Best Baseball Bats Reviewed & Rated for Quality

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 Louisville Slugger Solo 618
Test Winner: Louisville Slugger Solo 618
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Baseball is the great American pastime. There’s nothing quite like it in all the world. And nowhere is this more apparent than the mighty baseball bats. The bat is way more than a big piece of wood or metal for hitting baseballs, it’s an integral piece of American iconography. And need we say they're way more versatile and easier to handle than the thick, bulkier cricket clubs from across the pond. From Louisville Sluggers, all the way to Marucci bats are what make the game great. But of course, there can be only one, or in this case, ten champions among them.

Standout Picks

1. Marucci Cat7 Baseball Bats
Starting off our list, we have the Marucci Cat7. This is a great, professional-grade construction bat, guaranteed to blow the competition (and the ball) into the next stadium 3 cities over. Quite high praise, we hear you say, but how does it go about backing it up? Read on and be amazed.
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2. Louisville Slugger Solo 618 Baseball Bats
Coming in 2nd place, we have a classic brand among classic brands: Louisville Slugger. These guys have been making these almost as long as baseball's been a successful mainstream sport in America. And the Solo 618 is yet another stark reminder that the best bats come from Louisville.
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$119.95
3. Demarini 2016 Baseball Bats
Finishing up our top 3, we have the Demarini 2016 NVS Vexxum Senior model. Quite a mouthful isn’t it? Well, we’ll just call it the Vexxum for the rest of its time in this segment. In any case, this is another very high-quality bat that will serve anyone well, amateur or professional.
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4. Easton 2018 Beast Baseball Bats
In our #4 spot, we have the Easton 2018 Beast X Speed, or just the beast for short. There are technically three variants on the beast model; the Beast X Hybrid, the Beast X Speed, and the Beast X Loaded. Today we’re focusing on the Speed variant, so let’s not waste any more time.
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5. Louisville Slugger Genuine Baseball Bats
Coming into #5, we get old-fashioned with our old friends Louisville Slugger, with the Genuine Series model. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a lot to talk about with this model. It seems to be a perfectly normal, pure wood bat. Nice to go old-fashioned, but is there anything special about it? Well it’s on the list, and pretty high at that, so we think you know the answer.
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6. Demarini 2018 Baseball Bats
In 6th place, we have another entry from the great Demarini, with the 2018 Voodoo Balanced bat. As always, we have yet another excellent entry from one of the masters of the bat. So, what makes this latest entry so special compared to its leading brother? Let’s see.
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7.  Rawlings Raptor Baseball Bats
Coming in at #7, we have another popular trendsetter for the bat scene; Rawlings, here presenting their Raptor Alloy model. Rawlings has been around almost as long as Louisville Slugger, and have been attributed to be of equal importance, which is mostly because they are. And the Raptor demonstrates this very effectively.
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8. Barnett BB-W baseball bats
Coming in at #8, to kick off our final three entries, we have the Barnett BB-W Wood model. We’ve been spending this whole time talking about professional-grade bats, but that isn’t how we got into baseball. We usually get into it as kids when our parents took us out into the yard to play ball. So, we felt it was necessary to showcase one or two youth bats to demonstrate the importance of that era of baseball. And the Barnett BB-W is one of the best ones to start with.
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$22.50
9. Easton Mako Beast baseball bats
Now this here is a bit of a bigger deal for a youth bat. In the #9, our second to the last place, we have the Easton Mako Beast Youth model. Whereas before the previous entry was one for small children to get into the game, this is a true-blue youth selection, to be used in youth games, but still, be of professional quality. Frankly, the only thing separating it from a normal bat is the size.
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10. Rip-It 2012 Prototype II baseball bats
In our final entry, we have our #10 spot, the Rip-It 2012 Prototype II. Obviously not much of a prototype anymore 6 years later, as this bat has more than proven it has its place among the greats. So, what got this bat on the list? It’s actually very simple.
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Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Of course, it is vital that you take into consideration what was used to actually make your bat. But what are the most common of these materials? Well, the most common are as follows:

Aluminum:
Used to be that wood was the biggest material in town, but nowadays, pretty much every bat under the sun used professionally is made out of highly durable aluminum. But why actually go for an aluminum bat? What does it actually offer you? Well for one, aluminum is flexible. Which you would think would be its biggest weakness, but applied here, it’s the material’s greatest strength. Aluminum isn’t too flexible mind you, especially not at the density that you’ll find it at with a bat. But it’s just flexible enough to create a trampoline effect on the ball when it makes contact.

Wood:
This is the oldest material used to make bats, ever. Which stands to reason, as in the grand scheme of human history, using metals for sports is still a relatively new concept. Meanwhile, we’ve been using wood for our baseball since the game was invented. Interestingly, this material itself has subcategories of its own, but we won’t get into those too much. We will go over the most common types, however.

