Best Youth Baseball Bats in 2018
Playing youth baseball was one of the best times I had in my life. Most of my childhood memories come from playing baseball with my friends. I would play against all of my friends then come to school the next day and talk about who won or lost. Usually, whoever won would brag about it to the teacher and would get some attention. These are some of the best memories that I had as a child and I know for a fact how baseball is great for the youth of today.
The best part about youth baseball for me personally was having home run competitions when I was in my last year of little league. Since the fields were the same ones that my friends and I have been playing on for the past few years, we now had the strength and technique to hit one over. Of course, most of this is in technique and strength, but I believe that the last third of the equation is the baseball bat.
What Should You Look at in a Youth Baseball Bat?
So when I was 17, I worked as an umpire at the same baseball fields that I played on as a kid. This was awesome for me as it brought back some really good memories that I made playing baseball, but it also allowed me to talk with the new generation of baseball players. Before the games and in between innings I had the chance to talk to them and believe it or not some of them asked if they were using the right bat. I recognize this question as a popular one among not only the players but the parents. I totally understand where they are coming from since there are so many to choose from.
Usually, in a youth baseball bat, I look for certain things that make up a great youth baseball bat. The first thing that I look at is that it is certified and safe to play with. Sometimes this is BBCOR or sometimes it can be USA but nonetheless, this is the number one thing that I look for. As an umpire, I had to keep a lookout that all of the bats were regulated and certified so that everyone was safe. The second criteria that I look for in a bat is the weight distribution. This is because these kids playing youth ball are young and not that strong yet, which means they need lighter tools. The third thing that I look for in a youth baseball bat is the durability. I can already see the youth players dropping their bats or dragging them, which means you have to be prepared for it.
Safe and Certified
When you make sure that your bat is certified, you make sure that the batter or other players can’t be hurt. That is the glory of having these companies that actually go through all of the bat companies to check that everything is regulated.
An example of an illegal bat is one that doesn’t have strong enough metal and may be made for just fun. When you hit with this bat you can see it having dents over time. There are many things wrong with this, but one thing that I can point out is that a bat is supposed to be round. If there are any dents there is no telling where the ball will go when it hits the bat. Not only will you not know where the ball goes, but it can injure the player. Since it is not smooth it can create violent vibrations especially bad for young players.
An example of a certification that bats usually get is called BBCOR. BBCOR was created so that the ball would not come off the bat too hard. Yes, you’re probably thinking that you want the bat to come off the bat hard so you can hit home runs. No, you don’t. Think about being a pitcher in little league and you barely know how to catch, but the ball comes screamin off a bat right at your face. The outcome would be very least to say so BBCOR’s job is to make sure that the ball comes off the bat at a bearable speed so that pitchers or even players in the infield don’t get hurt by a baseball coming back at them.
This one to me is an obvious one for youth baseball bats because overall this is what makes the bat feel light. Since these kids aren’t at an age where they can go and work out or hit their growth spurt, they need a lighter bat.
What I look for in weight distribution is that it is what we call even. An even weight distribution is when the weight of the bat is spread all over the bat evenly or the center of the weight is more towards the middle. This makes the bat feel lighter because all of the weight is not just at one end or another, it is even.
Think about it like this, you are trying to figure out which has more bat speed when you swing a sledgehammer and an Easton baseball bat. The sledgehammer does have much more power behind the ball, but it lags to a great extent because it is so heavy. When you swing a regular Easton baseball bat you would notice that the speed of the bat is super fast compared to a sledgehammer. Sure, if you are in college may be a top-heavy bat can be good for you, but for youth baseball bats it is not.
The last thing that we look for in a baseball bat is the durability of the bat. By this, I just simply mean that the bat can hold up to regular baseball activities. I remember when I was a youth baseball player, I tore my bats up.
