Published: December 27, 2016 | Last modified: December 4, 2017
We have hit, seen players hit and gathered feedback on every big barrel bat made for 2017. From that data, and or conversations with major vendors and manufacturers, we put together this Best Big Barrel Bats 2017 Edition.
This write up falls under our overall best bats lists as well as our best baseball bats awards. While there are a lot of legitimate options in the big barrel space, we think any on of the following bats will do you well. To keep it quite short, we think the Marucci CAT 7 big barrel bat is as good an option as any on the market today. More details and options below.
Best Big Barrel Bats 2017
There are a ton of great drop 5 bats on the market. Easton’s MAKO XL Beast, Marucci's CAT 7 or the Voodoo Insane are great drop 5 options. But the bomb making ability of the CF Zen is unmatched.
The 2017 model over the 2016 model, added some barrel length with a new internal design. The technology in the knob to help dampen sting is still there. Expect a focused barrel and a super smooth feel. Great for kids who can handle a drop 5, but who don’t think an endload is the feel for them.
2. Marucci CAT 7 Drop 8
We originally had DeMarini’s CF Zen in the drop 8 as the winner of this section. However, the bat was deemed illegal by USSSA and several other leagues. As such, it probably does not deserve a strong recommendation.
The drop 8 CAT 7, however, does. The at is dynamite for all the same reasons the drop 5 bat is awesome. Expect a smooth swing and a beautiful ping. The bat sings when it is hit well and it really benefits the player who has good bat speed. The barrel is a good size and the balance is managable but by not means light.
3. DeMarini Voodoo Drop 9
DeMarini’s Voodoo 2 5/8 big barrel bat is our favorite drop 9 of the bunch, in part because the balanced two piece hybrid is a great smooth swing with that hot out of the wrapper aluminum from DeMarini we have grown to love. Collegiate teams that swing DeMarini almost always tend toward the Voodoo over the CF Series.
The other part of the reason we think it is the best drop 9 big barrel today is because it is just about the only one. Most other brands offer a drop 10 or a drop 8. A two piece hybrid in a drop 10 or drop 8, though, is difficult to find, too. Hence the reason the DeMarini Voodoo dominates the space.
4. Easton Beast Drop 10 2 5/8 or 2 3/4
No bat space in the baseball bat market is more competitive, save BBCOR, than the drop 10 big barrel space. There are literally a half dozen or more great choices in this exact space. We chose the Easton MAKO Beast as our best big barrel drop 10 for its barrel size, balance weight and great performance. Every single player who used the bat sang it’s praises.
The Easton Beast won our best overall 2017 baseball bat award. Not a small feat. In part that award rests on fulfilling the purpose of the drop 10, which the Beast does so very well. We are confident there is not a kid in the drop 10 big barrel space that will dislike the 2017 Easton MAKO Beast. The only thing we don’t like about the Beast is the price—but welcome to youth baseball.
If you are looking for bats like the Easton MAKO Beast drop 10, then check out full review.
5. Rawlings VELO Drop 12
Like the drop 9 section, there are not a ton of bats competing in the drop 12 space. Most drop 12 bats are made for the Junior Big Barrel divisions which come in shorter sizes between 26, and possibly 29 inches. We dedicate an entire page to those best junior barrel baseball bats.
In the Big Barrel, a.k.a. Senior Barrel, realm, there are only a few that really compete with bats longer than 28 inches. One favorite of ours is the 2017 Rawlings Composite VELO. This bat is unlike any other in the VELO line, as instead of a single piece hybrid, it is a two piece composite bat. It comes in a 2 3/4 only, but has a super light swing weight.
Reviews of last year’s model were not stelllar, due to some durability issues on some early releases. But the 2017 model claims to have fixed that, and our players have had great success with the drop 12 VELO.
2015 Best Big Barrel Bats – Worthy Used Models
Assuming you can still find these bats around, they are well worth your time. Although older they still pack a punch.
Anyone who reads this blog knows we are in love with the drop 10 2015 Marucci Hex Composite. For us it was love at first site. The barrel is gigantic, swing weight light and sweet spot large to say nothing of the design which we think looks fantastic. Those in the market for a top shelf big barrel bat in only a drop 10 will not regret this decision. It’s clearly a top shelf choice for 2015. (Check pricing here).
The Drop 5 CF7 from DeMarini may be our favorite bat of the year in any category. My three sons prefer this bat over any of the arsenal we have and the ropes drilled from this bat are remarkable. It does not come in a 2 3/4 version (only 2 5/8) but we stand by our earlier claim: if you can swing it, you should swing it. It’s also not inexpensive but if any bat has claim on the top of a list of best senior league or big barrel bats we don’t know how this wouldn’t be anything but first. (These are still hard to find, but check pricing here).
