The 2018 season brought with it some great bats, but nothing to knock off the world’s hottest bats ever. Below is our list of the world’s hottest bats ever.
We have written so many best bat articles it makes our heads spin. But surprisingly, what we’ve yet to do is make a list of the world’s hottest bats. That is, what bats have been known to be the ‘most hot’ off all time and eternity. In Little League, we consider the Combat B1 the hottest ever. For Big Barrel, the 2017 Drop 10 CF Zen was ridiculous. In Adult league, we think the Redline Z-Core from Easton takes the cake. In Slowpitch we would take the Miken Ultra II. And in Fastpitch, well, we think there are several.
You may also like our hottest bats section that uses real ball exit speeds to determine the bat with the most pop.
World’s Hottest Bats List
|Combat B1 DaBomb||Youth/Little League|
|2017 DeMarini 2 3/4 CF Zen||Big Barrel USSSA|
|Easton Redline Sc500||Adult Baseball|
|Miken Ultra II||Slowpitch Softball|
Without surprise, many of those bats also made our illegal bats list. Obviously, this makes them illegal in most leagues. You may find a few leagues that welcome such crazy hot bats, don’t enforce rules, have no bat standards or where anything goes in a home run derby. In those cases, expect anyone with the above bats to do remarkably well, even if they are a weakling.
Combat B1 Da Bomb
The B1 DaBomb put Combat on the map. Sadly, they are now a defunct company whose brand is captured under the Easton banner. This B1 was pre ABI testing (Accelerated Break-In) and anyone who stuck with this bat, worked it in and hit with it in Little League was a bomb maker.
Now that 2 1/4 is a standard of days gone by, the Combat B1 DaBomb can be found for a song on eBay. And although there are several bats on the market who have made their dent in the Little League space, we give the B1 DaBomb the title of World’s Hottest Little League Bat.
Also, see our full list of best Little League bats.
2017 CF Zen 2 3/4
In modern history, that is since standard testing has become very restrictive, no bat ever performed in the big barrel space like the 2017 drop 10 2 3/4 Zen. It was, after all, banned in the early parts of 2017. Even compared to bats before the restrictive period, the 2 3/4 drop 10 CF Zen would be considered hot.
DeMarini retooled the CF Zen and those bats have both a different serial number and an orange cap instead of the white. However, many of the white cap bats still exist for a massive premium on secondary market sites.
Easton Redline Sc500
Few bats in the world have appreciated in value over the last several years. But chief among those investment bats is the Easton Z-Core Redline SC500 stands. This bat is the Michael Jordan Rookie card of baseball bats. If you are lucky enough to have one, in nothing but hittable shape, expect its secondary market value to be north of $1000. And if you have one new in wrapper, you should put that thing in a very safe place.
Also see our best baseball bats.
Miken Ultra II
Over the years there have been several crazy hot bats in the slowpitch softball space. Pushing the limits on bat performance is felt no where more acutely than in men’s softball.
Most of the world’s hottest softball bats are found in single piece composites. And while many could make the top of our list, we like the Miken ULTRA II as the hottest softball bat in the universe. Do note, however, the bat’s durability is terrible. But, while the handle is still attached to the barrel, expect to hit crazy monster bombs.
After hours of real testing, review writing and research—as well as long conversations with major manufacturers and vendors—we think the Rawlings VELO the best balanced bat.
Although there are dozens of really, really good balanced bats, we like the Rawlings VELO for its long term commitment to an ultra light swing. Year in and year out there are few bats that give you more bat for less swing weight. And the 2018 version of the VELO, in its numerous sizes, is no different.
Lots of Other Options
Before we get too carried away, make no mistake about the fact there are dozens of other legitimate balanced bats on the market. Each is worth your consideration before you pull the trigger.
We also suggest you consider more than the swing weight of a bat before pulling the trigger. Among those other factors, and maybe mostly so, we would look at a two piece or one piece construction. That distinction makes the most difference in bat feel. Also before swing weight we would consider the barrel’s material. Do you prefer composite or aluminum on the barrel?
Best Balanced Fastpitch
2018 DeMarini CFX Drop 11
DeMarini makes a half dozen CFX bats, so make sure you are looking at the drop 11 if you want the one with the most balance. The drop 10 in the CFX is, we believe, the most popular. But if you want as much bat barrel for as little swing weight as possible, then look for the drop 11.
What is a Balanced Bat?
We measure swing weights here. That conversation might be helpful for you.
Most consider a balanced bat to be the opposite of an end loaded bat. An endloaded bat is one in which the weight of the bat is focused more towards the end cap, and therefore the bat swings heavier. As such, a balanced bat is a bat where the weight is distributed closer to the knob. This shift in balance point makes it so the bat is easier to swing.
Some consider a balanced bat in between an end loaded bat and a speed or hand loaded bat. A speed or hand loaded bat is where the weight of the bat is focused towards the knob and a balanced bat is simply in between the end loaded and speed loaded.
