The 10 Best Youth Baseball Bats of 2022

Hit a home run with these great picks for kids

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Verywell / Chloe Jeong

The right baseball bat is key to a young player’s success as a hitter, and the size, weight, and type of bat can make a huge difference in their performance.

Before selecting a bat, you should definitely check with your child’s coach or league officials to find out the regulations for bats. While different youth baseball organizations may have varying rules and regulations, most of them, including Little League, adhere to USA Baseball’s USABat Standard.

“Once you find a selection of bats that adhere to the USABat Standard, find a bat that is comfortable for your player to hold and swing to ensure they are able to make contact and have an enjoyable experience,” Nick Caringi, senior director of operations and education at Little League International, says.

We selected the best youth baseball bats by researching more than 35 bats from eight different companies and looking at product details and customer reviews. When making our selection, we considered features such as performance, durability, materials, comfort, design, and price.

According to our research, here are the best youth baseball bats on the market.

Best Overall: Marucci CAT 9 Connect -10 USSSA Baseball Bat MSBCC910

Marucci CAT 9 Connect -10 USSSA Baseball Bat MSBCC910

JustBats

Pros
  • Expanded sweet spot

  • Very little vibration

  • Durable

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Some report it scratches

What do buyers say? 96% of 100+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

The Marucci Cat 9 Connect baseball bat tops our list for its exceptional performance, quality, and comfort. The bat is constructed using a thermal treatment process that results in better feel, improved responsiveness, and more forgiveness.

The two-piece hybrid design features a composite handle and an alloy barrel, resulting in a powerful, durable bat that’s hot out of the wrapper. It’s also known for having good pop and almost no vibrations on contact.

With a ring-free barrel design, the bat delivers superior flexibility and better performance with no dead spots. We also love the soft-touch grip that enhances overall comfort and control.

The CAT 9 Connect has a -10 drop weight and comes in four lengths—28 to 31 inches.

Material: Aluminum barrel, composite handle | Drop: -10 | Diameter: 2.75 inches

Best Budget: Rawlings 2021 Exclusive Remix USA Youth Baseball Bat

Rawlings 2021 Exclusive Remix USA Youth Baseball Bat

Source: Rawlings

Pros
  • Perfect for young players

  • Lightweight

  • Good grip

Cons
  • May dent over time

  • Not as powerful as heavier bats

Young kids can quickly outgrow a bat, so you may not want to invest too much in one when they’re just getting started. This Rawlings Remix USA Youth Baseball bat is an affordable, quality option that allows kids to learn the basics.

With a -10 drop weight, it’s made of ultra-light aluminum, so it’s easy for even young players to get a full, complete swing. The large sweet spot and 2.25-inch barrel help them hit the ball harder and farther, while the comfortable grip gives them good control.

Kids also appreciate the cool colors and graphics that will definitely make them stand out in the batter’s box. The Remix comes in four different lengths—from 26 to 29 inches.

Material: Aluminum | Drop: -10 | Diameter: 2.25 inches

Best Big Barrel: Louisville Slugger Omaha 2020 Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger Omaha 2020 Baseball Bat

Source: Louisville Slugger

Pros
  • Durable

  • Lightweight and balanced

  • Good grip

Cons
  • Some users report vibration

  • Some report end cap getting loose

For Little Leaguers in need of a big barrel, the Louisville Slugger Omaha is an excellent pick. This USA Baseball Youth-approved bat is made of a single piece of 7-series alloy, which creates a stiffer feel on contact and moves more energy to the barrel. The 2.6-inch barrel bat also boasts an unusually large sweet spot and a reliable synthetic leather grip for optimal bat control.

Despite the big barrel design, the bat is balanced and lightweight, so young players can still swing with proper technique. It’s available in five different lengths, from 26 to 30 inches, each with a -10 drop weight.

Material: Aluminum | Drop: -10 | Diameter: 2.62

Best for Beginners: Rawlings 2021 Exclusive Chaos USA Youth Baseball Bat

Rawlings 2021 Exclusive Chaos USA Youth Baseball Bat

Source: Rawlings

Pros
  • Easy to carry

  • Big sweet spot

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Not as durable as more expensive bats

  • May not be good for distance hitting

If your child is graduating from tee-ball and ready for a bat suitable for coach pitch, this Rawlings bat is a great option. The large barrel features a big sweet spot, making it easier for beginners to make contact with the ball. This USA Baseball-approved bat is ultra-lightweight and made with Rawlings' highly responsive, durable aerospace-grade alloy, so it also delivers a quick swing speed.

Perfect for backyard playing or youth baseball, it has a comfortable grip that allows young players to get the hang of swinging. It’s available in five different lengths and weights, so the bat works for a range of ages and sizes.

