Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old

8 Best Baseball Bats for 10 Year Old Players for 2022

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At around age 10, equipment begins to mean more and more for young baseball players, as they reach that sort-of make-or-break era in their young career. That said, we wanted to explore the best baseball bat for 10 year old players for 2022 and beyond, to help these youngsters excel and want to make it further up the baseball levels.

There are a considerable amount of choices for metal (and even wood) bats for this age range. Just remember to try to size it right ~ too-heavy bats likely won’t produce results, which means your little player might leave the bat in the dugout. Look for 29- or 30-inch lengths, and weights from 18 to 20 ounces.

See below for tips on how to determine bat size. The typical drop weight for this age is -10 (pretty easy to remember, and more on the drop weight numbers below).

We offer tips on how to determine the proper bat weight and size, and also some insight from a veteran youth baseball and fastpitch softball coach.

Quick Summary

Tips for Choosing Baseball Bats for 10-Year-Olds

As stated above, sizing, and how the bat feels in a player’s hands, is crucial in buying new baseball bats for young players. Which makes it hard on parents, who might want to go a tad bigger to maybe stretch a bat to last over 2 years.

That’s really a challenge because the biggest deterrent to a player using a bat is weight: kids around age 9 who swing late due to a heavy bat won’t do well and might even walk away from the game.

Baseball is a very difficult game to learn and play. The equipment should make them feel more comfortable on the dirt and grass. If they’re not comfortable and enjoying themselves, they won’t come back eventually.

That said, here are some tips to determine the right size for a youth baseball bat:

Weight

First, figure out how to test weights with your player. Sporting goods stores won’t provide the array of options you can find online. But what the retail stores can be good for us to visit and test bat weights with your player, before selecting a top model online. Here’s how:

  • With the player standing straight up and flat footed, grip a bat by the end of the handle with the dominant arm. (e.g. right hand for a right-handed thrower/hitter).
  • Then, with a locked elbow, lift the bat up and straight out sideways, until it is parallel with the ground. Basically, make an upside-down L.
  • Hold the bat in that position for 45 seconds.
  • If the player succeeds, he can handle that bat weight.
  • If he or she cannot hold it up for 45 seconds, the bat is too heavy. Try an ounce (or two) lighter.

Some baseball insiders just suggest noting the player’s weight. Generally, kids 60 pounds and lighter should use bats 26 to 29 inches, they say; at more than 70 pounds, bump up to 28 to 21 inches.

Drop Weight: Those Negative-Looking Numbers

With many metal youth bats today you’ll see what appears to be a negative number attached to the bat, or even included in the model name. This is the drop weight, which is the difference between the length and weight of the bat. A 29-inch-long bat with a drop weight of -8 would weigh 21 inches.

Bigger drop weight numbers (up to -10 or even -13 and beyond) means lighter weight.

The drop weight was invented to prevent metal bat makers from artificially imbalancing bats so they are super heavy in the barrel yet still extremely light overall. They are regulations-oriented, mainly for safety reasons.

For the most part, for baseball players age 7 to 12, bats with a drop 10 (-10) are acceptable. However, each player is different, both on their physical weight as well as what they prefer in a bat. The most important factor is how comfortable he or she is in the batter’s box.

Other Considerations

Let us repeat: weight and player comfort are the most important considerations for buying new bats for 10 year olds.

Too-heavy bats will frustrate the player because he or she will be late on swings (e.g. pitches speed by them before they can get the bat barrel into the hitting zone). It also can cause swing problems like dropping shoulders.

Too light, and a player will swing early, or before the pitch is properly located in the zone best to hit in (which is a brief space about from in front of the batter toward the pitcher, to the back point of home plate).

Remember that bat lengths don’t have to be that important at this age. Players can adjust where they stand in the batter’s box if a pitcher is consistently popping the outside edge of the plate (or the umpire is calling strikes even off the plate).

