Given the mindboggling range of products available in the market, choosing the right kind of sports equipment for baseball can be a daunting task. Following is our list of 8 best baseball bats for high school with all the comparisons you will ever need.
Not only should the sports gear meet all the important regulations by authorities, but it should also complement the individual capabilities of the athlete. Our review covers the compliance specifications, as well as construction, material, USP’s and a quick glance at the pros and cons.
Choosing the Best baseball bats for High School: The Most Comprehensive Guide
The Marucci CAT7 BBCOR Baseball Bat
Marucci is a know name in the Baseball world. Known for one of widest range of products and undeniable quality commitment, it offers numerous options of baseball bats to choose from. 7 out of 10 high school coaches recommend CAT7 BBCOR for its increased sweet Spot.
Compared to its predecessor the CAT6, also by Marucci, the CAT7 is made of the brand’s famous Az4x alloy. The material provides unbeatable tinsel strength that allows the construction of much thinner barrel walls and by extension, a much better sweet spot. The bat boasts of an unparalleled trampoline effect and almost acoustic ping upon contact.
Pros against Cons
A much more responsive bat with a higher trampoline effect will definitely prove to be a guaranteed rainmaker, but will definitely require much more control and that may be a little demanding from a high school athlete.
The Av2 anti-vibration knob is a welcome refinement and reduces the sting considerably, but this slight comfort will cost more money than any other brands for a high school league.
Further for the regulars, the bat has an extended barrel for a better range but is well within BBCOR requirements. The hyper skin grip and a traditional one-piece body, adds further value to the product. A definite asset to have for any team but the undeniably expensive price tag may not be easy for everyone to bear.
DeMarini D271 Pro Maple Composite Baseball Bat
DeMarini has been in the business for long, and has built a reputation for competitive pricing and undisputable durability of their products. The D271 Pro is being promoted by the company as the most durable bat in their maple lineup, reinforced with DeMarini’s proprietary composite inner that guarantees lasting strength and durability.
Instead of the usual pinewood, the D271 Pro boasts of the much stronger and durable Maple. The handle is carbon fiber, and the two piece grip feels remarkably comfortable. I was luckily able to find a one year old bat in a local school team and it still had a great pop.
Pros against Cons
Compared to similar products in this range the D271 Pro has a much better sweet spot, yet it does feel a little heavier than you may expect for a 31-inch bat.
The material is of undeniably good quality, and the two-piece carbon fiber handle gives an excellent comfortable grip, the Knob tends to fall off though, so it is advisable to reinforce it with tape or some adhesive.
The most prominent character of the D271 Pro is its quality and durability for a competitively priced bat. Additional features such as the extended barrel variant, the additional sweet spot, and two piece comfort grip are definite add-ons. The handle is comparatively thin, however, so the bat may feel a little end heavy.
Easton 2018 Ghost X -3 Adult Baseball Bat (BBCOR)
In my list of reviews Easton is definitely one of the most respected makers of baseball bats. Their latest flagship line for the year 2018 is getting positive reviews from coaches and players alike, with a few exceptions of course. The Ghost X, demonstrates continued refinement from the brand, and Easton seems quite confident of the “supernatural” technical precision of their latest product.
The most prominent aspect of the Ghost-X is the Easton’s signature ‘X-Tended’ barrel design. The barrel is long, and the sweet spot is massive. The result of their trademark ‘Exact’ carbon technology was apparent in my test swings as well. The bat may need a little breaking in, but the balance of the swing is apparent from the first use itself.
Pro’s against Cons
Given all the trademark technicalities by a known brand, the bat is a great purchase, but for a composite bat, which means without the promise of durability, the cost is a definite minus point.
The sweet spot is great, one of the largest in the market actually, but even with this distinction of the construction, the sting is quite disappointing for a two-piece bat.
For any hitter who prefers the feel of a two-piece bat and a balanced swing, the Ghost X should be a respectable recommendation but the sting is rather prominent for a two piece. The barrel is large but pop is not as great as you may want from an Easton. The pricing is a major concern too. Cost-conscious buyers would demand an ultra-durable bat for this cost.
Easton 2018 Beast X Hybrid BBCOR – High School/Collegiate Baseball Bat -3
I have chosen another Easton bat, solely because their flagship line for this year seems to have been getting a few negative reviews for its price, for a more affordable option from Easton, the beast X is another release this same year. The same Easton quality assurance, and at a much better price, Beast X is a promising release by the brand.
Easton has moved on from their Z-Core to the next generation Beast X this year. With drop of 3 and a 2 5/8 inch barrel the bat is a good choice for an all round batter at a high school level. The two-piece is rather well balanced, and basis my test swings, has the sting even better managed than the much pricier Ghost X.
Pros and Cons
The hyperskin grip is regular feature in this range of bats, and has been known to deliver good results, but tends to get a little slippery and will easily show usage and dirt because of the white color.
The Beast X has a rather wood like feel for a non-wood barrel due to thicker barrel walls. This could be a surprise if you do not try the bat before purchase.
The Beast X hybrid is a respectably good bat for all kinds of hitters. Comparatively affordable for an Easton, and offers a great sweet spot. But given that the bat is not designed for any specific profile of batters, it is advisable that you try it before purchase.
Rawlings Velo Hybrid Balanced BBCOR High School/Collegiate Baseball Bat
Rawlings has been a respectable brand, in a market dominated by the likes of DeMarini and Easton, but for the competitive price, undeniable quality and durability Rawlings has built a definite reputation in the BBCOR market. The Velo lineup is a definite recommendation if you are not looking for anything too fancy, and a good old single piece baseball bat with some considerably great features.
