Justbatreviews.com Best Bat awards are the most coveted in the industry. Our pride in real independent reviews by real players is a welcome relief to the spammy top 10 bat lists found far and wide across google searches. We use every bat we rank.
Below lies the list of best bats by categories like Best BBCOR bat, Best Overall Baseball Bat, Best Softball bat and more. You will find each title heading is a link to the full line of bats in that category. If you would rather see the details on a particular bat instead of a ranking, then our bat reviews page will serve you well.
|Best Overall Baseball Bat||Easton MAKO Beast|
|Best Overall Fastpitch Bat||Louisville Slugger LXT Hyper|
|Best BBCOR Bat||Louisville Slugger 617 Solo|
|Best Youth Big Barrel Bat||DeMarini CF Zen|
|Best Youth Bat||Easton MAKO Beast|
|Best USSSA Slowpitch Softball Bat||Miken DC-41|
|Best ASA Slowpitch Bat||Miken Freak Platinum|
|Best Wood Bats||Marucci AP5 and CU26|
|Best Fungo Bats||SSK PS-200|
The best baseball bat on the market today is the 2017 Easton Mako Beast. The bat has proven time and time again that it is rock star of a stick. Since 2014, the Mako series from Easton has led the space. And although they got sidetracked last year by adding several weight distribution options within the Mako line, they have come back to what made the MAKO bats successful in 2014 and 2015. That is, a monster barreled bat with a nice light swing.
It is helpful, when you win the best overall baseball bat award, to be offered in every size category imaginable. In BBCOR, the beast is easily a top 5 bat. That is in terms of overall sales and performance. The MAKO’s selection of youth big barrel bats are often swung by the best at every level of that niche. The Drop 8 2 5/8 is one of very favorites. And the Mako Beast in the Youth 2 1/4 bat space is the best youth bat on the market.
We will watch closely as the youth bat market evolves to the new USA bats for 2018. Will Easton keep up its dominance in the youth spot? Until then, we are comfortable awarding the Easton Mako Beast as the best overall bat for 2017.
As we write in our Best Fastpitch Bat article, the LXT competes in a highly stylized niche. In the top shelf fastpitch space the bats are so remarkably similar. Even within the Slugger line, the Xeno feels more like a different verstion of the LXT hyper instead of an actually different bat.
Outside of the brand the competition is stiff. DeMarini’s CF9 (soon to be CFX) series are brilliant bats with very light swings. Many who love the LXT for its big barrel and ligth swing will also love the CF9 Balanced for all the same reasons too.
As such, the LXT Hyper is our favorite fastpitch bat of the year but the margins are oh so close.
Although sales of the 617 SOLO are not stellar, we stand by our claim it is the best BBCOR bat of 2017. Aluminum barrels are in style and players love the stiff feel and honest feedback.
The idea of an extended composite end cap to lower the swing weight was lifted directly from the Rawlings VELO. That VELO is a mainstay in the market and people love it dearly. But, unlike the VELO, the 617 Solo comes in a 29 inch length. And, as such, it becomes our favorite BBCOR bat because any player in the BBCOR market can swing it.
The flared knob and the stock custom Lizard Skin grip is a good bonus too. Throw in the fact we think it looks cool and you have yourself a winner.
All that said, the BBCOR market is replete with fantastic options. The .50 BBCOR standard really has leveled much of the playing field in that regard.
We know what you are thinking. Wasn’t the DeMarini CF Zen made illegal by the USSSA? The short answer is yes. But there is some explaining to do. For starters, only the drop 8 2 5/8 and the drop 10 2 3/4 have officially been banned by the USSSA. But, the drop 10 and drop 5 2 5/8, as well as the JBB drop 11 in the 2 3/4, are still legal. And, in those particular models, it stands as the best big barrel bat.
Further, if you happen to be playing in a USSSA league, then those bats can be sent into DeMarini to be retooled. So, it is not like they no longer have those bats as options.
Regardless of all that drama, the CF Zen in the big barrel space is a ball killer. Kids at every age and at just about every league prefer these. From the perfect game to the major travel tournaments you are bound to see this bat.
