor to pop is how big the barrel is. If you look on a baseball bat you see in the store, it usually has a number such as (-3), (-8), or (-11). The smaller the number, the smaller the barrel is, which impacts the pop. For example, a (-3) bat is bigger and heavier than an (-11) bat.
Another point that we look at when picking the best bats is the balance. Some people also call this the weight distribution of the bat. Now I am going to warn you now, this part is more of an acquired taste. This is kinda like how some people like their coffee black, while some people go to Dunkin Donuts and get the sugary sweet stuff. This is all relevant to what you like, but we like really balanced bats because of how you can turn on inside pitches easier, and get some good bat speed so you can slap some baseballs over the fence. It feels really nice and to me gives me a little bit more confidence up at the plate because I have a lot of control over the bat, and can move it around how I please.
If you have ever been golfing or to a driving range, you have probably seen a really experienced player drive the ball, and the motion of lining up to the tee is what I like to think of when I think of control. Balance is all about control of the bat and where you want to put it and I see this as a very strong attribute to a bat and will help you greatly at the plate.
The last thing that we look at when we pick the top bats we know is the design of the bats. This consists of two parts and concepts of the bats.
The first part of the design is what I call the pretty aspect of the bat. This includes the color, the special designs on it, and the theme of the bats. I don’t want to name names yet but some bats have a base color scheme that is clean and consistent throughout. Then, they have an accent color that really pops out and gives the bat its voice. I know bats don’t have mouths but you know what I mean.
One and Two Piece Designs
The second part of design actually affects the performance of the bat. This includes if the bat is made of two pieces or one piece. Similarly, this includes if the bat has special features like the ConneXion technology that stops the vibrations from meeting the player’s hands. I personally like both two-piece designs and one-piece designs. There are pros and cons about both types of bat designs.
A two piece design has basically the handle and the barrel. In these two piece designs, they are usually top-heavy, which is a con to having this bat unless you like that. A pro to having a two piece design on a bat is that it feels like you’re swinging a sledgehammer, and can get you a more solid connection to the ball. A con to the one piece design is that it might feel like less of a bat because it will feel considerably lighter compared to a two piece.
A two piece design has basically the handle and the barrel. In these two piece designs, they are usually top-heavy, which is a con to having this bat unless you like that. A pro to having a two piece design on a bat is that it feels like you’re swinging a sledgehammer, and can get you a more solid connection to the ball.A con to the one piece design is that it might feel like less of a bat because it will feel considerably lighter compared to a two piece.
A con to the one piece design is that it might feel like less of a bat because it will feel considerably lighter compared to a two piece. I remember when I was using my DeMarini Voodoo Overlord (two piece) and switched to my friend’s Marucci Cat7 (one piece) I was lunging at the ball because of the weight distribution difference. A pro to the one piece approach is that you get to turn on the ball more and you get more control. This goes back to the weight distribution but all in all, one piece designs feel lighter.
Now, the bats!
So here is how we’re going to organize this: there is going to be 5 top bats for each category explained above (Pop, Balance, and Design). Now, to the main event and what you’ve been looking for! If you have any questions of what we mean by Pop, Balance, and Design just refer to the explanations above!
Top 5 for Pop
The Rawlings 5150 has something foreign about it that makes the ball fly off the bat. I’ve seen the most bombs hit by far with this bat. It comes with the Precision-Optimized Performance POP 2.0 which is responsible for the larger sweet spot. The engineers of this modern marvel obviously took their time with crafting it, and really focusing on the pop. The Rawlings 5150 has not only great performance but a very likable price. You can check out more about this metal-ax and the pricing details on my detailed article about it here.
Rawlings Velo Hybrid
The Rawlings Velo Hybrid is very similar to the Rawlings 5150. I remember this bat getting big with travel teams and high school teams, as each one would have at least one or two of these. Rawlings obviously knows what they’re doing and keeps delivering us great bats with great pop. This bat similarly has the Precision-Optimized Performance POP 2.0 which is responsible for the larger sweet spot. This is a huge advantage if you want to increase your homer probability or just hit some more solid line drives for base hits. The main difference from the Rawlings 5150 is the weight distribution. Even though it is better distributed, we like the natural feel of the Rawlings 5150 but still, appreciate the innovation with the Rawlings Velo Hybrid. Check out the article about the Rawlings Velo Hybrid here.
With this bat, a little goes a long way. I say this because this bat has a very simple design, which makes it a great bat with some great pop. This is a one-piece design and is made of aluminum alloy, which is a great material for good pop. This bat similarly to the other top-pop bats has a huge sweet spot. With this large barrel, it is not only easier to catch a ball in a good spot, but it gives it more strength. The Mizuno Maxcor is a great bat that I think is under-rated so don’t overlook this one! Check it out here!