Distribution = Balance

The only thing to know about length is to ask, “Will it impact the overall weight and balance?” You will read and hear a lot about “distribution,” that is, weight between the handle and the barrel. Some bats are very top-heavy, with weight in the barrel or even the very end of the barrel, to let hitters use torque to supplement the weight for more power.

Be careful with end-loaded metal baseball bats. They’re really for adult players with experience, not young players still learning to hit. At age 10, the first priority has to be making consistent contact on swings. If a player does not have that, he or she will get real frustrated, real fast.

Know League Rules, Affiliation

BBCOR

Before buying a new youth baseball bat, know the regulations of the league he or she will be playing in. For instance, for metal bats through college play, look for bats that are BBCOR approved. This standard was invented after the 2011 college baseball season when metal bats of high-tech materials were making some struck balls dangerous for defensive players.

The BBCOR approval means the bat is safer for play, or does not feature hit-enhancing features like titanium makeup, or double-walled barrels. (There were just too many home runs in college baseball up to 2011).

Also know if your league is aligned with USA Baseball, USSSA baseball, or any other designation. The USA Baseball designation generally is the most universal.

See Also: BBCOR vs. USSSA: Here Are Differences

Our Top Picks for the Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old

1. Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old Overall ~ Rawlings 2022 5150 USA Baseball Bat

That Rawlings used a known street slang term for “crazy on the loose” says a bit about this fine baseball bat model for mid-age youth. The Rawlings 2022 5150 USA Baseball Bat is very nicely priced for the bang your little player will get.

For the 10-year-old, it’s advised to go with the drop 10 model (though Rawlings offers this bat also in the -11 and -5 drops). This 1-piece aluminum bat has attracted very solid reviews by users already, even though this version was just released. That says something.

An upgrade in the sweet spot adds a bit more power, and even may improve contact rates, in this 5150 version. Rawlings went aerospace grade on the alloy, which brings top performance and durability. For around $100, it’s hard for a parent or coach to go wrong with this bat for 10-year-old ballplayers.

Specifications

  • 2 ⅝” barrel design (approved for use in all USA-baseball sanctioned leagues)
  • Length: (Choose) 26” to 31”
  • Material: Alloy
  • First available: September 2020

What We Like

  • Affordable pricing for the quality
  • High-grade alloy material performs well
  • Built for any type of youth hitter
  • Above-average barrel for power as well as contact

Not So Much

  • 1-piece design can allow vibrations or hand stings on inside or far-outside pitches

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2. Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old for Bling ~ Marucci CAT 9 (-10) USSSA Baseball Bat

Marucci is a burgeoning baseball bat manufacturer, and its CAT series continues to impress. This version of the now decade-old Marucci CAT 9 (with a suggested -10 drop) takes advantage of high-tech alloy construction with a superb polymer, micro-perforated grip, for performance your little slugger will appreciate.

We’ll be honest: of all the bats we researched for this age level, this model received the highest ratings by users. With the above-mentioned features, plus an anti-vibration knob, and thinner barrel walls for a bigger sweet spot, this bat performs even on balls not perfectly struck.

Forgiving is the word Marucci uses to describe the performance on contact. But this CAT 9 could prove unforgiving to 10-year-old pitchers in 2022. With a more flexible barrel made of high-tech alloy, the CAT 9 provides more flex, and fewer “dead” spots.

Specifications

  • Length: (Choose) 27” to 31”
  • Weight: 17 to 21 oz.
  • Material: AZR aluminum alloy
  • First available: September 2020
  • Price: @ $260 to as high as $420 depending on options

What We Like

  • Very high-quality alloy material for performance and durability
  • AV2 anti-vibration, ergonomic knob
  • Micro-perforated, soft-touch handle grip for comfort
  • 12-month warranty by manufacturer

Not So Much

  • Pricing is rather high for this age bracket

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3. Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old for Power Boost ~ Louisville Slugger Dynasty SPD (-10) USA Baseball Bat

It would hardly be a review of baseball bats without mentioning Louisville Slugger, right? Well for kids, parents and coaches should be thrilled to learn about the Louisville Slugger Dynasty SPD (-10) USA Baseball Bat, for its high-tech barrel construction, and really great low price.

