Choosing the correct bat size and maximizing bat performance is important to success at the plate. Baseball bats are often a big investment so making sure you know how to choose a baseball bat is critical. One of the most asked questions when purchasing any type of baseball equipment is: What size bat do I get?
There are many factors to consider when figuring out how to choose a baseball bat, we will cover them in this complete guide.
Bat Drop (Drop Weight)
What does bat drop mean?
The bat drop is the difference between the length (inches) of the bat and the weight of a bat (in ounces). For example, a bat that is 29 inches long and has a drop of -10 would be a 19-ounce bat. The larger the bat drop is, the lighter the bat will be compared to its length.
How much of a bat drop should you be looking for?
You will want to consider the strength and style of the player. Bats with a higher bat drop will be better for players that are not as strong and may be more bat control type players. Bats with a lower bat drop are for stronger players that are looking to hit the ball farther.
Another factor to consider is that high school bats and college baseball bats are limited to a drop lower than -3.
Youth Sized Bats
When selecting youth bats for a child in Little League or Pony league baseball it is a good practice to measure the player. Make sure the player is wearing their cleats on and stand a bat next to the player. The youth baseball bat should be within the hip area.
|Weight||Under 65 lbs||Over 65 lbs|
|Bat Length||26″-29″||28″ – 32″|
Little League Bat Sizes (2 1/4 inch barrel diameter)
|Under 7||24″ to 26″||-13.5 to -12|
|8 to 9||26″ to 29″||-13.5 to -10|
|10 to 11||28″ to 30″||-13 to -10|
|12 to 13||29″ to 32″||-10 to -9|
High School League Baseball Bat Sizes (2 5/8 inch barrel diameter)
|14 to 15||31″ to 33″||-3|
|16 to 18||32″ to 34″||-3|
Adult Size Bats (Over age 18)
For adult size baseball players there are some different guidelines for measuring for the right bat length and weight.
|61 – 70||28″||29″||30″||30″|
|71 – 80||28″||29″||30″||30″||31″|
|81 – 90||29″||29″||30″||30″||31″||32″|
|91 – 100||29″||30″||30″||31″||31″||32″|
|101 – 110||29″||30″||30″||31″||31″||32″|
|111 – 120||29″||30″||30″||31″||31″||32″|
|121 – 130||30″||30″||30″||31″||32″||33″||33″|
|131 – 140||30″||30″||31″||31″||32″||33″||33″|
|141 – 150||30″||30″||31″||31″||32″||33″||33″|
|151 – 160||30″||31″||31″||32″||32″||33″||33″||33″|
|161 – 170||31″||31″||32″||32″||33″||33″||34″|
|171 – 180||32″||33″||33″||34″||34″|
Most amateur leagues use ‘metal’ bats instead of wood bats so in this guide we will just be discussing composite, alloy and hybrid bats. However many times the bat material can come down to your personal preference.
- Require a break-in period
- Not for use below 65 degrees
- Larger sweet spot than alloy and hybrid
- Lower vibration than allow bats
Composite bats are comprised out of a layered material that is a mixture of carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass and kevlar.
- Lowest cost of the 3 options
- No break-in period
- No temperature restrictions
- Smaller sweet spot than hybrid or composite bats
Alloy bats have a one-piece design and are made primarily of aluminum. Alloy bats have thinner barrel walls that can be more responsive.
- No break-in period
- Lower vibration than alloy bats
- The two-piece design the lighter composite handle with an alloy barrel
Two-piece bats that have an alloy handle and a composite handle. The advantage is that the handle is lighter and the barrel can be made longer.