We’ve taken the hassle out of picking the best little league bat by doing the heavy lifting on your behalf. The section below provides in-depth reviews of the best youth baseball bats of 2022 with some fantastic picks.
For U-trip, our favorite USSSA bat of 2023 is the 2023 Marucci CAT X. Players will enjoy the stiff feel, super-responsive barrel, smooth taper, its pop, and fantastic sound once it’s fully broken in. Once again, Marucci has delivered with the CAT X.
The best USA bat of 2023 is the 2023 Drop 10 ADV 360. Players will love its big barrel, massive sweet spot, great performance right out of the wrapper, and no sting in the hands.
Our 3 Best USSSA Bats
[amazon box=”B0B5NJPT2S,B0BHZRB14R,B0B4BQ8VYR” template=”table”]
Our 3 Best USA Bats
[amazon box=”B0B4BPQNWS,B09YYZG1FN,B096BLLRND” template=”table”]
Best USSSA Youth Bats of 2023
For 2022, the CAT 9 composite was easily one of the best USSSA youth bats we’ve ever swung. From the looks of things, the CAT X composite is just as good, if not better! We swung the drop 8 and were blown away – 2023’s CAT X (or CAT 10 if you like your Roman numerals) is way more than just a color change.
2023’s CAT X sports a composite barrel that, despite feeling the same as last year, has improved tech to which we attribute the performance boost. This bat also has a stiffer, thinner handle that tapers smoothly into a smaller knob that we love compared to last year’s CAT 9.
At first, your CAT X will likely sound quite bland, and the sweet spot small, but please keep hitting; this bat is absolute gas and will only get hotter. Ours noticeably changed about 20 swings in, and after another 100 swings, the CATX was fully broken in and came into its own, putting out bonkers numbers. Compared to the CAT 9 composite, the CAT X feels lighter, stiffer, and more rigid. Swing weight feels more or less similar to last year’s model, and durability is just as great.
After seeing the internet abuzz upon its release, we picked up the Rawlings Icon, and it does live up to all the hype. The Icon is a two-piece, all-composite youth baseball bat with a balanced swing feel.
We tested the drop 10 and loved the sleek golden-black colorway and overall feel in the hands. It has a thin handle that, when coupled with the balanced swing weight, is smooth and swings like a dream. The barrel’s carbon composite and connector piece give this bat great pop while keeping it nice and stiff.
Why we love the Rawlings Icon: This drop 10 model will likely be one of the best USSSA youth baseball bats for 2023 thanks to how good it sounds, its balance (almost as good as the Meta), and its big barrel that makes it easy to find the sweet spot.
It does take a while to fully get going, but at about 50 hits in, this bat is mashing the ball. It didn’t do too well on mishits, probably because it’s a little stiff for a two-piece, and the knob is a tad bulky, which might hurt your hand and make it hard to find a good grip.
The 2023 CF Mashup is 2022’s CF in a fancier get-up. For 2023, the Mashup has mostly stayed the same, save for cool-looking graphics. The 2022 bat had tons of pop and a massive sweet spot, and the 2023 rendition is no different.
For 2023, the CF Mashup comes as a balanced, two-piece, all-composite bat that will give players tried and true performance and feel in the hands. Sweet spot is huge, barrel control feels great, and the CF Mashup consistently performs incredibly well.
Swing weight is really well balanced and should suit contact hitters who want the ability to generate speed in their swings and lots of control through the zone.
The CF Mashup is available in sizing that ranges from 28, 29, 30, and 31 inches in length and comes in 3 drop weights – a light swinging drop 10, the heavier drop 8, and the even heavier drop 5 for that player that will soon be transitioning to drop 3 bats.
We haven’t had the CF Mashup long enough to test out its durability. Still, going by last year’s durability issues with the 2022 CF, we’re reluctant to have it at the top of our list, especially with competition from the CAT X and the Rawlings Icon. While the jury is still out, we recommend only using this as your gamer for now.
The 2nd rendition of the USSSA Meta is our X pick. The 2022 USSSA Louisville Slugger Meta is a balanced two-piece, fully composite bat.
The EKO composite material used on the barrel delivers a light-swinging, big-barreled bat that sounds fantastic on contact with the ball. The composite also enhances barrel length while keeping the bat lightweight and well-balanced.
The VCX2 connection piece flexes in a way that lets both the barrel and handle move independently of each other, which gives a smooth feel on contact while minimizing sting on mishits. Finally, the end cap maximizes barrel length and keeps the bat light enough to improve swing speed further.
Youth baseball players will enjoy the Meta’s big barrel, fantastic sound, and most importantly, its performance. The drop 8, in particular, will be an excellent choice for a player who wants a moderately light-swinging bat with a massive barrel. The drop 10 will suit contact players aged 7-to-12-years-old.
That said, we shrill think that the USSSA CF is a better pick over the USSSA Meta USSSA, but the Meta still makes our best youth baseball bat list for its performance overall.
The 2022 ADV Hype is another one of our picks for best youth baseball bat and another two-piece composite that we love. From its construction to how it looks. It replaces the ADV 360 everywhere apart from USA bat.
Thanks to a new composite barrel, connection piece, and handle, performance is superb. Easton claims that the TCT (Thermo Composite Tech) used on the ADV Hype’s barrel is new, but online forums have been awash with claims that the 2022 Hype takes the TCT composite and end cap from the legendary MAKO line of bats.