There is not an easier decision on this entire best bats list. The Easton Mako Beast is are the best youth baseball bats on the market today. The Easton line has dominated this space since they banned composite without a BPF stamp in 2014.
The youth beast comes in a drop 10, 11 and 12 and has the largest barrel in the space. The two piece composite design is perfect for Little League players that need no fear of hand rings on mishits. The composite barrel has been perfected to the perfect swing weight and really has unrivaled pop at any given bat speed. The sweet spot is gigantic.
Easton has made a living on creating the best youth baseball bats. As we change in the new USA Bats standard next year it will be interesting to see if Easton can stay on top.
In our best USSSA slowpitch bat articles, we pimp the value of an end load and a two piece composite bat. No other company has quite captured the hearts and minds of serious slowpitch players like Miken. And the Denny Crine 41 bat is the best USSSA one they make.
We love the extra ounce of end load in this beast. It makes even the small kids feel like they deserve a place at the table. It also feels pretty hot out of the wrapper and comes with a relatively smooth smash with a stiff transition.
(See, too, our best slowpitch softball bats page)
For much the same reason the DC-41 is our best USSSA bat, the Miken Freak Platinum is our the best ASA Slowpitch bat. This bat has a simple half ounce endload that gives you an extra bumb on smooth smashes.
Miken’s ASA Freak line also uses an inner barrel as a governor. This allows for the outer barrel to be 100% worked in out of the wrapper. Meaning, there is no work in period and you can expect to drop bombs on day one.
The ASA Miken Freak Platinum gets outstanding reviews across the board from all types of players. Serious professional slowpitch players as well as your local church league will appreciate the Miken Freak Platinum.
(See, too, our best slowpitch softball bats page)
As we mention in our best wood bats article, there is very little difference between the top 5 or 6 major wood bat manufacturers. That is, very little difference in terms of the type of wood they are allowed to use for MLB games. Marucci, like others, is required to only use certain types of wood and by no means do they have the pattent on a special type of tree.
That said, more MLB players swing a Marucci bat than any other. Much of that market share has more to do with Marucci’s ability to deliver bats fast and get in the faces of the players who get to choose.
But, if we are forced to choose a best bat, why not one that is the most popular amongst the players that get paid the most to use them? And, within that brand, the most popular is the AP5 and CU26. As such, those are the two best wood bats as we see it.
Another no-brainer on this list is our best fungo bat. We can’t remember a time when SSK did not make the best fungo. These are almost the exclusive wood fungos of the MLB.
The SSK fungo comes in both a 100 and 200 model. The 200 model is longer and meant for big fields. The 100 is meant for either infield only practice or smaller fields. SSK fungos also come in just about any color you can imagine.
Although not inexpensive, they are well worth the investment if you want to run a great practice. We are huge fans and own a couple.
How We Decide What Bat has the most Pop
As the leading independent voice on bat industry news and reviews, we pride ourselves on delivering real content from actual hitters and parents. In the last 12 months, we have spent no less than 2,000 hours hitting, playing, reviewing, reading and writing about bats of all types. Add to that a never ending stream of conversations on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook discussing the articles we decide to publish. We are not simply spinning product detail bullet points and calling it a review. Hoping, then, that Google ranks us well for “unique” content. Instead, the pages on this site chronicle real hitters, real parents, real coaches and real advice. It is, we believe, one of the major reasons this site is as popular as it is.
The Making of a Best Bats List
From that never ending stream of unique information it is only natural that lists of best bats begin to form. Certain brands and models have more social buzz. And, as the season goes on, the buzz begins to wax or wane. But keeping our independent finger on the pulse of the market does not mean we come without bias. In fact, we admit often our advice can be wrong. Everyone has their biases even, like us, if you don’t work for a given manufacturer or vendor.
By trade we are baseball and fastpitch players, not bloggers and search engine optimizers. We are parents of kids who play at the top level of their age group and of girls who struggle to hit the ball at all. We are fans of the game at every level of the sport. When it stops raining there is rarely a night of the week we are not at the fields. Our yards look long and weedy. And terrible. That’s because we are not home. And, you find yourself reading this far into this post, then you would know exactly what we mean.