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Baseball

Best Baseball Bat

Bats, bats, bats everywhere! There are so many different bats on the market, it can be very confusing trying to figure out which is the right one to purchase. Finding the right bat can be like finding the right needle amongst thousands of needles in the haystack!

There are wood bats, aluminum bats, one-piece bats, composite bats, Little League bats, youth bats, Senior League bats, BBCOR bats, and more. Here are the determinants that will help you select the correct bat:

* Level of play and Regulations: There are bats for each level of play and different regulations for these levels. Purchasing the right bat for the level of play that meets regulations is the first step.

* The size of the bat: Getting a bat that is the right size for you or your kid is one of the most important factors in a player’s success. In general, taller players should use a longer bat and stronger players should use a heavier bat. However, you do not want a bat that is too heavy or too long, as that will greatly influence the quality of a player’s swing.

* The drop: Baseball bats are measured by their drop number - their length to weight ratio, a negative number that represents how many ounces a bat weighs when compared to it's length in inches. For example, a 31 inch bat that weighs 26 ounces has a -5 drop.

* Price: Bats can be very expensive. More expensive is sometimes better, but the most expensive is not always the best for you or your kid. More serious players do need better bats, but that doesn’t mean you have to get the highest priced model. Players just beginning or who don’t exhibit a passion for the game don’t need expensive bats - buy a lower-priced model and move up the money scale if they become more serious.

If you consider these factors and spend a little time doing research, you will be sure to get the right bat for you or the young player in your family.

Rip-It 2014 Prototype AIR BBCOR Baseball Bat

The BBCOR Air is gaining popularity as the best bat on the market. And in a market with sporting equipment giants like Easton, Demarini and Louisville Slugger, this is no small feat. The "Rip-It" brand has made a name for itself with pure performance. This bat BBCOR .50 Certified, touts an advanced R2 Alloy to optimize swing speed and to create a giant sweet spot that allows the hitter to drive the ball on any location near the barrel. It is simply the hitter's ideal bat in today's market. I even prefer the 1-piece BBCOR Air over the higher-priced 2-piece BBCOR Air Elite, for its balance, forgiveness and durability.

Louisville Slugger BBAS14-RR Assault Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger has been an industry giant almost as long as baseball has ben around. They are simply the best and continue to improve their technology to meet the needs of their consumers. The Assault is no different. This model is a one-piece BBCOR certified bat designed with what they call "flex band technology" inside of the barrel, which allows them to create a bat with thinner walls, resulting in a lighter swing weight. A lighter swing weight ultimately leads to increased bat speed, which means more power generated from the hitter. This bat is also used by top college programs in the country, lending credibility to the performance of the bat.

Marucci 2014 Black BBCOR Baseball Bat

The Marrucci Black makes the list for the second straight year with its 2014 model. This is a rare 2 piece bat that touts handle stiffness, something that draws me to this model. Typically, a 2-piece bat is constructed for optimal swing speed. The downside is a bat that has an uneven swing weight, which could cost a hitter that has a tendency to hit the ball inside on the hands. The upside, however is unparalleled bat speed through the zone due to optimized bat construction, which could lead to enormous pop if you hit the ball right - out in front, and central on the barrel. This bat is recommended for expert hitters who are confident in their hands.

Easton 2014 MAKO BBCOR Baseball Bat

The Easton Mako BBCOR bat is a top-of-the-line bat that provides the unprecedented pop of a two-piece bat, with a stiff handle that provides surprising forgiveness, in the event that you happen to miss the sweet spot. This is an elite baseball bat -- for an elite baseball bat price. This is everything that a hitter could want in a baseball bat. Performance alone gets this bat on the list, price point keeps this bat from the top.

DeMarini 2014 VooDoo OverLord Baseball Bat

The Demarini Voodoo overlord is a two piece bat with a "carbon reinforced" paradox handle, which leads me to believe that this is another bat that has answered the criticisms that plague most two piece bats today. A two piece bat typically provides higher upside for the hitter that can get his hands through the zone, but a worse downside for a hitter that happens to get jammed, or miss the sweet spot. The Voodoo overlord has improved their model to keep the upside of a two-piece, while minimizing the downside, at a competitive market price.

Demarini Voodoo WTDXVDL14 Youth Baseball Bat

The Demarini Voodoo Paradox, like its big brother in the high school and college levels, ranks on the best bat list for a few distinguishing characteristics: The bat is made with high quality X10 alloy metal with new, thinner barrel walls and paired with a composite handle, to optimize swing weight and ultimately bat speed, meaning power for the hitter. There are some other bats on the market that provide these attributes, but it is rare to find a high quality bat at the $149.99 price rage to compete with the Voodoo Paradox. In short, this bat is as powerful as any other on the market, for a highly competitive price.