A drawing point is the ST7 alloy material, which is applied most often to automobile rims and wheels. This indicates the alloy is quite strong, yet light to keep the overall weight down and protect performance. For use in a baseball bat, Louisville Slugger says it delivers more power on contact.

The Dynasty is a 1-piece bat so it will feel stiffer upon contact, and coupled with the alloy barrel drives a lot of science in its energy transfer. Add to that a special end-cap design, at this price range, and this youth metal baseball bat is a solid choice for 10-year-olds.

Specifications

  • Length: (Choose) 27” to 31”
  • Weight: 17 to 21 oz.
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • First available: November 2019

What We Like

  • ST7 alloy material for strength and lightness
  • Special end cap for durability
  • Synthetic leather grip
  • Louisville Slugger brand name for bats

Not So Much

  • A rather vanilla offering by the manufacturer

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4. Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old for Wood-Only Tournaments ~ Marucci AP5 Youth Model Maple Wood Baseball Bat

That we even have to touch upon wooden bats indicates a growing passion for bats created from the original material: wood from trees. More and more all-wood bat youth tournaments are surfacing, and keen parents and coaches should know about Marruci’s AP5 Youth Model Maple Wood Baseball Bat.

Hey, if you’re totally unfamiliar with wooden bats, why not just go with the brand that more and more Major League Baseball Players seem to be gravitating toward. That Marucci actually labels this model a “youth” bat ~ and in maple, no doubt! ~ says much about how important serving this age bracket is to the company.

Aside from the quality wood and excellent manufacturing process, we really like the price range for this bat. Of course, coaches or parents may have durability concerns for using wood bats since they are prone to breakage. So spending any more than $100 on a wood bat for players age 10 and younger may be ill-advised.

Specifications

  • Length: (Choose) 26” to 29”
  • Material: Maple wood
  • First available: 2019

What We Like

  • Great price for the brand and quality
  • Solid maple wood material
  • Tapered knob to large, end-loaded barrel
  • Brand name seen more and more often in the MLB

Not So Much

  • Limited length options

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5. Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old for Choices ~ Louisville Slugger 2021 SL Solo BBCOR/USSSA Baseball Bat

Thinking LS but planning to go up in the price range, see the Louisville Slugger 2021 SL Solo BBCOR/USSSA Baseball Bat for a great range of options related to length and weight. Called the 2021 Solo Junior Big Barrel bat for a reason, as under USSSA specifications the barrel is 2.75” (larger than the 2 ⅝”) allowed for USA Baseball play.

Users so far have been positive especially with performance. The 1-piece design with the light Premium SL Hyper Alloy, thin-walled barrel provides better control, and a stiffer feel that this manufacturer seems to prefer.

The result is a well-balanced, light feel through the swing, with just enough pop to get by. You get a quality brand with a 1-year warranty ~ and notice the options for the length and drop. Take your time picking a custom model, and see where it takes your little player.

Specifications

  • Length: (Choose) 26” to 34”
  • Weights: -3, -5, -8, -10
  • Material: SL Hyper alloy (aluminum)
  • First available: October 2020

What We Like

  • 1-piece construction for stiff feel on contact, and bolstered transfer of energy
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Standard synthetic leather grip for comfort and control
  • SL Hyper Alloy Construction

Not So Much

  • A tad overpriced, says one user

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6. Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old for Hype ~ Easton ADV 360 -10 Baseball Bat

Easton has been producing top-quality softball bats for as long as we can remember. Yet, despite all the marketing effort the company puts into marketing their metal baseball bats, users seem to remain lukewarm at best. Still, the Easton ADV 360 -10 is a fine offering for young players, we believe.

