Pre-Season Awards: Best 2016 Baseball Bat

Best 2016 Baseball Bats


→ Read our entire Best Baseball Bat Lineup
→ Read our Best Bats Article

We hit tons and tons of baseball bats getting ready to reveal our preseason best 2016 baseball bat awards. We expect these to change as more reports come in, but, for today these bats are the recommended pick from


[su_heading size=”20″ margin=”10″]Best 2016 Baseball Bats: Why Trust Us?[/su_heading]

We’ve hit, and talked with several players who’ve hit, with every 2016 baseball bat you can dream up. And then some. We’ve tried single piece aluminum, two piece composite, full composite and hybrid baseball bats with price points ranging from as low as $70 to as high as nearly $500. We’ve hit these bats extensively in the cage and on the field. We’ve also compared them to their previous years’ models in a detail unmatched on the internet.

While it is hard to add up an exact hour count on the total time spent, we’d guess close to 2,000 is a fair guess. We’ve also taken loads of pictures, recorded data points and documented much of our efforts on this very blog. We’ve tracked swing weights and some rudimentary ball exit speeds. We’ve talked to just about every bat manufacture on the planet about their new models and had in-depth conversations with bat engineers for major companies. We’ve considered and tested the so called upgrades.

Additionally, we don’t sell or manufacture bats so, we think, our bias is less biased. (And we do have them no doubt). But we think we have no incentive to make you think one particular brand is particularly better than another—just that there are better ones and we’ve been able to find them. We are just a few dads and players who care about finding the best stick for our sons, daughters and our own personal use. We also happen to get a kick out of sharing our results. We hope most parents and coaches can at least appreciate the pitch from a group of folks not looking to sell them anything.

[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][su_heading size=”20″ margin=”10″]The Catch[/su_heading]

Concerning bats, it is a fallacy to expect one to be the ‘best’. Hitters need different things from their bats—not just among themselves but often within themselves. One bat which is ‘best’ for one player clearly may  not be the best for another. But, as well, any given player may find value in different types of bats depending on the situation.

Further, truth be told, the success of hitting is much more a function of the Indian’s skill instead of the arrow’s prowess. Indeed, most would take a great hitter with a broom stick over a poor hitter with a $500 bat. And a $400 bat won’t fix a $4 swing.

We mention those truths for no other reason than to help point out the false assumption the title of this blog conveys. Indeed, the exact right bat for you or your player may very well not be the one below. We simply report what we have found to be our favorite bat for the widest audience among the dozens and dozens we have tested for the upcoming 2016 season. Your particular results, as they say, may vary.


[su_heading size=”20″ margin=”10″]Pre-Season BBCOR Best Bat[/su_heading]


2016 DeMarini CF8


[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]DeMarini’s CF8 is our favorite BBCOR bat going into the 2016 season. The 2016 version upgrades the two piece composite barrel and stiffens the handle to a 2.0 D-Fusion design from a 2015 version that was very well received among collegiate and highschool ranks. The bat is built right in the wheel house of what most BBCOR players need: as much barrel face for ounce of swing weight as possible.

The bat’s pedigree is remarkable and it’s as buttery of a swing as you’ll find on both mishits and smash hits. The CF8 also comes from a brand (Wilson and DeMarini) that has spent hoards of money developing a bat which performs at peak performance on all parts of the barrel.

The BBCOR space is replete with options and, we should note, there are several very impressive bats vying for your dollars. But, for JBR, going into the 2016 season our hat tips rather easily to the DeMarini CF8 in the BBCOR space. Around $449 here.[/ezcol_1half_end]

[su_heading size=”20″ margin=”10″]Pre-Season SENIOR/BIG BARREL Best Bat[/su_heading]


2016 Combat Maxum

2016 Combat Maxum

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The 2016 Combat MAXUM was released so early in the year for the 2016 season we thought it was a 2015 model. It didn’t take more than a few minutes in the cage to realize why Combat Sports rushed it to the market. This is a one piece composite stick made to embarrass bullpens far and wide. The barrel size is so very long you should expect audible laughs from the parents when it’s brought to the plate. It really could double as a boat oar. No other bat barrel compares in the Senior League space as the MAXUM has a near two inch advantage.

By way of performance, it’s also rather helpful Combat has been producing eye-brow-frying baseball bats in the full composite space for several years now. Taking lessons from the B1 DaBomb and Original Combat B2 from days gone by, the 8th+ generation of full composite bats straight outta Canada rocks a brand of ball killing we’ve yet to see in the post BPF 1.15 space. Throw in a standard 500 day warranty and you have us drooling. There was no easier decision on this entire list. Around $400 here.


[su_heading size=”20″ margin=”10″]Pre-Season YOUTH BARREL Best Bat[/su_heading][ezcol_1half]

2016 Easton MAKO XL

Z Core XL Easton 2016

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The 2016 Easton MAKO XL is our favorite youth barrel bat going into the 2016 season. We submit, for starters, the choice is rather cliche’. But the Easton MAKO XL is a 2 1/4 stick of dynamite in the Little League ranks. Easton’s focus on this youth barrel size of bat due to, in part at least, their affiliation with the Little League World Series has perfected peak performance over the full length of the over-sized  2 1/4 barrel. The bat comes in a drop 10 and is an absolute potato gun of a bat.

In 2018, new bat standards will be required so this 2016 version may be one of the very last 2 1/4 bats worth buying. Around $279 here.


[su_heading size=”20″ margin=”10″]Pre-Season JUNIOR BARREL Best Bat[/su_heading][ezcol_1half]

2016 Easton S400


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The 2016 Easton S400 fits right in the wheel house of what we consider the ‘best’ Junior Big Barrel Bat. These bats are not meant for players looking at 50 to 60 games in a year. Instead, true Junior Big Barrel players require just a few short games in a recreation type league that is almost always coach pitch. As such, we suggest keeping the budget small and going with a good old fashioned single piece aluminum bat with a good barrel size and around a drop 11. The S400 from Easton fits that bill.

Of note, Junior Barrel bats are not made for heavy hitting. If your player is hitting live kid pitching or machine pitch we’d suggest you look in the Senior League Category of bats discussed above. Many of those sizes have a 28 inch drop 12 or 13 if you need the smaller sticks. The S400 can be found at about $49 here.


[su_heading size=”20″ margin=”10″]Pre-Season Best T-Ball Bat[/su_heading][ezcol_1half]

2016 Axe Hero T-Ball

1[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]The 2016 Hero T-Ball bat from Axe bats is our hands down winner for the t-ball space going into the 2016 season. The bat’s unique handle forces younger players into better mechanics at a young age. Additionally, the price point is great too.

We should note that the 2016 version is a reprint of the 2015 version, so either one will work. But the fact it didn’t have any upgrades from 2015 to 2016 is no matter. The bat is exactly what ever t-ball player should be swinging. About $30 here.