Material: Aluminum | Drop: -11 | Diameter: 2.62 inches

Best Composite: Easton Ghost X Hyperlite Youth Bat

Easton Ghost X Hyperlite Youth Bat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Durable

  • Lightweight

  • Excellent speed

Cons
  • Requires break-in period

  • Expensive

Versatile and very durable, composite bats have been gaining in popularity among youth players. The Easton Ghost X Hyperlite is a great value for those looking for a reliable composite bat. Made with a single-piece construction, it’s constructed with a carbon composite for a unique feel and lightweight, balanced design, which translates into better speed.

The flexible speed cap allows for a more responsive barrel and a satisfying pop when your player makes contact.

With a sharp, cool-looking design, the bat is especially appealing to young batters. It also has a custom Lizard Skins grip that provides excellent control, tack, and comfort.

Material: Carbon composite | Drop: -11 | Diameter: 2.62 inches

Best Alloy: Rawlings 5150 -10 USA Baseball Bat

Rawlings 5150 -10 USA Baseball Bat

Source: Rawlings

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Large sweet spot

  • Durable

Cons
  • Feels heavy for a -10 drop

  • Not for younger and smaller players

Although wood and composite bats are growing in popularity, the alloy bat still reigns supreme in youth baseball. Constructed from responsive, aerospace-grade alloy, the Rawlings 5150 bat is made for optimal performance at the plate. It’s easy to swing, thanks to its lightweight construction.

Although it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, the bat has a large sweet spot and is an excellent value. A large 2.4-inch barrel makes it easier for players to connect and blast the ball harder.

With a one-piece design, it’s extremely durable and will last a long time, even if a kid is rough on it. It’s approved for use in all USA Baseball-sanctioned leagues and has a sleek design that definitely stands out at the plate.

Material: Aluminum | Drop: -10 | Diameter: 2.4 inches

Best for Grip: Easton Speed USA Baseball Bat

Easton Speed USA Baseball Bat
Pros
  • Good and comfortable grip

  • Lightweight

  • Big sweet spot

Cons
  • May dent over time

  • Paint chips off for some

Made from aircraft-grade alloy, the Easton Speed USA baseball bat is lightweight and strong, making it an excellent bat for youth players. In addition to its durability, its cushioned grip sets it apart. It’s tacky to give batters good control and comfortable to reduce vibrations and stinging.

The 2.62-inch barrel diameter gives it a large sweet spot, sending the ball faster and farther when contact is made. Despite the large diameter and contact area, it’s still well-balanced and easy to handle. Ideal for young players, especially beginners, this USA-certified bat comes in a wide range of lengths—from 26 to 32 inches.

Material: Aluminum | Drop: -10 | Diameter: 2.62 inches

Best Fast Swing: Marucci CAT8 Youth Baseball Bat

CAT 8
Pros
  • Durable

  • Responsive and forgiving

  • Good grip

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Smaller sweet spot than other bats

If your player is looking for a bat that swings hard and fast, we recommend the Marucci CAT8 for helping them crank the ball out of the park. Made with single-piece aluminum, this bat is particularly strong and is sure to last for multiple seasons.

What really sets the Marucci CAT8 apart is its exceptional 2.75-inch barrel, which is precision-balanced for a faster swing. With thinner barrel walls than many competitors, the bat’s multi-variable wall design allows for more forgiveness, more response, and no dead zones.

The Marucci CAT8 includes features such as an anti-vibration knob, dampening system for better feel, and a tack-heavy micro grip handle. Choose from bats measuring 28 to 32 inches.

Material: Aluminum | Drop:  -8 | Diameter: 2.75 inches

Best for Really Young Kids: Rawlings Raptor T-Ball Bat

Rawlings Raptor T-Ball Bat

Source: Rawlings

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Excellent for ages 4 to 7

  • Ultra-lightweight

Cons
  • Not made to handle regulation baseballs

  • May dent over time

This Rawlings Raptor T-ball bat is extremely lightweight, making it a great choice for young tee-ball players who are learning to swing the bat properly. Intended for use with soft-core tee balls, the bat is USA Baseball-approved for all tee-ball leagues and is perfect for kids who are new to the sport.

The one-piece alloy bat has a perimeter-weighted cap on the end of the barrel, which reduces the overall weight swing while adding a slight boost when contact is made. A generous sweet spot helps players to send the ball flying.

The synthetic grip offers comfort and control, helping to keep the bat in their hands. The bat is available in three different lengths, from 24 to 26 inches.

