Reviews and Rankings of the Best Baseball Bats

Premier destination for reviews and rankings of youth and BBCOR baseball bats.

2012 Easton Reviews

Easton is far ahead of the competition when it comes to BBCOR baseball bats, especially with 100% composite bats. Easton has always been the leader in composite bats and the 2012 model year is no exception. They continue to push their two-piece design in their top tier Power Brigade bats. They were the first to release a BBCOR approved composite bat, the Omen, and then quickly followed that up with new models (Power Brigade S1 and XL1). They are known for offering many options (sometimes so many its dizzying) to appeal to just about any player. Easton is the most popular bat brand in the market and it’s difficult to go wrong with one of their bats.

Here’s their youth and BBCOR offerings for the 2012 model year: (read entire article…)

2012 Louisville Slugger BBCOR Baseball Bats

Louisville has a long and respected history in the baseball bat industry and was considered the holy grail of baseball bats. That distinction has long since faded and they are trying to catch up. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a long recovery as they were slow to get out of the BBCOR bat gate.

For 2012 they’ve made significant changes to their line-up. They’ve discarded the poor selling multi-piece bat design of the last few years and have gone back to their core, a one piece bat design (say bye-bye to the Triton and H2). Not to say I told you so, but these were my comments regarding their 2011 models:  “They need to decide if they’re going to jump into the multi-piece bat market or not. If you’re coming out with a multi-piece design tell me it’s a multi-piece design and why that makes sense, or come out with a one-piece design and tell me why it’s better. Stop with the “bonded to be a one-piece bat”, nobody believes it and that is why sales are lagging.”

Louisville needs a strong entry in the 100% composite category to b (read entire article…)

2012 Demarini Bats

The 2012 Demarini BBCOR baseball bats have a similar look to 2011, with the addition of a lower tier alloy model (Versus) and exclusion of a lower tier composite model (Vendetta). While they are sticking to their bread and butter, a two-piece baseball bats with a flex handle and their “half and half” technology, they have started expanding their reach into the alloy market and exploring different technology.

Demarini has been a major player in the baseball bat industry for years and makes quality bats. The only thing I don’t like about their bats is the overlapping seam connecting the handle and barrel. I much prefer a seamless connection on a baseball bat. I believe 2012 is going to be a make or break year for Demarini as there are some new, highly competitive, manufacturers looking to gain share. Demarini on the other hand doesn’t have much that is new or exciting.

Take a look at my recommendations by category and cost, and here’s a look at the 2012 Demarini bats:


2012 CF5
The change to make the CF5 BBCOR compliant is Demarini’s new “Tri Strut TR3 composite material”; otherwise it’s the same design as the CF4 & CF3. They’re pushing the limits of believability with the Tri Strut claiming it “imitates the structure of crystals which are one of the strongest and most stable compounds on Earth”.  It’s a double wall, 100% composite two-piece bat with a flex handle and light swing weight (MOI). Most college players (who’s team swings Demarini) stayed away from the CF5 due to its light (or too light) swing weight. Also, many prefer a single wall bat. It is not my choice in the top tier 100% composite category. The Adult -3 model retails for $399.99

(read entire article…)

Marucci 33-inch Cat 5 baseball bat banned!

Marucci’s 33-inch Cat 5 bbcor baseball bat has been banned by the NCAA and NFHS: February 20, 2012.

The 33-inch model of the 2011 Marucci Cat 5 Adult Baseball Bat has been decertified by both the NCAA and NFHS, and it will be illegal this season in college or high school baseball.

The NCAA announced the decertification on Friday. The NFHS, the national governing body of high school sports, followed suit on Tuesday in an e-mail memo to state association athletic directors.
(read entire article…)

2012 Combat Bats

Combat (the company) started in 1998 when they began manufacturing softball bats for other brand name companies. Combat were born in the mid 00’s years when they decided to put out the same bats they make for other companies in their own name, including baseball bats.

Combat has a following in youth leagues but has never caught on in middle school, high school or college baseball. It is extremely rare to see their bats in the hands of those over 12 years old. Their claim to fame was a walk off home run with a Combat B1 in the 2007 Little League World Series. It created a big buzz and a lot of kids wanted a Combat bat. The buzz has long faded and, while still enjoying a small loyal following, their 15 minutes of fame has past.

Combat introduces new models in youth only, with the adult model coming the following year. The new 2012 model is the youth only B4. As with all the bats they have ever produced, the 2012 model year bats have a stiff handle and low swing weight.

As stated before, Combat needs to make inroads in high school baseball to become a true player in the industry.

Click here to check out my 2012 recommendations in each bat category.

 

Combat 2012 B4YB (-12) Composite Youth Baseball Bat

Their new 100% composite bat is only available in a youth model. It’s a single wall one-piece bat with a “longer barrel”, low MOI and stiff handle. They claim it’s made from the same Aramid fibers “found in bulletproof vests”! Umm, are you selling baseball bats or suits of armor?  While the Youth -12 & -10 models retail for relatively low $199.99, I’d go with the Easton Omen in the 100% composite low priced category.

  (read entire article…)

2012 Youth Baseball Bat Rules and BBCOR Standards

2012 Youth Baseball Bat Rules and BBCOR Standards

Baseball leagues around the country have seen plenty of changes over the past year or so. Most have focused on BBCOR bats, but there are changes across the board.

