When purchasing a youth baseball bat, there are a number of important things that need to be taken into consideration. The bat’s weight, length and barrel width are very important and must be selected based on your league requirements.
Some leagues will only allow a 2 ¼” barrel and this will change how you choose the proper bat verses leagues that allow 2″ barrels. Wood bats are still available and make an excellent choice for all of your cage work as it helps to develop a proper swing and gain an understanding of the sweet spots on wood verses aluminum or alloy bats.
For a list of baseball bats for older players, you can view this list of the best baseball bats currently available.
Types of Youth Baseball Bats
The most popular choice for youth baseball bats are aluminum or alloy. The technological advancements in these bats have come a long way and they keep improving from year to year. A basic rule for selecting the right bat is to choose the lightest bat for its length in order to fully maximize your swing power. In a lot of cases, lighter youth baseball bats are just as costly as some of the heavier ones, but with so many quality suppliers, you are sure to find one that will satisfy your budget.
When choosing a longer bat, you are insuring more plate coverage; but it might cause the bat to be too heavy and slow down or alter the mechanics of the proper swing. Not a good idea! Shorter, lighter bats will cause the player to crowd the plate a little more but will definitely create more bat speed. Bat speed is essential and choosing the right bat is very important. It would be best to have a bat that is a little too light than to choose one that is too heavy.
Barrel size has become the talk of the dugout. A larger barrel will produce more power and have a bigger sweet spot allowing the hitter to drive balls that would otherwise be harmless outs. Choosing the proper youth baseball bat is an imperfect science.
If you are playing in a league that will allow 2 ” barrels, I would always recommend choosing bat speed over any other factor. Players come in all shapes and sizes and all have different strength levels…this complicates the process when choosing. Before purchasing, you might talk to your coach or a youth baseball bat representative and get information based on your players age and size and what the general trend is.
Little League Baseball Bat Rules
The rules for Little League Baseball differ from most all other youth organizations on their bat requirements. A 2 ¼” barrel bat and a maximum length of 33 inches is all that is allowed. Little League bats are required to have a taped handle up to 10 inches. Youth bats are measured in inches for the length and ounces for the weight. Negative or minus numbers are used to determine the bats weight. For example if a bat is 29″ long and has a -10 rating the bat will weigh 19 ounces. The bat would be referred as a minus ten negative ten or a drop ten bat. The higher the negative number the lighter the bat is for its length.