Best Youth Baseball Bats for 2018

Whether they have a power swing or a quick swing, selecting the best youth baseball bats for children can help them develop their own personal swing. We have created a buyer's guide that discusses the important features you need to consider when selecting a bat for your child. Then, we have reviewed ten top youth baseball bats to help you choose a bat for your child.

We will be reviewing the following ten best youth bats for sale:

  • Easton S500 Youth Baseball Bat
  • Louisville Slugger Prime 916 Youth Baseball Bat
  • Louisville Slugger YBCT152 Youth Catalyst Baseball Bat
  • Combat Youth Maxum Senior League Baseball Bat
  • Marucci Youth CU26 Pro Maple Blackwood Baseball Bat
  • Easton YB17MK11 Mako Beast 2 Composite Youth Baseball Bat
  • DeMarini NVS Vexxum Baseball Bat
  • Easton YB17X311 Xl3 Youth Baseball Bat
  • DeMarini CF6 WTDXCFL Youth Baseball Bat
  • Easton Mako Composite Youth Baseball Bat

How to Choose the Best Youth Baseball Bat

What length bat should my child use?

Your child's height is a determining factor in choosing the length of a bat. A bat touching the floor beside your child should not be any higher than your child's hip. If your child's arms are stretched out to their sides and the base of the handle is at the center of their chest, your child should be able to grip the other end of the bat with their palm. If their arm is stretched out in front of them and the base of the handle is against their chest, your child should be able to grip the barrel of the bat. So, a child between 3' and 3' 4" tall with cleats should try a 26" bat to see how it feels to them. Add an inch to the length of the bat for every additional 4" to 5" in a child's height, but to avoid a major change in a child's swing, never increase the length of the bat a child is using more than one inch at a time. Keep the bat length between 26" to 29" for children under 60 pounds. A bat between 28" to 32" should be fine for children over 70 pounds. The Little League softball and baseball bat size chart, which is available online, can provide a useful guideline.

How do I determine the right weight bat for my child?

The traditional way of talking about bat weight is drop weight. This is the number given as the bat's weight in comparison with other bats and is the difference between the bat's length and weight. If a bat is 26" and weighs 20 ounces, then it has a drop weight of -6. Generally, the greater the drop weight, the lighter the bat. A taller child may be able to use a longer bat but may need a comparatively lighter weight bat than a shorter child with more strength. That is not a serious issue. A lighter bat can create a faster swing and more hits, while a heavier bat can create more powerful hits. So, let your child try different weight bats to see what is most comfortable and what best supports their personal swing and the type of hitter they would like to be.

However, a new discussion about bat weight has started. The new discussion focuses on the stated weight, the actual weight, and, most importantly, the swing weight of bats. The first issue is that the stated weight may not be the actual weight of the individual bat. This weight difference is generally insignificant in youth baseball bats. The swing weight can be more impactful to your child's swing. An easy way to assess the swing weight of a bat is to have your child try different bats and see which bat is most comfortable when swinging. The swing weight depends on where the heaviest part of the bat is located. If the bat is heavier on the end away from where a player is gripping the bat, the swing weight is heavier. If the bat is heavier closer to where the player is gripping the bat, the swing weight is lighter. The swing weight can affect the swing speed and how far the batted ball travels. A bat with a higher swing weight can provide more powerful hits. Here is a further discussion(http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/bats/bat-moi.html) and a video (https://youtu.be/JmGIEQ9iLHI) on swing weight so that you can decide if you want to include this issue in the buying decision for your child's bat.

What is the best material for youth baseball bats?

Youth baseball bats can be made of wood, alloy, hybrid, or composite materials. While wood bats are mandatory in a few states, they are now mostly used for practice, tournaments, and by professional teams. Composite bats need to be broken in, and that can take between 150 to 200 hits. They have a larger sweet spot. A sweet spot is an area 5" to 7" from the end of the bat that maximizes the speed of a batted ball for more powerful hits and minimizes the stinging vibration to the batter's hands. However, if the temperature is below 65° Fahrenheit, composite bats should not be used. In comparison, hybrid bats have a smaller sweet spot, but they do not need a break-in period, can be used at any temperature, and reduce vibration. Alloy bats provide the smallest sweet spot and transfer the most vibration to the batter's hands, but they do not have to be broken in and can be used at any temperature.

