Best USA Bats 2019 – Best Youth Baseball Bat Reviews

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We’ve taken the hassle out of picking the best USA bat by doing the heavy lifting on your behalf. The section below provides in-depth reviews of the best youth baseball bats of 2019 with some fantastic new USA approved bats.

In our review, we cover the best USA bats of 2019, as well as provide a comprehensive buyer’s guide for parents, players and anyone else who’s puzzled about the USABat standard.

We believe that these are quite simply the best youth baseball bats for the money. If we had to pick the just one, the Rawlings 2019 Quatro Pro would be our number 1 choice.

Best USA Bats of 2019 – Our Top Picks

Last update on 2019-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Every bat we’ve reviewed here bears the new USABat stamp and is approved for use in the USABat leagues.

The 2019 Rawlings Quatro was one of the standout youth bats of 2018. Kids loved its smooth swing, huge barrel, and how it felt on mishits. However, its durability was questionable especially given its steep price.

The 2019 model keeps all the good bits of the 2018 model while adding in a few extra changes for better durability, and performance. 

We consider this the best two-piece composite USA Bat for 2019.

The 2019 Quatro Pro is a lightweight, two-piece 100% composite bat with a balanced swing weight for easy swinging. 

Its big 2 5/8 barrel uses Longitudinal Flex Technology that layers the length of the barrel to create a massive sweet spot, more pop, and a lot more flex off the barrel than the 2018 model.

The 2019 Rawlings Quatro Pro also utilizes an additional patented flex system called the Focus Flex, which features a re-engineered collar (connects the barrel and the handle) for a stiffer feel, and better control through the zone,  all while dampening sting by sending vibrations back through the barrel and away from the hitter’s hands.

Finally, the barrel features a new lightweight, redesigned end cap with a unique concave design for faster swing speeds, and more pop.

Pros
  • Massive sweet spot for – ideal for hitters who prefer swinging a bigger bat.
  • Great pop, well balanced, no sting in the hands, and good sound.
  • Sleek design that is sure to build the confidence of your young hitter
Cons
  • Steep price, but you really do get what you pay for.
  • Takes several hundred hits – about 200 to break in.
Rawlings 2018 Quatro Composite USA Baseball Bat

The 618 Solo was our top pick for 2018 – It had a great feel, swung light, was available as a drop 11 which suits a large number of players, and was available at the perfect price. Vendors had a pretty hard time keeping it on the shelves.

The 619 solo is just as good as the 2018 – A great performing bat that’s available at a decent price. It is a drop 11, a 2 5/8-inch barreled bat that comes hot out of the wrapper.

Its 1-piece hyper alloy construction gives it the stiff traditional feel of a single piece bat for immediate feedback, maximum energy transfer and reliable hits when contact is made with the ball.

The new SBC (Speed Ballistic Composite) end cap provides for increased swing speed and better control while lengthening the barrel for good, solid contact with the ball. 

Finally, its 7/8-inch handle is wrapped in its LS Pro Comfort Grip that provides a nice blend of tack and cushion for comfort.

Pros
  • Light swing weight, that’s true to its advertised weight
  • Pretty decent pop for a USA bat.
Cons
  • Mishits sting the hands, but this is typical of most one-piece bats

The 2019 drop 10 DeMarini Voodoo Balanced USA Baseball bat is back again with the same great feel and insane pop of the 2018 model. It features a 2 5/8-inch barrel, and is approved for play in USA leagues or tournaments.

This Half and Half™ bat utilizes DeMarini’s new Paraflex™ Plus composite handle to provide a lighter swinging bat, superior feel and better energy transfer. 

Coupled with an X14 alloy barrel, this bat is lightweight and designed increased swing speed and improved control through the zone.

The 3Fusion™ System is engineered into the bat’s taper for fantastic weight distribution and a supremely balanced swing while redirecting sting back into the barrel and away from the hitter’s hands.

Finally, the 3Fusion end cap reduces the weight at the end of the bat, focusing the energy of your swing right at the sweet spot to generate more power.

Pros
  • This is a great all around bat – Great durability, great feel, well balanced.
  • Great pop for a USA bat.
  • Zero sting in the hands
Cons
  • None so far. 300 hits in, this bat has been worth every penny.

