Not to be confused with our Best Youth Baseball Bat Ever, this 2014 list requires the bat come from the 2014 grouping of 2 1/4 youth barrel baseball bats. This article is, to say the least, a bit outdated. But, due to the fact it actually picks up some decent traffic then we will keep it here as a memento to our former selves. It likely you will like our Best BBCOR Bat page too.
With 2014 spring little league in the books, it is time we decide the list of the best youth baseball bats of 2014. Youth bats, opposed to ‘Senior League’ or ‘Big Barrels‘, are a 2 1/4 inch diameter barreled bats with a weight to length difference anywhere between 5 and 15 (or so).
Criteria to determine the best youth baseball bats of 2014 include resale value, user reviews, durability and hand sting. (If you are looking for the best place to find baseball bats for sale then maybe this link will help).
Best Youth Baseball Bat of 2014: Easton XL1
The Easton XL1 is the Best Youth Baseball Bat of 2014 for several reasons. For starters, it leads the way in resale value–a great indication of how well the bat is received. At launch, the Youth version of the bat was, roughly, $239. A new in wrapper at auction (almost one year later) is still bidding out at $170+. A used one in decent condition is hard to find under $110. Considering most youth barreled bats are well under 50% on resale value a year later the XL1 price today is remarkable. With the exception of the MAKO and the Lousiville Slugger Attack there are no other 2014 bats which come to close to the resale value of the 2014 Easton XL1.
Another reason the 2014 Easton XL1 takes home the prize this year is performance. Head to head testing, anecdotal for sure, consistently suggests the XL1 has the best pop and performance in any 2014 bat. We are not suggesting the trampoline effect in this bat is any better than allowed or what other high end composites have, but we are suggesting that the balance point and weight distribution of the XL1 as well its THT Composite Barrel is a winning combination surpassing even the MAKO, DeMarini CF6 and Combat Portent in the 2 1/4 barrel size.
It should be noted, however, that the XL1 is an endloaded bat. This does not mean that those who need a lighter swing weight can’t swing the XL1, it just means those who prefer or need a lighter swing weight need to choose a smaller length bat. Roughly speaking, an Easton XL1 has the equivalent swing weight of a Easton S1 that is 2 to 3 inches longer.
In other words, those who need or prefer a lighter MOI (swing weight) and also want to swing the best bat of 2014 may also need to sacrifice a bit of plate coverage in a shorter bat. But choosing the 28/18 XL1 instead of, for example, an 2014 Easton S1 in a 31/19 is, in our opinion, a no brainer. The XL1 is a beast at the plate with enormous pop, great feel and the two piece composite design allows for very good sting dampening.
If the XL1 does have a drawback it is in its paint jobs durability. The bat seems to hold up just fine but the paint job cracks and scratches a bit easier than most. That might simply be because those who own the bat are using it the most and its chipping faster. And unless you care much about how pretty you are at the plate, then who cares. Hitting the ball deep and hard is what matters.
Honorable Mentions in Best Youth Baseball Bat of 2014: Easton S1, DeMarini CF6, Rawlings Mach.