2017 Baum Bat
This is the best wood option with great everything, but most of all great pop. Now, what baseball review site would we be if we didn’t include a wood option in here? This new 2017 Baum Bat is a great bat because of its pop, and durability. This bat is also used in the MLB, which shows the level that this bat is performing on. I know I said before that composite has only a medium pop and that you should stick to the Aluminum Alloy material but this is a great exception. Check it out here.
Easton Z-Core Speed
The Easton Z-Core Speed is another great option for this category of stellar bats. You can just see in the picture the size of the sweet spot, and how it compares to the other options in this category. This is like a fast version of the Rawlings 5150, hence the name Z-Core SPEED. Even though this bat is a single-piece design, there is some weight to it for you big players. Weight to a bat is most of the time a good thing because of the momentum during the swing it creates. This basically means that the bat will keep going through the ball even if it’s not a perfect hit. Check it out here.
Top 5 for Balance
Personally one of my favorites of all time, the Marucci Cat7 is such an amazing bat. The control and feel on this thing is insane (I can’t explain it in any other way). This bat has such great balance that I know some players will be way ahead of the ball when changing bats. This is a single piece bat which means the weight can be distributed evenly throughout. Fast bat speed and solid hits are in your future with this amazing piece of alloy. Come check out my article on it here.
Adidas Aero Burner
The Adidas Aero Burner is like a Marucci Cat Jr. believe it or not. I mean even the color scheme is the same with these two. Obviously, the pattern with the best balance bats is that they have a one-piece design. What’s special about this bat is actually a composite bat. Most one piece bats are Aluminum Alloy but you will come across the occasional odd-man-out. Other than that this is a pretty balanced hitting tool and I know anyone who uses it will love it. Come check out my article on this bat here.
The Easton XL1 is kind of like a great classic for balanced bats. The Easton XL1 has a great big barrel that you can really connect to the ball with. This bat is actually a two-piece even though it looks like a one-piece but still is very balanced. The ConneXion technology on the Easton XL1 helps to direct all of the energy to the sweet spot of the bat, and in this case, it is even better because of the giant barrel. I also like the color on this bat because it really stands out. Not only will you hit frozen ropes with this thing but you will look good doing it! Check out my article on this bat here.
Rawlings Velo Hybrid
This is the second time that this bat is being featured in this article because of its overall greatness. So yes, this bat has some amazing pop, but it also has pretty great balance. Like I said before, this bat has POP 2.0 which manages to elevate the product to a professional level. The carbon fiber cap that this bat sports has a good impact on the weight of this bat, and was a smart decision by the designers of the Rawling Velo Hybrid. Read more on this bat here.
The Marucci Hex is a very fast and balanced bat because of its fast, one-piece design. The bat features the ring-free AZ4X alloy barrel which is fairly new to baseball bats. Since there is no connective ring, the bat needs to compensate for the vibrations sent to the handle. From what I’ve seen and heard, the bat has dealt well without the connective ring, because of the material that they use. This bat’s speed is probably among the top products in its niche in this department. The Marucci Hex will be perfect for players looking to get in the game with aggressiveness and determination. Come check out my full review on it here.
Top 5 for Design
The DeMarini Vexxum was chosen because of the designs on each different model, so this bat won in the “pretty bat” category. Each year the DeMarini Vexxum gets a new look and I personally like each one. I know that I bought a blue and white DeMarini Vexxum and the next year it was orange, and the year before it was white and orange. This is a nice and creative touch that really caught my eye. I also like this bat because of the two-piece design. Yes, I did say that I prefer one piece, but there’s something different about this design. The material is both Aluminum Alloy and Composite which gives it a unique sound and feeling. It’s like getting the best of both worlds because it produces great pop while still being balanced. Read more about it here.
Next up is an obvious favorite, the Rawlings 5150. I mostly like everything about this bat but I’ll just talk about the design of it right now. One, as I said before I love that they included the POP 2.0 so that this bat can really perform and get the ball lifted. With that being said, this is a one-piece design which I really like for the balance and how the swing feels, especially going clean through the ball. The newest version has the yellow/white/black color scheme which is very futuristic looking and makes the bat look like a million bucks. Speaking of a million bucks, this bat will not break the bank with its cheap prices. If you wanna check out the prices and more about the bat click here.