This 2019 Easton Ghost X Evolution USA baseball bat is a two-piece, fully composite bat. It has a 2 5/8-inch barrel that provides a bigger sweet spot and a greater surface.

This, plus its dynamic feel system make this bat one of the best two-piece bats in the game.

The Easton Ghost X Evolution uses exact carbon technology on its handle which is designed to give it improved pop, greater swing speed, and a bigger sweet spot compared to last year’s Ghost X.

Its CXN construction, which isolates the handle from the barrel, uses nitrocell foam for a lightweight feel and a more solid connection between the handle and the barrel. 

This bat has a  balanced swing weight for better control through the zone, while the enhanced speed cap provides for a more flexible & responsive barrel and an enhanced ping sound.

Finally, its custom lizard skin grip provides a good mix of cushion and tack to improve comfort, grip, overall feel, and overall performance.

As we go into the 2nd season since the USA Bat Standard was introduced, Easton has made up for the mess that was 2018’s Ghost X with a brilliant bat in the 2019 Ghost X Evolution.

The innovative Ghost X evolution provides unmatched control, and a perfect combination of balanced swing weight, pop and speed when swinging through the zone.

Pros
  • The ghost X is an absolute beast – extremely well balanced, massive barrel, superb control, and provides the perfect combination of power and speed.
  • Comes HOT out the wrapper.
  • High end feel – the bat looks really cool.
  • Great pop – Sends balls over the fence with ease.
  • Is one of the best USA bats for contact hitters looking more speed behind the ball.
Cons
  • None so far.

The DeMarini CF Zen is a drop 10, 2 5/8-inch barreled, balanced, two piece composite USA baseball bat. As one of the most highly awaited USA bats of 2019, the CF Zen delivers top shelf performance year after year.

Its new Paraflex Plus composite construction helps the CF Zen deliver a smooth buttery feel on contact, as a result of its responsive barrel and handle.

Its 3Fusion taper design gives the CF Zen a much better feel and improves weight distribution. Additionally, the 3Fusion technology is used in the end cap to give this bat a bigger sweet spot.

Tying it all together is its Camo-D premium grip that provides a decent mix of tack and comfort while swinging.

A couple of parents have complained about the total weight of the bat being heavier than advertised. However, the swing weight (which is really the only thing that matters), checks out, weighing in around the average swing weight of most of the drop 10 bats we’ve used.

Pros
  • Lots of pop right out of the box for a USA bat. We love how this bat feels in the hands.
  • No vibration whatsoever.
  • Balance is amazing.
  • Balanced swing weight, feels great in the hands, and looks really cool.
Cons
  • One of the most expensive USA bats on our list.
Axe Bat 2018 ELITE Hybrid USABat Baseball Bat

New for 2019, the 919 Prime is a welcome addition if Louisville’s Solo and Select 2018 models are anything to go by. 

The Louisville Slugger Prime 919 is a balanced drop 10, 2 5/8-inch barreled bat.

From our tests, this is one of the best youth baseball bats in the USA bat market today. The 919 Prime has a 100% composite handle, barrel, and end cap, and comes hot out of the wrapper

Its unique 3-piece design features a MicroForm barrel that is durable, provides a larger sweet spot, and gives off a satisfying pop on contact with the ball. In addition, its patented VCX technology does a great job in dampening sting, while also allowing independent, natural feel in the hands.

The handle comes wrapped in the new LS Pro Comfort grip which complements the work that went into making the bat, by providing extra cushioning and tack for a super comfy feel.

To top it all off is Louisville’s brand new RTX end cap, which adds length to the barrel, improves durability & enhances ping. 

After testing it out, we can safely say that the 2019 Louisville Slugger Prime 919 is one of the best fully composite USA bats of 2019. It provides a fantastic mix of comfort, balance, speed, pop, and power.

Pros
  • Certified for use in – Little League, Dixie, Pony, AAU, AABC, USSSA & Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth
  • Easy to swing, lots of pop and amazingly comfortable in the hands
  • Durable – No signs of wear even after the abuse we put it through, save for a few scuff marks there were no zero dents, dings, or cracks.
  • Huge sweet spot & decent pop for a USA bat.
Cons
  • Expensive.

The 2019 Rawlings Velo is a drop 10, one-piece bat that offers hitters a traditional stiff feel.

The Velo a cost-effective option that produces great performance year after year.