Still, one must get through an avalanche of acronyms and special terms to try to gauge what this 2-piece metal bat has to offer. Everything seems to be Ultra-Lite, with its lighter iSo ConneXion (with proprietary Nitrocell foam, of course), plus that new Soft Knob technology that Easton is waiting on the patent for.

It might seem like too much, but per comments we found by users, the ADV 360 delivers pretty well. Overall, Easton’s ADV line has proved some staying power, and we don’t envision it going away any time soon.

Specifications

  • Length: (Choose) 28” to 32”
  • Weights: 18 to 27 oz. (in -5 or -10 drops)
  • Material: (2-piece) carbon fiber alloy barrel; composite handle
  • First available: September 2019
  • Certification: USA Baseball

What We Like

  • Application of various materials might be worth a try
  • Speed cap provides natural sound on impact
  • Carbon handle and soft knob designed to boost power
  • Cushioned grip

Not So Much

  • Seems the price may be inflated to cover the marketing efforts

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7. Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old to Test Materials ~ Easton Alpha 360 Youth Baseball Bat

Interested in Easton’s metallurgy, but at a nicer price point? Then we bring you the Easton Alpha 360. It’s similar to the Easton ADV model noted above, but in a 1-piece configuration, super-thin barrel wall, and a significant drop in price.

Again, it should be noted that Easton is known to produce exceptional bats and equipment for softball ~ and that quality and brand attention should transfer to its youth baseball offerings. The company does extensive testing on its bats, and it’s hard to imagine going wrong with one of the company’s models for your little slugger.

Again, this bat is USA Baseball certified which means a barrel of 2 ⅝ inches. This model offers a nice range of sizes and drops, so a parent or coach can work with the individual child to improve the odds of success. In all seriousness, if you can get this model for $115 or lower, it’s probably a darn good investment.

Specifications

  • Length: (Choose) 27” to 31”
  • Weights: 16 to 20 oz. (in -5, -8, or -10 drops)
  • Material: ATAC (Advanced Thermal Alloy Construction) alloy
  • First available: August 2019
  • Certification: USA Baseball

What We Like

  • Solid price for the quality
  • Easton brand name means significant testing
  • Custom Lizards Skin grip, cushioned on handle
  • Special speed cap helps improve barrel response and maintains natural hit sound
  • 1 year manufacturer’s warranty

Not So Much

  • Might be just too much high-tech bells and whistles for a young age

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8. Best Baseball Bat for 10 Year Old with Composite Barrel ~ DeMarini CF USSSA Baseball Bat

In all honesty, we didn’t want to leave DeMarini off this list since the company produces splendid metal bats that have proven to perform well. The DeMarini CF USSSA Baseball Bat might have ranked higher, if not for the limits of its USSSA affiliation.

Your player can enjoy a very large sweet spot, and consistent performance, with the CF’s composite barrel. The 2-piece construction provides more balance due to the weight distribution, and reduces vibrations upon impact. A strong, light end cap to boost performance but not slow the swing is a nice touch.

DeMarini is similar to Easton in that it does very well in the softball market, both for fastpitch and slow pitch. The company seems confident that kids will like the CF, considering its high price range. Who knows, this bat just could help your little guy or gal mash.

Specifications

  • Length: 30”
  • Weights: 20 oz. (-10)
  • Material: (2-piece) composite barrel
  • First available: November 2020
  • Certification: USSSA

What We Like

  • Paraflex Plus composite barrel
  • ReAction end cap
  • Excellent feel through the swing
  • Plenty of pop from the materials, without tacking on too much extra weight

Not So Much

  • Ratings by users lukewarm so far

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Veteran Coach’s Insight

Veteran Coach’s Insight

Earlier, we used the term “make or break” regarding this age of young ballplayers, and how they will start to pay more attention to the equipment used. It’s because at age 8 and younger, most new baseball players are just satisfied to put the bat on the ball consistently.

