If you are a hitter looking to upgrade your swing in time for the 2017 season then you have come to the right spot. Want to add more power to your swing? Want to turn more misses into hits? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then this page is for you as we take a look at the best baseball bats that you can grab for 2017 season. In fact soon enough some 2018 models will make their way into the market so you may also want to get a head start and pick up something brand new. Choosing a baseball bat is not an easy decision and further down on this page we will outline some of these factors you should consider.
Guide to finding the best baseball bats
The first part of this page features a comparison table outlining our top baseball bat choices this summer. Following this we provide BBCOR baseball bat reviews of these choices and follow this with guidelines on finding the right bat for you. For younger players, you may be instead interested in taking a look at the best little league baseball bats section.
Quick reviews of our Top-5
This page in particular focuses on newer models fully approved by the BBCOR standard. The BBCOR standard, is now required standard for all high school and NCAA players. There are numerous different models with this stamp of approval so as you can imagine finding the right one is not easy. Further down below you will see some of our quicker reviews of our top choices. These choices have been updated recently so you’ll be all set for the 2017 season. We plan to keep this page updated before every new year.
Demarini Voodoo: The Voodoo has been a favorite for many years…in fact I have heard some people say it could be the best ever. Where the first two above were perfect for increasing swing speeds, the Voodoo prides itself in the amount of power it produces. Demarini has built an X14 alloy into the Voodoo which is very strong and has the durability to last many seasons. With a balanced swing weight, and and a comfortable swing, this one remains a true winner. Read our full review.
Demarini CF Zen and Insane: Building on the successful CF6, CF7, and CF8’s, Demarini has come out strong again with their brand new CF Zen and Insane brands. Using brand new ParaFlex composite throughout the entire construction, hitters will now feel a little extra pop without the extra weight experienced with others. A new “D-Fusion 2.0” handle has also been added to the CF series which promises no vibrations whatsoever. Read our full review.
Easton XL1: The most power packed bat in our list is the XL1 made by Easton. With an extended barrel and full composite construction, you’ll be taking pitches deep in no time! Although it swings slightly heavier than others in our list, it is a power hitters true best friends because when you make good contact with this one, you can instantly feel the extra pop that has been generated. The Easton XL1 is a great choice for high school players.
Easton S400: Most of the bats in our list range from the typical $200-$300 range. At less than $60, the Easton S400 has tremendous value. Although it won’t give you the amount of pop that the other in this list will, it still provides an adequate amount of power and a faster swing speed. More suited for those who are not quite at competitive levels, there is much to like about this one.
Rip-it AIR: One of the most popular bats this year has to be the Rip-it Air. What many hitters enjoy about the Prototype Air is the incredibly quick swing speeds it produces. In fact, Rip-it believes that it has developed the quickest swinging BBCOR bat in the entire market. So far many agree! Many players are quickly noticing how much better their swings are becoming which in turns leads to better results.
What is the BBCOR standard?
While BBCOR bats have been used in both high school and college for several seasons now, there is still quite a bit of confusion in regards to what the BBCOR standard is. To help clear up some of the confusion I wanted to try and answer four of the most common questions asked when it comes to this certification.
Question #1 – What Does BBCOR Stand For and What Is It?
BBCOR stands for “Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution.” The BBCOR standard regulates the amount of energy that is lost when the bat makes contact with the baseball. Each bat will go through a series of tests. If the number registers high, that means the bat has a high trampoline effect. The maximum value of a BBCOR bat is 0.50. This number was decided upon by the The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
All BBCOR bats must have a barrel diameter of 2 5/8” or less, a length to weight ratio of -3 or less and an overall length of 36” or less.
Question #2 – Why Was This Standard Created?
The number one reason the BBCOR standard was created is for safety. As offensive performance has increased, the speed at which the ball leaves the bat has also increased. To help keep pitchers safe, the BBCOR standard replaced the old standard, which was the BESR, and reduced the batted ball speed by 5%.
If a bat has a composite barrel, it will more than likely have to go through an ABI (Accelerated Break In) test to ensure it meets the BBCOR standard.
Question #3 – Do I Need a BBCOR Bat?
The type of bat you will need will depend on the league you are playing for. If you play in a league that follows the NFHS or the NCAA rules, you must have a bat that meets the BBCOR standard. Other organizations may also require players to use a BBCOR certified bat.
Standards will vary from league to league. It is therefore your responsibility to ensure you know the standards the league you play for enforces.
Question #4 – How Do I Know If My Bat is BBCOR Certified?
All non wood bats that are BBCOR certified will have a mark or stamp that says “BBCOR certified .50”. For play in the NCAA and NFHS, wood bats that use one piece of solid wood are not required to be BBCOR certified.
Types of bats and their advantages
When you look at the overall landscape of the game of baseball, for the most part, it is a simple game. Especially when you compare it to other sports such as football and soccer. On the offensive end all you need is a baseball bat and you can go out and play the game of baseball.