Easton YB14MK MAKO Composite Youth Baseball Bat

Easton poured all of the technology it has into the making of the 2014 Easton Mako. This bat is loaded with "TCT" Thermo-composite technology that the company boasts will increase both power potential and swing speed. On top of this, reviewers of all ages have praised the feel and pop of the Mako. This bat is simply as good as it gets in terms of power potential, swing speed and feel for 2014. However, top of the line bats often come with top of the line price tags, and the 2014 Easton Mako is no exception.

Marrucci 2014 Black Youth Bat

Marrucci 2014 Black Youth Bat

Marrucci is the hottest bat producer on the market today, being endorsed by the likes of Albert Pujols and Jose Bautista, some of the big league game's top hitters. Along with the big name endorsements, Marucci takes pride in quality that speaks for itself. The simplistic commitment to quality is one of the main reasons that Marrucci bats have grown so popular in recent years, as no bat can withstand such a competitive market without high quality production.

The Marrucci Black comes standard with a carbon-composite handle, and ring free technology in the barrel that translates into pure pop from the sweet spot of the bat. This is the kind of bat that simply gets the job done -- power in its purest form. Great ratings across the board, and a great feel that has hitters raving.

Louisville Slugger 2014 Assault Alloy Jr Big Barrel Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger has been making the best bats in the game for years, both recreational and youth. The Louisville Slugger assault is a bat with a one piece design, designed for balance and power, two qualities that are extremely important for a youth hitter. The Assault boasts the toughest alloy construction on the market, and provides all of the pop you would expect from a Louisville Slugger. If you prefer a one piece bat to the two piece construction, this bat is a no-brainer.

Demarini 2014 CF6 Youth Baseball Bat

The best thing about the CF6 is that it combines all of the advantages of a 2 piece bat, while minimizing the disadvantages of a two piece bat. The advantages are an optimized swing weight that provides as much swing speed and pop at the barrel. What the CF6 has improved is the handle, which is carbon reinforced paradox composite handle is stiffer than the standard two piece bat, which means it has the swing feel of a one piece, meaning better energy transfer through the swing, similar to the bat on the top of the list. This is a technology that puts this bat in the top ranks.

Louisville Slugger C243 Pro Lite Ash Baseball Bat, Unfinished

For over 120 Years, Louisville Slugger has been the number one bat of choice in Major League Baseball. Despite a saturated market, Louisville continues to produce top quality bats year in and year out. Louisville Slugger remains dedicated to their professional and recreational clients alike, using only top quality wood for all of their bats, as not to damage the integrity or reputation of their craft. The C243 is expertly constructed with top quality ash, which results in a strong, light and durable bat that simply performs in the competitive arena of Major League Baseball: "Bat feel" is subjective, but all swingers can attest to the grip and feel of an unfinished bat, whether you wear gloves at bat or not. Overall, this is a top-tier bat with the performance and feel to match the Louisville Slugger reputation. When you swing a C243, you swing with confidence, knowing that your weapon of choice is the best in the market.

Marucci Sports DO34 Adult Custom Pro Baseball Bat

Marucci Sports DO34 Adult Custom Pro Baseball Bat

Marrucci bats emerged onto the big league stage in 2002, and took the league by storm. Marrucci has been attracting big name clients, such as bombers the likes of Albert Pujols and Jose Bautista. Hitters are drawn to these bats for a few reasons. Of course, top quality wood and construction are prerequisites, but Marucci's persistence to tailor their specifications to each individual hitter are what set them apart. Like the former, this particular model sports the ash construction, lending the same speed/strength ratio as the other. The feel of the bat is different. Marrucci boasts a thicker handle, which some hitters prefer. This wood is also finished, leaving the hitter with a sleek, stylish bat with the performance to match. The ability to customize according to color specifications is just icing on the cake, and a testament to Marrucci's commitment to personal customization. However, custom bats come with a price, which is directly reflected on the price tag.

Louisville Slugger C243 Buster Posey Wood Bat

The same model as the number one listing, but slightly altered to meet the specifications of former MVP and batting champion Buster Posey. This bat has all of the same positives as its cousin, with an added finish that may reduce what bat-makers call "soft spots", which are small locations on the bat where strength is compromised. The bottom line is, if it's good enough for one of the best hitters on Major League baseball, it's a quality bat. This bat could very well make for the number one bat, if you like the feel of a wood finish.

