The Best Youth Baseball Bat Under $100
So your kid needs a bat, and you want to find something good. But this is also youth baseball that we're talking about here, and they could outgrow this thing by next season, or worse, they might not even like baseball in a year's time.
This means you need a good bat on a budget. So what are your options?
A Quick Overview of The Best Youth Baseball Bat Under $100
Top Youth Bats
*we didn't specifically review the Easton Mako Tee Ball Bat because it's really a beginner bat and it's hard to judge what is right for a kid at that age. If you're after a Tee Ball bat, this is a great option. In the $30-40 range - check out the details on Amazon.
How much do I need to spend on a youth baseball bat?
Obviously, this post is is geared towards an economical buying decision, but it still begs the question: How much should a parent look to spend on a baseball bat for their child? It's a complicated answer that depends on a few important factors.
How serious is your child?
If your kid is like I was growing up, then he lives and breathes baseball. If that's the case, then you'll probably want to look for something over the $100 mark. Even if it's a stretch for your wallet, it's probably worth it, because sometimes buying cheaper equipment just means it will get worn down quicker with a lot of usage.
Do you even need to buy a bat?
You may not even need to purchase a bat for your child. Many youth baseball programs will have some bats on hand for those without one. Or the few kids that do have bats will be kind enough to let your child borrow theirs during games. This is how I got through the majority of my youth baseball experience, to be honest with you.
What if my kid is serious, but I've got bills to pay, let's be real here?!
Good news! You're exactly who I wrote this article for! And you're not alone.
There are plenty of great youth baseball bats under $100 that are high quality and that your kid will love. But there are also some fisher price types that you'll want to avoid. So let's get into the nitty-gritty of it all shall we?
What makes a youth baseball bat a youth baseball bat?
Before you make a purchase you'll want to make sure that you're buying the right bat. Believe it or not, Little League Baseball has regulations against which types of bats can be used in their leagues.
I'll spare you most of the legal mumbo jumbo (click the link to get into the specifics), but at the lowest levels of little league the bat can not exceed 33" in length, nor can the barrel be larger than 2 1/4" in diameter. It also needs a BPF (Bat Performance Factor) of 1.15 or less.
What does that even mean?
It's basically a number that tells you how "lively" the ball will be off of the bat. The higher the number, the more pop the bat will have. By limiting the BPF at the lower levels of baseball they are saving your kids from possible batted ball injuries and you from some high orthodontic bills.
One Piece vs. Two Piece Youth Bats
If you've been researching youth baseball bats for a little bit, I'm sure you've noticed that they come in a few varieties, namely one piece and two piece.
There are varying opinions on which is superior, although the real answer to that question is that neither is superior, it just comes down to preference.
One Piece Youth Bats
- Single piece design offers more power
- More stability/Longer life
- "Feel" your mis-hits
- High probability of hand sting
- Requires more bat speed to produce power
- Limited in option of materials used.
Two Piece Youth Bats
- Sting resistant on mis-hits
- Ability to combine different materials in one bat (ie: aluminum barrel with composite handle)
- Lighter feeling handle = more bat control
- Less Power than single piece
- More complex construction = more chance for failure
Should I get my kid a wooden bat?
Definitely not for in game use. If you want to get your child a wooden bat, get them one to use in practice in addition to an aluminum or composite bat for game use.
However, I would suggest not getting a wood bat for your child until they are 12-13 years old. It's hard to hit with a wooden bat (which is why they're great for practice), but you don't want your kid to lose confidence in him/her self when swinging wood.
Wood bats also break. And that's not always the fault of the manufacturer. Most of the time it is not a result of bat quality at all, but rather hitting the ball off the handle or off the end of the bat. This causes such a severe vibration that the wood can't handle it.
You can break a wooden bat on the very first pitch. You don't want to be wiping tears off your child's face because they just ruined a new bat through no fault of their own.
The Top Youth Baseball Bats Under $100 Are...
2015 LOUISVILLE SLUGGER CATALYST
A great composite bat that looks and swings fantastic!
The 2015 Louisville Slugger Catalyst is a great starter bat for any kid who loves the game. This is a single piece, composite bat, so it is very durable and lightweight. This comes in at -12 drop weight.
What is drop weight, you ask?
It's pretty simple really, it's just a way of relating the weight of the bat to the length of the bat. -12 means that this bat weighs 12 ounces less than the length in inches. Okay that sounded more confusing than it should be.
For instance, if you were buying this bat at 30" in length, than the weight would be 18 oz. Because 30 - 12 = 18. Make sense?