Combat’s 2 5/8 drop 12 Portent G3 puts a stamp on the phrase “big barrel bat”. This stick should make any list of top shelf big barrel youth bats for 2015. The barrel is smooth and Combat’s seamless construction makes for a real fun hit. The green version is a boat oar at the plate with an ultra light swing weight and lizard skin grip. Those who prefer one piece bats and Combat aficionados will be perfectly pleased in this green monster. (Check pricing here).
We admit this choice is predicable, but how do we leave off what is probably the most popular bat off the best bat list? Easton’s 2015 big barrel MAKO is as good a bat you may ever swing and, like the BBCOR version, those who swing it scoff at the idea they should ever try something different. Huge long barrel, low swing weight per length and a couple different options: a drop 10 2 3/4 and drop 9 2 5/8. The marquee bat from the biggest metal and composite bat company is predictably good great and is easily a top 5 big barrel bat for 2015. (Check pricing here).
At the risk of being an Easton Homer, we follow up the MAKO with the 2015 Easton XL1. This bat is the only drop 8 big barrel to make the list (although the DeMarini CF7 and Combat G3 both come in a drop 8). But the big barrel 2015 XL1 drop 8 is the perfect bat for a heavy hitter who isn’t quite ready for a drop 5 yet. The XL1 is a monster bat whose genealogy contains the famed Easton Omen and little league series lore. The bat is highly, highly recommended. (Check pricing here).
Probably should have made this list: Slugger 915 Prime drop 5, DeMarini Overlord FT drop 9. Why they didn’t make the list is a mystery, but its a top 5 list and we had to make it shorter. These bats rock in the the big barrel market.
Common big Barrel Bat Questions
What is the difference between a Senior League bat and a Big Barrel Bat?
There is significant confusion in the industry surrounding the terms big barrel and senior league. Each vendor often uses them interchangeably. Technically, a 2 5/8 bat that is NOT a drop 3 is considered a Senior Barrel bat. Big Barrel bats are 2 3/4 sized bats. But, don’t expect the vast majority of vendors and manufacturers to make the distinction.
What is a Junior Big Barrel Bat?
Junior Big Barrel bats are 2 3/4 inch baseball bats meant for smaller players. They often come in a max size of 26 or 27 inches and have considerable drop weights. These bats are usually not rated for pitch speeds over 45 miles per hour.
What is the best Big Barrel Bat for a 10 year old?
We cover the 10 year old question exclusivley in a best bat for 10 year old article.
Can you use a Big Barrel Bat in Little League?
If you are talking the official Little League then the answer is no. Pre 2018 they use 2 1/4 barrels only. After the USA Bat standard takes effect on 1/1/2018 then Little League will have bats that are up to 2 5/8 in diameter.
Are all bats the same?
It is probably safe to say that a top shelf bat from any number of companies performs at peak powers. If it says Slugger, Easton, DeMarini, Rawlings, Axe, Anderson, Marucci or Combat (and maybe one or two others) than you can bet the bat is legit.
Are better bats always more expensive?
Bats that have higher price points tend to have larger barrels, more specific swing weights and technological innovations that dampen hand sting.
What has BPF 1.15 standars done for the market?
BPF 1.15 standard implementation has really forced bat companies to the drawing board on innovation. This is ultimately good for all of us.
Are Swing Weight and Bat Load the Same?
To the contrary of what many vendors often erroneously claim, a bat with an end load does not also have a high swing weight or MOI (mass moment of inertia). Instead where the load is found in a bat is only one of many factors which determine swing weight—the most important of which is arguably the total length of a bat. Just because a bat has a handle or end load does not also mean it has a low or high swing weight. You can prefer an end loaded bat but get a low swing weight by simply getting a shorter size.
Best Big Barrel Bats 2017 Edition Sources
We reference a number of articles in the following. You can also take a more detailed look at the bats we mention in the Drop 5 Marucci CAT 7 review. The CF Zen Review covers the drop 8 option, and the Easton MAKO Beast Review covers the XL. As one of the only drop 9 bats in the 2017 market, the Voodoo Insane review might be worth your study. And of course, don’t forget our 2017 Rawlings VELO review.
You can find our best particular drop articles, too. We write a best drop 5 bat article, a best drop 8 bat article, a best drop 10 bat article as well as a best drop 12 article. Those cover more than just big barrel bats, but they are discussed in depth in those sections, too. There is a lot of overlapping information, but we are trying to make this as helpful as possible.