Best Balanced Slow Pitch
Slugger Super Z Balanced
There is no unified nomenclature throughout the industry. Easton, more recently, has adopted three categories of bat load (speed, balance, end). Most of the other major brands use the two categories (balance, end). We prefer the load spectrum defined into three sections. But, since it is not quite industry standard to use three categories, we use the balanced term often to simply mean a light swinging bat when compared to end load. This encompasses, frankly, the vast majority of bats as only a few are true end loads.
In a sport defined by bicep size, most players like the idea of end loaded bats. And in fact, most bats are categorized into how many ounces of end load are added to the end of the bat. But, if you happen to be playing the sport and are not on steroids, you might consider the Slugger Super Z Balanced slowpitch bat, as it is the best balanced bat out there.
Baseball Balanced Bats
Here is a sampling, and link to the review, of some of the 2018 baseball bats considered “Balanced”.
- Slugger 918 Prime
- Slugger 618 Solo
- Easton Ghost X
- Beast X
- DeMarini CF Zen
- DeMarini Voodoo Balanced
- Marucci CAT 7
- Marucci Hex Alloy
- Marucci F5
- Rawlings Quatro
- Rawlings VELO
- Mizuno Ghost
- Mizuno Covert
- Axe Element Hyperwhip
Fastpitch Balanced Bats
With a few exceptions, almost every performance fastpitch bat is considered balanced.
You should not use performance bats in cold weather. The issue is not a cold bat but a cold ball. Cold weather, according to most manufacturers, is sub 60 degrees.
Cold Weather Bat Recommendations
With that said, we realize that playing in sub 60 degree weather is common place. We play in the rocky mountains and hoping for a cool ocean breeze and a 70 degree game is the thing of legends.
Baseballs and Softballs, made out of leather and string, become more dense as they become more cold. More dense baseballs have less bounce and can cause more damage to a bat. Aluminum bats tend to dent, composite’s crack. This is why we prefer aluminum bats in cold weather.
Here are some cold weather and aluminum bat recommendations:
- BBCOR: 718 Slugger, Easton Hybrid, DeMarini Voodoo
- USA: Easton Beast X Hybrid, 718 Slugger, DeMarini Voodoo
- USSSA: DeMarini Voodoo
- Fastpitch: Anderson Rocketech
Generally speaking, we suggest a two piece hybrid bat. That includes a composite bat with an aluminum barrel. The barrel’s aluminum has less chance of catastrophic failure in the cold weather. The two piece construction gives a smoother feel on a cold night and a mishit ball.
Our Cold Weather BBCOR Pick
Heavier swing weight? Check. Aluminum barrel? Check. Good transition piece to help dampen sting on a cold day? Check. The 718 is the perfect BBCOR cold weather bat. Price check: Amazon.com.
Bat performance in Cold Weather
Ball flight changes when the weather is cold. Colder weather brings down both slugging percentage and Home Runs/At Bat.
Aluminum or Composite?
Per our industry conversations, we suggest you tend towards aluminum in cold weather months (sub 55/60 degrees). Hitting an aluminum bat with a ball too dense (cold) is a possible dent. The result of a ball too dense on composite is a crack and, then, the ultimate failure of the bat.
Our Cold Weather USA Bat Pick
We love this USA Bat for lots of reasons. The fact it works very well in cold weather is towards the top of the list. Is it made with a nice big aluminum barrel and a smooth transition that dampens some of the most violent of mishits. Do note, however, this bat swings heavy compared to others “drop 10” counterparts. It should be categorized as a drop 8.
How Cold is Too Cold?
For cold weather bat weight and an aluminum barrel help performance and durability. In the USA Bat space, no other bat quite captures those cold weather value like the 2018 Easton BEast X Hybrid. This is also one of our most favorite overall USA Bats. Price check: Amazon.com.
Really, no Hitting Below 60 Degrees?
Our personal experience has shown that a 60 degree cutoff is a rather conservative figure. We have used composites in 50 degree weather and a few times in 40 degree weather. Do note, however, we were not seeing massive pitch and swing speeds. If you are seeing 90+ from the mound and are swinging close to that to match it we would guess the 60 degree cutoff is reasonable.
But, if it is more like 60mph or so from the mound with a 60 or so swing speed then going below 60, in our eyes at least, is reasonable. The manufacturers feel differently and, likely, have data to back it up. This is just our layman’s observation.
Some manufacturers do not recommend hitting with a thin walled, high-grade, aluminum bat either in sub 60-degree weather. The denser ball, they argue, creates a greater chance for the aluminum bat to dent. Others manufacturers accept the risks for aluminum bats but admit the outcome of small dents on a barrel is much more satisfactory when compared to the catastrophic results of a cracked composite bat.
Best Fastpitch Cold Weather Bat
For many of the same reasons we like the Beast X Hybrid in baseball, we like the Rocketech in fastpitch. That is, the bat swings heavier (a drop 9) and is made of an aluminum barrel. This helps with durability and feel on those cold weather days. Price check: Amazon.com.
What Does Cold Weather Bat Damage Look Like?
For composite bats, bat breaking appears in the form of cracks. Cold weather cracks tend to be more focused at impact than manufacturer defects which often crack along a certain seam or length. But, that doesn’t mean cold weather cracks don’t look like that either.
