We’ve hit with every performance bat from 2015 through 2020. These are the The Best Drop 8 Bats readily available that we’ve tested and measured.
By Brian July 3, 2020 3:57 pm
Update July 20: We let the Marucci CAT 8 take the top spot over DeMarini’s CF after a years worth of reviews on the two lines and the price difference did us in. The Xeno drop 8 remains in the top spot and might never be removed. Our wildcard choice is the ADV 360 in a drop 8 and we liked its feel so much that we give it some love here.
Drop 8 baseball bats are made, roughly speaking, for the 12 year old looking for something with a little more weight than drop 10 but not quite sure about a drop 5 yet. Our bat survey data shows that most 12 year olds who choose a drop 8 are perfectly happy with—as happy as anyone who chose a drop 10. Our recommendation is that more 12 year olds swing a drop 8 as their transition to BBCOR and drop 5 ball is imminent. They will find, we submit, the drop 8 to feel great and give them more distance then they’d expect in a drop 10.
Fastpitch drop 8 bats are made for the power hitter. Drop 8, actually, is the lowest drop of any fastpitch bat and only a few companies make performance bats with that kind of drop. The bats are made for big hitting collegiate and highschool players that can handle as much weight as the game allows. You’ll find, as well, that most drop 8 fastpitch bats only come in a 33 and 34-inch length because, again, only strong hitters use them.
|Best Drop 8 Bat||Best Drop 8 USA Bat||Best Cheap Drop 8 Bat for 12U||Best Drop 8 Fastpitch Bat|
|Brand||1. Marucci||2. Easton||3. Rawlings||4. Louisville Slugger|
|Model||CAT 8||ADV 360||Velo||Xeno|
|Type||Single Piece Aluminum||Two Piece Composite||Single Piece Aluminum||Two Piece Composite|
Most 2020 rumors have already been spilled. Aside from some color up versions to increase holiday sales we don’t expect anything to change our rankings through the 2020 baseball and fastpitch seasons. In the event something new hits the market you can be sure we are all over it and would update our rankings if the new thing deserved it.
To determine the best drop 8 bat we look to several sources. In large part we rely on our exit data sheets, swing weights and player feedback. We also take a close look at the popularity of the bats through our survey data (and here) and we watch bat performance through high speed cameras. As well, we read many online reviews from real purchasers and peruse the forums. Last but not nearly least, we actually hit with the bats. We’ve hit with every serious baseball and fastpitch bat since 2015—its a colossal amount of effort, but we feel confident we come up with what should really be considered the best drop 8 bats. We also consider the durability of the bat, its availability to the general masses and the price.
Armed with that, we think the best USSSA drop 8 bat is the Marucci CAT 8, the best USA Drop 8 bat is the ADV 360 and the best fastpitch bat in a drop 8 to be the 2020 Xeno. Of course there are some exceptions to this (especially in the USA space).
Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32-inch | Drop: 8 | Bat Type: Single Piece Aluminum | Barrel Type: Aluminum | Price: $$$ | Swing Weight: Balanced | Rating: 4.9/5 | Models: MSBC88, MSBYC78, MCBC8 | Features: Anti-vibration knob, 8 wall thicknesses in barrel, Stiff Swing
We are huge fans, as are a lot of people, with the drop 8 CAT 8 in USSSA. In fact, we struggle to find a bat model and size that gets better rating across all of baseball and softball. The CAT 8 is the perfect blend of balance and load in a big barreled single piece aluminum with sting dampening technology. Any serious player looking for the best drop 8 bat will, categorically, not go wrong with this one.
Although we like the drop 10 version of the CAT 8 just fine, we think the 2-ounce increase on the drop 8 version gives just enough more gumption to be the top of the class. That said, we think Demarini’s CF is a legit choice and we even choose it for our best bats for 12 year old—who we think should be swinging a drop 8 all day. But, across the board from the 29 to 32-inch we’d choose the CAT 8 more often then not even though we love the performance of the CF. Throw in the more than hundred dollars you’ll save going with Marucci and it’s an easy choice.
