When picking out the best fastpitch softball bat, you want one that gives you absolute bang for your buck. You want a bat that feels great in the hands, helps you swing faster, hit harder and farther.
Recent innovation from companies such as and Louisville Slugger, Marucci, Easton, and DeMarini has made choosing a fastpitch bat incredibly difficult, with some parents choosing to punt when picking one. Our reviews will help you find the best fastpitch softball bats for 2023. We found fantastic options to suit both contact and power hitters alike.
Our Top 7 Picks for 2023
Last update on 2023-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The 2022 LXT fastpitch bat from Louisville Slugger is our best fastpitch bat for the 3rd year running. We seriously love hitting with this bat. Even after swinging similar models, we’re still convinced that nothing tops the LXT.
The 2022 LXT is a three-piece, fully-composite bat 2022 Construction-wise, the LXT’s barrel offers up a much larger sweet spot, thus lots more pop. We got some really good hits even on hits made way off the hands. We didn’t have it fully broken in yet, but it kept getting hotter and hotter the more we hit with it. Can’t wait to see how it performs once it’s fully broken in.
The LXT’s three-piece design centers around a connection-piece that lets the barrel flex more while keeping vibrations away from players’ hands.
The end cap design maximizes the barrel’s sweet spot, and the super tacky grip is designed to provide the grip and cushioning needed to swing confidently.
The LXT’s balanced swing weight makes it the best fastpitch softball bat for contact hitters. Its sweet spot, pop and responsiveness feels different from most other fastpitch bats, and is sure to be a hit. Also, the LXT has proven to be a lot more durable compared to models like the Ghost Advanced.
Louisville Slugger’s Meta is without a doubt one of the best fastpitch bats on the market today, and for good reason. As one of the best two-piece composite bats around, the Meta has successfully been tried and tested on the diamond for years.
For 2022, a bunch of new updates have been made to this already amazing performer. This balanced all-composite two-piece bat totes a massive barrel that employs Louisville’s gapped barrel design. In theory, this gapped wall design is meant to maximize performance and expand the sweet spot. Does it work, in practice? Absolutely yes. We absolutely love swinging this bat. The barrel has pop for days! Pop is also enhanced by the Meta’s low compression that lowers break-in time and has it hitting well soon after you unwrap it. But, please note that this composite bat will still need breaking in for max power.
The Meta’s two-piece design is enhanced by the new connection piece which allows for more independent movement between the barrel and handle. This further enhances feel and lessens sting.
The new lightweight end cap maximizes the barrel’s easy-swinging profile, and improves control, and speed. The end cap’s clear injection molded design is something we haven’t seen before, and a perfect way to finish off the Meta’s menacing looks.
For now, however, the Meta only comes as a drop 10, drop 9 and drop 8. Younger players can instead try the drop 12 Louisville Slugger Nexus.
Price-wise, the Meta is really expensive for beginners. Casual players can instead get more affordable fastpitch softball bats like the DeMarini Bustos -13, the 2022 Easton Firefly, or the 2022 Anderson Rocketech.
The FNX was one of the best bats for fastpitch softball in 2021, and in 2022, the 2021 bat still has the chops to dominate at the plate. DeMarini developed the 2021 Demarini FNX as a two-piece, all-composite fastpitch bat that is end loaded, making it one of the best fastpitch bats for power hitters.
The barrel uses strong fibers that allow for a powerful swing. The direct-connect system (where the handle plugs directly into the barrel) makes contact stiff, delivering maximum energy transfer and power on contact. The seismic end cap is common in DeMarini’s popular end loaded bats such as The Goods. This end cap is made of stiffest materials to ensure no energy is wasted in your swing.
Our experience with the FNX is of a bat that has a very different feel from other bats on this list. This bat’s build is made to generate maximum power on contact, which makes it ideal for strong, power hitters. Its weight is concentrated towards the barrel, something that will greatly benefit players strong enough to whip it through the zone. Pop is great, but because it is a composite bat, it will need breaking in. The bat keeps getting hotter, and at about 300 – 400 hits in, the FNX will fully come into its own. This hard-hitting bat is available as a drop 10 (red grip), drop 9 (gray grip) and drop 8 (black grip).
The FNX’s drawback is that the endload will not suit contact hitters. This bat’s power-hitter bias also means that the stiffness does sting the hands, especially on mishits.
Once again, the smooth-swinging, lightweight CF makes our best fastpitch bat list for 2022. Its ideal balance of swing weight, performance, feel and pop has endeared it to many for years. In 2022, the CF will most likely still dominate the two piece, all-composite fastpitch space.
The 2022 CF fastpitch keeps a few elements of the 2021 bat, but switches up some key features. The composite barrel stays the same with good reason – its performance was great. The hefty composite barrel pairs up to the composite handle via a that gives stronger players a stiff swing.
The updated end cap consists of durable but lightweight composite materials, and its dished design maximizes barrel length and optimizes weight distribution.
For 2022, the new connection piece dampens sting and offers great feel on contact. This connection piece coupled with the composite handle protects from sting and gives players lovely feedback.
