Published: November 29, 2016 | Last modified: December 4, 2017
We have spent a thousand hours over a few years swinging and testing drop 12 bats. Drop 12’s come in three distinct categories: fastpitch softball, baseball 2 1/4 barrel and baseball big barrel (2 3/4 or 2 5/8). Basically, we took our tops from the best 2 1/4 baseball bats, best big barrel bats and our best fastpitch batsand put them in one article for your viewing pleasure. You can see a similar list at the best youth baseball bats page.
In short, our testers and research show the *best drop 12 bat in each category is the 2017 Axe Danielle Lawrie in Fastpitch, the 2017 Easton MAKO Beast in a 2 1/4 and the Louisville Slugger Catalyst for the drop 12 Big Barrel.
- We have spent a thousand hours over a few years swinging and testing drop 12 bats. Drop 12’s come in three distinct categories: fastpitch softball, baseball 2 1/4 barrel and baseball big barrel (2 3/4 or 2 5/8). Basically, we took our tops from the best 2 1/4 baseball bats, best big barrel bats and our best fastpitch bats and put them in one article for your viewing pleasure. You can see a similar list at the best youth baseball bats page.
Best Drop 12 Bat
|1||2017 Axe Danielle Lawrie||Fastpitch||5/5||Mechanics||$$|
|2||2016 Easton FS3||Fastpitch||5/5||Value||$$|
|1||2017 Easton MAKO Beast||Youth 2 1/4||5/5||Performance||$$$$|
|2||2017 Mizuno Generations||Youth 2 1/4||4/5||Value||$$|
|1||2017 Slugger Catalyst||Big Barrel||4.5/5||Value||$$|
|2||2017 Easton MAKO JBB||Big Barrel||4.5/5||Performance||$$$|
1. 2017 Slugger Catalyst
If we assume the average player looking for a drop 12 baseball bat in either a 2 3/4 or a 2 5/8 is a younger player getting their chops in their first competitive team or some serious rec ball, then the Slugger Catalyst is a perfect fit. It is a great price point for some legitimate performance. Barrel size is admirable too. All for under $150? Word.
2. 2017 Easton MAKO Beast JBB
There are, we should note, several very top shelf bats in the big barrel drop 12 space. Easton’s Junior Big Barrel is as good as they get. DeMarini’s CF Zen Junior Big Barrel is also a serious contender for the top spot—although officially a drop 11. The list goes on.
The drop 12 fastpitch bat market is relatively deep. On the whole, it consists of value purchase bats made for the younger player. Fastpitch players who need a drop 12 tend to be smaller and/or less experienced. As such, most fastpitch drop 12’s are constructed with a light swing and a market entry price point.
With those parameters set, we found it difficult to differentiate most composite fastpitch bats in the drop 12 space. The only real choices were between an aluminum or composite single piece construction. The 2017 Danielle Lawrie drop 12 fastpitch bat, however, rose to the top. Its ascent is aided by its unique handle which helps eliminate sting, increases bat speed and fosters better mechanics. Three features players in the drop 12 fastpitch market should find appealing.
4. 2016 Easton FS3 Fastpitch
Those in the drop 12 space who would like more performance should find the 2017 Easton FS3fastpitch bat to their liking. Unlike most fastpitch bats in the drop 12 space, this is a real live two-piece composite bat for high-end performance. It is built much like top shelf performance bats, but has a little more manageable price point. It could easily be the perfect fit for many very serious fastpitch players in the drop 12 space. See our full FS3 Review here.
The 2017 Easton MAKO Beast as the best youth barrel bat that comes in a drop 12 is the easiest decision on this list. The brand has dominated the 2 1/4 youth barrel space for several years. It packs a serious punch and has fantastic performance along the length of the barrel. This year’s version is longer than previous year’s, as well.
6. Mizuno Generations Youth
The Mizuno Generations Youth Barrel Bat won’t wow you at the plate, but it will wow your wallet. It comes with decent enough performance to be serviceable, but at less than $60, it is a good second option for hitters in the youth value space. There are, we should note, a number of bats in the youth 2 1/4 barrel space that match up well with this one.
Are These Drop 12’s Really the Best?
Despite the title of this article, we make no sweeping claims that we have somehow found the categorical best drop 12 bat. We submit, the following bats in the drop 12 space are legit and should be a very good fit for a number of hitters. But, we by no means suggest that the best bat for many is therefore the best bat for all. Your best drop 12 bat is most likely in the rankings below, and comparing our reviews with your specific preferences can go a long way in helping you find your bat. Some good research batting practice can take you the rest of the way.
The Final Say, For Now
As we always attempt to portray in these ‘best bat‘ articles, the best bat for most is by no means the best bat for all. Same goes with these best drop 12 bat suggestions. On the whole, we find the above bats worthy of your time and effort, but a full reading of our bat reviews will get you much closer to your actual stick.