Starting in 2018, USABat bat standards are required in several leagues. This standard replaces the 1.15 BPF 2 1/4 youth barrel bat. The new USABat standard dampens the pop of bats to perform more like BBCOR. However, barrels on USABats will be allowed a wider diameter (up from 2 1/4 to 2 5/8). This change, as well as the age change in Little League, creates the biggest bat adjustment in amateur baseball ever. Also, see our best 2018 USABats page.
USABats Home Run Video
2018 USABat | Youth USA Baseball Reviews
2017 Youth | Little League Bat Reviews
We know what you are thinking, there were NOT any USAbats in 2017 so how do we have reviews. Well, these bats aren't USABats but they are what was formerly known as Youth Barreled bats. That is, 2 1/4 barrel diameters with a 1.15 BPF stamp used in Little League international play. These are the forefathers of the USABat line. Why are they here? Simply because we have no where else to put them and someone might still want to read a review about some bats that really don't make a lot of sense (although you can use them in USSSA games if you want).
2017 DeMarini Youth Barrel
Anderson Youth Barrel
2016 Little League | Youth Baseball Reviews
USAbat League Effects
More USAbat Videos
Several have wondered what leagues are effected by USABats. The chart below helps to clear up much of those problems. Leagues affiliated with Little League are more than likely going to the new USABat standard. That includes places like Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth and Dixie Youth or Pony. Other leagues, like USSSA Baseball and major travel ball leagues are tending to stay with the USSSA 1.15 BPF stamped bats.
Easton USABat Reviews
Easton delivers the largest selection of any vendor for 2018 USABat space. They offer a single piece aluminum and composite as well as a few top end two piece bats. We are super impressed with many of their bats as a first year iteration and review each of the 2018 Easton Baseball for USA baseball below.
Rawlings USABat Reviews
Rawlings, who had virtually no play in the youth baseball market before USAbats, made a serious play in this young bat space for 2018. They release 3 performance bats including a Rawlings Quatro that serves as the top option in their line as as two piece composite. The VELO comes in two versions including a drop 10 and drop 11. Also, the entry level performance bat is a single piece 5150 built much like previous years versions of the bat but in a USABat version.
DeMarini USABat Reviews
Although slightly late out of the gates, DeMarini's USABat offerings appear ready for prime time. We think the two piece hybrid Voodoo will be very well recieved. The CF Zen has been approved and has an expected release towards the end of January of 2018. The CF series was our second favorite bat in the Youth market pre-USABats (the first being Easton's Mako line) and it will be interesting to see if the Zen can keep that spot in a very competitive 2018 field.
Louisville Slugger USABat Reviews
Slugger also came to play in the 2018 USABat space. They have 2 lines of an aluminum barreled bats called the 618 Solo and the 718 Select. The 718 is two piece composite built in a drop 5 and drop 10 while the Solo is a single piece aluminum built with an extended composite end cap for an ultra light swing. We review each of those bats individually below.
Mizuno USABat Reviews
If any company was convinced they had the world to gain in the 2018 USABat space release it is Mizuno. Previously unheard of in the non-BBCOR market, Mizuno delivers 3 major bats in the space including a massively barreled two piece composite called the Mizuno Ghost. A Covert bat serves the two piece hybrid space and the single piece space is covered by the Generations. We review each of their bats.
Axe USABat Reviews
Without much surprise, Axe Bats, who has recently had enormous success at the MLB level, delivers a couple serious USABats for our consideration in 2018. Those looking for the comfort of an ergonomic handle will find a single piece and two piece hybrid at at their disposal in the 2018 USABat space.
Do You need to Buy a new USAbat?
In short, it depends.
You will not need to buy a USAbat if you…
- Are at least 12 years old at the moment (2016)*
- Don’t play in the leagues whose national affiliate requires AND the local league enforces the new standard
It is possible you will never be in a league where USAbats are required. The standard will be implemented while you may be going into 14 year old baseball (2018) and most 14 year old baseball is BBCOR. BBCOR is not being replaced by USAbats.
The National Affiliations are: American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball.
It is possible many local leagues will not enforce the bat rules until a later date than January 2018. This will give many of those BPF 1.15 bats a chance to live their useful life.
You will need to buy a USAbat if you…
- Are still young enough to play in the Little League World Series for 2018
- Play in a league that is affiliated with a USABats national association AND the local league enforces the rules on day one
NOTE: Many local leagues have a lot of liberty in terms of what rules they enforce. If you want to play in the national or state tournaments sponsored by these associations, then you will need the new USAbat starting 1/1/2018.
When to buy a 2018 USAbat?
This is the question of all questions and has many vendors and manufacturers a bit worried about 2017 sales volumes. But, we are not so sure it will be that big of a deal for most.
No USAbat bats are available for sale until September 1st, 2017.
For many, the USAbat standard simply won’t apply. As we discuss above, lots will be in leagues that either don’t follow the standards, aren’t affiliated with the association or are using BBCOR. We’d venture to guess this grouping makes up at least 80% of the aluminum and composite baseball market.
Further, lots of elite players plan on buying a new bat each year anyway. So, if they happen to fall into that 20% of players that are under the new standard, they simply buy a 2017 BPF 1.15 bat and then a USABat for 2018.
Some, on the other hand, will get the shaft-o-matic—in particular, current 9 and 10 year olds who will fall under the standard and still end up purchasing a BPF 1.15 bat in the late spring and early fall of 2017. Additionally, families that have a at least two kids close in age who end up using the same bat may be forced to pull the trigger on a usually not-so-cheap-baseball bat for a *reason that has yet to be explained satisfactorily.
Closeoutbats take on the USABat standards
We got a take on USABats from the famous Mad Max of YouTube Fame and closeoutbats. The following is a short Q&A from him.
JBR: What are USABats and, more importantly, why should we care?
Max: The USA Bats will become the new bat standard for American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball. in January 2018. We should care because these will be the new bats people will buy if you are playing in those leagues.
JBR: Who will this new standard affect?
Max: The new bat standard will affect kids that are age 12 and under playing in American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball.
JBR: From an offensive production standpoint, how effective will this new standard be in dampening ball speed?
Max: The way these new USA bats will perform will be more like a “wood bat”. The ball will not come off with the same exit velocity. It will not come off as hard and go as far.
JBR: When can we buy USABats?
Max: The idea is to have the new USA bats out in fall of 2017.
JBR: Will my BPF 1.15 bat be legal in my league after 2018?
Max: That is the most important question. If your league is adopting the new USA Bat standard, you can not use them. If you play on a club team and go to different tournaments that answer might be yes or no. It would be suggested to check before.
JBR: If I am in a USSSA 1.15 2 1/4 Little League league in both 2017 and 2018, what will be the best strategy for making sure I don’t have to buy two bats in a matter of weeks from each other?
Max: If you are looking to buy one bat. I would wait for Fall of 2017 when the new bats are due to come out.