Drops 8 and 10 will suit contact hitters who like their bat with a big barrel and a light swing. The drop 5 feels end-loaded and is thus best for power hitters transitioning to a heavier drop 3. The sweet spot, once you find it and hit right on it, the barrel jumps.
Our favorite feature is the soft knob (or Power Boost Knob, as Easton calls it). This soft knob replaces the hard plastic with pliable rubber that feels so much more comfortable in the hands.
The USSSA 2022 Easton ADV Hype is available in various sizes to suit every type of player on the team. Lengths range between 27 to 32 inches. Drop 5’s come only in 2 5/8 while the drop 8 is available in 2 3/4. The drop 10, on the other hand, is available as both a 2 3/4 and a 2 5/8.
Best USA Bats of 2023
The Easton ADV 360 comes as a balanced, two-piece, all-composite baseball bat. For 2023, the Easton ADV exists only in USA baseball. The USSSA and BBCOR version of this bat is the ADV Hype.
The Launch composite used on the barrel gives players a big barrel, massive sweet spot, and great performance right out of the wrapper. Once it’s fully broken in, the ADV is a beast.
Its foam-filled two-piece connection piece eliminates vibration and hand sting and gives players a stiffer connection. Coupled with Easton’s “Flow-Tack Grip” (resembles Lizard Skin bat grips), players get additional comfort & tack.
The Power Boost Knob is our favorite feature. Made out of pliable rubber, the knob further cuts down on hand sting while improving comfort and feel in the hands.
The drop 11 will be a great addition for younger batters who aren’t quite ready to swing a drop 10. On the drop 11, however, Easton is using their launch composite material instead of their ultra-light composite to rescue durability at the expense of hot-out-of-the-wrapper performance. We haven’t had this bat long enough to speak on the drop 11’s durability, but it is something to consider, especially at that price tag.
The drop 10s are a nice middle-ground bat that will suit most players and easily the best bat for players between 9 and 11 years of age. Bigger, stronger, more experienced players between 11 and 13 years old will benefit from added weight, so they are better off swinging the drop 8 or drop 5.
The 2023 Easton ADV 360 will be perfect for players that like a big barrel, light swing, and great feeling two-piece composite.
If you’re looking for an alloy USA bat, the 2023 Axe Strato will be an amazing pick, especially when you consider its price vis-a-vis how well it performs.
The 2023 Axe Strato is a one-piece and all-alloy bat that comes in a range of sizes between 27 to 32-inches in length. The alloy barrel makes for a solid, durable bat that doesn’t need a break-in period, and a composite end cap works to keep swing weight low.
We swung the slightly heavier drop 8, that carries a slight end load compared to the drop 10 and it hits the ball really well,
All Axe Bats have Axe’s patented handle design, and the Strato is no different.
The 2023 Axe Strato will suit entry-level players, or big hitters that are looking for a stiff, light swinging bat with a huge barrel that they can wring performance out of.
It hits the ball really well, with lots of pop and a great-sounding ping to boot, making it well deserving as one of the best USA bats of 2023. We didn’t like that it would occasionally sting the hands (despite that being typical for one-piece bats). Vibration can be overlooked by bigger hitters though, and younger pitchers likely won’t swing the bat hard enough for it to be an issue.
The CF has been one of the best USA bats for several years now. It’s pretty much been the same bat with a different coat of paint – If it ain’t broke, right?
This balanced, drop 10 two-piece, fully composite bat. The two-piece composite construction allows for better weight distribution along the CF’s barrel, thus allowing for a combination of control, speed, and excellent balance.
The CF’s barrel tech gives it a massive sweet spot that’s both consistent and super responsive.
Its connection piece flexes to give players smooth hits while limiting vibration from traveling down into the hands. Finally, the end cap tops it off by blending strong but lightweight materials that better the barrel’s performance without affecting speed.
Contact players who need to generate speed will enjoy this lightweight, smooth swinging bat, and its huge barrel.
The 2022 Louisville Slugger Solo is a one-piece, all-composite USA bat. We love its big barrel, light swing, and stiff feel – definitely one of the best USA bats for beginners and contact hitters.
The USA version has a balanced swing weight and is only available in a drop 11. Swing weight is light, courtesy of a thinner wall-design single-piece alloy that gives lots of pop. The lightweight feel is further enhanced by the USA Solo’s composite end cap that shaves off weight to improve its lightweight and balanced feel further, giving players more control and generating faster swing speeds.
The drop 11 has earned rave reviews from beginners looking for a bat that swings light but is a performer. The barrel is a decent size, the bat swings light, and the price point won’t burn a hole through your wallet.
Our fourth pick for best USA bat is the Easton Maxum Ultra. This balanced one-piece, drop 10, fully-composite USA bat has a huge sweet spot, stiff for power transfer to the ball, and feels great for a single piece.
For starters, the XXL Barrel on this bat is massive. Second, the carbon barrel is stiff as a one-piece bat but swings super light. Young players can generate decent bat speed while maintaining control, and the massive sweet spot allows them to make solid contact.
A big barreled, light swinging bat in the USA space is bound to be a popular pick, and the Maxum Ultra is a breath of fresh air in a field that’s replete with two-piece composites options.
Performance is excellent, feel in the hands is great for a one-piece composite, and it has an impressive amount of pop. As is typical with a one-piece, the Maxum does sting the hands, unfortunately – if you can get past that, the 2022 Easton MAXUM Ultra is a worthwhile pick.
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
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!
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
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.
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! 🙂