The best youth baseball bat depends, entirely, on what you mean by “Youth Bat”. Are we talking about the top rated USA Baseball Bats or the big barrel bats folks like the most? After extensive hitting and measuring our hits, we’ve written 20 articles dissecting any number of situations for the best youth baseball bat. Scroll below to see that list.
Before you dive off into the links above, if we had to choose one best youth baseball bat…the 2019 DeMarini CF Zen.
2019 CF Zen USSSA Cage Side Hitting
Why the 2018/19 DeMarini CF Zen?
- The bat is available in every little league baseball bat size you can imagine. It comes in a drop 5, drop 8, drop 10 as well as a USSSA version and a USA Bat option too.
- The feel on mishits is unmatched. DeMarin’s 3-Fusion handle is a thing of beauty and every hitter who has tested this bat is in love.
- Exit speeds always look fantastic with the CF Zen and the balance point is right in the wheelhouse that young players prefer.
Check one of our reader’s testimonial on the drop 2019 USSSA youth CF Zen.
Why NOT the 2018/19 DeMarini CF Zen?
- It is not inexpensive. In fact, its just flat expensive. There are other bats in the youth space as expensive, but none greater.
- The recent track record for CF Zen’s staying legal is not so hot. The 2017 youth CF Zen was banned in several sizes and even the 2018 CF Zen was nipped in a few sizes too. Granted, DeMarini does allow their purchases to trade their bats in. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t convenient. Some who were inconvinienced by the bat banning have really taken it out on DeMarini on social media.
- Some younger hitters prefer single piece bats, aluminum barrels or two piece hybrid bats. If that is you, then this bat won’t be a good fit.
Here’s one of our readers that is not impressed with the USA CF Zen’s barrel size:
9 Best Youth Baseball Bats Ever
Of course we made a best ever list. The below bats are rarely in stock new anymore. You’ll need to go to eBay to find them.
1. Best Ever: BZ1-C Sc500 Easton Redline Drop 5
Some may argue over this as the first pick, but if the order of the top 9 best youth baseball bats were to be decided on secondary market value, then the Redline ZCore with the now famous SC500 aluminum/scandium alloy—is the winner. The bat appreciates in value and now, after over 10 years on the market, only used models can be found. They price well over $500, and often well into the $600 range.
The bat comes in a drop 5 or drop 8. It is categorized as an adult/middle school bat. The Easton SC500 is a full aluminum single piece bomb-dropping fool. The bat is, as you can imagine, banned in high-school and NCAA. The drop 5, we submit, is the best bat on the planet.
This is the only bat we can find that actually appreciates in value. It has become the Michael Jordan Rookie Card of little league baseball bats–often fetching well into the thousand of dollars for a used bats. It is, at least these days, very difficult to find. Even eBay searches like this often turn up nothing.
They are said to last forever (at least by those trying to sell them), have a pop that would impress your grandmother, and for those willing to get out a small bank loan to purchase a little league bat, will hit your favorite pitch somewhere into the Pacific Ocean.
2. Best 2 1/4 Youth Bat: 2014 Easton MAKO Youth
In the last decade, no bat has changed the game the like the Easton MAKO in the 2 1/4 youth barrel. Easton dominated the BPF 1.15 space in the 2 1/4 barrel in 2014, and many argue, they still do today. The Orange MAKO was a man among boys 18 months before other bats began to close the gap. Other bats have arguably caught up to the 2014 MAKO’s impressiveness. But, at the time, the MAKO was the best youth barrel bat on the market—and it wasn’t even close.
3. Best Big Barrel: CF Zen Drop 8 2 3/4
The CF8 2 3/4 Drop 10 is a very difficult bat to find—and there is a reason for that. The CF8 from 2016 is the best big barrel bat somewhat readily available on the market today. However, the fact it is driving such a premium price might give you reason to visit our full list of best youth big barrel bats.
Yet even despite the ridiculous price points on the bat, people willing to spend that much may not be crazy. Durability has always been a serious concern with the drop 10 CF8, but the bat flat out rakes.
A good substitute for the drop 10 CF8 may be the new CF Zen. We discuss that more below.
4. Best Aluminum Barrel: 2006/2007 Anderson Techzilla
The original version of the Anderson Techzilla circa 2006 and 2007 was (and is) a verifiable bomb dropper. A double-walled two-piece 2 1/4 alloy bat with enough pop to make a sailor blush, put this bat squarely in the top 9 best youth baseball bats ever. You can still buy them used for around $200 and we suggest, like the Combat B1 and B2 above, it’s worth every penny.
This bat swings like a hot knife through butter and if the game was on the line and we were at the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, there are few other friends we’d want in our grip than this sweet swinging lady with a punch like Ali. The Techzilla makes a bad hitter good, a good hitter great and a great hitter the king of the league.
Only problem is the bat is not legal in very many leagues anymore. But, if you happen to be in one, and like the feel of dynamite in your hands, then figure out a way to get this bad boy.
