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TIPS

Bat Buying Tips

Whether you're a contact hitter who leads off the lineup or a designated hitter leading your team in home runs, you need the right bat to perform your best at the plate. Discover which baseball bat will work best for you before entering the batter's box and find bats configured for your body, ability, and batting style on eBay. Manufacturers such as Easton, Worth, Louisville Slugger, DeMarini, Nike, and Rawlings construct bats out of a variety of advanced materials, making them more durable and powerful than ever.

  • Aluminum baseball bats: Lighter and stronger than wood, aluminum bats are designed to increase bat speed and power, sometimes called pop. Manufacturers blend aluminum with a variety of different metals to reinforce the bat. Manufacturers may also add a carbon lining to increase strength or cryogenically freeze a bat to increase strength without adding weight.

  • Graphite baseball bats: Stronger and lighter than high-grade aluminum, graphite bats are either made of a graphite-fiber composite material or have an aluminum core with graphite lining.

  • Titanium baseball bats: Stronger and lighter than high-grade aluminum, titanium bats generally have an aluminum core and titanium lining or wall. Some softball associations have banned the use of titanium bats.

  • Wood baseball bats: Wood bats like those used in Major League Baseball have the greatest selection of shape and taper (handle diameter). These affordable bats made of ash, maple, or bamboo offer less durability than metal bats and can crack with regular use. They also weigh more than their metal counterparts.

Size baseball bats

When standing on end, a bat should come to your waist. Length ranges from 26 inches to 31 inches for Youth League and 32 inches to 36 inches for high school, collegiate, and professional players. A Little League bat cannot measure more than 32 inches long. A player's age, height, weight, strength, and hitting style determine bat weight. Generally, players in Little League or Youth League should use bats between 16 ounces and 23 ounces. At the high school and collegiate level, bat weights generally range from 27 ounces to 33 ounces. Heavier bats can generate more power but reduce bat speed. Lighter bats offer increased speed and control but reduce pop. The pros often gravitate toward lighter bats, which allow a player to make contact with the "fat of a bat" or its "sweet spot" more easily. Sellers may list bat weight as a negative number, meaning the bat's weight equals the bat's length minus the indicated number. For example, a 32-inch bat with a bat weight of -5 weighs 27 ounces (32 - 5 = 27). Bats used on the high school and college level cannot have more than a -3 ounce weight-to-length ratio.

BY AGE
Age Bat Length
5-7 24"-26"
8-9 26"-28"
10-11 28"-30"
11-12 30"-32"
13-14 31"-32"
15-16 32"-33"
17+ 34"
  OR   
BY HEIGHT
Height Bat Length
5' - 5' 6" 32"
5' 6" - 6' 33"
6' + 34"

Also look at the shape of a bat, taking its barrel, taper, and grip into consideration.

  • Baseball bat barrels: Most barrels, the wide portion of a bat that strikes a ball, measure 2 1/2, 2 5/8, or 2 9/16 inches in diameter. Longer and wider barrels provide a larger sweet spot. Lighter bats have shorter and narrower barrels for increased speed and control.

  • Baseball bat taper: Taper refers to handle diameter and must fit a player's hands, allowing a comfortable grip. The taper on most bats is 31/32 of an inch. A narrower taper allows you to rotate your wrists faster and "square up" on pitches more effectively. Little League baseball bats cannot measure more than 2 1/4 inches in diameter and bats used in high school and college cannot measure more than 2 inches in diameter.

  • Baseball bat grip: Make sure your metal bat has a proper leather, synthetic leather, or rubber grip. Leather grips will provide the best hold but do not absorb vibration as effectively as rubber.