Louisville Slugger 113 Hornsby Black AFS Wood Bat

Louisville Slugger 113 Hornsby Black AFS Wood Bat

Any "best wood bat" list would not be complete without a maple bat near the top of the pecking order. Maple bats are preferred by many power hitters for its increased hardness, compared to ash. This results in some increased pop in the swing, for hitters that are strong enough to use a bat that swings a little heavier, due to increased wood density. As mentioned previously in the article, you can't go wrong with a Louisville Slugger, and this top of the line maple model will assuredly provide the pop you are looking for. There is a caveat -- Maple is known to have a smaller sweet spot, so make sure you're hitting the ball square.

Marucci Sports Cutch22 Maple Pro Baseball Bat

Marucci Sports Cutch22 Maple Pro Baseball Bat

The Marrucci Cutch22 Maple Pro rounds out the best bat list. Marrucci has become a real player in the big league game due to performance alone. This particular model sports maple wood which as mentioned previously, is a harder wood that lends pop to a hitter that knows how to use it. The Cutch22 is also designed with a thinner handle, which worked to balance out the swing weight differential associated with any maple bat, allowing for the best of both worlds -- optimal bat speed and wood hardness that leads to increased pop. Ultimately this bat has as much potential as any, but is recommended for experienced hitters due to a smaller sweet spot and thinner handle, which could lead to breakage if contact is made on the handle.

2014 Demarini Voodoo Overlord (-13) Baseball Bat

2014 Demarini Voodoo Overlord (-13) Baseball Bat

Already named the best bat of the youth league, the senior league model does not disappoint. With all of the same technology as it's youth and high school models. The bat is made with high quality X10 alloy metal with new, thinner barrel walls and paired with a composite handle, to optimize swing weight and ultimately bat speed, meaning power for the hitter. The rare combination of top of the line bat construction and price make this bat is a no-brainer for any hitter.

2014 Marucci MSBB148 Black Senior Baseball Bat (-8)

The 2014 Marrucci Black is another bat the tops multiple lists for its optimal construction and swing weight. The 2014 Senior league model is a bit different than the other bats on this list, in that it comes in a lower drop weight (-8) as opposed to the other models that weigh in between -10 and -13. This means a couple things: first, this bat is recommended for stronger power hitters who could afford a heavier bat. Second, for the right hitter, this bat provides unprecedented pop. A competitive price tag also appeals to the hitter on a budget.

Easton 2014 Mako Comp Senior Big Barrel Baseball Bat -10

The 2014 Easton Mako makes yet another best bat list, for its top of the line construction.Easton poured all of the technology it has into the making of the 2014 Easton Mako. This bat is loaded with "TCT" Thermo-composite technology that the company boasts will increase both power potential and swing speed. On top of this, reviewers of all ages have praised the feel and pop of the Mako. This bat is simply as good as it gets in terms of power potential, swing speed and feel for 2014.

2014 Louisville Slugger Vertex XL (-10) Senior League Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger has differentiated itself in the senior league bat department by creating an entire line dedicated specifically to the senior league. The end result is a bat that is constructed specifically with the youth hitter in mind, as opposed to an adapted high school model. The Louisville Slugger vertex is Louisville's hybrid alloy 360 composite model, which boasts a stiffer handle than the two piece models. This means more efficient energy transfer for the hitter. A lighter senior league drop weight (-10) means that this hybrid model combines bat speed for power, which many other senior league bats lack.

2014 Louisville Slugger Attack (-10) Baseball Bat

The Louisville Slugger attack is Louisville's two piece model designed exclusively for the senior league hitter. This is a bat of choice for those who prefer two piece bats, which are inherently designed to optimize the hitter's bat speed. The Attack uses 360 Composite graphite in the barrel to lend a stringer, lighter bat, and Tru3 technology in the handle, which Louisville claims strengthens the handle and reduces vibration, common pitfalls of the two piece bat. For those most comfortable at the plate swinging a two piece, you can't go wrong with the Attack.

Mike Annunziato
With over 20 years of experience as a player, coach, and sales representative, I know sporting goods from every angle, inside and out. Whether you are a beginner looking for the basics or an experienced athlete looking for top-flight gear, I can help you find what you are looking for. My expertise falls under the categories of the four main American sports (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey) and extends out into the outdoors (hiking, camping). I continue to stay active in sports leagues in the greater Los Angeles area as a player and coach.
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