5. Best Drop 5: 2015 DeMarini CF7 Drop 5
The 2015 Drop 5 DeMarini CF7 is an amazing stick. Once you hit with you you can’t stop thinking about it. it is the perfect combination of balance and power. In terms of the best drop 5 bat that is somewhat readily available on the market today, this is our choice. If you’d like some cheaper and more readily available options then you will like our best drop 5 bats article.
The drop 5 CF7 is smooth on contact. Butter like drives in the gaps are one-hopped to the wall. Hanging a ball in the zone and the bat nearly crackles at the ball before driving it into the stratosphere. The bat has a middle range balance point on the barrel and is an earth shattering blast at full contact. It’s hard to miss with its over extended barrel.
Since it is not held back by BBCOR standards we think it’s the biggest hitting baseball bat you can still buy new in wrapper today. The drop 5 CF7 is an unashamed grizzly bear bat made to destroy baseballs, home run records and pitchers’ confidence.
6. Best Drop 8: Marucci CAT 7
We have hit with drop 8 bats more than any other line or niche of bats. Many, including the CF ZEN and Beast are fantastic. But the Marucci CAT 7, with its single piece feel and beautiful ping pop, is our favorite. We have yet to find a player that can swing a drop 8 correctly who does not just love the bat.
The CAT 7 comes in a number of other sizes too. The BBCOR is also one of our favorites and so is the drop 10 JBB version. But, the drop 8, tops our list of best drop 8 baseball bats.
We also love the CAT 7 because the price point is at least a little more manageable than other top tiered bats. Those who swing the CAT 7 drop 8 will never go back.
7. Best Drop 10: DeMarini CF Zen
For much the same reason the CF8 is our best overall big barrel bat, the CF Zen is our specific drop 10 winner. The 2 5/8 version of the Zen is actually outlawed in USSSA in the drop 8 version. As well, the 2 3/4 drop 10 CF Zen is not legal there. Somehow, the drop 10 CF Zen passed the test. And, it turns out, the bat is an absolute ball killer.
We have an entire article discussing the best drop 10 bats. You may find those helpful if you are not up for spending the money required to acquire the CF Zen. But if money is not an object, the CF Zen is the best drop 10 on the market.
8. Best Drop 12 Bat: 2017 Rawlings VELO Composite
Rawlings makes a version of the VELO called the VELO composite. This bat is a two piece composite bat and built much differently than the traditional single piece hybrid VELO. But, the drop 12 is a fantastic bat for the kid looking for as much bat control and speed as possible with a reasonable and over-sized barrel.
There are a handful of very good drop 12 bats. Our best drop 12 bat article sums them up nicely. So, if you are looking for more options and price points, head over there. On the whole, we would take the VELO for its ultra light drop 12 swing and legitimate price point over just about any bat in that specific class.
9. Best Youth Wood Bat: Marucci AP5
It is difficult, at best, to narrow down the best youth wood baseball bats. This difficulty stems from the fact that no bat company has a patent on maple or ash trees. As such, just about anyone can buy a high quality wood billet from a major supplier and then put it on their lathe. Some minutes later, boom, you have a very nice ash or maple bat.
That said, we do have an affinity for the AP5 from Marucci. At the pro level, it is one of the most popular turn patterns. The maple is as good as you can get anywhere. The brand name that stands behind it is the most popular MLB bat. In other words, it is very hard to go wrong with a youth wood AP5 from Marucci.
Common Questions About the Best Youth Baseball Bats
How Do You Determine the Best Youth Baseball Bats?
We spend a considerable time actually using the bats we review on this site. We are not, as so many are, simply parroting lists from Amazon or other major vendors’ best sellers lists. Our reviews take on serious research by players and parents. Often, we discuss our findings with major vendors and several manufacturers. Throughout that process, bats in each category tend to rise to the top of the lists.
That said, we are the first to admit that our recommendations are not fool proof. Indeed, the best for most is not the best bat for all. We are hopeful our insights are simply once piece of the puzzle for you in determining the best youth baseball bat.
Are Youth Bats and Little League Bats the Same?
The confusion is to be blamed completely on the Industry. There is an entire swath of young players that play youth baseball in Little League organized leagues. Notice the capital L’s. Those leagues put their own set of requirements on the bats. Including, for example, a 2 1/4 inch max barrel diameter.
But, there is also an even bigger swath of players that are often referred to as Youth players but they do not play in leagues that are affiliated with Little League. As such, the youth bats they use are not the same as the youth bats Little League uses. To make it even more confusing, 2 1/4 baseball bats are often referred to as Youth Bats. But, 2 5/8 or 2 3/4 barrel bats are often referred to as Youth Big Barrel Bats. It is terribly confusing. But, in the end, Youth Bats and Little League bats are not always the same.
What Size Youth Baseball Bat Should I get?
We cover the way to size a bat correctly on our bat size chart page. It is too long a conversation for a simple paragraph. But there, we give some insights worth considering.