We liked the light swing, loud ping, and durability of this bat. This bat is perfect for its cost-effectiveness, and performance.

The comp-lite end cap on the Velo gives it a low swing weight, provides extra balance and produces faster swing speeds. Its acoustic alloy produces a  loud ping that’s bound to boost the confidence of your budding star.

The straight-wall barrel increases exit speed, and the precision Laser pOp 2.0 technology in the barrel improves flex for more pop in your swing. 

Apart from the redesigned grip for more comfort and an enhanced feel, not much has changed from the 2018 version of this bat – which isn’t a bad thing given the 2018 version was a durable, light swinging bat.

On the whole, the Velo is perfect for anyone looking for a light swinging one-piece aluminum bat.

Pros
  • The Velo is a good mid-range bat that’s approved for use in AABC, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Dixie Youth, Little League, and Pony.
  • Good pop for a USA bat.
  • Balanced swing weight, and a decent sweet spot.
  • Light swing.
  • Deafening “ping” sound.
Cons
  • Produces hand sting when hitting off the end cap or handle.
  • Smaller barrel size compared to other USA bats.
  • Has a heavier swing weight – About 10% heavier than lighter USAbats.

Everything You Need to Know About the USABat Standard

The new USABat rules have lots of people scratching their heads. Parents, players, manufacturers, retailers alike. Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the new USA Baseball bat standard.

As of January 1, 2018, the new USABat standard was effected. As a result, all youth baseball bats 14 and under require bats (excluding USSSA youth baseball leagues) are expected to bear a USABat label on them.

Any bats currently on the market with a 1.15BPF stamp will not be allowed. So if you’re in the market for a new youth bat, ensure your bat is USABat approved.

If you’re not sure or if it does not CLEARLY say it on the bat, get in touch with the seller. Additionally, be sure to check with your coach to confirm which rules apply. Doing this may save you from buying the wrong bat and potentially losing hundreds of dollars.

One of the major downsides of the new USABat standard is the pop. Having used the old youth baseball bats for years, switching to USA stamped bats has been quite a significant change. The ball definitely does not jump off the bat like before.

Which National Organizations Have Been Affected by the New Bat Standard?

The National organizations affected by this change include:

  • American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
  • Little League Baseball
  • Babe Ruth League
  • Cal Ripken Baseball
  • PONY Baseball
  • American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
  • Dixie Youth Baseball
  • Dixie Baseball (Boys & Majors)

Any bat that doesn’t bear the USABat certification mark will not be allowed for use in the national organizations listed above.

However, please note that:

  • USSSA Baseball and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) will not be affected by the new USABat standard.
  • USSSA will not be making the switch to the new USABat rule and will continue to use the 1.15BPF standard.

Why Has USA Baseball Implemented This New Standard?

According to USA Baseball, the new rules are meant to make the game “more uniform,” improve player safety, while ensuring “the long-term integrity of the game.”

This new change reminds me of the BESR to BBCOR transition that was implemented in 2011 to high school and collegiate bats.

The term BBCOR stands for “Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution.” This is a standard that is meant to govern the amount of energy that is lost when the bat comes in contact with the ball. BBCOR limits this to a maximum value of .50. The primary purpose was to increase player safety by reducing the speed of batted balls by up to 5% compared to the BESR standard.

While the primary objective of the USABat change does not address player safety directly, we believe that these changes will positively impact player safety in youth leagues.

USA Baseball is aiming for a more “wood-like” feel, by reducing ball exit speeds by 10%. This way, batted balls come off the barrel slower, which limits the damage a baseball can cause.

The conversation around player safety in youth baseball isn’t new. In the last decade, baseball has had the highest fatality rate among 5 to 14-year-olds.

Along with the emphasis on player safety, we believe that the adoption of a “wood-like” performance bat will have 2 outcomes:

  • Because USABats have much less pop, it may place greater emphasis on skill rather than bat technology. Players then have the opportunity to hone their craft, putting less focus on bat technology and instead focusing more on player technique and strength.
  • However, because the new USA Baseball bats have been engineered to have less pop, they are expected to reduce the long ball. Youth players will have to deal with fewer home runs as a result.

It’s not all bad news, though. The bigger barrel which goes up to 2 5/8 inches in diameter will increase contact with the ball which we think is excellent – every kid wants a hit!

