Best BBCOR Bat of 2021 – Our 10 Best Drop 3 Bats Reviewed!

- March 23, 2021
Best BBCOR bat

Need to buy the best BBCOR bat on the market today? You are not alone. More than 450,000 high school players and more than 25,000 college players, National Federation of State High School Associations baseball players, and players in other different leagues need BBCOR certified bats.

With so many options to choose from, the best one can be a difficult find. To make your decision easier, we have narrowed it down to a list of our best -3 bats on the market.

Here is what we picked:

Our Top 10 BBCOR Picks of 2021

The BBCOR Louisville Slugger Meta has always been a massively popular bat that has consistently featured on plenty of best BBCOR bat lists. 

The Meta is a balanced, three-piece, fully composite BBCOR baseball bat. Its barrel is made out of EKO composite material to give it a huge barrel that swings light and sounds great. Additionally, its patented 3FX Connection System gives it a stiff feel and reduces vibration in the hands.

What’s different between the 2020 and the 2021 version is a new end cap for enhanced barrel length & swing speed, plus a new bat grip for comfort.

Overall, the Meta is a light swinging bat that makes it one of the best drop 3 bats for contact hitters and generally any player looking for a balanced, lightweight bat.

We love its menacing black and gold design, huge barrel, balanced swing, and massive sweet spot. These design features make it the best BBCOR bat for contact hitters and power hitters alike – It’s easy to control but still stiff enough to transfer lots of energy back into the baseball.

Its balanced swing weight and resulting mass appeal win the best BBCOR bat of 2021.

Move over CAT 8. The Marucci CAT 9 launched amidst much fanfare, and it has certainly lived up to the hype. The CAT 9 BBCOR from Marucci is a balanced, one-piece, all-alloy bat packed with innovation. Let’s run you through the laundry list of features.

New for 2021 is an AZR alloy that’s more forgiving, provides better feel, performance, and durability. Its multi-variable wall design elongates the sweet spot and makes for thinner barrel walls that are more forgiving on off-centered contact.

The CAT 9’s Longitudinal Groove System (LGS) and ring-free barrel are great for performance in the way the LGS sheds excess weight off the thickest part of the barrel, while the ring-free barrel allows for more flex and eliminates dead spots. 

Its anti-vibration connector-piece stiffens up the bat and dampens sting for better feel and less negative feedback.

The Marucci CAT 9 BBCOR has been nothing short of incredible. It looks good, and its deafening ping sound is even better. We loved its massive barrel, how it feels in the hands, and its performance.

DeMarini The Goods was one of the most eagerly awaited bats of 2021. It certainly lived up to its hype in 2020, making it to our list of best BBCOR bats for 2020. The 2021 version is no different – Our players loved its pop, performance, and how it feels in the hands, winning it the title for “Best BBCOR Bat for Power Hitters.”

This is a two-piece, hybrid (alloy barrel & composite handle) bat that features a 2 â…ť inch barrel with an end-load. The heavy X14 alloy barrel couples to a lightweight composite handle that can make this bat a handful for beginners but a delight for power hitters.

The connector does well to give a stiff feel on contact, allowing for power transfer but didn’t dampen sting as much as we’d have liked.

Overall, little has changed for 2021 from our analysis, save for an updated end cap. The 2020 version of this bat should serve you just as well and for significantly less price-wise.

The Easton Maxum Ultra is a one-piece, all-composite bat. Its construction gives players the stiff feel and energy transfer you can typically expect with one-piece bats.

The barrel’s carbon construction is huge, giving this bat an equally large sweet spot.

The swing has been rebalanced to add a little heft to the barrel, but not so much that it loses its balanced swing weight status or is difficult to use. The Maxum will provide the perfect balance of speed and power. 

The Maxum Ultra will be immensely popular with hitters as a middle-of-the-road bat – one that isn’t one-piece stiff or has two-piece flex. We especially love the Maxum’s barrel’s size, performance, and light swing.

The 2021 DeMarini CF is a two-piece, all-composite bat with a light swing, a big barrel, and is really well-balanced. Performance-wise, the CF certainly did not disappoint!

The CFs construction is on par with many of the picks on our list, sporting a responsive barrel, a massive sweet spot, and construction that gives players excellent speed and control. Its 3-Fusion connection works well to dampen sting while transferring energy back into the barrel at contact. 