Hands down the best thing I love about the Velo is the ballistic Pop, the result of a special groove on the inside of the barrel. The bat is hot out of wrapper and offers the easy familiarity of a single piece alloy bat. I could not find an old bat, but the material is excellent quality aluminum (proof is the loud ping!) so it is promisingly durable too.
Pros against Cons
The loud pop, and the explosive swing speed are definitely attractive, the sweet spot however is lesser than the other BBCOR bats in my list so far.
The construction and the alloy continue with the Rawlings legacy of good quality, but I felt the handle getting a little slippery so you may need to get that fixed with gloves or pine tar.
Excellent pop, reasonably priced, powerful and promisingly durable, the Velo hybrid can prove to be a great bat. The groove is an effective device and adds to the explosive swing of the bat too. The slightly prominent sting however may not be easy to overcome for those who prefer a two piece bat.
RIP-IT BBCOR AIR Elite Baseball Bat
RIP-IT is has been around for some time in the baseball bat market and has gained a respectable credibility for the technological innovations in their products. The bats in the AIR line-up, without exaggeration, are some of their best products that I have reviewed till date.
The bat features what RIP-IT calls the rifle barrel. There are a number of scientifically cut grooves on the inside of the barrel removing a dramatic amount of weight without compromising on any of the strength and durability. This results into an explosive bat speed and the barrel’s acoustic shape gives a beautiful ping.
Pros against Cons
For a single piece alloy construction the bat is remarkably light-weight, there are some hitters, however, who may not prefer an ultra-light feel of the bat.
The contact grip has a great feel and almost completely eliminates sting, but tends to get sweaty rather quickly.
RIP-IT’s prototype AIR is has garnered mostly positive reviews so far for being light, durable, powerful and absolutely affordable too. Ultra light bats, however, are not every hitter’s first choice, and it is recommended that you try the bat first. Another noteworthy feature is RIP-IT’s “Love it or return” policy that allows you a complete 30 day trial against a full refund without questions.
RIP-IT BBCOR AIR Baseball Bat
Another RIP-IT product that caught my attention this year is also from the AIR line-up. The BBCOR AIR Elite, mostly just fine tunes a number of great features from the single piece construction of the AIR Prototype, and brings them in a two piece bat without losing any of the massive ping.
The explosive speed and powerful ping of the Rifle Barrel can be seen exactly like the prototype except in the Elite it is combined with the flexibility of a two piece. The bat has a noticeably well-balanced swing and offers great control without any sting, thanks to the contact grip. The R2 alloy competes with top-of-the-shelf baseball bats without being annoyingly expensive.
Pros against Cons
I couldn’t find any major cons with the AIR Elite, except that some batters may chose the traditional feel of a one piece. The AIR Prototype I have reviewed in the list can be good choice in that case.
The contact grip is one of the comfortable that I have ever sampled in a bat, but I have found that it gets sweaty rather quickly.
And overall great two piece bat, offering absolutely good quality R alloy body, lightning fast speed, and a thunderous ping that matches every bit with the bat’s power. RIP-IT is known for quality and consistency and if you are looking for an alloy bat, this may easily prove to be a great purchase.
Axe Bat 2018 ELEMENT USABat (-8) Baseball Bat
Last in my review is a new USABat for this year. Axe is a comparatively new brand, but is gaining rapid popularity for the innovation they are bringing into their products. The 2018 Element bat has a number of their most familiar features, along with a few new welcome additions.
Many of the coaches and batters I have spoken with are vocally appreciative of Axe’s signature axe shaped handle. In my test swings I have realized that once the batter has swung the bat for a while, the axe shape offers excellent barrel control, and results into better bat speed. The pop is loud, and the sweet spot generous enough for confident power hitters.
Pro’s Vs Cons
The Axe shaped handle works for sure, gives great control and flashing speed to the bat, yet it will definitely take a little while for the batter to get familiar with, this also means a slightly more prominent sting than other one piece bats.
The bat also features and aerodynamic end cap, that clearly enhances bat speed, yet once again this is a unique feature and may take a few swings to understand and control.
The Axe 2018 Element is a revolutionary bat. The unique shape far from being only an aesthetic fancy does actually do what it claims to do. Enhanced bat speed, superior control, and the mantic alloy with its loud and clear ping, all add to the charm of the Axe Element. Unique features like, however, demand getting used to and may need considerable practice before the batter gets comfortable with it.
While the above selection of bats focuses on these eight bats specifically, there are a few basic details to keep in mind while choosing any baseball bat. The following five points should serve as a beginner’s guide to buying a baseball bat. We like to call it the M.A.T.C.H. pointers.
- Material: While aluminum is good for beginners due to price and simplicity, players who feel they are ready for advancement can slowly move on to composite bats.
- Anatomy: The best way go about the size is measure the length between middle of the batter’s chest to the tip of his outstretched arm, and select a bat which is closest to this measurement.
- Test for Weight: The batter should be able to hold the bat for at least 20-30 seconds with his arm outstretched. Any discomfort at this stage should mean that the bat is too heavy for the batter.
- Certifications: Once you have been able to select a bat, it must also be ensured that the bat meets the guidelines of your league. All bats have markers to show their legality like a “BBCOR icon” on all the bats in the list above.
- Handiness: And finally, once you have been able to select a bat, which is legal for your league, do give it a few test swings and make sure you are comfortable with the weight, the swing and the power. Remember no level of expert opinion can substitute your own sense of comfort when you swing your bat on the plate. Happy Batting!!