2023 is turning out to be great year for bats, with companies like Louisville, Marucci, Demarini, Victus and Bonesaber coming out with some of the best BBCOR bats we’ve seen right out the gate. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the year plays out!
While there are some amazing bats lined up, the 2023 Marucci CATX is our standout pick amongst the best BBCOR bats of 2023 thanks to its performance out of the wrapper. Its close between the Atlas, the CAT X, and the Voodoo One, but the CAT X edges the competition out due to its performance and durability.
If this isn’t what you’re looking for, there are plenty of great options to pick from. Read on!
Our 5 Best BBCOR Bats
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Our Top 7 BBCOR Picks of 2023
Sometimes all you need is a great-feeling bat – one that’s durable, consistent, and easy to bring around the zone but not too light that it makes it difficult to put power behind the ball. The Marucci CATX is precisely that – a great all-rounder.
The CATX bat is a balanced, one-piece, all-alloy bat with a lot going for it. First, it now features a longer, slimmer, balanced barrel and is lighter-swinging than previous CAT models. The barrel tapers down nicely into the thin handle to give amazing feel, comfort, and control. It has a fancy knob with liquid gel inside, dampening vibration. It does really well – for a one-piece alloy, there was zero feedback, even on mishits.
The Marucci CATX swings very much like the Voodoo One. The shape is similar for both, with the added benefit of durability in the CATX. The CATX is slightly heavier than the Voodoo One, and the Voodoo will make bigger hits with higher exit velo, but the CATX will produce more consistent hits overall.
The Louisville Slugger Atlas one of the best BBCOR bat of 2023 for several reasons other than its fantastic price tag. This excellent all-rounder features a balanced, one-piece, mostly-alloy construction (has a composite end cap) and comes in lengths ranging from 29″ to 34″.
This bat has an easy-to-find sweet spot and a huge forgiving barrel that mashes, whether off the hands or the end of the bat, doesn’t sting the hands at all, and has excellent whip through the zone.
The sizing options make it an excellent pick for players moving up to BBCOR or looking for a balanced, light-swinging one-piece. Thanks to its mostly-alloy construction, it should be a lot more durable when compared to composite picks and will serve as an excellent cold-weather bat.
Compared to the CATX, another standout pick, the Atlas has a bigger sweet spot but is just as hot. However, the Atlas has some heft, thus swinging heavier than the CATX, despite being very easy to control.
The only thing is the color, which could be bright and bold or a jarring eye-sore, depending on what you like.
The 2023 Warstic Bonesaber is a balanced, one piece, all alloy stick that, for starters, looks incredibly cool. Warstic’s clean, no-frills look, natural wood color and ‘Bonesaber’ lettering along the length of the bat is reason enough to pick one up.
The entire bat is made out of a light swinging alloy that feels a lot like the CAT X in terms of swing weight. This bat’s huge barrel profile offers a fantastic amount of real estate for hitters, which allowed for some fantastic exit velo right out of the wrapper. Wartic uses a no-knob design that tapers out to the end of the bat for comfort and better bat control, which we love. The 2023 Bonesaber uses a composite end cap as weight saving for better swing speeds.
The light swing allows much higher swing speeds, and If you get it right on the money, this bat rakes.
- Lightweight, extremely easy to whip through the zone
- Big, forgiving barrel
- Some vibration on mishits, which is unsurprising for a one-piece.
No surprises here, Select PWR is massively popular, and lives up to the hype. For starters, the red/orange/black colorway on the Select PWR looks amazing.
It comes as a two-piece hybrid (alloy barrel + composite handle) with a slightly more elongated barrel, and sports a massive sweet spot – easily the biggest we’ve seen on a BBCOR bat this year. The connection piece works great to pair the alloy barrel to the stiff with a stiff composite handle, resulting in a super forgiving, comfortable feel with a buttery smooth swing. With weight distributed toward the end of the barrel, the 2023 Select PWR is slightly heavier, but not so much that it’s overwhelming to swing; It should suit any type of hitter, really.
- Massive sweet spot, great feel that makes for a buttery smooth swing
- Sounds great, looks great
- Alloy barrel is durable and will work well in cold temperatures
- Ever so slightly down on pop compared to the 2023 Marucci CATX, but strong high school & college players shouldn’t have a problem leveraging the stiff connection for big hits.
2023 is here, and in line with the Victus Nox two-year production cycle, we have a heavy hitter contender for best BBCOR bat of 2023. The 2023 Victus Nox 2 is an end-loaded, two-piece hybrid (alloy barrel + composite handle).
This second-generation Nox is suited to bigger, more experienced high school and college hitters that prefer swinging heavier, end-loaded bats and want the durability of an alloy barrel and excellent feel offered by a two-piece stick.
For starters, the Victus Nox looks the part, sporting a clean black and gray design and cool muted graphics design on the end of the barrel. First hits with this bat felt incredibly good – its construction gave no feedback, with some great hits in first time out and a loud ping to boot, thanks to its alloy barrel.
Sweet spot is huge, with tons of pop, and the handle tapers off (feels quite like a wood bat) into the knob, which adds to the joy of swinging this bat.
The heft on this bat can be overwhelming, so players who hit for contact can check out the Victus Vandal for a balanced light-swinging BBCOR.
Another best BBCOR bat of 2023 is the Stinger Missile 3, a replacement for the ridiculously hot 2022 Stinger (the 33” was banned for being too hot and breaking the .500 limit). Despite being slightly down on power, the Stinger Missile 3 is just as good as the 2.
This balanced, one-piece all-alloy bat will suit players who need high exit velo, excellent pop, and a really light swing. Construction is pretty much the same as last year, sporting the same size barrel, and a balanced swing feel that feels superb in the hands. However, the 2023 Stinger Missile has a redesigned endcap to fix last year’s durability issues. The knob paper allows for a comfortable fit in the hands.
As a one-piece, expect the Stinger Missile to sting the hands on mishits. What’s more, the sweet spot is fairly hard to find, but once you do, the light swing weight and incredible pop do more than make up for it.
For 2023, we love that Stinger Missile 3 punches way above its weight class for a bat at this price point.
- Incredibly hot, light swinging, tons of pop.
- All-alloy construction = durability
- A steal for the price
- Sweet spot is hard to find
- One-piece construction is unforgiving and will sting the hands on mishits
Another pick for best BBCOR bat of 2023 is this end-loaded two-piece, hybrid (alloy barrel + composite handle) from Easton.
Constructionwise, the Encore has a massive alloy barrel that makes finding the ball on the sweet spot super easy. The barrel has a carbon fiber lining on the inside which, with use, should gradually break in, giving it a jump in performance.
The connection-piece joint then fuses the handle directly to the barrel, which makes it super stiff, so much so that it feels like a one-piece.
The carbon handle feels solid, and at its bottom, has a squishy soft knob that feels comfortable in the bottom hand. We couldn’t quite tell if it did anything to increase power, and also it didn’t do much to dampen vibration on mishits.
Overall, there’s lots to love with this bat. Graphics are nice, sharp-looking bat. Fantastic pop, which, aided by the end load and the huge barrel, will send the ball flying if you get it on the sweet spot. Big hitters will love putting their power behind this stiff, end loaded bat.
- Really solid build quality. Should be durable.
- Huge barrel, tons of pop
- Unforgiving. Mishits will sting
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2022, we sincerely hope that this article helps you in your quest.