How to Choose Your Youth Baseball Bat
Choosing the perfect baseball bat is an impactful performance factor for youth baseball players. It needs to be the right size, right weight and the right length for the player. It also needs to fit in your price range. Today’s youth baseball players have more options than ever, so we think you can find the right bat here. Unless you’re in the pros or playing in a wood-bat league, we’ll assume that you’ll be swinging aluminum. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting an aluminum baseball bat.
Weight: As a general rule, bigger, stronger players usually prefer a heavier bat for maximum power. Smaller players usually benefit from a lighter bat that allows greater bat speed. To determine the weight that’s right for you, swing a variety of bats and see how much weight you’re comfortable with.
Length: For the best hit balls, you need the right weight and length. A longer bat gives you more reach, thus allowing you to hit balls on the other side of the plate. But a longer bat could be heavier and reduce the power of your swing. Just like checking the weight, you need to swing bats of different lengths to decide what length best suits you.
Barrel diameter: Most players 12 and under should use a 2 1/4” barrel. This is the standard barrel size for Dixie Youth and Little League baseball, although some leagues and travel teams are using larger 2 ¾ and 2 5/8 big barrel youth baseball bats. High school and college players are restricted to a maximum barrel diameter of 2 5/8”.
League requirements: Al baseball leagues have their own bat requirements and restrictions. For example, high school and college requirements call for BBCOR-certified bats. Make sure you know your league requirements before you buy a bat or you could waste a lot of money.
Bat Material – The stuff its made of
Alloy: There are several different aluminum alloys are used in today’s bats, each with different performance and durability characteristics. Ever wondered why some bats cost $30 while others cost $300? The alloy is often the biggest factor in the price difference. Here’s a look at some of the more popular alloys:
7046: An affordable yet durable alloy that has been an industry standby for many years.
Cu31: The first real high performance bat alloy. It has also been around many years. C405 (7055): A popular alloy used by several manufacturers for more expensive high-end bats.
C555: An alloy that includes scandium, C555 is stated to be up to 10% stronger than C405.
Scandium XS: This alloy is specifically developed for Louisville Slugger. This alloy features twice the scandium found in bats made by other manufacturers, giving it even greater strength than C555.
ST+20: This alloy produces probably the highest performance bat on the market today. It is also designed exclusively for Louisville Slugger by Alcoa. ST+20 is the strongest alloy on the bat market today.
Composite: Very popular in youth baseball. Composite bats combine graphite, fiberglass and resin. Composite bats have a unique sound and feel that many batters prefer, as well as a large, forgiving sweet spot.
3X composite technology: Unique three-piece design allows barrel and handle to be designed as individual units, yet bonded together to perform as an advanced 1-piece bat
Hybrid: Combines aluminum alloy with composite materials. This gives a batter the best of two worlds: an aluminum barrel with a stiff composite handle.
H2 Technology: Is considered the next step in optimizing the composite/alloy hybrid design
Exogrid Technology: Delivers power and performance through handle stiffness and strength
Feel: This may be the most important thing to a youth baseball hitter. Make sure the bat feels right to you, like an extension of your arm and hand. To be a good hitter you must be comfortable with the bat you are swinging. In some cases we have added grip. We have found that tennis racket grip is well liked by youth players on their baseball bats.
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