One of our favorite bats for an entry level fastpitch player is the 2019 DeMarini Bustos in a drop 13. Our smaller hitters loved the ultra light swing weight and the smooth smash crated by the two piece design. It is hot out of the wrapper, doesn't require any break in and delivers pop to be useful to the serious, albeit small, fastpitch player. More on this bat in our 2019 DeMarini Bustos Fastpitch Review.
With it's just above $100 price point you can expect to find the Bustos in a lot of places. Our favorite place to check is on Amazon, as always. At the time of this writing we also found a lot of inventory at JustBats (here) and Closeoutbats (here).
This is a 2019 bat, obviously. So, don't expect any serious discounts until later in the spring of 2019. There is a 2017 version of the bat which might be worth your time if you can track it down. It is, for all intents and purposes, the same as the 2019 version of the bat. In some cases, although inventory looks slim, you can get the bat for a discount. That will only last as long as the inventory will. Check here for some inventory searches.
2019 DeMarini Bustos vs 2017 DeMarini Bustos
Aside from the paint job, there are no differences between the 2019 and 2017 DeMarini Bustos. Both bats are drop 13s. Each is made of the same DX1 aluminum barrel. Each has a reinforced carbon handle. Both are two piece hybrid bats built for the smaller hitter.
If you can find a less expensive 2017 still with warranty then we suggest you go with that one. Unless, of course, the colorway difference is worth the price delta.
2019 DeMarini Bustos Recommendations
In so many ways the Drop 13 DeMarini Bustos Fastpitch bat is the perfect fit for the entry level fastpitch player. A drop 13 swings remarkably light--and with a 2 1/4 barrel you can expect as much bat speed as you can muster. This serves the smaller player well enough. The two piece design helps for hand sting and, in theory at least, increases aggression at the plate.
However, don't confuse this bat for a bigger hitter. We'd suggest anyone over the age of 11 look elsewhere. Even in the bats 32/19 it swings like a twig---and high pitch speeds could very well dent the aluminum barrel.
If you are new to the fastpitch space, under the age 11, but here to take the game seriously (like maybe on your first travel team) then we think the 2019 Bustos a great fit and we highly recommend it.
2019 DeMarini Bustos Construction
The 2019 Bustos is a two piece hybrid bat. That means the handle of the bat is made from a composite material while the barrel is made from aluminum. High end fastpitch bats are often made in the two piece design, but most of the high end ones use both a composite barrel and composite handle. (See the rare exception here).
The Bustos comes in a drop 13. This means the numerical difference between the length of the bat in inches is 13 units away from the weight of the bat in ounces. In some sense, the drop helps determine the type of player who uses the bat. (But that is a very superficial understanding of how it works).
To give you a point of reference, most collegiate players use a drop 8. High school players might use a drop 9, 10 or, occasionally, an 11. Drop 13's are made for smaller players that need as much bat speed as possible.
- Bustos Sizing: 29/16, 30/17, 31/18 and 32/19
If you can't find it in any of these sizes try a few different vendors that we link above.
2019 DeMarini Bustos Comparable Bats
The only thing similar about the 2018 Proven from Slugger and the DeMarini Bustos is that they both swing light and they price out about the same. For most, either bat will likely do rather well for them. However, do note the single piece composite structure of the Proven will hurt on mishits more than the two piece Bustos. As well, you'll need to work int he Proven with a few hundred hits to get it working at its top form.