This big barreled, light-swinging beast is perfect for hitters who like big barreled, light-swinging, two-piece composites. If, on the other hand, you prefer a stiffer BBCOR than the CF’s buttery 3Fusion Connection allows, then the CF may not be for you.

Most BBCOR players, from our experience, prefer heavier, stiffer bats. But that’s not to say that the CF isn’t on par with the bats on this list. This is a fantastic bat that has great pop and feels great. Definitely worth considering.

The Easton B5 Pro once used to rule the diamond in the 70s and has been refreshed for 2021. Easton has brought back the B5 as a one-piece, all-alloy BBCOR bat decked out with some pretty impressive features. Its design may draw you to it or be a pet peeve, depending on whether you consider it vintage or dated.

It comes with a premium ATAC (Advanced Thermal Alloy Construction) alloy, and its ringless, varying barrel thickness creates a massive sweet spot.

A VRS handle insert reinforces the handle and makes it extra stiff to ensure maximum energy transfer. While the Speed Cap makes for a more flexible and responsive barrel.

Finally, the B5 sports a premium grip for a fantastic blend of cushion and tack.

Despite its ‘balanced’ tag, we felt that the B5 swung heavy and is better for players with more experience. It feels stiff and provides honest feedback on every hit/mishit.

One word – excellent. We had a hard time choosing between the Victus Nox and the Goods for best BBCOR bat of 2021. Yes, the Nox is that good.

The graphics alone are insane – really cool graffiti on the barrel. Construction-wise, this is a two-piece hybrid bat with a carbon composite handle and an aluminum barrel. It is end-loaded, with more mass in its barrel, which is great for power hitting. The connection system worked really well to dampen sting in the hands, even during mishits.

The bat flexes ever so slightly with every hit, but not so much that you feel like you’re losing power. The tapered handle fits the hands perfectly, and its micro-perforated soft-touch grip is tacky enough for great feel and control through the zone.

We loved that this bat has excellent pop, with its performance on par with bats like the Vandal and The Goods. We didn’t like that it’s lighter than the stated end load, which is a tad misleading. But, if that’s something you can live with, then the Nox is definitely one to consider.

At #8 is the BBCOR Warstic Bonesaber, a balanced, single-piece, all-alloy bat with BBCOR’s standard 2 5/8 inch barrel. The Warstic models off the infamous 271 turn wood bat and thus sports a thinner wood-like handle. 

The Bonesaber’s standout feature, and our favorite one too, is the innovative handle. Its unique taper runs all the way to the end of the bat and makes this bat incredibly comfortable and fun to swing.

It comes in 2 colorways, black and tan, and sports a textured black grip with gold trim.

Overall, what we loved was its tapered handle, the brilliant pop, its feel, and a ping sound that’ll make your ears ring. This bat is perfect for the bigger, more experienced hitter who doesn’t mind a stiff, one-piece aluminum stick and occasional sting in the hands. 

Drawbacks would be an average barrel and smaller sweet spot than other options on this list. This shouldn’t be much of a concern since this bat suits experienced players who can consistently square up a ball.

The innovative 2021 Axe Elite One is a 1-piece alloy bat that comes ready to bomb, courtesy of a stiff, hot out-of-the-wrapper barrel. The Elite One’s construction makes it one of the best BBCOR bats for power hitters.

Its barrel features a variable-wall MX8 Alloy barrel design that is durable, powerful, and high-performing. The Axe Elite One has an angled end cap to shave off unnecessary material & weight from the bat’s backside. This way, the manufacturer can create a lightweight, balanced, faster-swinging bat.

The performance advantage extends past the barrel, courtesy of the Axe-shaped handle. Endogrid technology built into the Axe Handle absorbs vibration before it gets to the bottom of your hand for a smoother, more comfortable swing.

And unlike a traditional round knob, the ergonomic handle has an angled, oval shape fashioned to fit naturally in the palm of your hand. This gives players better grip to swing faster with more control through the hitting zone to hit the ball harder, more consistently, more often.

Furthermore, thanks to the handle’s shape, Axe bats always hit off the same side. This means that these bats can be engineered like high-performance golf clubs, where an optimized hitting face and a reinforced backside.

The Axe Elite One feels great, has excellent pop, lots of whip to get you in and out of the zone, and as comfortable as always. The Elite One is perfect for bigger, stronger power hitters who like a stiff feel and an end load in their bats because of its construction.