What Is New About the USA Baseball Bats?

While we can’t exactly say if switching to the USA Baseball bats makes things better or worse, it does make a difference.

The new USA bats have significantly less pop owing to the reduced trampoline effect. These bats have been designed to perform more like wood bats. USA Baseball believes that this wood-like performance is what’s best for the integrity and the future of the sport.

Here are the most notable changes:

Drop

Unlike the drop 3 length-to-weight ratio for BBCOR bats, USABats will not have a drop-weight limit.

Drop weight is calculated as the difference between the bat’s length (in inches) and weight (in ounces) of the bat. So a bat that is 32 inches in length and weighs 22 oz is a drop 10 bat aka a -10 bat. Bats with bigger drop weights are lighter and vice versa.

Barrel

The rules around barrel size have changed as well. Previously, youth leagues did not allow bats with barrels over 2 ¼” in diameter.

Now, though, barrels up to 2 5/8” in diameter will be allowed for use under the new standard. So players can use 2 1/4 inch or 2 5/8 inch barrel bats as long as they bear the USABat Stamp.

Do Tee Ball Bats Need to Be Certified?

Yes. Under the new USABat standard, tee ball bats (26 inches in length or shorter) need to have a USABat sticker that reads “ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS” order to be legal for use in leagues that adhere to the new standard.

Tee-ball bats don’t need to undergo the stringent testing required for youth baseball bats or BBCOR bats.

If you bought your tee ball bat before the new standards were implemented, worry not. You can buy a USABat certified tee-ball bat, OR you can buy a sticker via the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program to use on your current tee ball bat – This will make the bat compliant under the new standard.

The USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program is a program that enables you to use your tee ball bat if it was manufactured before the new USABat standard. You do not need a sticker if your tee ball bat already features the USA Baseball mark.

Get your sticker directly through USA Baseball here: USABaseballShop.com.


Official Tee Ball sticker and approved placement courtesy of USA Baseball.

Key Takeaways

  • USABats went on sale on September 1st, 2017. Every USABat approved bat MUST bear the USABat label on it.
  • The new rules are geared towards maintaining the integrity of youth baseball by mimicking a wood-like performance.
  • The new USA Bat rule affects AABC, Dixie, Little League, Babe Ruth / Cal Ripken, and PONY.
  • USSSA will not adopt the rule change but will allow bats that bear the new USA Bat stamp as long as the bats conform to the league’s requirements, e.g. drop weight, barrel diameter, material specs, etc
  • AAU will NOT adopt the rule change.
  • Unlike BBCOR bats, USABat bats will not have a drop-weight limit.
  • Players are allowed to use a bat with a barrel diameter of either 2 1/4 inch or 2 5/8 inch, as long as it carries the USABat stamp.

Final Thoughts on the USABat Standard

While safety has not been cited as the primary reason for the switch to the USABat standard, this change is a win for players, coaches and parents alike.

We at The Bat Nerds are huge fans of anything that keeps kids safe on the field, and the reduced batted ball exit speeds will definitely keep players safe.

How To Pick The Best Youth Baseball Bat – A Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the best youth baseball bat can be daunting. Where do you even begin??

From the different baseball bat brands, lengths, weights, and materials the bats are made from… There’s so much to take in!

The single most important consideration for choosing the best youth baseball bat for you is to pick a bat you’re going to be comfortable using. Here are a few factors that’ll help you reach this decision.

  • The league you/your player is in and its regulations
  • Age, height, and weight of the player
  • Size and weight of the bat – This greatly affects how the player hits & swings, their batting stance and ultimately their swing speed
  • The bat’s weight to length ratio (The drop)
  • Price of the bat
  • The life span of the bat
  • Type of material the bat is made of

Price

When looking for the best youth baseball bat, what do you consider more important? Are you looking for value or are you okay spending top dollar?

Baseball bats differ quite a bit in price. Tee-ball bats cost as little as $30. Certain bats can even cost upwards of $250!

League/Association

A youth bat is a huge purchase. Before you even start to do research on the best one, make sure you find out the rules and regulations of the league your child will be playing in.

Different leagues such as the Little League, Pony Ball, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, Dixie, Dizzy Dean, USSSA, NFHS all have their own regulations.

It is not unheard of for a parent to fork out for the price of the best youth baseball bat, only to find out that league rules do not allow for the bat to be used.