Aluminum cold weather damage exhibits dents by hitting objects too hard for the bats rating. This type of damage is consistent with most aluminum bat problems as they rarely break. Instead, they bend.
We think the best cheap baseball bat (under $50) is Louisivlle Slugger’s VAPOR. The BBCOR version of the bat is over $50, so we have some other options below. But the USSSA big barrel feels great, has a good sized barrel and some legit performance if you can swing it. Our testers thought it felt as good as some bats twice its price.
In truth, though, we could do some damage with a $50 budget on eBay with a search like this. If you can afford to be patient, then finding a bat for less than $50 that once sold for 5 or 6 times that number just a few months previously is very possible. You will likely not have any warranty, but our experience with sub $50 bats makes us hard pressed to spend real money on new in wrapper $50 bat from a box store. See our tutorial on buying used bats.
See our video comparison between cheap and expensive bats below.
Best Cheap Baseball Bat (Under $50, New)
|Big Barrel (USSSA)||Slugger||Vapor||Check|
How Would We Spend $50?
Simply, we’d find a year or two old/used bat on ebay under $50 ending on auction. Sure, we’d lose a warranty and have to wait for it, but you can often pick up great deals on older model used bats. And the upgrade in performance is worth the risk, we think.
Also, if you look in October, or so, you’ll find the supply outweighs demand and you have some negotiating power.
Is there any difference between sub $50 Bats?
It is difficult to find any reasonable difference between sub $50 baseball bats. In fact, we couldn’t find one which wasn’t some simple aluminum alloy. The only major difference, in terms of performance, was the grip texture. Some bats had a perforated grip while others a more slick feel. Our experience is we like the perforated grips better as they tend to keep their tack a little longer.
Otherwise, you are buying a paint job and a barrel profile.
Is the $400 bat that much better than the $40 bat?
For most, it is not a question of being able to afford a more expensive bat. It is a function of simply choosing not to spend your money in that direction.
Our role on this site has always been to find the differences in bats and measure their performance changes. As such, we think there is a considerable difference between a $40 bat and a $400 bat. The feel, usable barrel profile and actual performance are measurable better in a more expensive bat.
We’ve also found that the better a hitter gets, the less useful they find a high performance bat. Great hitters can make just about anything work, and work well.
But, for younger players trying to have success at the plate, we think a good bat means a lot. Even still, it is no substitute for good old fashioned practice.
Best Cheap BBCOR Bat
If we wanted a sub $50 BBCOR bat, and needed it brand new, the S250 from Easton will work as good as any. It swings light, has a decent barrel profile and we like the perforated grip.
The S250 is a traditional one piece aluminum with nothing particularly fancy about its makeup. The industry has been making bats like this for the last several years.
As we state above, if you have the patience and time, it would make sense to buy a used BBCOR bat if $50 was your high water mark. Try a search like this on eBay and you’ll see there are several used BBCOR bats in that range—these are much better than the S250. In fact, at the time of this writing, we found an 2015 Easton MAKO that sold for $46. This bat was listed, and sold, for $449 just a few months ago.
Best Cheap Big Barrel
Our hitters liked the bigger barrel and smooth feel on great contact with the Slugger Vapor. It is the only bat on this list we think performs above its price point. We would likely choose this bat over several single piece bats twice its price.
Slugger has as single piece composite bat they refer to as the Catalyst. This bat runs around $100 and keeps tabs on the rising price of the VAPOR which we think could sell just fine at a price point closer to $100.
That said, just like the BBCOR bats, we think some patience and a good eye could go a long way with $50 on eBay with a search like this. At the time of this writing, we found a MAKO Torq in a drop 8 that went for $46. That bat sold for $349 about 2 years ago. It was no where close to worth $349, but is surely worth more than $46.
Best Cheap USA Barrel Bat
USA Bats doesn’t have the advantage of being around for a long time and, ergo, lacks a real robust secondary market. In fact, we couldn’t find any good used USA bats.
That leaves many of us stuck finding the best cheap USA Bat new in wrapper. We have a running article on that topic. There we chose the Rawlings Prodigy. We think that a great bat, but it has limited distribution as it is only available at Target. The Rawlings Raptor is quite similar and can be found everywhere, including Amazon.
Our hitters liked the fact the Raptor comes in a true drop 10 but still keeps the 2 5/8 barrel size.
As well, we think the VAPOR from slugger another legit sub $50 in the USA space. However, note it does swing heavier as a drop 9.
Best Cheap Wood Bat
Although not technically “wood”, we think the best $50 you could spend on a wood-like bat is on a BamBooBat. These bats are great entry level bats that swing well, have fantastic durability.
As well, they are less expensive because Bamboo is a grass, not a wood.
Do note, however, these bats might not be legal in a wood bat league.
Another option in the wood bat space would be to look for high quality blem bats. These blems are almost always a cosmetic, not functional, issue. See our article on finding blem bats.
After more testing than we can quantify (literally thousands of hours writing, researching and testing bats over the last 5 years), we think the Easton Ghost X is the best overall composite baseball bat on the market today. This wins in part because it is offered in every size and model known to man. You can find it in a USABat version as well as a drop 5, drop 8, drop 10 USSSA and a BBCOR, too. While other bats compete with it inside more specific categories, the Easton Ghost X is the best composite bat overall.