Our experience with the CF fastpitch was amazing. The consistent swing will suit players hitting in the middle of the lineup. This bat is well balanced, and hits off the sweet spot feel great. Mishits still have pop and performance, without the fear of getting rung up in the hands. But, please note that this composite bat will still need breaking in.
This two-piece all-composite was 2021’s replacement for the Quatro Pro. There’s a lot to love about the Mantra, from the end cap to the handle. For starters, its multi inner tube design works well. FOr instance, the outer barrel is 15% thinner to give it more pop. Its connection piece (dubbed the F2 collar) coupled with that lightweight end cap both provide excellent balance and feel.
We also bought a Blast Motion Sensor for it (sold separately). The bat can be outfitted with this sensor, and through Mantra’s built in bat technology, twisting the sensor in the knob gives you access to valuable data via a mobile app to help better your swing.
The Mantra is fabulous. This bat is well balanced, and the ball comes off the barrel extremely well with no sting. As a composite bat, the Mantra does need breaking in – about 250 to 300 hits should do it. Overall, there’s a lot to love about this bat, and even for its price it seems to be a really worthwhile purchase for serious players.
The Mantra only comes as a drop 9 and 10, with the drop 10 being better suited to beginners or players that don’t like heft in their bats since it swings lighter than the drop 9. The drop 9 suits bigger stronger high school or collegiate players.
The Prism+ a two-piece composite that’s our final fastpitch pick. Simply put, the Prism+ gets the job done.
Despite being advertised as having a balanced swing weight, this bat did feel top heavy on our tests, so this is something you need to keep top of mind.
The 2021 Prism+ DeMarini sticks with the gapped barrel technology that creates two separate walls that work together to give players a massive sweet spot, great performance, sound and feel.
The 2021 Prism+ uses continuous fiber material in its barrel to allow extra weight to be strategically added to certain areas within the barrel. This, in turn, increases this bat’s power output. This, we figure, is what gives the Prism+ its end loaded feel. For this reason, The Prism+ will be ideal for bigger, stronger, more experienced players. The Prism+ is a big game bat that has a huge sweet spot and lots of pop. Definitely one to consider.
The 2022 Louisville Slugger Nexus is Louisville’s brand new release. It’s built to get younger players ready before they switch to top-of-the-line bats like the LXT.
The Nexus is a balanced, two-piece, all-composite bat that comes as a drop 12. Its all-composite barrel design offers up a massive sweet spot for young players to get solid contact each time. Swing weight is balanced for control especially because it’s a drop 12.
Much like the LXT, the Nexus end cap design maximizes the barrel’s sweet spot.The connection piece minimizes vibration and improves feel on hits.
The ultra lightweight end cap tops it all off to give players more speed and control through the zone. Swing weight is perfectly balanced to get beginners comfortable with making solid contact, while the standard tacky bat grip will further improve comfort and control.
If your player is a young hitter, the Louisville Slugger Nexus is the perfect bat to teach the ropes and step up their game.
Picking the Best Fastpitch Softball Bat – A Buyer’s Guide
Is the bat you want to buy the best fastpitch bat for you? Is it the right length? How heavy is it? What material is it made out of? Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut answers since every player has their preferences.
Our softball bat buying guide will help you pick out the best fastpitch bat for you. Here’s what you should consider when shopping for the best fastpitch bat.
Height & Weight of The Player
Height and weight are the two of the most important factors when picking the best fastpitch bat. However, it’s challenging to make a blanket recommendation since it varies significantly from one player to another.
To find your ideal bat length, use the bat size chart below:
- First off, find your weight (in pounds) on the left.
- Then find your height (in inches) across the top.
- Trace your finger from your weight and height until the point they meet to mark your ideal bat length.
That said, the best length and weight depends on certain variables like personal preference, the player’s strength, and hitting mechanics. One way to find the best fastpitch bat length & weight is to use a teammate’s bat and see how you like it before leaping.
Some players prefer shorter bats, and some prefer heavy bat. It all comes down to personal preference, hitting mechanics, and strength.
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Fastpitch Bat Size Chart
Bat weight (measured by drop weight) is really up to preference. Lower drop weights e.g. Drop 8, drop 9 denote a heavier bat. Higher drop weights on the other hand, denote a lighter bat that’s easier to swing.
Drop, or length to weight ratio is the difference between the bat’s length and its weight. The resulting number is its length-to-weight ratio or “drop”. For example, a 33-inch bat that weighs 22 ounces is a drop 11 (-11).
Youth fastpitch softball bats are 26 to 32 inches long, while high school and older player’s bats are 30 to 34 inches long. They have a drop-weight ranging from -8 to -14.
Making a personal recommendation is difficult, but here’s a simple drop weights according to age:
- 8 years old & under: -12 to -13
- 8 to 14 years old: -12 to -10
- 14 years old & older: -10 to -8
Drop 12 and 13 fastpitch bats are the best bats for speed and control for consistent contact at the plate. Their design maximizes control and plate coverage. Players swinging these drop weights will benefit from the lightweight swing.