The 2021 Rawlings Quatro Pro is a two-piece, all-composite bat with a balanced swing feel. Its construction isn’t vastly different from the 2020 Quatro Pro. Both share similar features save for an updated connection piece that helps the bat flex a tad bit more than the 2020 version.

Construction-wise, the barrel uses longitudinal flex technology that affects how it’s been layered to improve pop across the barrel’s length. A suspended inner barrel and massive sweet spot improve player chances of hitting a bomb owing to the balanced feel and higher swing speeds.

Its new F2 connection-piece connects the barrel and the handle to give players less barrel drag during the swing. It also provides a stiffer connection than that in the 2020 version. It’s still flexible, just not as stiff as the Louisville Slugger Meta or DeMarini The Goods.

Finally, an ultra-light composite end cap keeps the swing light, while the Lizard Skins grip gives players both comfort and tack. 

The Rawlings Quatro Pro will be great for a power hitter in the middle of the lineup who’s looking for a big barreled and light-swinging two-piece composite. The Quatro does sting the hands quite a bit, though, so it’s far from perfect.

Choosing the Best BBCOR Bat – A Buyer’s Guide

If you dream of hitting like a seasoned pro, choosing the best bat will get you one step closer to achieving this dream. Making the best choice, however, is tedious and time-consuming.

Additionally, the BBCOR bat space has a range of fantastic bats. Not to mention the new, improved models that manufacturers continue to put out year after year. Making the right choice is getting increasingly difficult.

The first thing to remember is to determine what’s important to you. Take a look at your budget and your preferences – your hitting style & taste. It all depends on what you need from your bat.

When buying a BBCOR bat, ensure that the bat is from a reputable manufacturer & has the BBCOR certification label. If not, it may not be legal for use in your league.

For instance, if your budget is not high and you’d prefer an inexpensive bat that’s still a good BBCOR bat, a solid wooden BBCOR bat fits the bill quite nicely.

On the other hand, if money is not an issue and you want the best BBCOR bat the market has to offer, get yourself a composite BBCOR bat.

What is a BBCOR Bat – What Does BBCOR Stand For?

When shopping for a baseball bat, you’ll eventually come across the BBCOR acronym.

The BBCOR qualification standard was put in place by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

It ensures that alloy bats and composite baseball bats used by high school & college players met a certain standard.

What does BBCOR stand for? Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. The BBCOR qualification standard measures the “trampoline effect” on an aluminum or composite bat. The higher this number is, the faster the ball leaves once it’s hit.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a 0.50 rating or less (slightly more than a wooden bat) was required for a bat to BBCOR certified.

Other BBCOR certified bat rules state that:

  • The drop weight of the bat must not exceed -3
  • The diameter of the bat should be no more than 2 5/8-inches
  • The length of the bat should not exceed 36 inches

The BBCOR standard was implemented to ensure player safety (especially pitchers) on the field. The old ration did not adequately protect them from dangerous ball speeds. When the bat conforms to the BBCOR standard, the league can make sure that its players are not in harm’s way.

For instance, wood baseball bats don’t have a lot of “flex” when the ball is hit, and as a result, the ball loses a significant amount of energy. The BBCOR standard makes sure that non-wood bats perform much like wood bats.

This evens out the field and increases player safety.

While BBCOR bats are only required for high school & collegiate level, they have started to feature in other leagues around the 10 to 14 age range. This is because young hitters can generate deadly speed with hits from bats that are not BBCOR certified.

Choosing the Right BBCOR Baseball Bat

Now that we’ve covered what the BBCOR stands for, let’s move on to picking the best BBCOR bat. Finding the best bat, given the hundreds of options available, is no small feat.

Do you want an aluminum or composite bat? Would you prefer a one-piece or two-piece? End-loaded or balanced? This can be a lot to take in.

Here’s a little breakdown that’ll make your choice a whole lot easier. You’ll need to consider several factors when picking out your bat. Some of these factors include:

  • Weight
  • Length
  • Material
  • Construction

Weight

BBCOR bats have a -3 length to weight ratio (and are often referred to as drop 3 bats). Drop or length to weight ratio is the difference between the bat’s weight and length. The resulting negative is what’s called length to weight ratio or drop.

For instance, a 33-inch BBCOR bat that weighs 30 ounces is a drop 3 bat. Take the length, 33 inches, and subtract it from its weight, 30 ounces.

