Selecting the appropriate baseball bat is crucial. Attempts to wield a bat that is either excessively long or heavy can adversely impact both your swing and well-being. It’s disheartening to finish an at-bat knowing you can match the pitcher’s speed but come away empty-handed. You’re essentially maneuvering a tree trunk through the hitting zone. When it comes to baseball bats, players should follow a progression. It starts from tee-ball and advances to a -3 bat for high school and college play.
Here, we will discuss the best baseball bats for your swings.
Choosing the appropriate baseball bat ultimately boils down to feeling. It is not for you if you feel uneasy swinging the bat or if it alters the feel of your swing. When you step up to bat as a hitter, the last thing you want to experience is your bat dragging through the zone or not feeling comfortable in your hands. See our post “What hitting with a wood bat can teach you” for more details on feel.
Baseball bats are available in a wide variety of weights, lengths, and barrel sizes, as you are undoubtedly well aware. Consider getting a bat from the store or borrowing a friend’s to give it a try and see how it feels. Try swinging it for a few dry swings or use it for a batting practice session to feel how it feels. Feel is ultimately what counts most. Let’s go into that a little bit more if you choose to follow the books.
Bat Regulations and Sizes
Youth bats should use a 2 ¼ inch barrel; as they get older, the barrel will grow to 2 ⅝ inches. These are the two main barrel sizes. The three organizations that control bats are USA Baseball, USSSA, and BBCOR. The most restrictive governing body is BBCOR since it only allows the use of three bats and requires a barrel size of less than two and a half inches. You will also be using BBCOR in college and high school.
The United States Sports Specialty Association, or USSSA, generally keeps an eye on players who are 11 to 13 years old and permits a broad range of weights and barrel sizes.
Numerous organizations, including Babe Ruth, Little League, Pony League, and USA Baseball, have embraced the new bat regulation. There are no weight limits and a maximum 2 ⅝ inch barrel allowed in the leagues that participate.
Young Bats for Baseball
There are specific ways that you should choose a bat size for your child, according to Baseball Monkey. A 26-inch bat is a good place to start if your child is between 3′ and 3’4″ tall. You should increase the bat’s length by one inch for every four to five inches that your child grows. This line of reasoning holds water; Louisville Slugger, for example, adopts the same philosophy as Baseball Monkey and applies it to their bat line.
The majority of online research indicates that a young player’s first bat should be 26 or 27 inches long. When determining the bat size for a young player, a straightforward method is to have them stand with baseball cleats on and place the bat next to them, standing it upright.
The bat should travel to the player’s hip from the ground up, but no farther. In general, we can say that the bat is too long to swing effectively if it passes the hip.
You know roughly how long it should be, but what about the weight? Generally speaking, you will have more bat speed and control with a lighter bat. You get more power with a heavier bat. Youth bats therefore fall between -13 and -7. It is referred to as the “drop”—the difference between the bat’s weight and length. For instance, the bat is a -13, or a drop 13, if it is 27 inches long and weighs 14 ounces.
Bats, Teen, and Adult
Sadly, a 27-inch, 15-ounce bat is not something you can use forever. So you’ll start using a -5 and a -3 drop bat as your height and weight increase. In my high school career, I immediately switched from the -5 bat to the -3 bat. It’s critical to choose between increased power and increased bat control once you reach the -3 bat. It all depends on the type of player you are. A middle infielder or outfielder with a lanky stature should probably opt for greater bat control.
Size of Bats
Check out the chart below for a great resource on the standard bat size for your weight and height. You can get a decent idea of what size bat hitters usually use at a given weight and height by looking at this chart. The skill level in your league may also play a role in choosing a length. A 33- or 34-ounce bat might be able to hop in the box if the pitcher is not throwing as hard.
Websites that provide in-depth guides, like this one on choosing a baseball bat, are common. Although choosing a bat and preference is not always simple, you will most likely stick with it throughout your career.