Initially, wooden bats were strictly made from hickory. But in recent years, that strictness has alleviated into allowing for three other kinds of wood to appear. These woods are bamboo, maple, and white ash.

Alloy:
An alloy bat possesses properties that make it rather similar to aluminum bats, though there are key differences between them. These similarities mostly stem from the fact that alloy is a blend of several metals, including aluminum. The main difference is that an alloy bat is much longer-lasting and much more durable, due to it having a variety of other metals make up its being.

Weight

Bats are generally weighed in ounces, though pounds can sometimes come into play depending on the bat. Now, what weight bat you choose will depend on what kind of batter you are. If you love being fast and rely on your speed to give you that perfect stroke, then a lightweight bat will suit you wonderfully, for example.

On the other hand, if weight isn’t a problem for a bodybuilder like you, and you want to thus put as much power and strength behind each of your strokes as you possibly can, then you’re looking for a heavyweight. Weight decides a lot of different things; whether it be how well you can stroke, how fast, or how far the ball will go after you hit. Always take a good look at the weight of the bat you’re trying to buy.

Size

Length is equally as important as weight. For one, there are plenty of youth bats out there that are professional quality, that stand on equal footing with their more adult-oriented bats are arbitrarily left at the kiddie table because of their length. And it isn’t just the barrel itself, it’s also the length of the taper, the grip, even the knob, can all decide the class that a bat stands at. So, remember that next time you go looking for a good bat.

Value

Baseball bats, if you want a really good one, are not cheap. Sometimes, depending on the retailer you find, you’ll find a pro-grade quality one that’s actually priced in the double digits. In fact, you’ll sometimes even find one where double-digit prices are the standard, as we’ve seen throughout the list. However, a majority of the time, you’ll find a bat will take a chunk of change.

Accuracy

Okay, we get that the accuracy of a bat is going to depend primarily on the battery but especially when you're dealing with metal bats, there is some fine-tuning of the tech that can make you a more effective hitter. Don't expect to be hitting the cheap seats every time but do keep an eye out for the bat that's going to help you make contact more often.

10 Best Baseball Bats

1. Marucci Cat7

Where to buy
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1. Marucci Cat7 Baseball Bats
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Starting off our list, we have the Marucci Cat7. This is a great, professional-grade construction bat, guaranteed to blow the competition (and the ball) into the next stadium 3 cities over. Quite high praise, we hear you say, but how does it go about backing it up? Read on and be amazed.

Harmonic dampening system

You wouldn’t think that vibration would be that much of an issue when dealing with a bat. After all, if it’s vibrating, then you must’ve hit the ball, and you should throw it down anyway, right? Well, turns out in the nanosecond that the ball and the bat are connected, that vibration can drastically affect how the ball moves when it leaves the bat. Fortunately, this model comes with a harmonic dampening system. By utilizing the 2nd generation Av2 anti-vibration knob, this system keeps vibration to a minimum for maximum impact.

Superior swing speed

This is about as fast a swing speed as you can find on the commercial market. And that’s mostly thanks to features such as the engineered barrel end wall that reinforces the thickness of the bat. It should be fairly obvious, but swing speed is one of the most important factors of a good bat, so this is a very desirable bat for those who want to hit fast and hard.

Cost and Value

A bat made with this level of quality in its design would be pretty expensive, and depending on the size of the bat you buy, you could end up paying a lot of money, or a lot of money. However, much like the rest of the entries on this list, the price is more than worth it.

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2. Louisville Slugger Solo 618

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$119.95
2. Louisville Slugger Solo 618 Baseball Bats
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Coming in 2nd place, we have a classic brand among classic brands: Louisville Slugger. These guys have been making these almost as long as baseball's been a successful mainstream sport in America. And the Solo 618 is yet another stark reminder that the best bats come from Louisville.

Strong lizard grip

The grip is incredibly important for a bat, and it isn’t hard to explain why. You’re going to be swinging this dense, heavy, blunt object at very high speeds, and if it flies out of your hands mid-swing, then you’ve essentially thrown a large aluminum stick at people. Not a fun experience for anyone, as you can imagine. Which is why this bat comes equipped with a tough lizard skin grip, which provides excellent traction to your hand.

Stiffer feel

This bat is made from a one-piece SL Hyper alloy construction that provides this with a stiffer feeling, and thus a firmer impact upon hitting the ball. A stiffer bat will not only make a more satisfying pop upon impact but will also send that ball flying further out.

Cost and Value

While this bat once more is rather expensive, the price range is at least more forgiving than the previous entries, starting in the double digits and working its way up into the triple-digit range.

