We get the opportunity to work with every serious baseball and softball bat brand in the industry. As the years go by, and as we review nearly a thousand bats, the list of brands, and their accompanying reviews, grows. The below serves as an attempt to keep them straight in our heads and an easier way for you to find bat reviews by company.
There isn’t a more trusted or branded name in the bat space than that of Louisville Slugger. They were the first on the scene about a hundred years ago.
Slugger has made bats for Jackie Robinson and Mickey Mantle. Today they still control a serious portion of the MLB market. No surprise, as well, they have serious offerings in the aluminum and composite bat realms too. Their softball, fastpitch and baseball offerings are as far and wide as banjo player’s description of Kentucky bluegrass.
We have covered Axe Bats since their inception. Okay, that is not technically true, but we have been writing articles on the asymmetric handle and now odd shaped end cap for years.
In our time blogging seriously about bats, no other company has made quite the splash that Axe Bats has. At one point they made a BBCOR bat.
Now, they make bat that a number of MLB guys are happy to swing. And a broad offering across BBCOR, Big Barrel and USA baseball as well as a number of killer softball bats too. Expect nothing but great things from these folks going forward.
Easton is serious player in the baseball, softball and fastpitch space. So serious, in fact, many would argue Easton is the actual leader. We are not privy to the actual numbers, but we are under the assumption Easton sells more bats than any other brand in the world. They dominate the youth league baseball space, have serious traction in the high school ranks, and are top tier player in the collegiate space. If you’ve never heard of Easton bats then check your pulse.
A trusted and well used name in the professional wood bat space, Marucci’s more recent effect on the aluminum and composite bat space is noticeable. Committed to terrifically beautiful constructions focused on the hitting experience, Marucci takes what they learned in the hands of top end Major League players to make top shelf bats for the non-professional space.
DeMarini claims they are the finest bat maker in the world. Frankly, we’d be hard pressed to say they weren’t. They dominate the softball and baseball space in terms of top shelf players preferring their bats. Are there other options? Of course. But if you were to name a category of player in the composite or aluminum bat space we are confident DeMarini would offer a compelling choice.
Aside from Louisville Slugger, no bat brand has been around longer. The Rawlings Adirondack graced the plate during at-bats of greats like Reggie Jackson and Mark McGwire among many others. Today they continue to produce high quality wood bats used by some of the very best in the sport. As well, Rawlings makes a significant contribution to the top shelf in baseball. It is hard to say exactly where they fit in the grand scheme of sales volume for aluminum and composite bats, but definitely a top 5 brand—and quite possibly a top 3.
Warstic is a wood bat company that has also spent some time making a few aluminum bats. They are, no doubt, in a sea of bat companies much like them.
Many, like Trinity, Old Hickory, Phoenix and so on fight for play time with MLB guys and, occasionally, dabble in the high school and youth bat markets.
Dirty South Bats
Dirty South Bats is a direct to consumer company that prices itself on a big barrel in the composite space. They are committed to a huge barrel. In some measure, fill the void left by the departure of Combat.
Although their distribution lacks the reach of major companies, users of the DSBs rave on their power.
North American operations of this Japanese company offer a few serious aluminum and composite bats. We review Mizuno in detail on this site and have had plenty of fun delivering feedback from real hitters.
There most unique bat, the MAXCOR, uses a softer plastic on the outside of the bat. This has been a fun test bat for us to hit for several years.
Mizuno also released some USABats quite recently. It will be interesting to see how they do when compared to the behemoths of Easton and Rawlings who have both jumped in headlong to the USABat market.
Victus might be the most popular wood bat very few have actually heard about. It was only a few months ago they were acquired by Marucci. Their focus is a great selection of wood bats used for all leves.
We've spent plenty of time with the Victus bats---and their adoption of the Axe Handle. They make quality stuff at some reasonable prices. We have yet to see the full effect that a Marucci ownership will take. But, so far, so good.
Adidas has been dabbling in the metal and composite bat space for a few years. The introduction of a two piece composite in the big barrel space (Aero) was a great addition to the market.
Adidas has pushed well at the collegiate (BBCOR) level and appear to continue that traction. How long will it take until they are thought of as a baseball bat company? We think that may never happen.
Sam Bat is the original Maple Bat company. That is, they are the first bat company to introduce maple wood into MLB market. Today, it turns out, few players DON'T use maple wood.
Although not the largest provider of wood bats to the MLB, Sam Bat makes a serious dent in the space. They also sell similar top shelf wood bats to youth and high school players too. Their custom wood builder is one of our favorite tools and gift ideas.