DeMarini CF Insane
Next up is the DeMarini CF Insane which sports the main aspects of DeMarini bats. For a quick overview, the bat has a two-piece design and is top heavy. The barrel sports composite, which actually helps distribute the weight a little more because of the top heaviness. This bat is one of the most powerful options on the market from what I’ve seen. It comes with some of the latest composite barrel materials which many players have come to enjoy. Its usability is great for the long term, with reduced vibrations in the handle and durable barrel construction. If you’re looking for a long-term bat with the DeMarini signature features, this is it. Check out the full article here.
The Easton S2 is very similar to the DeMarini Vexxum. The similarities are in design, like how they both have a two-piece design and the barrel is made of both Aluminum Alloy and Composite. This is actually interesting because Easton bats have a pattern to have composite bats. As with all new two-piece designs from Easton, the Easton S2 comes with the ConneXion technology. This tech is known for its physical abilities to limit vibration to the player’s hands. The technology has been a positive implement in their bats so I recommend this one. Check out more about this bat and the details on pricing here.
Marucci Cat 7
The last bat that I will present to you is the Marucci Cat 7. This will always be one of my all-time favorites because of the design. It is a smooth one-piece design with AZ4X alloy, which makes this bat very balanced and accurate. The color scheme is also super clean and new with the red/white color scheme. A cool feature on this bat is the anti-vibration knob. Go check out the details of price and all the features here.
Top 5 High School Bats
2018 Louisville Slugger Solo 618
The 2018 Louisville Slugger solo 618 is a really awesome choice for your high school career. One of the great things about this bat is that it is BBCOR certified which means that you can use it in most if not all leagues you will play in. The 2018 Louisville Slugger solo 618 is made up of an aluminum alloy metal. I personally like aluminum because of the lightness it brings with the power that it has. Another cool little feature that this bat has is lizard skin tape grip, which is usually a premium grip that you would put on after buying this bat. I know a lot of people who use lizard skin and it is probably one of the best at tapes on the market. With this bat being a Louisville Slugger it is generally inexpensive compared to other bats of this type. If you want to learn more about it click here.
2018 Easton Beast x Speed
The 2018 Easton Beast X speed is another really great choice for your high school bat. Easton has been leading in bat manufacturing for many years and does not disappoint with this one. The 2018 Easton Beast X Speed is made out of an ATAC alloy which is a new type of metal that they developed. It is supposedly faster and stronger than ever before. This bat also comes with a hyper skin grip which they developed. This grip does compete with other leading bat grips including lizard skin. Another thing that I like about this is that it is a one-piece design. This means that it is all one connected piece which helps with bat speed. That brings me to my next point about how great bat speed is on this the 2018 Easton Beast x Speed. You can noticeably see and feel the quickness and lightness to this bat. You can check out my review on it here.
2018 Rawlings 5150
Next up is the 2018 Rawlings 5150 bat which is actually one of my favorites for the high school season. One of the awesome things about this bat is the one piece design which makes it super light for its size. Another thing about this bat is that it is made of an aluminum alloy material which brings power to the speed. Power and speed don’t matter if you don’t connect with the ball thoroughly which is why this bat has an enormous sweet spot. A number of players admire how big the barrel design is on the Rawlings 5150 which is why it is one of the leading bats of its kind. Not only is it one of the leading bats of its kind but also the lightest because of the one piece design and aluminum alloy material made with it. When you pick up this bat it just feels like the whole thing is a giant sweet spot. To learn more about this you can check out my review here.
2018 Marucci F5
The 2018 Marucci F5 is another awesome pick for my high school top 5 collection. And then I like about this bat is that it is very durable. It is constructed out of aluminum which makes it a little more tougher. What’s different about this bat is that it has a bigger Barrel compared to other aluminum bats. No, it does not have the biggest Barrel but when you put it up next to other aluminum selections this one wins by a little bit. What the bigger Barrel you might think that it makes this bat heavier and harder to swing but that is not the case. What Marucci did with the F5 is remove some weight by thinning the walls of the barrel. this was really smart because with a lighter swing the faster you could hit the ball. With the thin walls, this creates a very loud sound when you hit the ball which is also a great indicator how you hit the ball. It is almost like a sensor telling you how good you hit the ball which makes it really useful in practice also. If you want to check out my review on the 2018 Marucci F5 click here.
2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918
The 2018 Louisville Slugger Prime 918 is my last awesome pick for your high school season. This bat is BBCOR certified which means that you can use it in almost any league you play in. what’s different about this bat is that not only is it a composite microform material, but it is a three-piece design. All the other bats that we’ve been looking at have usually been one or two pieces but this is the first one that is a three-piece. What this means is that there is less negative feedback from a bad hit and that it is a bit heavier. Even though it is a bit heavier the composite microform Barrel makes up for that. The weight is significantly reduced and it has much more pop than a regular back. To learn more about it check out my review here.