We don’t spend a lot of time discussing how to choose the best baseball bat at The Hitting Vault. Every day of the week, we will choose superior swing movements over the newest bat available on the market. But still…

Since many of The Vault’s members and players use bats to inflict damage, let’s discuss how to choose the best baseball bat.

Choosing the best baseball bats is crucial; if you try to use a bat that is either too long or too heavy, you risk injuring both yourself and your swing. Walking away from an at-bat knowing you could catch up to the pitcher’s velocity, only to feel like you’re dragging a tree trunk through the zone, is the worst feeling in the world. You usually want your player to work on a pattern when it comes to baseball bats, working from tee-ball up to -3 for high school and collegiate play.

Baseball Bats


Choosing the appropriate baseball bat ultimately boils down to feeling. It is not for you if you feel uneasy swinging the bat or if it alters the feel of your swing. When you step up to bat as a hitter, the last thing you want to experience is your bat dragging through the zone or not feeling comfortable in your hands. See our post “What hitting with a wood bat can teach you” for more details on feel.

Baseball bats are available in a wide variety of weights, lengths, and barrel sizes, as you are undoubtedly well aware. Consider getting a bat from the store or borrowing a friend’s to give it a try and see how it feels. Try swinging it for a few dry swings or use it for a batting practice session to feel how it feels. Feel is ultimately what counts most. Let’s go into that a little bit more if you choose to follow the books.

If you choose to use wood for some of your swings, you can learn more about your options by reading this comprehensive guide on wood bats.

Bat Sizes and Rules

Youth bats should use a 2 ¼ inch barrel; as they get older, the barrel will grow to 2 ⅝ inches. These are the two main barrel sizes. The three organizations that control bats are USA Baseball, USSSA, and BBCOR. The most restrictive governing body is BBCOR since it only allows the use of three bats and requires a barrel size of less than two and a half inches. You will also be using BBCOR in college and high school.

Numerous organizations, including Babe Ruth, Little League, Pony League, and USA Baseball, have embraced the new bat regulation. There are no weight limits and a maximum 2 ⅝ inch barrel allowed in the leagues that participate.

Little Baseball Bats

There are specific ways that you should choose a bat size for your child, according to Baseball Monkey. A 26-inch bat is a good place to start if your child is between 3′ and 3’4″ tall. You should increase the bat’s length by one inch for every four to five inches that your child grows. This line of reasoning holds water; Louisville Slugger, for example, adopts the same philosophy as Baseball Monkey and applies it to their bat line.


The majority of online research indicates that a young player’s first bat should be 26 or 27 inches long. When determining the bat size for a young player, a straightforward method is to have them stand with baseball cleats on and place the bat next to them, standing it upright. The bat should travel to the player’s hip from the ground up, but no farther. In general, we can say that the bat is too long to swing effectively if it passes the hip.


You know roughly how long it should be, but what about the weight? Generally speaking, you will have more bat speed and control with a lighter bat. You get more power with a heavier bat. Youth bats therefore fall between -13 and -7, which is referred to as the “drop”—the difference between the bat’s weight and length. For instance, the bat is a -13, or a drop 13, if it is 27 inches long and weighs 14 ounces.

The weights -12, -10, -9, -8, -5, and -3 are the most widely used ones. Your bat will get heavier and heavier as you age and gain strength; by the time you graduate from high school, it will be a -3. The ideal weight for your player will depend on their preferences. If they want more pop and power, go for a -10; if they want more bat speed and control, go for a -12.

Adult and Teen Bats

Sadly, a 27-inch, 15-ounce bat is not something you can use forever. So you’ll start using a -5 and a -3 drop bat as your height and weight increase.

Size of Bats

Check out the chart below for a great resource on the standard bat size for your weight and height. You can get a decent idea of what size bat hitters usually use at a given weight and height by looking at this chart. The skill level in your league may also play a role in choosing a length. A 33- or 34-ounce bat might be able to hop in the box if the pitcher is not throwing as hard, but if the pitcher is throwing gas and you are a high school or college player, you might want to go with a 32- or 33-ounce bat so you can catch up to it. Recall that feeling your best and positioning yourself for success are the most important things.


Websites that provide in-depth guides, like this one on choosing a baseball bat, are common. Although choosing a bat and preference is not always simple, you will most likely stick with it throughout your career. Why? Since you will be aware of your hitting style, you can tend to use a particular bat feel.

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