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$119.95

3. Demarini 2016

Where to buy
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3. Demarini 2016 Baseball Bats
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Finishing up our top 3, we have the Demarini 2016 NVS Vexxum Senior model. Quite a mouthful isn’t it? Well, we’ll just call it the Vexxum for the rest of its time in this segment. In any case, this is another very high-quality bat that will serve anyone well, amateur or professional.

Lightest Demarini Swing

In the entirety of the Demarini lineup, this is most likely the smoothest and fastest swing they have. Made from a two-piece construction, specifically an X12 alloy barrel and a C6 composite handle, this model will give you excellent control and one of the lightest bat on the market today.

Forgiving

But hitting the ball hard is only half the story. The other half is the impact forgiveness. Now that you’ve hit the ball, now you have to deal with the recoil that the ball is going to leave you with, which is going to impact how well the hit actually registers, and how far it goes once the hit connects. Forgiveness shaves off a bit of the recoil, allowing the hit to register more fully and the ball to thus fly farther.

Cost and Value

Thankfully, the price range on this bat is far cheaper than the previous entry, although the range itself stretches for quite a while. Despite that, both the small and largest prices both sit comfortably in the double digits range, so you don’t have to worry about that.

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4. Easton 2018 Beast

Where to buy
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4. Easton 2018 Beast Baseball Bats
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In our #4 spot, we have the Easton 2018 Beast X Speed, or just the beast for short. There are technically three variants on the beast model; the Beast X Hybrid, the Beast X Speed, and the Beast X Loaded. Today we’re focusing on the Speed variant, so let’s not waste any more time.

Balanced swing weight

It’s easy for a bat to shift too much weight one way or another, either to the hilt, which reduces movement or to the tip, which weighs it down and makes it harder to get a good swing. Which is why the Beast prioritizes a balanced swing weight to make sure that every swing is the optimum strength and speed that it can possibly be to be effective.

Thicker handle diameter

One might wonder what’s so special about the handle of the bat being thicker than normal. After all, wouldn’t the handle being thicker make it harder to use? Well, on the one hand, yes, if you make it too thick. But make it just right, such as the Beast X Speed with its 31/32-inch handle diameter, and the choice pays off for you in dividends.

Cost and Value

Easton is known for a lot of things in the Baseball world. A lot of good, important things. One of those things is not being affordable, as these guys drive a hard bargain. The Beast series, in particular, are very expensive even for just a single bat.

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5. Louisville Slugger Genuine

Where to buy
Amazon Link
5. Louisville Slugger Genuine Baseball Bats
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Coming into #5, we get old-fashioned with our old friends Louisville Slugger, with the Genuine Series model. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a lot to talk about with this model. It seems to be a perfectly normal, pure wood bat. Nice to go old-fashioned, but is there anything special about it? Well it’s on the list, and pretty high at that, so we think you know the answer.

Ash make, forgiving sweet spot

This Louisville Slugger model is made from pure Ash Wood, which isn’t necessarily one of the stronger woods and can be broken if enough force meets it. However, the advantage it has is a flexible body compared to, say, pine, which allows for a very forgiving sweet spot for that perfect stroke.

Perfect handle

One advantage to being carved by hand is that you have the hand of a master carving the wood and knowing all the tricks to make the perfect bat. One aspect that showcases this fact is the handle, which is finely sanded, a natural smooth from the tip to the handle, with a cap at the bottom that doesn’t feel too fat.

Cost and Value

The best part about this model is its price, which is very cheap, with a price range that doesn’t go up all that far from the base price. Which only makes sense, seeing as how this really is just a wood bat, not even made of more expensive wood, instead made of ash wood. So it stands to reason that the bat wouldn’t be all that expensive.

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6. Demarini 2018

Where to buy
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6. Demarini 2018 Baseball Bats
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In 6th place, we have another entry from the great Demarini, with the 2018 Voodoo Balanced bat. As always, we have yet another excellent entry from one of the masters of the bat. So, what makes this latest entry so special compared to its leading brother? Let’s see.

End-loaded stroke weight

It’s important to note now that this is not a greenhorn’s bat. This is meant either for the seasoned pro or for the amateur with skill beyond their years. And the stroke weight is precisely why. The weight of this is focused on the very end of the bat. This gives the stroke a lot more weight, which can drastically increase the lengths the ball flies when used correctly. But again, you need the experience to know a bat inside and out in order to learn how to handle a bat like this.

Great weight control

While we emphasized the weight of the bat's endpoint earlier, don’t take that to mean that this model has a weight problem. Quite the contrary, as the 3Fusion handle and endcap, do a fantastic job of distributing and managing the weight. Giving the player who knows how to use it a fantastic sense of control.

Cost and Value

The big problem with this is the price of the model itself. While certainly not the worst price we’ve seen on the list thus far, it’s definitely up there with the most expensive price ranges that the list has to offer.