What is the difference between one-piece and two-piece bats? 

A one-piece bat is completely made of one material. It is not flexible and is used by power hitters with fast swings. A two-piece bat has a barrel made of one metal bonded to the handle that is made of another metal. It is more flexible, providing less vibration and more powerful hits for players with slower swings.

Does the way a bat is tapered make a difference? 

A new bat design was created in 2010. The knob on the handle of the bat was tapered so that it is slanted, making the raised edge flat. A more tapered bat is best for players who extend the bat when they swing. With the traditional bat, the bone below the little finger can be compressed when the bat connects with the ball, causing injury, even a broken bone. The tapered bat reduces the risk of injury.

What kind of bat should I look for if my child is playing coach pitch?

Children playing coach pitch baseball can range from five to eight years old. Coach pitch bats, or junior big barrel baseball bats, are lighter, shorter, and have larger barrels than youth baseball bats. A good length might be 25" or 26" with a drop weight between -10 to -12.

What if my kid is playing tee ball?

Tee ball is for five year olds. The best tee ball bats are 24" or 25" long with a -10 to a -13 drop weight. If your child can hold the bat out to their side for 30 to 45 seconds, then the bat is not too heavy for them.

The Ten Best Youth Bats for Sale in 2018!

See our list of reviews below!

1. Easton S500 Youth Baseball Bat

This Easton S500 Youth Baseball Bat is among the best little league bats. It is 31" long, weighs 18 ounces, and is a good length for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall. It has a -13 drop weight, a 2 1/4" barrel, and one-piece construction, so it provides a more powerful hit. Made of 7050 Aircraft Alloy with an Ultra-thin 29/32" all-sports grip handle, it is evenly balanced and provides power, a large sweet spot, and a light swing weight.

It was USSSA 1.15 BPF certified and could be used for Little League, Pony, Babe Ruth, and Dixie youth baseball. However, bats with a new USA baseball stamp will be needed after January 1, 2018. A one-year manufacturer's warranty is provided.

  • Evenly balanced providing a light swing weight for a fast swing speed.
  • Made of alloy for a larger sweet spot.
  • One-piece construction provides powerful hitting.
  • New USA baseball stamp will be needed after 1/1/2018.
  • Bat dented easily for some.

2. Louisville Slugger Prime 916 Youth Baseball Bat

This Louisville Slugger Prime 916 Youth Baseball Bat is 30" long, weighs 18 ounces, and is a good length for children from 4' 4" to 5' tall. It is made of a Fused Carbon Structure Composite with a lizard skin grip. It needs to be broken in, but it has a larger sweet spot for stronger, faster hits. It has a drop weight of -12, a 2 1/4" barrel, and a three-piece bat construction for more powerful hits for those with slow swings.

The TRU3 Dynamic Socket Connection enhances the barrel trampoline effect and reduces vibration by allowing slight movement between the handle and the barrel. It was designed for ultimate balance to provide the lightest swing weight, largest sweet spot, maximum speed, and extreme power. It is one of best youth composite bats. It was USSSA 1.15 BPF certified for most major youth leagues, and offers a 30-Day Performance Promise.

  • Made of Fused Carbon Structure Composite with lizard skin grip.
  • TRU3 Dynamic Socket Connection for power hitting and reduces vibration.
  • Has 30-Day Performance Promise.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed on 1/1/2018.

