Guide to Best Metal Bats

 This page has a bat buying guide and overview of the best metal bats on the market.  (If you think one should be added to the list, feel free to comment below).

Guidelines for Weight.  

All BBCOR aluminum or composite bats should not be more than 3 ounces lighter than the length of the bat, or “drop 3”.  (ie.  34 inches / 31 ounces; 33 inches / 30 ounces).  Outside of that, for younger kids, you can get a drop 10, or drop 5.  It’s personal preference based on the size, age, strength and hitting style of the kid.

Bat LENGTH by age

Age5-7 yrs8-9 yrs10 yrs11 – 12 yrs13 – 14 yrs15 – 16 yrs17 – 18 yrs
Length24-26″26-28″28-29″30-31″31-32″32-33″32-34″

Usually the players that are bigger and stronger prefer a heavier bat for maximum power, while a lighter bat can maximize bat speed for smaller players.   It may take some time, and trying a few different bats, before you discover which weight works best for you.

For more guidance on selecting the right size bat by age and player height/weight, I highly recommend checking out this helpful resource.  It includes helpful charts and images to make selecting the right metal bat for the players age and size much easier.

Science to the rescue – Additionally, you can get very scientific about your bat selection if you use a bat sensor like the Swing Tracker from Diamond Kinetics which has a Max Force measurement which combines the effect of the bat’s weight with the speed you’re able to generate to find out which combination of the two is giving you the best results.

How to choose the type of metal bat

There are several different types of metal bats.

  1. Alloy bats – made completely of aircraft grade alloys (like aluminum)
  2. Composite bats – made of composite fibers
  3. Half and Half bats – bats that have a composite handle, and aluminum, alloy, or hybrid barrel
  4. Hybrid Bats – Bats made of several materials mixed together, such as alloy and carbon

Composite bats get better with use.  The more you use it the more it compresses and the better the bat becomes. Composite bats can be used if they are BBCOR certified.  The price tag on these bats is a little higher, and they take longer to break in, but from many accounts, the end result is worth it.

IMPORTANT:  To get the most out of your composite bat, the break in period is essential.  Hitting 200 to 300 real baseballs all around the barrel is recommended.

best metal bat, best composite bat

Hitting drill book – Intermediate & advanced batting tee drills, plus video for each drill

All metal bats have regulations where the exit speed of a baseball can’t exceed a certain speed.  All companies get as close to that speed as possible, so from that aspect all bats are similar.

One piece bats are starting to get overtaken by the two piece bats.  The one piece will not give you the whip that you can create with the two piece.  However, if you are swinging a maple wood bat in practice and are comfortable with that, the one piece aluminum may be the closest feel to the maple bat.  Also, believers in the one piece bat feel the trampoline effect of the ball coming off of the barrel is better than with the two piece.

The two piece bats have a little more flex in the handle giving the bat a little extra whip, which may help with your bat speed.

BBCOR regulations

If you are buying a bat for ages 13 and up (“adult” is 13 years and older), new or used, here are some things you should know:

Composite bats.   Some of the best metal bats are composite.  Composite bats that were previously banned can be used if they are BBCOR certified.  The BBCOR certification process has the ABI (Accelerated Break-In Test), which takes into account how the composites get better with use.

BBCOR certification.  All aluminum or composite bats need to be BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) certified for use in college or high school baseball (NCAA, NFHS, USSSA and Pony Leagues). A stamp will be found somewhere on the barrel of the bat.

BESR (Ball Exit Speed Ratio) was the certification process that aluminum and composite bats previously used.  It has been eliminated because it failed to account for how bats would perform after they were broken in.  Composite bats get better and stronger with use.

Just FYI, there was a significant difference in the first BBCOR bats from the old BESR bats.  Balls weren’t coming off the barrel as hard or as fast, leading to fewer homeruns.  However, there may be less of a noticeable difference in the newer BBCOR bats.

Best Metal Bats

Here is a quick rundown on the major players in the metal bats world.

  • Louisville Slugger Bats  – Louisville bats are one of the best brands for metal bats.  They have composite bats, aluminum and hybrid bats. They claim their proprietary alloy blends offer “higher-performing bats with lighter swing weights and larger sweet spots.”
  • Easton Bats – Easton’s two piece bat comes in two different models, the XL barrel and the fast barrel (adult or youth).  The XL (extra long) barrel gives you a larger hitting area on the bat.
  • Marucci Bats – Marucci bats have a balance similar to wood bats.
  • DeMarini Bats – DeMarini bats burst on the scene really strong about 10 years ago and they are consistently becoming one of the most trusted bats around.
  • Rip-It – Rip-It is a bat company that has been coming on strong for a while now.   And we tip our hats to them for giving you 30 days to try any of their bats and if you don’t like it you can send it back for a refund.  With the cost of the aluminum and composite bats today it is nice to test a bat out before you have to keep it.
  • COMbat – We’re giving COMbat an honorable mention due to reader request.  Combat consider themselves at the forefront of technology in the best metal and composite baseball bats.

Pro tip:  All bats are weighted a little differently, because each person has a little different idea of what the perfect bat feels like.  Don’t just get a bat because its the popular bat, get one that feels perfect in your hands.  Those are YOUR “best metal bats”

Where to buy?

Baseball Monkey has one of the best online selections that I’ve seen, but I also recommend price shopping your favorite model here and here too

What’s Next

  1. Also, see the Bat Buying Guide from Baseballrampage.com
  2. Shop for baseball bats at: Baseball Rampage | Baseball ExpressBaseball Monkey | Online Sports or check our the Comparison Chart for online stores to find out who has free shipping, free return shipping, sneaky return fees and other helpful info
  3. Check out our awesome free Hitting Instruction articles, videos and other cool stuff

About Author

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. Where is he now? After batting .200 in 45 at-bats and fielding .950 during 2017 spring training with the Rangers, Doug was assigned to the Ranger's AAA team the Round Rock Express. You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier

1 Comment

  1. Flood City Elite on

    I like this article a lot but you did forget to mention one key bat brand, COMbat. I have a B3 gear right now so I can use it in little league and travel team. I used a Demarini Voodoo 2010 and I had two problems with it, the barrel was short and the paint chipped. Was this common with the metal bats that you used? One more thing is that when you have a composite bat I heard that you are supposed to keep it in a warm area and not use it in cold weather because it does not perform as well. Is this true?

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