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7. Rawlings Raptor

Where to buy
Amazon Link
7.  Rawlings Raptor Baseball Bats
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Coming in at #7, we have another popular trendsetter for the bat scene; Rawlings, here presenting their Raptor Alloy model. Rawlings has been around almost as long as Louisville Slugger, and have been attributed to be of equal importance, which is mostly because they are. And the Raptor demonstrates this very effectively.

Lightweight metal

With the choice between metal and wooden bats, the commonly held stigma is that wood is lighter but not as tough, while metal is tough but not as light. But with the Raptor, you get the best of both worlds. Giving you a very lightweight bat, that’s also incredibly tough.

Durable and responsive

Raptor alloy, the metal that is the namesake of this model, is an interesting blend of different metals to make a bat that is both durable and responsive to your actions. Which is definitely good when you’re the type of player who loves to feel every impact to get maximum satisfaction.

Cost and Value

The best part about this bat, once more, is the price. This is one of the best-priced on this list, not just because the price itself is low, but because the price is the same across the board, no matter what size you choose.

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8. Barnett BB-W

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$22.50
8. Barnett BB-W baseball bats
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Coming in at #8, to kick off our final three entries, we have the Barnett BB-W Wood model. We’ve been spending this whole time talking about professional-grade bats, but that isn’t how we got into baseball. We usually get into it as kids when our parents took us out into the yard to play ball. So, we felt it was necessary to showcase one or two youth bats to demonstrate the importance of that era of baseball. And the Barnett BB-W is one of the best ones to start with.

Perfect for learning

The model is lightweight enough to be lifted by the children it’s meant to be used by and hits the ball with a decent impact. It’s sturdy enough to be usable, maybe in tee ball or practice with the parents. It’s the perfect bat to start your little slugger down the path to being a pro.

Good weight

It’s a wooden option, so it’s far from weightless like the useless plastic options. However, it’s not so heavy that the children who are its target audience can’t even lift it off of the ground. It hits just the right sweet spot.

Cost and Value

You may expect this model to cost something akin to, say, $10, but this model is a bit more serious than that. Now, that doesn’t stop it from being one of the cheapest entries on this list. However, it’s made with enough love and care to deserve a price tag that matches it.

Amazon Link
$22.50

9. Easton Mako Beast

Where to buy
Amazon Link
9. Easton Mako Beast baseball bats
Amazon Link

Now this here is a bit of a bigger deal for a youth bat. In the #9, our second to the last place, we have the Easton Mako Beast Youth model. Whereas before the previous entry was one for small children to get into the game, this is a true-blue youth selection, to be used in youth games, but still, be of professional quality. Frankly, the only thing separating it from a normal bat is the size.

Hyperskin grip

The grip of the Mako Beast is made from a tough material of Easton’s own make known as Hyperskin. No matter where you grip this handle (though the holder definitely should hold it like they’re supposed to) it will feel like you are the one in control.

Balanced stroke weight

Even when trained for little league championships, kids still don’t have the upper body strength needed to handle heavier ones that would otherwise help them get the perfect stroke. Luckily, this model comes with pitch-perfect stroke weight that will help the user hit the ball dead on and send it flying.

Cost and Value

Unfortunately, if you want to get your youth player a pro-grade bat, then you need to pay a pro option price. And that means shelling out a lot of money. But trust us, it will make all the difference out on the field, and the benefits will speak for themselves.

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10. Rip-It 2012 Prototype II

Where to buy
Amazon Link
10. Rip-It 2012 Prototype II baseball bats
Amazon Link

In our final entry, we have our #10 spot, the Rip-It 2012 Prototype II. Obviously not much of a prototype anymore 6 years later, as this bat has more than proven it has its place among the greats. So, what got this bat on the list? It’s actually very simple.

Experimental alloy

The alloy used to make this bat is known as ATBA alloy. And you military engineering nuts in the audience may have just gone slack-jawed at hearing that because this alloy is used to make high-performance equipment such as artillery shells and rockets. And you feel that strength during the hit.

Single piece design

Not only is this bat made from an experimental military alloy, but it’s also a one-piece build, meaning that it is an unbroken piece of equipment that is even more durable than it already was. And that’s saying a lot because it was very durable already.

Cost and Value

The best part about all of this? This is in the top 5 for the cheapest entries on this list. The price range for this bat is excellent, not going into the triple digits, and keeping very tight for a bat of such high quality. So, if you’re feeling adventurous with your bats, then give this one a whirl.

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Sources

  1. Baseball Monkey, How to Choose a Bat, Webpage
  2. Louisville Slugger, How to Choose a Bat, Webpage
  3. Just Bats, BBCOR Certification, Webpage