Are you browsing new bats for a young baseball player? Simplify your search with this list of the best youth baseball bats for 2021. Each of these bats has been identified as a top performer by the baseball equipment experts at DICK’S Sporting Goods.
The list includes our favorite new USSSA bats and USA bats. Before we get started, let’s recap the key differences between the two:
- USSSA bats meet the standards set by the United States Specialty Sports Association. These bats are most often used in “travel ball” tournaments, including the Elite World Series, USSSA World Series, Global Sports World Series and All-American Games. All USSSA bats have a 1.15 Bat Performance Factor, which essentially measures how fast the ball comes off the bat at impact. In general, this standard allows USSSA bats to have more “pop” than USA bats. For that reason, if your child is playing in a tournament where USSSA bats are allowed, we recommend using one.
- The USA Baseball bat standard (USABat) is the official standard for the following organizations: Little League, American Amateur Baseball Congress, Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, PONY Baseball and T-Ball. If you’re purchasing a bat for use in one of these organizations, it must be a USA bat. USA bats are designed to perform more like wood bats to help ensure greater equipment consistency throughout rec-league play.
For more information on choosing the best youth bat, check out our bat buying guide.
Best USSSA Baseball Bats for 2021
Since its debut back in 2009, the Marucci CAT series has remained among the most popular bats in youth baseball. Players love the CAT’s responsive barrel, light swing weight and substantial forgiveness on mis-hits. The CAT9 more than lives up to the legacy while offering improvements that every hitter will appreciate. Players can choose from three variations of the CAT9: Standard, Composite and Connect.
- The Standard CAT9 features a one-piece, aluminum construction that’s ready to hit right out of the wrapper. The aluminum undergoes a unique heating process that helps make it more responsive, more balanced and more forgiving than previous models. The upgraded Anti-Vibration knob (AV2) helps reduce unwarned feedback in the handle.
- The CAT9 Connect is a two-piece bat featuring Marucci’s brand-new Outer-Locking System (OLS). This patented design connects the aluminum barrel and composite handle from the outside in, resulting in a stiffer feel and smoother swing. The CAT9 Connect also promotes an end-loaded feel that’s ideal for power hitters.
- The CAT9 Composite is the most advanced bat in the line. The max-length composite barrel offers players a larger sweet spot with optimum responsiveness. Like the Connect, the CAT9 Composite features the OLS to promote extra stiffness while dramatically reducing vibration in the hands.
If your young player is looking for more pop at the plate this season, the two-piece DeMarini CF provides plenty of it. What gives the CF its power? The key ingredient is DeMarini’s Paraflex Plus Composite, a proprietary material designed to provide a huge sweet spot and consistent responsiveness. The barrel and handle are fused together by the patented 3 Fusion Connection, a streamlined design that optimizes balance while reducing vibration in the hands. The ReAction End Cap is also back for 2021 to help improve durability without hindering swing speed. DICK’S carries DeMarini CF USSSA bats in three drop weights: -10 for younger players in need of lightweight performance, -8 for growing players who could benefit from more control, and finally -5 for players preparing to make the jump to BBCOR.
After taking the BBCOR world by storm over the past several seasons, the best-selling Meta is available with a USSSA stamp for the first time. These highly anticipated bats feature the patented EKO Loaded Composite Barrel, which has gained a reputation for launching balls into orbit. Another unique element of the Meta is the VCX² Connection System that allows the barrel and handle to move independently, drastically reducing vibration and improving feel. DICK’S carries the new Meta in drop weights of -10, -8, and -5.
Best USA Bats for 2021
The incredibly popular ADV 360 is back and ready to rake in 2021. The -11 model now features an even larger barrel and expanded sweet spot to give young players the power they crave. It’s also one of the most comfortable USA bats to swing. The premium grip provides exceptional tack and cushioning, while the soft-but-firm Power Boost Knob provides added leverage and improved comfort for the bottom hand.
The CF makes its second appearance on our list of the best youth bats for 2021. Like the USSSA model listed above, the two-piece USA is built for optimum responsiveness. The composite handle and barrel are joined together by DeMarini’s 3Fusion Connection to reduce vibration and direct maximum energy to its massive sweet spot. Plus, the ReAction End Cap now features lighter and stronger materials to help improve the bat’s durability without hindering swing speed.
Help your young slugger get the most out of their new bat with our 15 best hitting drills for baseball.