Composite bats in the baseball space run deep and wide. Three of our favorites in addition to the Easton Ghost X, are the Rawlings Quatro, CF Zen from DeMarini and 918 Prime from Slugger. Each of these bats run on their own merits as some of the best composite bats in the high school/BBCOR ranks.
Top 8 Composite Bats
2017 CF Zen
Drop 5 or 8 USSSA
Drop 10 USSSA
Best Composte Fastpitch Bat: 2018 Slugger LXT
In the fastpitch space, we love the LXT from Louisville Slugger. Although it has remarkably impressive competition in the composite space (like the XENO and CF9), we think the balance, huge barrel, fantastic player feedback and numerous options make the LXT the best composite fast-pitch bat on the market today.
Best Drop 5 or 8 USSSA Composite: CF Zen Drop 5
Talk to anyone who has hit with the drop 5 CF Zen from 2017 and they’ll say basically one thing: it is CRAZY hot. The bat’s sweet spot is as big as it gets. And the weight distribution is seriously perfect. It is hard to find this bat in stock, but if you can, please pull the trigger. You can thank us later.
Best Composite USAbat
Atlhough still early in the USABat game, we feel pretty confident the Ghost X from Easton will be the best. It has, after all, a much larger barrel than any of the other competitors out there. Add in the fact it comes in more sizes and drops than any other bat, and its likely you’ll get the best USA Baseball bat in your hands with the Ghost X. We sure wish it was less expensive, though.
Best USSSA Drop 10
2018 Marucci Hex Connect
We like the Easton Ghost,but don’t forget the Marucci Drop 10 Hex Connect. This is often a forgotten bat in the thick realm of USSSA Bats made for the drop 10 swinger. But the barrel is gigantic, the balance is quite perfect, and the performance is as good as you could hope for. This bat, and its price point, are worth taking a chance on.
Single Piece or Two Piece Composite
Most composite bats are built with a two piece structure. That is, they have a composite handle and a composite barrel that are connected someway or another. We refer to these bats as, no surprise, two piece bats. Other composite bats, although more rare, are made of a single piece of composite. These bats are stiffer, and in theory at least, can deliver more power to the ball (and, we should add, more shock waves to your hands).
The younger and lighter you are, the more you will prefer a two piece composite bat. Today, there are even several collegiate players still swinging a two piece composite. Few single piece composite bats even exist and their small market share might be all the info you need as to how well they are received. With that said, Combat (now defunct and owned by Easton) as well as Dirty South Bats (a small player out of Georgia) make a big barreled single piece composite bat that many people love. And if you are serious about going to the single piece composite space, we suggest you start with either of those two.
The Difference Between Composite & Aluminum
There are two major distinctions you can make from one bat to another. The first major distinction is whether the bat is made from two pieces or one. The other is whether the bat is made from aluminum or composite. We discuss this distinction some on our best aluminum bats page too.
There are several reasons some people prefer composite bats over aluminum. Close to the top of most lists is the fact that composite bat barrels are often quite a bit larger than aluminum bat barrels. This consistent feature is derived from the fact that composite material is lighter than aluminum, and less weight in the barrel means more material can be used to create a larger barrel. As well, composite bats tend to feel much softer on contact. The composite (which is ultimately a high grade plastic) can absorb more shock in the material.
There was a time when composite bats had better performance than aluminum barrels. Now, restrictions on barrels like BBCOR and USABat lend less credence to how hot composite can be compared to aluminum.
What is a Composite Baseball Bat?
In short, a composite bat is a carbon bat whose fibers are directed to give the bat certain properties. These properties include things like durability, trampoline effect and lightness. Composite is a fancier word for plastic. Composite bats come in all shapes and sizes and tend to run more expensive than aluminum bats. They are made for baseball, fastpitch and slowpitch. Performance fastpitch and slowpitch bats are almost entirely dominated by composite bats. Some groups take a composite handle and fix it to an aluminum barrel. These bats are referred to as hybrids. They are, in effect, a half aluminum, half composite bat.
After hours of testing, writing, reviewing and discussing metal bats with vendors and manufacturers alike, we have settled on the 2018 Demarini Voodoo Balanced as the best aluminum baseball bat. Our testers preferred the ultra smooth smash of the two piece hybrid design. Most hitters liked the lighter, ‘balanced’ version of the bat instead of the more end loaded ‘Insane’ version. Those wanting a bit more stiffness in their swing liked the Marucci CAT 7 and our fastpitch players preferred the Anderson Rocketech.
Best Metal Bats
|Voodoo||Overall – Hybrid||$$$||Hot|
|CAT 7||Overall – Single||$$$||Beautiful|
The large size offerings within the model was a plus, and the brand value ran high with a lot of users, who have used DeMarini Voodoo bats since 2014. If you’d rather have a single piece aluminum bat, we suggest the Marucci CAT 7.