3. Louisville Slugger YBCT152 Youth Catalyst Baseball Bat

The Louisville Slugger YBCT152 Youth Catalyst Baseball Bat is available in a 29", 17-ounce size for children from 4' to 4' 7"; a 30", 18-ounce size for children from 4' 4" tall to 5' tall; a 31", 19-ounce size for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall; and a 32", 20-ounce size for children from 5' to 5' 10". All four sizes have a drop weight of -12. It has a one-piece, 2 1/4" barrel with a 7/8" tapered handle and is made of a C1C composite that increases the trampoline effect off the barrel and minimizes vibration.

This one-piece composite bat has to be broken in, but it provides a large sweet spot, a light swing weight, and powerful hits for those with fast swings.

  • One-piece C1C composite for powerful hits.
  • Large sweet spot, and light swing weight.
  • In four sizes with drop weight of -12.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed on 1/1/2018.
  • Issue with vibration level for some.

4. Combat Youth Maxum Senior League Baseball Bat

The Combat Youth Maxum Senior League Baseball Bat is available in a 30", 22-ounce size for children from 4' 4" to 5' tall; a 31", 23-ounce size for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall; and a 32", 24-ounce size for children from 5' to 5' 10" tall. All three sizes have a drop weight of -8. This bat offers a one-piece, fully composite big barrel with a diameter of 2 5/8" that has to be broken in, but it has a larger sweet spot and provides more powerful hits for those with fast swings.

The lizard skin grip provides enhanced softness and tackiness. This makes the Combat Youth Maxum Bat one of the best youth big barrel bats. It was USSSA 1.15 BPF certified for most major youth leagues and comes with a 500-day warranty.

  • In three sizes with drop weight of -8.
  • Big barrel bat with a diameter of 2 5/8".
  • One-piece, fully composite bat for powerful hitting and larger sweet spot.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed on 1/1/2018.

5. Marucci Youth CU26 Pro Maple Blackwood Baseball Bat

The Marucci Youth CU26 Pro Maple Blackwood Baseball Bat is available in a 27", 23-ounce size with a drop weight of -4 for children from 3' 4" to 3' 9" tall; a 29", 25-ounce size with a drop weight of -4 for children from 4' to 4' 7" tall; a 30" size for children from 4' 4" to 5' tall; and a 31" size for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall.

It is made from top-quality maple that has been bone rubbed for ultimate wood density. The barrel is 2 1/4" in diameter and provides a balanced feel for fast swing speeds. The thinner, flexible handle provides power hits for those with slower swings. Marucci provides a 30-day manufacturer's warranty.

  • Made from top-quality maple.
  • Provides fast swings and powerful hits.
  • 30 day manufacturer's warranty.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed on 1/1/2018.
  • A couple of bats broke after very little use.

6. Easton YB17MK11 Mako Beast 2 Composite Youth Baseball Bat

The Easton YB17MK11 Mako Beast 2 Composite Youth Baseball Bat is available in a 28", 17-ounce size for children from 3' 8" to 4' 2" tall; a 29", 18-ounce size for children from 4' to 4' 7" tall; a 30", 19-ounce size for children from 4' 4" tall to 5' tall; and a 31", 20-ounce size for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall. All four sizes have a drop weight of -11.

It features TCT Thermo Composite Technology with balanced swing weight for greater swing speed, two-piece ConneXion technology for more powerful hitting for those with slower swings, a 2 1/4" barrel, a 29/32" cushioned 1.2 mm Hyperskin grip for a softer, more stable grip. It was USSSA 1.15 BPF certified for most major youth leagues and provides a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Technology provides balanced swing weight and greater swing speed.
  • Two-piece ConneXion technology for more powerful hitting
  • One-year manufacturer's warranty.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed after 1/1/2018.
  • Reports of bat cracking in some cases.

7. DeMarini NVS Vexxum Baseball Bat

The DeMarini NVS Vexxum Baseball Bat is available in a 31", 19-ounce size for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall and a 32", 20-ounce size for children from 5' to 5' 10" tall. Both sizes have a drop weight of -12. The NXS Vexxum has a two-piece, X12 alloy barrel and C6 Composite handle providing a balanced swing and light swing weight for greater speed.