Length

A good number of BBCOR bats range between 31 – 34 inches in length. A few models such as the 2018 Louisville Slugger 618 Solo go down to 29 and 30-inch lengths.

Our bat size chart will help point you in the right direction.

  • At the top, find your height range (in inches)
  • Pick your weight range on the left of the chart
  • Scroll across the chart up until the point where the top (height) and the left (weight) meet.

His chart only serves as a recommendation. Ultimately, the right choice boils down to preference, strength, and technique. Test out several lengths until you find the one that suits you best.

Material

The next item on the list is the type of material. BBCOR bats come mainly in aluminum and composite materials.

  • Aluminum BBCOR Bats – Also referred to as alloy bats. They feel more traditional and give off an unmistakable “ping”. Fully aluminum bats also come in a one-piece design. One-piece bats give honest feedback and are unforgiving on mishits. Read about the difference between one-piece bats and two-piece bats. Additionally, alloy bats are much cheaper than composite bats, which is a huge plus.
  • Composite BBCOR Bats – are quickly growing in popularity. Composite bats give players a distinct edge at the plate, helping them become better players and improve their performance. Some of these advantages are a bigger sweet spot and reduced sting on mishits.
  • Wood baseball bats – Few things are as distinct as the “crack” of a wooden bat. They’ve been in production since the 1800s and are the only type of bat allowed in the MLB. Currently, wood bats are feature several different wood types such as bamboo, ash, birch, maple, and wood composite.

Construction

Much like the name suggests, a one-piece bat features a single, continuous piece of metal. On the other hand, two-piece bats feature two different sections (a barrel and a handle), held together by a connector.

One-piece bats: One-piece bats have a stiff feel and provide little flex on contact with the ball. Because of this, very little power is lost on contact with the ball resulting in more power. One-piece bats are the preferred choice by strong, power hitters.

Two-piece bats: Provide more give/flex on contact with the ball. The construction of a two-piece bat creates a “whip” effect that increases bat speed. This whip effect results in more power. Because of this, two-piece bats are excellent for players with contact hitters with average or below-average bat speed.

Balanced: These bats have their weight distributed evenly across the length of the bat. Players generate faster swing speeds as a result. Contact hitters prefer balanced bats because of this, owing to greater control and faster swing speed.

End Loaded: Have more weight near the end cap, towards the end of the barrel. As a result, end-loaded bats are a bit harder to control and are best used by stronger, power hitters. More weight around the sweet spot means players can generate more power and hit farther.

BBCOR Bats and Cold Weather

BBCOR bats are made from different materials. These materials will perform differently in various weather conditions.

For instance, composite & aluminum baseball bats are unsuitable fpr cold temperatures and should not be used in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. They will not perform as well in these temperatures and are likely to crack or break.

The primary issue is not the bat but the balls. As it gets colder, the baseball or softballs get denser. Composite baseball bats and aluminum bats are not made to hit such heavy, dense objects.

The best bats for playing in cold weather are wooden BBCOR baseball bats. Their performance is not affected by the low temperatures, and in cold weather, you can count on your wooden baseball bat to be there for you 🙂

How to Take Care of Your BBCOR Baseball Bat

Manufacturers will only honor the warranty if you take proper care of your baseball bat. Here’s how you can ensure your BBCOR bat receives the right care.

Aluminum bats: Do not use your aluminum BBCOR bats in temperatures under 60 degrees. While the bat may keep its performance, the baseball bat gets hard and heavy. This weight change will dent your bat.

Another good tip is to have a spare, cheaper bat for your practice sessions. Limit the use of your bat to game days to slow the wear and tear on it. If you must use your bat during practice, use leather balls instead.

Also, be a little selfish with your baseball bats. Breaking your bat is a genuine possibility. Please do not share your bat so that it lasts longer.

Wooden bats: Store them in a dry area. If you are using a wooden bat, it will sometimes develop tiny dents from continued use, which is normal. To fix these, rub the bat down with a bone. This smooths out the surface of the bat by buffing out the dents.

Composite bats: Store your composite BBCOR bats in a cool and dry place. Additionally, please refrain from using your composite baseball bat in cold temperatures (below 60 degrees) as this will lower temps, lowers the bat’s performance, and may make them crack.

Conclusion

Success on the field is mostly dependent on picking not only the best equipment but the right equipment. As you shop around for the best BBCOR bat of 2021, we sincerely hope that this article helps you in your quest.

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