Best Metal Bats: 2018 DeMarini Voodoo Balanced
This 2018 Voodoo comes in a BBCOR, Big Barrel and USABat option. The USSSA Big barrels come in a few different drops. Although the barrel is not massive compared to some composites, the bat is a perfect blend of hot out of the wrapper aluminum with the smooth smash of a composite handle.
Two other legitimate options in the aluminum metal barrel space, if your focus is high school BBCOR bats, are the 2018 Louisville Slugger 618 Solo and the Easton Beast X Speed. Both bats use an ultra light aluminum alloy to deliver a decent sized barrel. We also love how both these bats come in a short 29 inch version.
These bats will feel stiffer than the aluminum winning Voodoo. They are, after all, single piece aluminum bats. But you can expect more durability from these two, as well as a more reasonable price point.
Best Metal USSSA Bat: 2018 Marucci Hex Alloy
If you are looking for an aluminum bat in the USSSA or big barrel space, then might we suggest the 2018 Marucci Hex Alloy. This single piece aluminum bat boasts the largest barrel in its class of single piece metal bats. And although for younger players, we like the idea of a two piece hybrid as to encourage aggressive swings, making the Hex alloy a legitimate runner up in the big barrel aluminum metal bat space.
Best Metal Fastpitch Bat: Anderson Rocketech
This is an easy one. The Rocketech is the best aluminum barrel fastpitch bat on the market today. We also love it for cold weather and for any who love a strong swing with the ability to go deep at any plate appearance. This bat does swing heavier than what many may be accustomed too—but if you can wield this beast and want an extremely durable fastpitch bat, then we highly recommend the Anderson Rocketech as the best metal fastpitch bat.
Best Aluminum USABat: Easton Beast X
Although bats like the VELO look tempting, we really like the barrel size and multiple size options of the 2018 Easton Beast X in the USABat space. For a single piece aluminum metal construction, the barrel size is quite large. Granted, the real winner in this category is the Voodoo Balanced, but that bat has already taken the top spot. This 2018 Easton Beast X is a legitimate option, too.
The Difference Between Aluminum and Metal Bats
In short, there is no difference between bats referred to as aluminum or metal. In today’s market, every metal bat on the market is made of aluminum. This aluminum is manipulated to perform better by additional chemicals. The addition of these elements within the aluminum, like scandium, is why many officially call aluminum bats aluminum alloy bats. But, at its core, aluminum bats are simply metal bats just like composite bats are simply plastic bats.
There are a number of general benefits to aluminum metal bats when compared to composite and wood bats. We discuss that here. Also, you might find it helpful how some vendors make their bats sortable by aluminum metal only.
How We found the Best Aluminum Metal Bats
We have tested every performance bat since the genesis of this blog in late 2014. Those tests involve both simple approaches and more complicated ones. Measuring the swing weight, comparing it to previous models and seeing where the bat fits in the grander scheme of things, and discussing the aesthetics of the bat constitute more of our superficial approaches. We also use the bat in games and practices, as well as have multiple player feedback on each bat.
More recently, we have driven ball exit speeds and barrel size testings on our bats too. This more quantifiable data gives added insight to which bats really do perform best. Add that information to conversations with real players, an obsession for reading real reviews on a bat’s performance and dialog with major vendors and manufacturers, and we start to formulate data on what the best aluminum metal bats actually are.
The Advantages of Aluminum Bats
We discuss many of the advantages of aluminum bats when we compare them to composite and wood bats. (See here). In short, aluminum metal bats provide the distinct advantage of a hot out of the wrapper performance—meaning, no work in period like composite requires. That hot out of the wrapper performance provides confidence from swing one that you are getting the most out of your bat.
As well, aluminum bats almost always cost less than their composite counterparts. This is directly proportional to the fact they cost less to make when compared to composite bats. And although they cost more than most wood bats, their remarkable durability—much higher than composite and wood—make them a super smart choice for the value seeking consumer.
You might also read our best cold weather bat recommendations, which fall along these lines. The catch with the best fall ball bat is we consider fall a transition period for most players as well as, potentially, a cold weather bat. In our minds, hefty composites still make a lot of sense as well as an aluminum bat, get this, a well weighted wood bat too. Although many options to consider based on the league, we think the best fall ball bat is the drop 5 DeMarini Voodoo.
Best Fall Ball Baseball Bat
|Best Overall||DeMarini Voodoo||All||1st|
|Best BBCOR Bats||Easton Hybrid||BBCOR||2nd|
|Best Big Barrel Bats||Rawlings 5150||All||4th|
|Best USA Bat||Easton Beast X Hybrid||USAbat||11th|
|Best Wood Bat||Baum Composite Wood||Composite Wood||N/A|
|Another Legit Option||Marucci Cat 7||All||3rd|
Our introduction to the 2017 DeMarini Voodoo Balanced was love at first sight. We’ve long been enamored with the two piece hybrid design that DeMarini pioneered, but believed it out of many players’ realm in a heavy swinging bat. But a new alloy design for 2017 finally gives us a lighter swinging version of the bat that started the hybrid craze.
