Selecting the appropriate baseball bat, either as a player or a parent, can be very confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for. There are a lot of options out there, and if you’re unsure of what you need, choosing the right bat can be difficult. But don’t worry - we’re here to help! Let JustBats help remove some of the guesswork from the equation!
First, let me introduce you to our Bat Coach. The Bat Coach is an interactive guide within our site that will help narrow down your options. All you will need to do is answer a short series of questions within the Bat Coach. With each question answered, the bats best suited for you will be narrowed down even further.
Here are a few things you will need to know when looking for the right bat:
What Kind of Baseball Bat Are You Looking For?
The type of baseball bat you are looking for is a very important question. Depending on your age and what league(s) you play in, you could be searching for a bat that could play across multiple levels. Here are the types of bats we offer and what age ranges use them:
- Training: All ages
- Tee Ball: 6 years old and under
- Coach Pitch/Junior Big Barrel: 8 years old and under
- Youth: Kid Pitch until high school
- Youth Big Barrel: Kid Pitch until high school
- Adult: high school and college
What is the Player’s Height and Weight?
Knowing the player’s approximate height and weight will help whittle down your bat options even further to the ones that have been deemed appropriate for a player of your size. If you aren’t sure and have no way of finding out those numbers quickly, knowing the player’s age can help determine the appropriate bats as well.
In general, the bigger, stronger players prefer to swing a heavier bat. Heavier bats take more effort to swing, which potentially leads to more power when connecting with the ball. Smaller players on the other hand like to swing lighter bats. The lighter bats allow them to increase their swing speed. If you aren’t sure whether you prefer a lighter or heavier bat, take some swings with bats on both ends of the spectrum and see what feels best in your hands.
Bat length is all relative to the player. Longer bats give a player greater reach and plate coverage, allowing them to expand the strike zone when necessary. On the flip side, longer bats are generally heavier and can slow down your swing. Shorter bats reduce a player’s reach, but are generally lighter - allowing you to get around quicker on that inside fastball. Much like checking a bat’s weight, taking some swings with bats of different lengths will help you discover the best bat for you.
Length to Weight Ratio
The length to weight ratio, otherwise referred to as a bat’s “drop,” is the difference between the length and weight of the bat and are commonly listed as negative numbers (ex: -3, -5, -8, etc). The greater the number is, the lighter the bat is going to be. Younger players generally swing lighter bats, but as they continue playing, the weight of the bat they swing will increase. Here are the most common length to weight ratios for each bat type:
- Tee Ball: -12, -11, -10
- Coach Pitch/Junior Big Barrel: -12, -10
- Youth: -13, -12, -11, -10, -9
- Youth Big Barrel: -12, -10, -9, -8, -5
- Adult: -3
Baseball bats generally come in three different barrel diameters: 2 ¼”, 2 ⅝”, and 2 ¾”. The larger the bat’s barrel diameter, the more contact surface the bat will have. Depending on the league that you are playing in, certain barrel diameters may be restricted.
- Tee Ball: 2 ¼”
- Coach Pitch/Junior Big Barrel: 2 ¾”
- Youth: 2 ¼”
- Youth Big Barrel: 2 ⅝” & 2 ¾”
- Adult: 2 ⅝”
Our Bat Resource Guide is another great tool we have on our site. It contains a chart that will give you helpful information regarding an average bat length for your child. This chart will give you a benchmark to begin your search for your new baseball bat.
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