Drop 10 and 11 fastpitch bats also serve players looking for barrel control and speed. These drop weights offer the ideal balance of swing weight and performance. However, these bats swing heavier compared to the drop 12 and 13. The drop 10 should work well for most hitters.
Drop 8, 9 and 9.5 bats are the best fastpitch bats for power hitters looking to graduate from a drop 10 or 11. These players want to transfer maximum power via a heavier bat.
One-piece vs Two-piece Bats
When picking a fastpitch baseball bat, you have two options to choose from: A one-piece bat or a two-piece bat.
What’s the difference? A one-piece bat is a continuous piece of metal that’s stiff and provides little to no flex. As a result, one-piece bats retain energy when the ball is hit, resulting in more power. These bats are typically the go-to option for power hitters.
On the other hand, two-piece bats have two sections – a handle & a barrel. These two sections bond together via a connective piece. Two-piece bats provide more flex by creating a “whip” effect when hitting the ball, increasing bat speed and ultimately, power. As a result, two-piece bats are often the bat of choice for contact hitters.
Once you settle on an ideal length & weight, you need to determine the material that’s best for you. Composite and aluminum materials are your two main picks. The material determines the bat’s weight, durability, performance, and ultimately price.
Alloy: Alloy bats are made from aluminum metals mixed in with other metals. Several different aluminum alloys are used in today’s fastpitch softball bats, each offering different benefits. Alloy bats are lightweight, look great, are a lot more durable than bats made from other materials, and produce a noticeable “ping” sound when the ball is hit.
Composite: Composite bats are made from a combination of graphite, fiberglass, and resin. They are quite popular, have a large, a unique sound and feel that many batters prefer, as well as a large, forgiving sweet spot. Their two-piece design helps reduce sting, while the bigger sweet spot makes them a great pick for young players – it helps them square up to the ball and get solid, consistent contact with the softball, which in turn improves their confidence at the plate. Composite bats are typically more expensive compared to their aluminum counterparts.
Hybrid: Hybrid bats combine an aluminum alloy with a composite handle, giving the batter the best of both worlds – an aluminum barrel and a composite handle.
There are many different softball leagues, such as ASA, USSSA, NSA, and ISA. Today, most fastpitch softball bats on sale are approved for use in every league and bear the ASA certification mark.
Since leagues have different rules, it isn’t possible to determine if a softball bat is approved for use in a particular league.
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) is the most strict in batting ball speed policies. So if a bat is approved for use in the ASA, it should be good for almost every other league.
Be that as it may, do your research before making such a big purchase. It’s not uncommon for a parent to spend hundreds of dollars on a bat, only to take it out of its wrapper and find that it’s not legal for use in that particular league.
One of the first things you should find out is the league/tournament regulations your child is playing in. Little League, Pony Ball, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Dixie, Dizzy Dean, USSSA, NFHS all have different regulations, so research is vital.
The ideal bat length varies from one player to the next. Here’s a quick experiment you can use to find your ideal bat length:
The term “drop” is used in baseball to describe a bat’s length(inches) to weight(ounces) ratio. For example, a “drop 10” bat or -10 is a bat that is 34-inches long and weighs 24 ounces. The drop ais calculated by subtracting the bat’s weight from its length.
ASA rules state that a bat’s drop weight should be between 8 and 12, so this is something you should look out for when shopping for the best ASA softball bats.
The ideal bat weight feels comfortable in the hands and is well balanced to provide maximum control through the zone. A bat that’s too heavy is difficult to control and will tire you out quickly.
Some of the bats on our best fastpitch baseball bat list will set you back a couple hundred dollars. However, the price isn’t always a sign of quality.
Here are two reasons why you may need to overlook price when buying your bat:
Firstly, the best fastpitch bat is one that caters to your player’s needs. Consider a bat that suits their height, weight, and personal preferences first, then deliberate on price afterwards.
Secondly, young players will often have more than one bat because of different league regulations. For this reason, there’s no need to break the bank when shopping for a fastpitch softball bat.
Consider cheaper fastpitch softball bats if your young star plays in multiple leagues/associations, or if they are still growing.
Picking the best fastpitch softball bat ultimately boils down to personal preference, and whether that bat is allowed in your league.
Always reach out to your coach before buying a bat – We’ve seen some parents have bought bats in the past only to find out they’re not permitted in a particular league.
Thank you this info was very helpful and will help me choose my next bat.
Thank you, Anna!
I read your review on the Louisville Meta and have to agree with your statements about pop and out of the box performance, BUT the bat breaks too easily. We are on our 3rd Meta within a year – the first one had skin breakage, the warranty replacement broke internally and rattles and while my daughter likes the bat, we have to make the change. It does not have any reliability or longevity and I think you need to include this type of information in your reviews. It’s disappointing to spend that kind of money on a bat only to have it break so frequently. Overall, we give the Meta a thumbs down and it’s not worthy of making the top 7.