The 2 1/4" extra-long barrel offers a larger, more powerful hitting surface for those with slower swings. It was USSSA 1.15 BPF certified for most major youth leagues and has a 12-month limited manufacturer’s warranty

  • Extra-long barrel creates larger, more powerful hitting surface.
  • Two-piece handle provides balanced swing, light swing weight for greater bat speed.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed on 1/1/2018.

8. Easton YB17X311 Xl3 Youth Baseball Bat

The Easton YB17X311 Xl3 Youth Baseball Bat is available in a 31", 20-ounce size with a -11 drop weight for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall. It offers an HMX Hyper Lite Matrix Alloy barrel for durability and an expanded sweet spot. It has a one-piece, extra long 2 1/4" barrel with an ultra-thin 29/32 inch, 1.2mm HYPERSKIN grip for stability and longer hits.

The Easton Xl3 is end-loaded for better balance and lighter swing weight. It was USSSA 1.15 BPF certified for most major youth leagues and offers a one-year manufacturer's warranty.

  • Extra long barrel provides good durability and expanded sweet spot.
  • End-loaded gives the bat good balance and allows for greater bat speed.
  • HYPERSKIN grip adds stability and bigger hits.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed on 1/1/2018.

9. DeMarini CF6 WTDXCFL Youth Baseball Bat

The DeMarini CF6 WTDXCFL Youth Baseball Bat is among the best rated youth baseball bats. It is available in a 31", 20-ounce with a drop weight of -11 for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall. The two-piece, D-Fusion, Carbon Reinforced Paradox Composite handle has to be broken in, but it is a stronger composite and provides more powerful hits for those with slower swings.

The Thermo Fused Taper improves the performance of the sweet spot by creating more force and less vibration. It was USSSA 1.15 BPF certified for most major youth leagues.

  • Two-piece Composite handle is strong and provides more powerful hits.
  • Thermo Fused Taper improves performance of the sweet spot creating more pop and less feedback.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed on 1/1/2018.

10. Easton Mako Composite Youth Baseball Bat

Easton Mako Composite 2 1/4" Youth Baseball Bat is available in a 28", 17-ounce size with a -11 drop weight for children from 3' 8" to 4' 2" tall; a 29", 18-ounce size with a -11 drop weight for children from 4' to 4' 7" tall; a 30", 18-ounce size with a -12 drop weight for children from 4' 4" tall to 5' tall; a 30", 19-ounce size with a -11 drop weight for children from 4' 4" tall to 5' tall; a 31", 20-ounce size with a -11 drop weight for children from 4' 8" to 5' 5" tall; and a 32", 20-ounce size with a -12 drop weight for children from 5' to 5' 10" tall. The two- piece Easton ConneXion Technology increases energy transfer and reduces vibration. The TCT Thermo Composite Technology requires breaking in, but provides a fast swing and a large sweet spots. It offers better grip with a softer feel from the cushioned Hyperskin grip. It was USSSA 1.15 BPF certified for most major youth leagues.

  • Two-piece ConneXion Technology increases energy transfer and reduces vibration.
  • TCT Thermo Composite Technology provides fast swing and larger sweet spots.
  • Better grip and softer feel from cushioned Hyperskin grip.
  • New USA baseball stamp needed on 1/1/2018.

Conclusion: The Winner of the Best Kids Baseball Bat

Even though you will have to have a version with the new USA baseball stamp after January 1, 2018, we have chosen the Easton S500 Youth Baseball Bat as the winner among the best youth baseball bats.

This 31" long bat is for a taller child but Easton makes these bats in all sizes. The best feature of Easton bats is that they are creating the most evenly balanced bats, so their bats have the lowest swing weight. That makes their bats lighter weight for faster hitting. However, this bat is made out of an alloy with one-piece construction, so it will also have a larger sweet spot and provide more powerful hitting for those with fast swings. In addition, this bat is tapered. So, if your child extends the bat when they swing, this bat will work for them. Easton also provides a one-year manufacturer's warranty.