Published: January 20, 2017 | Last modified: December 4, 2017
We have hit with every 2 1/4 youth bat on the market since 2014. Now in 2017, that puts the number of bats we have hit, or seen hit, close to 100. After close to 500 hours of research, writing and playing with 2 1/4 inch bats, we settle on the Easton MAKO Beast as the best 2 1/4 Youth Bat. This article serves as an extension of our best youth baseball bats section.
The Mako Beast is a predictable choice. The multiple drop options, barrel size leader and feedback from real players push the youth Beast to the top. A legit second place choice is the 2016 MAKO, or due to the discounts, the 2016 MAKO TORQ with a taped down spinning handle.
- We have hit with every 2 1/4 youth bat on the market since 2014. Now in 2017, that puts the number of bats we have hit, or seen hit, close to 100. After close to 500 hours of research, writing and playing with 2 1/4 inch bats, we settle on the Easton MAKO Beast as the best 2 1/4 Youth Bat. This article serves as an extension of our best youth baseball bats section.
Best 2 1/4 Youth Bats
1. Easton MAKO Beast
Few decisions in our nearly exhaustive ‘best bat’ lists have been easier than this one. Easton’s MAKO series of bats in the Youth 2 1/4 barrel space absolutely dominates. Not only do they own the Little League World Series, but their use on ball fields across America where 2 1/4 bats are required is mind-numbing. Few players have ever walked away from the Beast thinking it was anything but amazing.
What solidifies its place at the top is the number of sizing options. It runs in a drop 10, drop 11 and drop 12 version. This gives options across the board for nearly any type of hitter. The bat’s balance at each weight feels perfect and the barrel size is the biggest in the business. The only decision you need to make is whether you want the 2016 MAKO, which has virtually no changes going into the 2017 version, or the 2017 Beast.
2. Easton MAKO TORQ
Before you pull the trigger on a near $300 Easton MAKO Beast in the Youth 2 1/4 sizes, why not look into a highly discounted 2016 Youth MAKO TORQ and tape down the handle. The bat, aside from that spinning handle, is exactly the same. Last we checked on our Best Bat Deals page, the 2016 Youth Torq was sub $100 in some sizes. You would end up with the same bat, same performance, different colors, and almost $200 in your pocket. Why is this even a decision?
3. Best Youth Wood Bat 2 1/4
While a wood 2 1/4 youth barreled bat will never reach the performance and balanced swing weight of its aluminum and composite counterparts, we do think it has a place. Winter workouts, as well as a number of wood bat tournaments, make the search for the best 2 1/4 youth wood bat more likely.
Both the CD1 and the Marucci JB19 can be made in maple versions from top quality pro billets. These bats really are the same as actual MLB folks use, simply smaller.
4. Anderson Techzilla
If you can hit the ball over ‘them there mountains’, then the Beast in a drop 10 might not pack enough punch. It does not, after all, come in a drop 9. As well, the Beast might not be the bat to take on cold weather or the serious pounding of season after season. Enter stage left, the Anderson Techzilla 2.0. The Techzilla is a big hitter’s dream, and although mildly famous before, made its mark in the 2015 Little League World Series when a kid name Cole Wagner used it to hit a few absolute BOMBS in the tournament.
It was said he couldn’t use the Easton MAKO (although under contract with the LLWS to be used) because he would break it in batting practice. Not sure if that is true, but it would not surprise use. Big hitters need, and want, single piece aluminum bats that pack a punch like Ali. The drop 9 Anderson Techzilla is exactly that.
5. DeMarini CF Zen
If any bat can give the Easton Beast a run for its money in the 2017 class, it’s the DeMarini’s CF Zen. It uses much the same technology as a two piece composite with a real balanced swing. Although the barrel is not as big as the Beast’s, it does pack a punch. If it were to come in more sizes than a drop 11, it might be an even closer match. But with the death of BPF just around the corner, expect this to be the last run on a 2 1/4 youth bat from DeMarini
6. Combat Portent G4
If only Combat had stayed afloat after their parent company went bankrupt, the Portent G4 in a youth barrel may have found itself on the top of the list. The G4 is a smooth sailing single piece composite with a great pop like the Techzilla, but a big barrel like the Easton Beast. It comes in both a drop 10 and a drop 12.
Best 2 1/4 Youth Bat Sources
We relied heavily on a few sources to derive this Best 2 1/4 Youth Bat placing. Of course, our well read Best Bats for kids page was useful. That page, however, treats the term “youth bat” in the loose sense of the term, defining youth as every bat that is not an adult bat. As such, it will include some 2 5/8 and 2 3/4 barrel bats in drop 5’s, drop 8’s and the works. This list includes only 2 1/4 BPF 1.15 stamped bats that are also current in the market.
In addition to our Best Youth Bats of All Time page, we relied on the individual reviews of the bats we rank as well as our best drop 12 and best drop 10 articles. We also spent time on justbats.com 2 1/4 bat page.
How We Decided on the Best 2 1/4 Youth Bat
Why We Are Wrong
As we mention in every best bats article we write, the best bat for most is not the best bat for all. In fact, we don’t even claim our list is the best bat for most. Instead, we think it the best bat for the largest percentage of players, and that percentage may very well be less than 50%. The fact is there are many good bats, and depending on your needs, budget and hitting style, the best bat for you may not even be found on this list.
Why We Might Be Right
We try and make the list robust enough to give any player or parent some options. And with some degree of confidence, we stand by our list. We do, after all, research, write, speak with manufacturers and talk with vendors about the bats. As well, we hit with, watch players hit with, and take feedback directly from the people using the bats. And that is to say nothing of reading every review online we can possibly find. No one, we dare say, does the amount of research we do to determine the best bats.
Best 2 1/4 Criteria
After all is said and done, there is only one question that needs answering to determine the best 2 1/4 youth bats: can a number of different types of hitters absolutely rake with the bat? To answer in the affirmative, the bat must get very good reviews from players who like how the bat feels and want to use it. To accumulate an abundance of positive feedback, youth bat users and their varying body sizes need weighting options. With those general requirements as your litmus test for the best 2 1/4 youth bat, some most definitely rise to the top.