As the colder weather blows in we turn our attention to the offseason and getting the kids into winter sports like skiing, tobogganing and hockey. But let’s not forget that winter is a great time to stock up on out-of-season baseball gear, and here we’re going to focus on youth big barrel baseball bats.
If you are a parent or coach of a child who plays baseball, consider purchasing a new baseball bat for them this offseason in anticipation for warmer days coming soon. Prices are typically lower as manufacturers clear out old stock, and many bargains can be found if you look closely enough.
What Is A Youth Big Barrel Bat?
Youth big barrel baseball bats simply refer to a series of bats that have barrel sizes greater than 2 ¼”. Most youth big barrel bats have barrel sizes between 2 ⅝” or 2 ¾”, and are approved and sanctioned for U-trip play.
In terms of weighting, they generally have a drop -8 to -10, though some bats could range up to -5 and as high as -12. The larger barrel size as well as lower weight makes them much easier to swing for youth most commonly aged 8 to 12.
New Standards In 2018
Beginning in 2018, all youth big barrel bats will be required to have a USABat standard stamp as USA Baseball implements this as the new acceptable standard for all leagues, with the exception of U-trip, who will still maintain their own standards. The changes will be similar to the BBCOR rules, which measures the batted-ball impact and the trampoline effect as the ball leaves the barrel of the bat.
The current BBCOR standards stipulate a coefficient of 0.5 maximum value, but at this point we are not certain what the USABat standards and maximum will be. What we do know, however, is that USABat standards will not impose a drop weight limit. Thus, players looking to use either heavier or lighter sticks will still be able to do so.
What’s Important To Look For In A Youth Big Barrel Bat?
Here are a few things to note before you buy a youth big barrel bat:
- Durability: look for something that can withstand the wear and tear of a few seasons.
- Pop: how quickly does the ball jump off the barrel of the bat
- Price: find something that is priced reasonably and that fits with your budget, whatever it may be
- Weight: you can measure the drop weight rating to find something that is comfortable for your youth to swing without sacrificing bat speed
- Length: you’ll want something long enough that is able to reach through the strike zone, but not too long that it is awkward to swing
Product Reviews - Which Is Right For You?
Here are 5 great choices for youth big barrel baseball bats for the 2018 season:
Easton is a strong force in the world of baseball bats and their 2015 SL aluminum youth big barrel baseball bat is another great example of why. Designed with the player in mind, its ultra-slim handle is covered with performance diamond grip to provide the batter with the greatest amount of comfort and control possible. Using the latest technology in bat metals, the light matrix alloy results in faster swinging speeds and a bigger sweet spot which will have your child hitting balls out of the park in no time.
- Ultra-slim handle surrounded with performance diamond grip for greater control and maximum comfort
- Bat designed of single piece of Hyper-lite Matrix alloy for faster bat speeds, bigger barrel size, and increased sweet spot surface area
- Some users have noted issues with durability
For a bat of this calibre, the Easton SL Aluminum Youth Big Barrel Baseball Bat is an excellent option for the weekend warrior or more serious player looking for a bat to take their game to the next level.
If you’re looking for a quality lightweight big barrel baseball bat from a reputable bat company, the Louisville Slugger Catalyst (or ‘Catty’) could be the bat you have been waiting for. Made of the most advanced composite in the batting market today (the C1C composite), this bat not only minimizes negative vibrations, but also works to increase the trampoline action off the barrel. What results is a lightweight bat with a large sweet spot: a winning bat combination for sure!
- Made of top-performance C1C composite to minimize negative vibrations on ball contact and to increase the trampoline action off the barrel
- Light swing
- Amazing durability, built like a tank
- Greater sweet spot surface area
- Break-in time is longer than other bats
Designed specifically for youth baseball players in mind, this terrific option by Louisville Slugger is sure to more than satisfy the needs of those who use it. The bat’s short length may be a deterrent to some, but if length is not a deal-breaker then this could be the one for you.
Marucci provides another great bat option for parents looking for a big barrel bat for their little slugger. The Cat 6 junior big barrel baseball bat combines a traditional feeling bat (thanks to its one-piece alloy construction) with the latest and greatest in bat technology (such as its ring-free barrel and anti-vibration knob). The result is a bat that is inspired by professionals that will make your child feel like a professional.
- Constructed of one-piece alloy
- Extended barrel profile and knob shapes for a bigger sweet spot and increased balance and control
- Ring-free barrel technology that maximizes sweet spot
- Micro-perforated soft touch grip on handle to improve grip and control
- Patented anti-vibration knob for to decrease hit vibration and increase comfort
- Moderately high price point
This bat is a strong option for those looking for a high-quality big barrel bat for children aged 5-7. Designed specifically for this age group, this bat is sure to take your child’s game to the next level and won’t disappoint. The only ones left disappointed will be those too old to use the bat to its full potential
Combat has hit the mark yet again with the Maxum, a youth big barrel baseball bat with one piece composite construction featuring a massive sweet spot in a long, explosive barrel. The pop on this bat is exceptional straight out of the wrapper, and you will be most surprised by how light the bat swings, as the barrel of the bat simply whips through the zone. This is a great bat for kids who may not be able to swing a heavy bat but still want something that packs a punch.
- Precision Molded Seamless Construction results in longest barrel length possible
- Decreased swing weight by up to 20%
- Increased hitting surface (up to 40%) and biggest sweet spot area on market
- Composed of one-piece alloy
- High price point may scare away some buyers
- Be careful using in colder weather, bat may develop light webbing
A solid composite offering from this Canadian bat manufacturer, and an instant rival to Easton’s success in the youth big barrel baseball bat market. A light-weight powerful bat with a huge sweet spot - what is there not to like?
Last but certainly not least, step up to the plate with Easton’s Mako, a formidable option in the big barrel baseball bat market. Easton has raised the game with the newest version of the Mako that features Easton’s patented TCT (Thermo Composite Technology) which has a massive barrel that is still lightweight enough to maintain bat speed through the strike zone.
- Ultra-slim 29/32” handle (100% composite) with HyperSkin grip surround for increased grip and control
- Thermo Composite Technology generates maximum bat whip and speed while providing a huge sweet spot
- Dual ConneXion technology enables higher energy transfer from hands to handle to barrel to ball
- Barrel size of 2 ¾”
- Drop rating of -10 with weights ranging from 17 to 22 ounces
- Sanctioned for play in U-trip leagues with 1.15 BPF stamp
- Priced very highly
You really can’t go wrong with the Easton Mako if your wallet can afford it, this is truly one of the best youth big barrel baseball bats available today.
If you’ve got the money for it, the Easton Mako is a fantastic big barrel bat that will have your kid hitting bombs in no time. Still, any of the above options would be fantastic choices at varying price points.