As you start to mature as a baseball player you will start to realize not all bats are created equal. The type of bat you choose to play with will depend on several different factors including the type of league you play in, the type of hitter you are trying to be, and how much you are willing to spend on a bat.
While there are only 4 main types of baseball bats you can choose from, each one can be made using a variety of different materials. They can also be configured to suit any hitting style. Here are the main bat types that are found in any of the best baseball bats:
A hybrid bat is basically a combination of aluminum and composite. It offers the hitter strength with very little drawback. In almost all cases, a hybrid bat is made using an aluminum handle and an aluminum spine. The barrel on the other hand is made using plastic, graphite and titanium, all of which are pressure molded composite materials.
One thing that makes the hybrid bat so attractive is its durability. Unlike bats made using other materials, the hybrid doesn’t bend, dent, warp or ding over time. The one big downside to this type of bat is its price. It can be pretty pricey and is not allowed in some leagues. Be sure to check your leagues requirements before purchasing any bat.
Wood bats have been around since the game of baseball was first invented. It is the classic baseball bat and is used in professional leagues all over the world. There are some leagues, both minor and major, that use wood bats exclusively for both in game use and bating cage sessions.
Being that each league is different and has their own set of standards, the type of wood bat used can vary greatly from league to league. For example, there was once a time when Louisville Slugger used only white ash wood to produce bats for Major League Baseball. These days however maple wood is the preferred option as it is lighter. Bamboo and hickory wood bats have also become pretty popular.
Aluminum bats are most commonly used in by younger players, high school and college. When compared to wood, aluminum bats are lighter, more durable and easier to swing. This is what makes them a great option for younger players who are just starting out and don’t have a lot of strength.
Aluminum bats also have the ability to “pop” the ball off the bat with a high level of speed. This is yet another benefit for younger players as they tend to lack strength and accuracy.
When compared to aluminum bats, you will find composite bats are lighter. They are made using a combination of plastic, graphite, and in some cases, titanium. Because of its weight, it too is a great option for young players just starting out.
Composite bats do come with a pretty hefty price tag which is why many will avoid using them. They are also not permitted in certain leagues. Again, it is your responsibility to know which type of bats are permitted in the league you are playing for. If you are looking for a bat that is durable, opt for an aluminum bat as composite bats aren’t made using durable material.
Top Brands of Baseball Bats
When it comes to baseball bat brands there is no shortage of supply. There are literally hundreds of different companies you can choose from at any given moment. Being that there are so many options, it can be very difficult to determine which one to use for your batting needs. While there are certainly more than 3 great brands you can choose from, below we are only going to discuss the top 3.
During a baseball game many, many years ago, Pete Browning swung so hard that he broke his bat. A young man by the name of Bud Hillerich happened to be watching the game that day. He decided he was going to make Browning a new bat out of his father’s shop. With the help of Browning, Hillerich made the first baseball bat which was the start of something special.
Browning loved his new bat so much that he spread the word around the baseball community. As a result, baseball players from all over started to flock to the shop hoping Hillerich could make them a bat as well. In 1894 Hillerich took over his fathers shop and renamed it Louisville Slugger. And as the saying goes, the rest is history.
The Louisville Slugger brand has built itself into one of the most iconic brands in the industry. They are responsible for creating the first three piece bat technology that revolutionized the game. Legends such as Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth have used Louisville Slugger bats during their career. Today, baseball players from all over the world choose Louisville Slugger bats more than any other brand.
DeMarini was founded in 1989 by Ray DeMarini. Since the company started they have had a huge impact on the game of baseball. They launched the world’s first multi-wall bat, the Doublewall bat. The company is known for its innovative technology which is one of the main reasons they have such a loyal following. They are literally changing the game of baseball with the products they are creating.
Due to its unbelievable success, Wilson acquired DeMarini in 2000. Since then the company has continued to grow and develop some of the most innovative, high performing bats the game has ever seen. In fact what should be the top performing bat for the 2017 season is featured on this page: the CF Zen and Insane.
Easton Sports was founded in 1922 by Doug Easton. When the company first started they were manufacturing bow and arrows. It wasn’t until 1969 that the company started manufacturing baseball bats. In 1999 Easton expanded their product line yet again and started making wooden bats. They also acquired Stix Baseball, Inc. that same year.
Easton is known for developing several technologies including Integrated Matrix Technology and Carbon Nanotube Technology . There are well over 100 professionals who choose Easton as their brand of choice. The great thing is they have bats for every budget. You can get a bat for as low as $40 or as high as $500.
And there you have it. Three of the best baseball bat brands in the world. No matter what brand you choose, if you choose one of these you simply can’t go wrong. And that of course concludes our baseball bat reviews page. We hope that it has provided you with valuable insight to improve your game.