Weight & Length

The weight of a baseball bat is measured by comparing it to its length – A figure known as the drop-weight. The higher the number, the lighter the bat is.

To measure this, subtract the weight(ounces) of the baseball bat from its length(inches).

Take for instance a 27-inch long bat. If this bat weighs 15 ounces, this bat is then considered to be a “-12” bat.

Baseball leagues have safety rules that require baseball bats to have a drop between -7 and -13.5. The lower the drop, the higher the bat speed.

Taller hitters need longer bats, while heavier bats can be used by strong hitters.

The general recommendation, however, is to pick a bat that is easy to use and control. However, pick a bat that has some mass, because this makes it easier to hit the ball with some power behind it.

Bat Sizing Chart

baseball bat size chart

To fight the best youth baseball bat for you, follow these 3 easy steps:

  • Find your weight range(in pounds) on the left side of the chart
  • Find your height range(in pounds) on the top of the chart
  • Trace down from your height & weight range until the point they meet in the middle. That is your ideal bat size.

Please Note: This chart only serves as a guideline. Finding the best youth baseball bat for you ultimately boils down to your personal preference, your strength and weight, and hitting style.

Try out different bats until you find the best one for you!

How To Care For Your Youth Baseball Bat

How to break-in your youth baseball bat

If you intend on getting yourself an aluminum bat, you do not require to break it in. These bats work perfectly right out of the box.

With Composite Youth Baseball Bats, however, you’ll need around 120 to 200 hits to get the bat to perform at its peak.

Newer models do provide much better performance now right out of the box. When breaking in a composite youth baseball bat, start off at half your hitting power and gradually increase over time as your hit count goes up.

Rotate your bat ever so slightly with every couple of hits to make sure your bat gets broken in evenly.

What Is The Best Temperature For Your Youth Bat?

It is widely believed that  Composite Youth bats are more sensitive to temperature changes than most other bats out there.

While we haven’t found a maximum temperature above which you shouldn’t use your bat, manufacturers have their own suggestions on the minimum temperature at which to use your bat.  However, as a rule of thumb, do not use your youth baseball bat in environments under 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fun fact: Composite youth baseball bats have an increased pop in higher temperatures

How To Clean Your Youth Baseball Bat

Scuffs and marks will start to show on the bat after repeated use. Some players prefer to keep the bat dirty as a sign of all the battles the bat has been through. Sometimes, however, you want your bat to look as good as new.

Everyone has their “best trick” to clean their bats e.g soap & water. Most of them aren’t as effective.

One sure-fire way to ensure your bat is always sparkling clean is to use Magic Eraser.

Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean is an inexpensive yet incredibly effective way to clean your bat in no time.

Check out the video below for a demo on how to clean your baseball bat

More Youth Baseball Bat Tips

  • Do not overuse your game bat in the batting cage. Save it for game days to avoid excessive wear and tear.
  • Do not share your bat. Breaking a bat is a very real possibility, and the less hits there are on the bat, the less likely it is to break.
  • Dimpled balls will ruin your bat. Steer clear.
  • Your bat should not be used to knock dirt from your cleats. This will damage it.
  • When using a wood baseball bat, ensure you swing with the bat’s label facing you. This is meant to safeguard against breaking your wood bat.

Conclusion

When choosing the best youth baseball bat, remember to consider various factors before making your choice.

Factors such as the league you/your player is in, its regulations, the age/height/weight of your youth player, the drop of the bat in question, it’s size & weight, the material the bat is made out of, and lastly, the price of the bat, all influence your final pick.

Make sure you’re comfortable with the size of the youth baseball bat you choose.

Preference is another factor that isn’t given enough importance. For young players just beginning their journey in baseball, this is especially key.

Pay attention to your hitter’s style. Do they prefer to stand closer to the plate? Or do they prefer standing away from it and extending their swing? Do they prefer inside or outside pitches?

These questions will help you answer questions when looking at the taper of the bat. The taper refers to how soon the bat goes into the handle. A sharp taper is preferred by hitters who extend their swing.

Keep in mind that heavier bats give you more power, whereas lighter bats offer you more control and increase your batting speed.

At the end of the day, a one-solution-fits-all does not exist. Try out several bats before making your final choice.

Happy Selecting! 🙂

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