The aluminum barrel is perfect for fall baseball, and its somewhat heavier swing than the DeMarini Zen, or other two piece composite bats, facilitates some strength training for fall ball.It is far and away, our favorite choice for fall ball—especially for those in cold weather states. It fits well, too, in our Best BBCOR bats page.
See our full 2017 DeMarini Voodoo Balanced Review
For much the same reason we like the Voodoo Balanced, the Z-Core Hybrid’s aluminum barrel and focus on a more balanced swing, fit in the wheel house of many fall ball players. It will work in cold weather, and give top shelf performance from a well known brand.
The Z-Core Hybrid is a two piece design. The idea is a focus on dampening hand sting that will make it a favorite among those who love two piece composite bats. And this bats ads the unbreakable nature of aluminum alloy in the barrel for fall ball. (Amazon Price Check)
See our full 2017 Easton Z-Core Hybrid Review
In terms of a value purchase for fall ball, the 2017 5150 Rawlings is a legit choice. Its single piece design should increase power, make stronger hands through contact and not break in cold weather. There are definitely other choices in the realm of best big barrel bats, but the 5150 is as good as any we’ve swung. (Amazon Price Check)
See our Full 2017 Rawlings 5150 Review
Although very early in the USABat world, the 2018 Easton Beast X Hybrid is our favorite cold weather USABat. We like the big barrel, multiple drop options and the durable aluminum. The two piece design should help dampen sting for those cold days where an endcap hit might send your thumb to the hospital.
We should also note, this bat is not technically required until January 1st of 2018.
If you’d like a wood bat to swing in fall ball—specifically for strength training and a focus on good mechanics—the composite wood Baum Bat is a must have. It is nearly unbreakable and has great performance. Unfortunately, it is not an inexpensive bat, but you’ll only need to buy one for your entire life anyway, as it won’t break like other wood bats.
We have a full article on the best composite wood bats that may be worth your time. We think any of those would work quite well in cold weather.
See our Full Baum Bat Review
How We Decided the Best Fall Baseball Bat
If you are an avid reader of our site, you know what is about to come next. It is our disclaimer in terms of claiming the ‘best’ bat. We heavily caution, the ‘best’ bat for everyone else might not be the best bat for you. We suggest you consider the opinion above, read our review of the bat in detail, and then make an informed decision. In large measure, bat fitting is a function of taste and preference over science and popularity.
With that said, we have objectivity in deciding the best fall baseball bat. For starters, we have hit extensively with every bat in the performance space since 2014. On this very blog we have documented those efforts. Our YouTube page shows just a small glimpse into our due diligence.
We’ve also spent a considerable amount of time discussing bat production and performance with bat manufacturers and major vendors. Additionally, we have meticulously gathered reviews from players across the country and their direct feedback on these, and many other, bats.
Information gathered in our now thousands of hours of reviewing and writing, gives us confidence in selecting a best fall baseball bat.
Do You need a Fall Ball Bat?
It’s possible you don’t need a fall ball specific bat. But here are at least three reasons you might:
- If your growth spurt justifies it. Few things will make your upcoming spring ball season more painful than swinging with too light a bat this fall. Players who have grown a lot since the spring may have maxed out their bat speed with their current bat as fall arrives. To avoid making the kind of considerable jump in weight that makes hitting more difficult than it already is as next spring comes, you might want a transition bat in the fall.
- If you use fall ball for strength training more than for filling up the stat sheet. Many players approach fall ball as a way to get in some quality reps and build muscle in time for the spring when baseball tends to be more competitive. If this is your plan, consider a heavy bat (or even a wood one) to produce stronger at bats come the spring.
- If it gets cold where you live, playing with a composite barrel is not recommended. Composite barrels are not good for cold weather. They are infamous for breaking. Most manufacturers suggest weather 60+ degrees. If your fall season puts you on the field in sub 60 degree weather, you should really consider getting an aluminum barreled bat for the fall.
Best Fall Ball Baseball Bat Conclusions
As we mention above, the ‘best bat’ for any given hitter may very well not be the best bat for the next. As such, consider all the information when you see lists like the ones we’ve made above. After thousands of hours of research, hitting, reading and writing, we are confident the above are good choices for the best fall ball baseball bat, especially if your focus is on good strength training, a transition bat into something heavier next spring and durability for cold weather play.
Trying to find the best 32-inch baseball bat? A lot of league models come in a 32-inch, but we cover every category below. In short, our favorite BBCOR 32/27 could be the 32/29 618 Solo, in a drop 5 USSSA we’ll take the CF Zen, drop 8 then the Marucci CAT 8, drop 10 how about the Easton Ghost X, in a drop 12 then the VELO for sure. The best 32-inch USA Bat is the CF Zen–although we are not sure the price makes it worth it.
Best 32 Inch Baseball Bat
|BBCOR||Louisville Slugger||618 Solo||32/29||5/5||$$$|
|USA Bat||DeMarini||CF Zen||32/20||5/5||$$$$|
|Drop 5||DeMarini||2019 CF Zen||32/27||5/5||$$$|
|Drop 8||DeMarini||CAT 8||32/24||5/5||$$$$|
|Drop 10||Easton||Ghost X||32/22||5/5||$$$$|
Best 32/39 Bat: Louisville Slugger 618 Solo
We cover our best BBCOR High School bats in an extensive article. Our answer for a 32 inch bat does not change. In fact, the 32 inch is the sweet spot for BBCOR bats. In that article, like here, the 2018 BBCOR 618 SOLO from Louisville Slugger is our favorite 32 inch BBCOR bat.