Hitting is a very difficult sports act (some say the most difficult), and we have no problem at all with young players (and hopefully coaches and parents) happy to focus on just making contact.

However, around the 9- and 10-year-old range, you will begin to notice some players separating their hits noticeably from others due to distance, or speed off the bat. Eventually someone ~ coach, parent, maybe even the player ~ will suspect a special bat.

Peer Pressure

Not to mention peer pressure: at this age more and more often little players will brag about their new bat (or cleats) to teammates and others in their league. Beware of metal bats colored too brightly, or with fancy designs. Paint does not improve performance, and an umpire might question bats that make it hard for defenders to see upon impact.

Sure, those zany colors attract eyes and can look pretty cool. But in the end, if a piece of baseball equipment gives one side an advantage, or if it can cause injury, it will be challenged. No one wants to spend in excess of a hundred bucks for a bat his or her kid can’t use in game play.

To Look Cool, or Play Better?

An old adage in coaching is, girls play better when they feel better; boys feel better when they play better. That is, be nicer to young girls on the field, being careful not to hurt feelings, for optimal play. Boys, on the other hand, take the most pride from their performance on the field.

We mention this because of the peer pressure noted above. Is gaining bragging rights for your child worth a monetary investment?

Maintenance

many-baseball-bats

Remember that bats do deteriorate in quality over time and usage. Wood bat barrels can get harder after taking on many contacts with balls, but over time the wood can dry and an inside pitch can break the bat for good.

Metal bats can be susceptible from too much heat or moisture, so be sure to clean it after every use and store it away in a gear bag. Also, never leave bats in open view in the rear of cars. Not only would that attract would-be break-ins; it also could cause trouble if you’re pulled over by a police officer!

Also, as baseball players get older, it might be wise to have a bat just for the batting cages, and one for game play. Batting cage balls can be very hard and harmful to bats.

Today’s youth baseball bats are quite valuable. Treat them well, and get more value for your investment.

Personal Care

It may be wise for a young player to not let other players use a valuable bat, especially during practices. Some bats, namely metal bats, last long but they do wear down after a certain amount of punishment. Striking a moving ball over and over and over eventually will have an impact.

The saying goes, a bat only has so many hits left in it. Increase the number for your player by limiting its use away from games.

Question: How many seasons can we expect the new bat to last?

Answer: No more than 2 years. For many 10-year-olds it’s only 1 season, especially if they grow fast. Too-light or too-short bats get left in the dugout (or in gear bags) pretty quickly.

Q.: How important is the type of metal at this age?

A.: Probably not as important as the manufacturers think. Top-quality alloys might bump the distance of a hit ball by 5 or 10 feet. But in reality, the most important thing to consider for baseball bats for 10-year-olds is the weight, and, especially, the comfort level he or she has in the bat.

Q.: Do metal bats break?

A.: Yes, but not often, and they don’t snap into 2 pieces like wood bats can. Metal bats are used in non-pro baseball leagues for cost savings, so youth and school players don’t have to constantly replace wooden bats. However, over time metal bats can develop flaws, such as in the handle upon impact, or problems with 2-piece bats at the connection point. Rarely does a metal bat get a dent in the barrel, or have the end cap fly off, but it does happen. Those really concerned should keep an eye out for manufacturers’ warranties on bats.

Q.: Does it matter if my player wants to be a contact hitter like Ichiro?

A.: It could. Young players enamored with Ichiro Suzuki, or before him Tony Gwynn or even Pete Rose, might prefer bats that are lighter than usual, especially if the player is small in size. Contact hitting is all about bat control, and too much weight prevents late adjustments on swings which result in misses.

See Also:
7 Best Baseball Cleats for Youths
How Far Should a 14-Year-Old Hit a Baseball?
6 Best Pitching Machines for Little League
Travel Baseball: Pros and Cons