Citing safety concerns caused by the exit speeds of some composite bats, some leagues have banned composite-barreled baseball bats. Others have not. Add in the new BBCOR performance standard, and things can quickly get confusing.

This post is a guide for parents, guardians and players looking for new bats or making sure their current bats will be legal.

Little League
Heading into the 2012 baseball season, Little League’s bat rules look like this:

  • Minor League Baseball — Composite-barreled bats will be banned; some have been re-allowed
  • 9-10 Year Old Baseball Division — Composite-barreled bats will be banned; some have been re-allowed
  • Little League Baseball (Majors) — Composite-barreled bats will be banned; some have been re-allowed
  • Junior League Baseball — Composite-barreled bats will be banned; some have been re-allowed; and all BBCOR certified bats will be allowed
  • Senior League Baseball — All bats must be BBCOR certified
  • Big League Baseball — All bats must be BBCOR certified

(read entire article…)

BBCOR Baseball Bat Standards, Rules and Regulations

This will provide you with the difference between BBCOR, BESR and ABI. It also provides you with the current BBCOR standards, rules and regulations along with It will also let you know legal and what isn’t.

Below is the breakdown of the current changes in bat performance standards. First, we have some definitions of terms. Second, there is a league-by-league timeline. Third, some of the common questions about the changes are answered.

Definitions

BESR (Ball Exit Speed Ratio)
This was the longstanding test used to ensure that non-wood bats play similar to wood bats. It tests a bat’s “exit speed,” i.e. how fast the ball bounces off a composite or aluminum bat barrel. It has been phased out, because it failed to account for how bats would perform after they have been broken in (Composite bats typically improve with use).

BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution)
This is the new, more-accurate test that is replacing BESR. Like BESR, it is used to ensure that aluminum and composite bats play similar to wood bats, but it also accounts for how bats perform after they’ve been broken in. That’s because it includes the ABI, described below.
(read entire article…)

2012 Marucci BBCOR Bat Reviews

Marucci Baseball Bat Reviews
First, yes the Cat 5, 33 inch Adult -3 has been banned as of February 2012. You can read more about that here.

The Marucci Bat Company has a great story behind it. In 2002 Jack Marucci saw his 4 year old son Gino slide head first into home plate at his first T-ball game he knew his son shared his love for the game. However, after two seasons of hearing the “clink” of the metal bat in the backyard, Jack and Gino could bear the sound no more.

Searching for a child-size wooden bat proved to be quite difficult. Marucci, who had inherited some woodworking tools from his late father had been slowly teaching himself the craft of woodworking. He purchased a small lathe and kit of tools and taught himself how to use it to craft wooden baseball bats. Before too long Marucci wood bats were at the MLB level in the hands of Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols and 300 other MLB stars.

Marucci then expanded into the aluminum bat category, with the Cat 5, and quickly generated a lot of buzz in the market. The buzz is quite hot right now and in my opinion is over the top. It reminds me of the insanity about Combat following that LLWS walk off home run in 2007 (and Miken bats before it). That has long since faded and so will the crazyness over the Cat 5. Nonetheless, Marucci has done a fantastic job of incorporating MLB stars into it’s advertising which is helping to stoke the fire.

Here’s what Marucci has to offer in 2012:

Marucci 2012 The Black BBCOR Baseball Bat
The Marucci Black is their new entry for 2012 and brings them into the hybrid category.

(read entire article…)

BBCOR Defined

BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution)
The baseball bat standard that replaced BESR (Ball Exit Speed Ratio)

Many are still confused with the BBCOR standard and exactly what it means. Here’s a very simple explanation.

Rather than measuring the ratio of the ball exit speed to pitch and bat speeds (like BESR), BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the bat. With the BESR standard, when a pitched ball made contact with an alloy or composite bat, the barrel would flex inward somewhat and the ball would retain a portion of its energy. This resulted in hits that were longer and harder. Wood bats don’t have that give to them and the ball loses much of its energy upon impact. The BBCOR standard ensures that non-wood bats perform more comparably to wood bats in an attempt to level the playing field.

It also accounts for how bats perform after they’ve broken in. Since the dawn of composite bats, it was found that the more they were used the better they performed. This led to tampering with the bats to artificially accelerate the break-in process and improve bat performance (rolling anyone?). With BBCOR, bats are now tested after various stages of simulated use in the lab, so that a bat never performs beyond the BBCOR standard at any point during its useful life.

Nike BBCOR Bat Backlash – All Nike College Teams Released from Bat Commitment

Looks like every college under contract with Nike has been let out of its commitment to use Nike baseball bats during the upcoming season. This is due to tremendous backlash from college teams that used Nike BBCOR bats last season. These teams showed signs of substandard offensive performance when compared to teams using non-Nike bats. The Tuscaloosa (AL) News broke the story, this is their article that was released on September 13, 2011:

TUSCALOOSA | The University of Alabama, along with every college under contract with Nike, has been released from its obligation to use Nike baseball bats in the upcoming season.

Alabama requested that Nike allow the school to use other manufacturers’ bats following the 2010-11 season.

(read entire article…)

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