We love the single piece feel but the ultra light swing. It is helpful, too, the bat has a more reasonable price point then some of the so called top shelf bats. We like the stiff feel, extended composite endcap and the custom Lizard Skin Grip.
See our Best BBCOR Bats
Best 32 32 Inch Wood Bat
Like with the BBCOR market, we see no reason to change our favorite wood bat in the 32 inch space. As we write in our best wood bats article, the AP5 or CU26 from Marucci stand as our favorites. In the 32 inch in particular, we would likely lean toward the CU26 as it a bit more of a hitters bat instead of the distance focused 33 inch. But, we are splitting hairs. Marucci’s stuff dominates the market and delivers pro-quality stuff for a somewhat reasonable price.
See our Best Wood Bats.
Best 32/22 Inch USA Bats
In USA Bat, we love a number of 32-inch drop 10s. But, true to form, we think the Demarini CF Zen is you best bat. Is it worth the price? We discuss that more on our Best USA Bats and Best Youth Baseball bats page where you can find the links to below.
Best 32/27 Drop 5 Bat
The best drop 5 USSSA big barrel 32/27 inch bat on the market today is the CF Zen. If you can find the 2017 version (the green/white one) then go that direction if it doesn’t cost a fortue. Otherwise, the 2019 version is worth every penny. And it is a lot of pennies.
See also our Best Drop 5 Bats
Best 32/24 Drop 8 Bat
We discuss our favorite drop 8 baseball bats in an article dedicated to the weight and length ratio. But hard to ever pass up on the value and performance Marucci’s CAT 8. This is an upgraded version from the CAT 7 (which was also fantastic).
Of course there are some very legit options in this particular space—starting with the Easton MAKO Ghost X and CF Zen. But, if made us choose, we’d go with the CAT 8.
See our best drop 8 bats.
Best 32/22 Drop 10 Bat
No space in the 32 inch lengths of bats is more competitive than the 22 ounce drop 10. Everyone makes one of these drop sizes and a 32 is likely the second most popular (behind the 30/20). While there are more than a few options that will likely fill your needs, we would recommend the 32/22 2019 CF Zen or Easton Ghost X for most hitters.
If budget is not a serious concern and you prefer a real balanced feel in a two piece composite, then we feel confident you would fall in love with this bat.
See our best Drop 10 Bats.
Best 32/20 Drop 12 Bat
A drop 12 32 inch bat is a bit of a conundrum. The reason is simple enough. Drop 12’s are usually needed by players who are struggling for as much bat speed and control as they can muster. Shorter bats also tend to solve that problem as much as drop 12 bats do. As such, it is odd to put an extra long 32 inch bat on a drop 12. It is a bit like mixing oil and water.
To each his own, though. And, if we were forced into this bucket, we think the 2018 VELO would do well. This is actually a two piece composite bat—although most associated the Rawlings VELO with an alumnium. (It is in the other sizes). But this drop 12 is a beauty.
It is an ultra light swing with great user reviews. The 32 inch should serve your purposes well.
See our Best Drop 12 bats.
Best 32 Inch Baseball Bat Sources
We cite a number of articles in this best 32-inch baseball bat article. You can find each of those on our bat reviews page. We also mention a number of best baseball bats lists. There we have compiled those, and explained our research and decisions.
Off this site we always find the user reviews on each bat via Amazon fun, if not often useless. But, occasionally, we will find a legit option.
Are These Bats Really the Best 32 Inch Bats?
In some sense of the term, the bats on this list are, in fact, the best. We would argue they are the best bats in terms of performance, durability and price point for the largest percentage of players.
Are there other bats that are the best for a particular player? Of course. Not all hitters’ needs and budgets are the same. As we often say, the best bat for some is not necessarily the best bat for all.
With that disclaimer out of the way, we do think this list of 32-inch bats are the best in baseball.
In conjunction with our best cheap baseball bat article, we put together one with a $100 top end threshold too. (The ‘cheap’ article uses a $50 limit). $100 doubles our money but does not double our bat’s ability. After much testing, we think the best NEW baseball bat for under $100 is Axe’s Senior League drop 10 Origin.
However, with a $100 budget we would struggle to pass up some of the deals a keen eye can find on eBay or on closeouts from major vendors.
During the months with lower bat demand (like October) $100 can go a long way on eBay to getting almost any older bat you want. Granted, the bat likely has no warranty and will take a while to get to you. But, if you have the luxury of being patient, check out our guide to buying used bats and our what to buy when article.
Best Bat Under $100
|Big Barrel (USSSA)||Axe||Origin||Check|
Closeout Bats under $100?
Also, a lot of really good bats often get pushed out by major sellers at sub $100 price points. That is, they were once going for $150+ and, for a limited time only, are going for $99.