The CAT 8 is a stiff swinging single piece aluminum bat with some sting dampening technology in the handle. It won’t feel as smooth as some high end two piece composites, but its long barrel, good balance and anti vibration knob makes it an absolute world beater in the drop 8.MORE: 2020 Marucci CAT 8 Review | Cat 9 Release Date Pushed
Lots of folks would pick the Voodoo or Select in this category. For the record, we might too. But, we make a lot of the best baseball bats list, and feel like we don’t give enough to Easton’s 2020 ADV 360. This third year iteration of Easton’s top of the line two piece composite is night and day compared to their 2018 two piece composite which was huge dud. Instead, the USA 360 drop 8 is a great blend of balance and girth. The sweet spot is long and the bat sounds fantastic. User reviews, although early, are relativley positive and match well against the Select and Voodoo’s of the 2020 USA drop 8 class.
If it were our money, what would we do? Well, in short, if had a $350 budget then we’d buy the ADV 360. If not, and we wanted to save our $100 for something else then we’d get the Select or Voodoo Drop 8. In truth, we’d look for last year’s versions of the Select and Voodoo for a discount. We would not buy the 2019 Easton Ghost Evolution although its just fine—but its not the ADV 360.MORE: 2020 Easton ADV 360 Review
Sizes: 30, 31, 32-inch | Drop: 5 | Bat Type: Single Piece Aluminum | Barrel Type: Aluminum | Price: $$ | Swing Weight: Light | Rating: 4.6/5 | Models: US9V11, US9V5, UT9V10, US9V10, BB9V3, UT9V5, US9V10 | Features: Extended Composite End Cap
If it were our money, we’d search far and wide for a deal on a drop 8 bat. Those usually come in the form of last year’s model (so a 2019 or 2018). Bats like the Omaha Drop 8 and Velo Drop 8 usually see pretty significant discounts between July and December. Although some last through the new year their available sizing options become less and less.
For example, at the time of this writing we found a Rawlings Velo Drop 8 in USSSA for $80. Considering the bat was sold often for more than double that just a few short weeks ago, its good but not great ratings and its longevity that’s a great choice. Plenty of kids who know how to hit can make a Velo sing—and the drop 8 adds just enough weight in the barrel to do serious damage. It won’t feel like the CAT or CF or ADV 360, but if you square one up it will fly just as far.MORE: 2019 Rawlings VELO Review
The drop 8 in the fastpitch space is a traditional size for the advanced power hitters in high school or the legit collegiate player. The Louisville Slugger Xeno X20 is the right bat to put in the hands of this kind of talent. It’s also less expensive than other performance two piece composite fastpitch bats but don’t let that fool you. The Xeno can rake—among big hitting collegiate players its the bat of choice.
There are other options, no doubt. Most legit alternatives are Wilson sub-brand options anyways: The LXT drop 8, RXT drop 8 and the 2019 CF Zen for FNX drop 8 too. But, in terms of a stiff feel for the ultimate power experience, and a successful pedigree as long as the industry has ever seen, the 2020 XENO X20 is the right answer here.MORE: 2020 Louisville Slugger Xeno Review
In baseball, as a general observation, a drop 8 bat is best suited for the player not quite ready for a drop 5, but who wants to increase his bat’s weight to get ready for BBCOR. In fastpitch, a drop 8 bat is for big hitting, strong high school players and many collegiate players. It is the heaviest drop you will find in the fastpitch industry.
Drop 8 bats are almost always performance bats. In baseball, the window for a drop 8 is so small, it rarely makes sense for big time bat companies to produce en masse via box stores. In fastpitch, few players with little experience are good enough to swing a drop 8. As such, virtually no manufacturers make a ‘cheap’ drop 8 fastpitch bat.
Drop 8 bats have a length to weight difference of 8—meaning, the difference between the length of the bat in inches and the weight of the bat in ounces is 8. So, for example, a 30-inch bat in a drop 8 would weigh 22 ounces.Best Drop 12 Bat | Baseball, Fastpitch, Youth & Big Barrel »