We spend hundreds of hours, every year, testing bats and, specifically, drop 12 bats. We categorize our top picks with our best drop 12 bat details below. In short, we like the Catalyst from Slugger in USSSA, the Rawlings Threat in USA, and the Axe Element in fastpitch as our best drop 12 bats. Those looking for a value purchase, new in wrapper, should steer towards DeMarini’s Uprising. We think you’ll do better, if you’re looking for a great value purchase, by seeing our best cheap baseball bats options and strategies.
Is a drop 12 the right size? See below the chart.
Best Drop 12 Bat
|2018 Slugger Catalyst||USSSA||$$||4.5/5|
|2019 Rawlings Threat||USA Bat||$$||4.5/5|
Who Needs a drop 12 Bat?
Our bat size chart is useful in terms of finding the right length bat. The max weight you can get in a drop 12 is a 32 inch bat. This would give it a scale weight of 20 ounces, roughly.
Using the chart, you’ll see that this type of bat is good for a 12 year old that weighs less than 80 pounds; a 10 year old under 50 inches tall; virtually any size player under the age of 9.
Best USSSA Drop 12 Bat: 2018 Slugger Catalyst
For as long as we can remember, our favorite drop 12 bat has been the Catalysts. We liked the 2016 version, the 2017 version as well as this year’s version. And, the difference between them is virtually nothing. This has been the same light swinging big barrelled single piece composite bat for a few years now.
And our hitters love it.
An occasional mishit won’t feel great on your hands, but when you barrel one up it feels and looks like any high end bat out there.
See our Catalyst Review.
Best USA Drop 12 Bat
There are not many great drop 12 options in the USA space for 2018. But, luckily, there is at least one real good one. We like the Rawlings Threat as our drop 12 choice. In fact, it swings so light that we think it should be considered a drop 13.
Despite its ultralight swing, which is what drop 12 hitters want, we like the barrel size and feel. If you are on the fence about sizing with the Threat we suggest you go with the longer one.
This, like the Catalyst, is a single piece composite bat with a decent sized barrel. Performance and exit speeds looked good.
See our full 2019 Rawlings Threat review.
Best Fastpitch Drop 12 Bat: Axe Element
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.
However, one stood out to us as being unique and useful for the player looking for all the swing weight advantage they can get: The 2018 Axe Element.
We really like the ergonomic Axe handle for any player. But, especially, younger and smaller players looking for as much help as possible with their mechanics and bat path.
See our full list of Axe Bat reviews.
Best Value Drop 12 Bat
The DeMarini Uprising as the best drop 12 value bat is a bit of a cheat. The Uprising comes in a few different drops depending on the league you are looking for. The USA Bat (pictured) and the BBCOR bat are not drop 12 bats. But, there is a USSSA and Junior Big Barrel version as well as a fastpitch bat that is a drop 12.
DeMarini’s Uprising is a single piece aluminum bat with basic features. This a no frills bat with a great brand name and a high degree of durability. It is, truly, a value level bat for someone looking for, simply, a bat.
See our DeMarini Uprising Review.
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, by no means do we suggest that the best bat for many is therefore the best bat for all.