When I was a youth baseball player I would do terrible things to my baseball bat. Sometimes I would drag it across the ground when I would go from the field to the car. I remember that sometimes I would just leave it out in the rain so that the next day the tape would be water-logged. This is why I just want to make sure that the baseball bats the youth players have nowadays are strong enough to stand up to the same treatment that I thought was correct.
Top 5 Baseball Bats for Youth
#1) 2018 Easton Ghost X Hyperlite
Here is our number one pick for best youth baseball bats. I am a big fan of Easton since all of their bat technology always seems to move the needle for all baseball bat manufacturers. This type of innovation is what the baseball community needs.
One of the biggest key features that I saw on this one is the new X-tended barrel. A very key part of hitting is the surface area of where you hit it, and with this bat it is huge. I wish that I had this bat when I was younger. The last thing about this that I like is that it is USA certified bat which means that it can be played in Cal Ripken, Pony, Babe Ruth, AABC, and Dixie leagues.
#2) 2018 Easton Beast X Speed
What a shocker that the next bat in our line-up is Easton as well. This one is a little different, and I’ll tell you why. One feature on this bat is that it is made up of Easton’s new material called ATAC alloy. This new alloy changes the game since it is much stronger, and durable. Also, since this bat is a one-piece design, it is so much more balanced than other bats that have a two-piece design.
This is because instead of having two different parts that can have different weights, this one is all even and makes it easier to get any youngster’s swing speed up. Another ah-ha moment that I got when I was looking at this bat was the X-tended barrel that makes it much easier to hit the sweet spot. With a large sweet spot and a super strong material, this is another bat that would benefit any youth baseball player.
#3) 2018 Rawlings 5150
A great classic that would be wrong if I did not include in this list of best youth baseball bats. The 2018 Rawlings 5150 is a great bat in any size, and in any league. This bat is known for the brute power it provides, and the giant barrel that makes it easy to send any baseball to another planet. You can even see in the picture that this bat’s barrel just looks super big, so wouldn’t it be heavy? The answer is no, because of the genius design of the bat. Since the Rawlings 5150 is another one-piece design, the balance on this one is completely even.
Whenever I swing this bat it makes me laugh a little because it feels too light. Just another secret weapon that provides great bat speed and power at the same time. Another thing about this bat is the durability because I have seen this bat still perform great with some beauty scars in it.
#4) 2018 Louisville Slugger Solo 618
Our first Louisville Slugger on this list is certainly a strong one. One of the great things about this bat is the bat speed. The type of pictures that you would probably be going for with the Louisville Slugger is fastballs because of the weight distribution. Since the weight is distributed towards the center it is easier to get your bat speed up especially at a young age.
Like I said before youth baseball players do not have the strength to use top-heavy bats most of the time so it is better for them to have a baseball bat that is easy to swing for their size. One of the most important aspects of power behind a baseball is the bat speed and most people Overlook that. With this great weight distribution, the bat is even lighter because of the material it is made out of. In this barrel, there is the SL Hyper aluminum material which I see improve bat speed even more.I have seen a lot of people complain about the smaller sweet spot but because you can get more bat speed I think that it evens out. Since The Sweet Spot is smaller it is harder to hit inside pitches but now it is easier to hit them since you’re back we’ll be already out there with all the combined Speed aspects.
#5) 2018 DeMarini Voodoo
Last but not least the 2018 DeMarini Voodoo is another great pic for youth players in this 2018 season. I actually use this bat myself when I played in high school so I know the great connected feel that you get with this one. One awesome thing about this bat is that it is USSSA regulated and BPF certified.This also means that you’ll be able to use this back in Little League.
One interesting part about this bat is the two-piece design. Usually, this would make the bad feel heavier or slower but DeMarini has made this bat super balanced and by no means hard to swing. I know from experience that this bat has a large sweet spot and when you connect with the ball it always goes Flying. one of the downsides to this bad is the durability aspect of it. When I used it for a season or two I could see small little chips which were more than what I experienced with other bats. This is no problem as it does not affect the performance that much. This bat also does sport a new X14 alloy material which is a great alloy for youth baseball bats.