As America’s favorite pastime, baseball is an integral part of many young Americans’ experiences growing up.
It’s also a fantastic sport to learn while you’re growing up because it’s very accessible to kids of any age, and all that throwing, catching, swinging, and running is great exercise—and fun too!
If you’re thinking of enrolling your kids in Little League, you’ll need a bit of knowledge of the game itself, and what equipment they should be using. Today, we’ll be focusing on big barrel bats.
Big Barrel Bats are bats that have 2 ⅝ and 2 ¾ inch diameter barrels.
These bats are allowed in the Junior League (ages 12 to 14) and Senior League (ages 13 to 16) divisions.
They let kids in these divisions use big barrel bats because they’ve got a larger “sweet spot” to help make it easier for kids and teens to get acquainted with batting.
Now, there are a ton of big barrel bats on the market today.
In fact, it can be a little daunting to choose the best big barrel bat because of the sheer amount of options out there.
This is why we’ve come up with a comprehensive guide on the best big barrel bats of 2019. But before we dive into the list, here’s a quick list of things you should look out for when choosing a bat for your kid.
What to Look For?
Things to look for:
Aluminum Vs Composite
The first thing you should consider when choosing a bat for your kid is the material.
Do you want to purchase a composite bat or an aluminum bat?
There are pros and cons to both, and we’ll go into them briefly here.
Aluminum bats are light and hardy, and they can be swung fast.
They’re also a bit more affordable than composite bats.
Composite bats are called such because they use a reinforced carbon fiber polymer in some or all parts of the bat. This not only makes them powerful, but very durable tools as well.
Conversely, composite bats are less powerful and more susceptible to damage in colder temperatures.
One-Piece Vs Two-Piece Bats
Another thing for you to consider is whether the bat you want to purchase is a one-piece or two-piece bat.
A one-piece bat uses only one type of material all throughout the body, while a two-piece bat has a handle that is separate from the barrel.
The advantage of having a one-piece bat is durability and stiffness; while the disadvantage is that there is less flexibility.
The advantage of having a two-piece bat is that the flexibility allows the bat to absorb a lot of the vibration that you get from hitting the ball.
Another advantage is the trampoline effect that which allows for greater hitting power and is only evident when a bat has flex.
Bat Size And Weight
Two other important factors to consider when choosing a bat is size and weight.
These affect things like a player’s batting stance and swing speed. It’s important to know that bats have a length to weight ratio (between -10 and -13.5), which signifies how much a bat weighs compared to how long it is.
When the ratio is higher, this means that the bat is lighter.
Another thing to consider is how easily your child can control the bat.
A bat with a smaller barrel is one where weight is more evenly distributed.
This gives better control and swing speed.
A bat with a bigger barrel—though heavier and potentially more difficult to control—can provide a better chance for players to hit the ball.
As mentioned, this is because the “sweet spot” on bats with bigger barrels is much larger than that of your average bat.
The Best Big Barrel Bats Of 2019
#1 Easton Mako Comp 2 3/4″ Big Barrel (-10) Baseball Bat
Easton’s Mako bats frequently top ‘best-of’ lists, and the Mako Comp 2 ¾ inch is no different.
This big barrel bat benefits from Easton’s exclusive thermo-composite technology (TCT).
This technology lets Easton craft bats with bigger barrels without sacrificing swing weight.
Mako bats actually have the biggest barrels with the lightest swing weights.
The Mako Comp 2 ¾ inch also has a large sweet spot and excellent grip—it’s got a 29/32 cm composite handle that is covered in 1.2 mm Hyperskin grip, which work together to provide better control and accuracy.
With a big barrel, a large sweet spot, a light swing weight, and an excellent grip; this bat gives players speed, power, and higher chances of hitting.
The Mako Comp 2 ¾ inch certainly measures up!
I can definitely see why some people are calling the best performing big barrel bat in youth baseball.
#2 2019 Marucci Cat 8 (-10) MSBC810
The Marucci Cat 8 has a 2 ¾ inch diameter barrel and is made of AZ105 aluminum alloy.
With this material, the bat is said to have thinner barrel walls and thus a higher response rate with more durability.
Since the bat is made of aluminum, the bat is at top performance all year round and won’t suffer any weakness or fragility due to the cold weather.
The Marucci Cat 8 also has a larger surface area compared to previous Marucci Cat bats and therefore has a larger sweet spot—allowing players more opportunities to make contact with the ball.
Another interesting feature of the Marucci Cat 8 is the 2nd generation AV2 Anti-Vibration Knob. With this system, there is a more balanced feel and decreased vibrational feedback.
A lot of people also love its extra-tacky grip, which gives the player better control and prevents slippage.
The Cat 8 also boasts a sting-free comfort knob made from ergonomically molded nylon which works to reduce any apparent sting the player might get from a hard hit, making this bat even more comfortable to use.
All in all, the Marucci Cat 8 is a hard-hitting big barrel bat that provides great performance without sacrificing comfort!
#3 Louisville Slugger Catalyst (-12) Senior League
Another big barrel bat that has great vibration reduction features is the Lousiville Slugger Catalyst.
