The new season is right around the corner. Whether you’re a youth baseball player looking to improve on last year or a helpful parent who wants their little All-Star to be as prepared as possible, you already know the importance of a good baseball bat.
But what should you keep in mind when buying a new Youth Baseball Bat?
First of all, make sure the bat is legal for play. Visit Little League Baseball, Dixie Baseball, Babe Ruth League, or USSSA depending on the League you play in for specifics on what bats are eligible. Rules regarding factors like length to weight ratio, barrel materials, and barrel diameter can all vary depending on your league - although the vast majority of what we consider Youth Baseball Leagues will require the use of a 2 1/4 inch barrel diameter for players under the age of 12.
After that, consider whether a wood or metal/composite bat makes the most sense. Most youth players use metal/composite bats in competition because they offer better performance and durability while wood bats are very popular for training in the cage or may be required in special Wood Bat Tournaments.
Let's start with the length of the bat. A longer bat gives you greater reach, allowing you to easily hit balls on the other side of the plate. But selecting a longer
bat generally means that the barrel will be more difficult to control.
Choosing the correct weight of a bat is all about balance. The heavier the bat is, the more power the player can generate. But if a bat is too heavy,
the hitter can loss valuable swing speed and control over the barrel through the hitting zone.
Length to Weight Ratio (Drop)
OK, there are technically two key elements to selecting a Youth Baseball Bat. But we field so many questions about Length to Weight Ratio or Drop Weight, that we feel it deserves to be explained here.
The length to weight ratio, or drop weight of a bat, is simply a representation of the difference between its length and weight. And bats that have a greater length
to weight ratio will have a lighter overall weight. (ie a -12 Length to Weight Ratio is lighter than a -10 Length to Weight Ratio)
If you know the length and weight of the bat you're going to purchase, you can see that the length to weight ratio it will have is already set. That's just math. But it's important to know that some youth baseball leagues may restrict how light a bat can be by only accepting bats that have certain length to weight ratios (ie no bats with a length to weight ratio greater than -12, or in the case of High School / College, greater than -3). Stipulations like this are one of the many reasons we always recommend checking with your league office /official / director to ensure the bat you're about to purchase works for you.
Buying the right bat is an important part of your child’s continued baseball growth, so if you still have questions, do not hesitate to give the pros at JustBats a call or visit our Bat Buying Guide for more details.