Those deals are nearly impossible to keep track of because they often change daily. But, try these links to see some of them:
Best BBCOR Bat Under $100: Bret Bros MM-110
It is odd, for us, to choose a wood bat for the best under $100 bat. But, honestly, if we had to choose a NEW bat under $100 in the BBCOR space we’d go with the Brett Bros Maple wood bat. This thing gets outstanding user ratings, and is a true high quality wood barrel and a composite-type, very durable handle.
The company is owned, and named after, the Brett brothers of George Brett fame.
It also helps that there just aren’t any intriguing options UNDER $100 in the BBCOR space. You can find several of last year’s models under $100 via markdown. Those are often tempting. But, in terms of an original price point under $100, in the new bat category, you won’t spend your money any more wisely then on the MM-110 from Brett Bros.
You might also like our Best BBCOR Bat article.
Best Big Barrel Bat Under $100
Five years ago, when Axe really started to come on the scene, most were very skeptical. Today, only some are skeptical. Others, not so much. The fact a number of MLB players use the ergonomically shaped handle is a testament to the feel.
If we had $100 and wanted to get a NEW Big Barrel bat we’d buy the 2018 Axe Origin. It is a single piece aluminum and swings like one. That is, a stiff feel with great power transfer to the ball but very little forgiveness on mishits—just like long ball hitters like it.
As we state above, at $100 we would also try our luck on a used bat via eBay. Finding last year’s model or a bat whose original buyer misjudged the size can make $100 go a long way in the USSSA Big Barrel space. In fact, at the time of this writing, we found a 2016 Easton MAKO go for $81. That bat sold for 4 times that price just a few short months ago.
You should also check our best big barrel bats article.
Best USA Bat Under $100
The USA Bat market is volatile. There are very few options on the secondary market and bat companies are often scrambling trying to get inventory levels where they need to be. As well, there aren’t very many $99 USA bats available. There is a swath between the $39 and $79 range, the another grouping starting around $149+.
In the $99 space you have the Rawlings 5150 in a drop 10 or drop 11. It would be where our money would go if we had $100 and wanted a new USA Bat. You can also find an Axe Origin in this space too and we’d recommend it. Note, however, it runs at a drop 9.
Best $100 Bat: How We Decided
With the exception of the USA bat space, $100 bats are plentiful. Even during the season, when few bat deals go down, you can find a number of in wrapper bats new from factory by certified vendors. These bats are often not considered high performance or top shelf as they lack the barrel size and max performance factors along the length of the bat. However, plenty of players do just fine with these bats. They also serve well as backups.
With $100 dollars in your pocket, you can make some wise decisions in terms of the best bat to buy. If you have the time, check the used market. If you need something now, with a warranty and new in wrapper, then the above are our best bets.
We tested every fastpitch, softball and baseball bat from 2014 through 2018. To find the best bat for base hits we looked for a light swinging stick with a good sized barrel. Durability, value and exit speeds were also considered. We read numerous reviews on a number of different vendor sites. We think the best bat for base hits is the 2018 Rawlings VELO for BBCOR and USSSA, the 618 Solo for USA Bats, the Miken DC-41 for slowpitch and the 2017 LXT Hyper in fastpitch.
Our Baseball Pick
In BBCOR and USSSA the Rawlings Velo is a fantastic bat. It’s an ultra light swing with a good sized barrel. Players love the sound in perofrmance. Do note, however, we don’t like this bat too much in the USA 2018 version. We are not sure where that one went wrong but it lacks the top end feel we get out of the BBCOR and USSSA 2018 VELOs. Price check: Amazon.com. See our full review: 2018 Rawlings VELO.
Base Hits Over the Fence
Home runs are the base hits, we should note. But when people ask for the best bat that produces base hits they often just mean bats that are meant for the player who does not hit home run.
With that in mind, bats for base hits tend to have a lighter swing weight without losing the barrel size.
Our data here takes into account the swing of every bat (which we measure here).
We measure bat barrel sizes here too.
Those two things combined, as well as direct player feedback, help determine the best bats for base hits.
Our USA Bat Pick
The 618 SOLO is our best 13 year old BBCOR bat because it comes in a very short size. It is one of three performance baseball bats to come in a 29/26. This bat swings ultra light and perfect for the young hitter who needs as much weight correction as possible. Price check: Amazon.com. Our Full Review: 2018 618 SOLO USA Review.
What does Bat Balance Mean?
A balanced bat refers to a bat with a lighter swing weight. A swing weight measures the amount of force required to swing a bat. So, a bat with a lower swing weight, when compared to other bats of the same class, is considered balanced. We measure the swing weight of baseball BBCOR bats here. The bats lower on the scale on that article mean they swing lighter.
Our 13u Fastpitch Pick
Even well into the 2018 season, we really like the 2017 Slugger LXT Hyper. Smaller players looking for base hits should pick up the drop 11 while bigger ones the drop 10. This bat also sits atop our best fastpitch bats. Players love the balanced feel, great feel on contact and performance across the length of the barrel. We love it for all those reasons, too. Price check: Amazon.com. Our Full Review: 2018 Slugger LXT Hyper Review.