It has a 2 ¾ inch diameter barrel and a drop 12 weight to length ratio. Because it’s made in a one-piece type of construction, the Catalyst offers great control and speed.
It’s considerably lightweight, easy to handle, and gives sufficient trampoline effect for better performance.
The Louisville Slugger Catalyst is another hard-hitter that focuses on batting comfort by eliminating vibrations that may affect performance.
#4 DeMarini 2018 Voodoo (-10) 2 ⅝ Balanced
Aside from having one of the coolest names for a baseball bat, the 2018 DeMarini Voodoo bat packs a lot of punch.
This bat is a sort of two-for-the-price of one deal, as it has got the great ‘pop’ sound of an alloy bat with the smoothness and lightness of a composite one.
What makes this model really stand out from previous incarnations is its 3Fusion System.
Essentially, the 2018 Voodoo is designed with a streamlined handle (that transfers energy back to the barrel) and lightweight end cap that works to provide better control and speed all around.
The coolness factor doesn’t stop at the name either.
This bat has got quite a sleek design and a nice red, black, and white colorway. The 2018 DeMarini Voodoo is just a really cool big barrel bat from a cool company that likes to innovate and elevate the game.
#5 Combat Youth 2016 Maxum (-10) 2 ¾” Big Barrel Bat
The Combat Maxum had the largest barrel among bats released in 2016.
Though a few years have passed since then, the Maxum still holds up against more recent models.
The Maxum is a one-piece composite bat (plus points for durability and rigidity) with a big sweet spot but it doesn’t compromise a comfortable feel.
Most bats with a larger sweet spot are on the heavier side, but the Combat Maxum actually boasts a swing weight reduction of up to 20 percent on average.
Youth baseball requires a lot of practice and entails tons of games. On top of that, kids tend to be quite careless with their equipment and don’t pay attention to proper maintenance.
The Maxum was built with kids in mind and created with an emphasis on durability. This is the bat to buy if you want something that’s going to last a long time!
#7 Rawlings 2016 Prodigy Big Barrel Bat (-10)
When it comes to the Rawlings 2016 Prodigy Big Barrel Bat, the first thing that might catch your kid’s eye is its bright orange color.
But there’s more to this bat than it’s vibrant aesthetic.
The Rawlings 2016 Prodigy bat has a 2 ¾ inch barrel and is made of high-quality aerospace alloy that provides a balanced feel for all kinds of hitters.
Its composite material makes it lightweight considering its large barrel, and its premium synthetic leather grip reduces slippage.
The Rawlings is a great bat for kids are still figuring out their style, as the bat is one of the more versatile bats on the market.
#8 Easton 2016 S400 (-11) 2 ⅝” Big Barrel Baseball Bat
Another bat made out of aircraft alloy, the Easton S400 features an incredible swing speed.
This lightweight bat is especially recommended to younger players, such as kids ages 8 and under.
Nevertheless, this big barrel baseball bat has thin barrel walls, and thus a maximizing trampoline effect which helps provide a lot of power even for young hitters.
If you’re looking for a bat that packs enough power and speed to hit home runs over and over, the Easton S400 is a great place to start.
#8 DeMarini 2016 NVS Vexxum
This two-piece bat is comprised of an X12 alloy barrel and a C6 composite handle. The balance that this combination provides makes this one of the most unique bats on the market.
When the Vexxum was released, it was one of the lightest swinging aluminum bats, meaning it gave players a lot of speed from less effort. And yet, even though it offers speed, its C6 composite handle is made to ensure stability and strength. This is a big barrel bat that doesn’t feel like a big barrel bat!
You can pick this up and swing it around like nothing, but it packs a hell of a punch.
Overall, this bat is stable, balanced, and a great fit for young batters looking to improve their game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some frequently asked questions:
How Do I Take Care Of My Big Barrel Bat?
You first need to identify what type of bat you’re using.
As with most sports equipment, there’s a bit of breaking-in required for some baseball bats. However, aluminum bats generally don’t need to be broken in.
Composite bats, on the other hand, need over a hundred hits before they reach their optimum level of performance.
As mentioned previously, composite bats are also sensitive to cold weather.
So make sure to avoid or limit your usage of your composite bat when the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another tip is to limit your usage.
This doesn’t mean that you must limit the amount of time you’ll spend practicing.
However, try not to use your good (and expensive) bats for practice.
Reserve them for games!
Playing with dimpled balls can also damage bats prematurely, so it would be best to avoid playing with these.
What Are The Rules About Big Barrel Bats?
Most senior leagues allow the use of big barrel bats, but it really is best to check with your local league to determine the exact size permitted.
Bat rules vary per region, and there is no one definitive answer on the rules regarding bat sizes.
Baseball is such an enduring sport in America that it’s likely your kid will want to join Little League at some point in their life.
When the time comes, it’s good to be prepared with the right knowledge.
Big barrel bats offer awesome performance, comfort, strength, and durability; and are specifically designed for younger players.
When armed with the right equipment, kids can gain a lot of confidence and dedication, and will ultimately be encouraged to keep striving for success.
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