Material: Aluminum | Drop: -12 | Diameter:  2.25 inches

Best Wood: Louisville Slugger Youth Genuine Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger Youth Genuine Baseball Bat

Source: Louisville

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Durable

  • Good for batting practice

Cons
  • Grip is less comfortable than other options

  • Heavier than other options

Wood bats tend to require more precision and are often heavier than composite or alloy bats. However, they’re usually very affordable and good to have around for batting practice. We recommend the Louisville Slugger Youth Genuine baseball bat for kids who are looking to improve their swing. Kids also love to hear the thick sound of solid wood when they make contact.

The bat is well-constructed and made of solid maple or ash, so it’s strong and dependable. It’s available in a variety of lengths, so young players can advance into larger sizes as they grow.

Material: Wood | Drop: -3 | Diameter: 2.25 inches

Final Verdict

All of these bats are outstanding picks, but the Marucci CAT 9 Connect bat (view at Amazon) stands out for its overall performance, quality, and durability. Players love the pop and lack of vibration on contact and appreciate that it requires no break-in period.

For a budget-friendlier option, the Rawlings Exclusive Remix USA youth baseball bat (view at Amazon) is lightweight and perfect for young players. With a large sweet spot and a comfortable grip, it helps kids enjoy themselves while learning the fundamentals.

What to Look for in Youth Baseball Bats

Materials

Youth baseball bats are usually constructed from aluminum, composite, or wood. Composite bats are made of a material similar to carbon fiber and they provide substantial pop and have less vibration on mis-hits compared to other bats. However, these bats require a break-in period of 150 to 200 ball strikes before they allow for peak performance.

Aluminum baseball bats, also referred to as alloy bats, are commonly used in youth baseball and they offer better performance and durability than wood bats. Unlike composite bats, aluminum bats work well in cold weather and don’t require a break-in period. Alloy bats are generally less expensive than composite ones, so they’re a good choice for beginners or those looking for budget-friendly options.

Wood bats are not commonly used among youth players, but some kids like to practice with them to improve their skills. They’re heavier and have a smaller sweet spot than alloy or composite bats, so batters need to be more precise and stronger to hit the ball farther.    

Length

In general, children ages 4 to 6 who are just getting started with baseball will most likely need a tee-ball bat, which are typically 24 to 27 inches. Players in the 7 to 13 age range will play in leagues that require a USSSA or USA Baseball-approved bat, which range from 25 to 32 inches in length and have drop weights (weight minus length) ranging from -5 to -13.

Drop weight

Bat descriptions usually include a drop weight, which is the bat’s length in inches subtracted from the weight in ounces, and usually ranges from -5 to -13 for youth bats. The higher the drop weight, the easier it will be to swing.

Diameter 

Young players in Little League typically play with bats that aren’t more than 2.25 inches in diameter. Some higher-level leagues for older players allow bats up to 2.62 inches in diameter. Be sure you understand the league’s rules about bat diameter before you purchase one.

Price

Youth baseball bats can range pretty widely in price. While the pricier bats may last longer and perform better, they’re usually intended for very experienced players and probably don’t make sense for beginners.

“Parents should consider age and passion for the game,” Ryan Brownlee, assistant executive director, coaching outreach, for the American Baseball Coaches Association, says. “When they are young and just getting into it, you don’t need anything too fancy,” he says. Unless, of course, they are a very dedicated played who plans to play for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to measure a baseball bat for Youth Baseball

    Determining whether a bat is the appropriate length for your child can be as simple as having your child stand the bat up next to them.

    “The end of the bat should be at or below their mid-thigh,” Brownlee says. “If you have bought a bat already and it’s longer than that, just have your youngster grab the bat at the mid-thigh and that’s fine if they have to choke up on the bat.” 

    Another easy test is to have your child stretch out their arms to the side, like a scarecrow. Place the knob of the bat in the center of their chest and run the bat up the length of the child’s arm. If the child’s fingertips touch the top of the bat, it’s a good fit.

  • How to determine bat weight for Youth Baseball

    While there’s not a definite way to measure bat weight against age, there’s a simple test to see if a bat is the right weight for a player. 

    “Have the player stand up and grab the bat with their dominant hand and hold the bat out to their side straight out from their shoulder,” Brownlee says. “If they can hold the bat up for 30 seconds without their arm falling down, it is a good weight.” 

    Parents can also look at a bat’s drop weight, which is its weight (in ounces) minus its height (in inches). Once they determine a drop weight that seems to work for their child, they can look for bats with the same or similar drop weights.

  • How to increase bat speed in Youth Baseball

    Young players can work on improving bat speed by doing both underload and overload training. With underload training, they practice swinging a bat that’s lighter than what they’d normally swing. Using a lighter bat can help hitters develop the feel of moving faster and improve their power and quickness at the plate.

    For overload training, they should sometimes use a heavier bat during batting practice to help develop swinging strength.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Certified running coach and Youth Fitness specialist Christine Luff has spent years researching and recommending athletic gear and equipment to athletes of all ages. She knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.