Why You'll Love It
we were looking for a good "bang for the buck" bat for our son. He loves this one. I enjoy watching the ball come off as quickly as it does. I hit a couple with it just to play and liked the feel of it in swing.
This bat is designed to be swung with ease. The 2015 model features a newly tapered handle which, although really up to the player's preference, offers more comfort during the swing.
Not only that, but this bat feels quick. Because it is. Having a drop weight of -12 allows the player to maximize his bat speed and get the barrel through the zone faster. If you're kid is having trouble catching up with fastballs, this may be the option for you.
Let's talk a little bit about the composite material
Composite material offers a few advantages over traditional aluminum alloys (and also a few disadvantages as well). The most notable advantage to a composite bat, in my opinion, is the weight distribution. The more even the weight distribution, the lighter the bat will feel while swinging.
Composite materials, because of their durable nature, allow for a more even weight distribution throughout the bat, which means that it will feel light in your child's hands. This works wonders for their confidence.
Click here to check the latest prices for the 2015 model of the Catalyst.
RAWLINGS 5150 YOUTH
An aluminum bat that packs the punch your kid is looking for!
Aerospace Grade Aluminum
This bat right here is a beast! And for the money they are asking (check the price on Amazon here), it's almost robbery. Almost.
I went back and forth about whether I should rank this as the number one option or not. Ultimately, I went with number two because of the sting factor. Because this is a one piece bat made from an aluminum alloy, you'll feel more vibration from a ball hit off the handle or end.
However! Because this is a one piece aluminum bat (made from an aerospace grade alloy) it really packs a lot of punch. If your kid isn't afraid of a little hand sting now and then, you should get them this bat.
Great ping and feel. My son was using a Rawlings Velo and He loves the new 5150.
One of the great elements of this bat is the engineering that's gone into the barrel design - specifically the weight distribution. Rawlings has emphasized the "trampoline effect" to give this bat the utmost pop.
From their website:
Shaped from the radically responsive, aerospace-grade Rawlings 5150® Alloy, this one-piece construction equips hitters with expanded balance, transcending speed and magnified power. Rawlings' Precision Optimized Performance (pOp™) barrel technology as seen in the 5150®, isolates excess weight to a smaller region of the bat amplifying trampoline and generating additional barrel flex. Chosen by countless championship teams, the Rawlings 5150® gives new meaning to the phrase "power in numbers".
EASTON S3 YOUTH ALUMINUM
A wonderful aluminum option from the most respected manufacturer in the game!
HMXATM Hyperlite Matrix Alloy
Some kids just gotta have an Easton.
Full disclosure, the first bat that I ever owned was an Easton. It was a graphite composite bat, that in 1992 was way ahead of it's time.
And that's what Easton does best - engineer bats that are outside of the box, industry changing juggernauts.
Which is why it pains me to list this as the third best option. The Easton S3 is still a great option, don't get me wrong, but it's not quite at the same level as the previous two bats.
Why You'll Love it
Champions of this bat will point to the great pop that it provides. Much like the Rawlings 5150, this is a one piece, aluminum alloy bat. Which, as we know, means power and hand sting.
Contact, however, is what Easton touts the most about this bat. With an expanded sweet spot, and "Hyperskin" handle wrap, this bat is designed to provide great bat control with a forgiving barrel.
All of the characteristics that define the archetype of a "Contact Hitter" can be found in the new Easton S3 Youth Baseball Bat: YB16S313 - 1.) The S3 is forged from HMX (Hyperlite Matrix) Alloy for an expanded sweet spot and tremendous trampoline effect.
Why You May Not Love It
This is the only reason that this bat sits in third position.
There seem to be a lot of people leaving reviews of this bat that are not satisfied with it's durability. Specifically, people report that the bat can develop "flat spots" or dents. In Easton's defense, it's always tough to judge what a bat has gone through without owning it yourself.
For instance, these bats are not designed to be used in batting cages above certain speeds and over certain lengths of time. Have you ever seen a batting cage ball? They are way more dense than any baseball. They can destroy an aluminum bat quickly.
Also, these bats are designed for kids aged 7-10. There's a reason why these bats have a weight drop of -13, and it's that kids of this age don't generate as much bat speed and thus can handle a lighter bat without damaging it. The same is not true of an older brother or Dad hitting fly balls.
That's as far as my defense goes however, because at some point, where there's smoke, there's fire.
Check Amazon to learn more about the S3 and see for yourself if it's right for your child.
Did I miss a great option? Leave a comment and let me know!