best bbcor baseball bats

12 Best High School Baseball Bats to Buy in 2022

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Imagine walking into a Final Exam without a pencil, or going to cut down a tree without an ax, or painting a work of art without a paintbrush.

These scenarios would be no different than a baseball player walking into a batter’s box without a bat. Along with a glove and cleats, a bat is one of the most essential pieces of equipment a player must have to play baseball.

Because of this, baseball companies all over the world have developed their own line of bats to sell to players young and old. Because there are so many of them, it can be difficult for players, and oftentimes their parents, to choose which bat works best for them.

Below, you will get an in-depth look at some of the top BBCOR bats on the market. Read through and consider the pros and cons for each before purchasing a bat for your upcoming high school baseball season.

Quick Summary

  • Best Overall
  • Demarini Goods Half n Half
  • Lightest Feel
  • Rawlings 2020 Velo ACP
  • Cheapest
  • Easton Speed
  • Best Three-Piece
  • Louisville Slugger 2021 Select
  • Most Expensive
  • Demarini Goods Half n Half
  • Best Design
  • Louisville Slugger 2021 Meta
  • Best Value
  • Marucci Cat 8
  • Simplest Design
  • StringKing Metal Pro – MAX
  • Most Pop
  • Demarini Goods Half n Half
  • Best Material
  • Marucci Cat 9
  • Biggest Sweet Spot
  • Rawlings 2021 5150
  • Most Durable
  • Louisville Slugger Omaha 517
  • Best One-Piece
  • Easton 2021 B5 Pro
  • Most Versatile
  • Demarini Voodoo ONE
  • Best Two-Piece
  • Demarini Goods Half n Half

    By the time players get to high school, bats can sometimes break the bank. Players and parents who are strictly looking for the cheapest option should look into purchasing the Easton Speed. The price for this bat is well below that of its competitors.

    The Demarini Goods Half n Half is the most expensive BBCOR bat on the market, so parents who do not want to spend a fortune on a bat should stay away from it. However, if money is not an issue, then it is a great bat to consider.

    As you can see, Demarini has developed one of the best bats around as we also consider to be the bat with the most pop, the best two-piece bat, and the best bat overall. There really is a lot to like about this bat if you can get over the price.

    The Marucci Cat 8 has the best value of any BBCOR bat because it hovers around the middle of the pack as far as price is concerned and gets great reviews from young players who use it.

    Marucci’s Cat 9 is a slightly better version of the Cat 8 as its AZR alloy material is the only bat on the market made of this high-quality alloy. There are few differences between the two, but those differences are enough for Marucci to charge slightly more for the Cat 9.

    The Rawlings 2021 5150 is known for having one of the bigger sweet spots of all BBCOR bats. It takes home our crown for having the biggest sweet spot. It is also a high-quality bat with lots of pop.

    Its cousin, the Rawlings 2020 Velo ACP is made of ACP technology that makes the bat feel lighter than it really is; therefore, we consider it to be the bat with the lightest feel.

    Design is definitely not the most important quality of a bat, but young players do pay a lot of attention to it. The Louisville Slugger Meta contains a black barrel with gold, silver, and black accents attached to a gold handle to capture the “Meta” feel of the bat.

    Three-piece bats are relatively new, and Louisville Slugger has a good one on the market in the Louisville Slugger 2021 Select. While many would believe a three-piece bat might be too flexible at the point of contact, the designers of this bat developed technology to make it even stiffer at contact than some two-piece bats.

    The StringKing Meta Pro – Max has the simplest look with an all-black handle and barrel. It features a design-less barrel which contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the bat.

    The Louisville Slugger Omaha 517 is our most durable BBCOR on the market. Louisville Slugger is well-versed in developing quality bats, and their classic Omaha line is no exception.

    The Demarini Voodoo ONE is Demarini’s more simple counterpart to the Goods Half n Half, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It is a high-quality product, and it is labeled as the most versatile because it can fit the needs of both contact and power hitters.

    All of these bats offer different advantages and disadvantages for customers, but the overall best bat on the market is the Demarini Goods Half n Half.

    However, that does not mean these other bats don’t have great things to offer.

    Take a deeper look at each of the products mentioned here.

    Who Should Buy This Product?

    Bats can be pretty expensive. That is just the nature of the beast in today’s game. It is tempting for parents to see the price of some of these bats and immediately shake their heads. While this is understandable, I would like to caution parents on a few things.

    If your son takes baseball seriously, you may not want to just buy him the cheapest bat in the store. Why is that? Well, if he is serious about baseball, he will likely get a lot of use out of his bat during his high school season in the spring and will probably continue playing in the summer.

    This creates a lot of wear and tear on the bat, and odds are, if you purchased a cheap, low-quality bat, you may end up buying a new one before the next season or even before the spring/summer season is over.

    Also, if your player does not have his own bat, he will have to borrow from teammates. Borrowing bats during games is not always an issue. After all, only one guy can hit at a time. In practice, however, this is not always the case.

    When a player does not have his own bat, he relies on someone else to make sure he can get the practice he needs. If he takes the sport seriously, he will likely want to be able to hit outside of practice on his own. He can’t do that unless he has his own bat.

    Yes, bats are expensive, but it is best, if possible, to bite the bullet and purchase your son a high-quality bat that he can use for a year or two.

    The bats listed in this review are BBCOR bats; therefore, they are legal to use in high school games and in some travel tournaments. The information in this article is intended for high school baseball players and their parents.

    We understand that not every player takes the game as seriously as others, so here we have broken down which bat each type of player should consider buying:

    The Beginners

    These are players who have either just started playing the game or players who have been playing for a while but have several limitations to their game. These players will likely make their high school team, but they have a lot of work to do in order to get a lot of playing time.

    These players should consider the Easton Speed or the StringKing Metal Pro – MAX as both bats are very reasonably priced. If the player falls in love with the game and continues to improve his hitting, then he can consider purchasing a more expensive bat for the next season.

    There is nothing wrong with either of these bats, and even a more experienced player could get good use out of them.

    The Intermediate Players

    These are players who are pretty good high school players but may not necessarily be so advanced that they travel around the country in the summer playing against high-level talent.

    These players should consider bats like the Louisville Slugger Omaha 517, the Rawlings Velo ACP, the Demarini Voodoo ONE, or the Marucci Cat 8. All of these bats are good bats that should withstand an entire season, but they are also priced fairly.

    They are not as cheap as the Easton Speed or the StringKing Metal Pro – MAX, but they are not as pricey as the bats we are about to discuss in the next section.

    The Advanced Players

    Advanced players who get a lot of at-bats in the spring, summer, and maybe even fall will want to probably consider the Easton 2021 B5 Pro, the Louisville Slugger 2021 Meta, the Louisville Slugger 2021 Select, the Rawlings 2020 5150, the Marucci Cat 9, or the Demarini Goods Half n Half.

    Let’s be clear: all of these bats are pretty expensive, but they are all high-quality bats that can withstand the number of swings that advanced players tend to take. These are players who can often be found in the batting cage before and after practice almost daily.

    These players need a bat that they can trust, and these four bats should offer that. While bats certainly lose value the more they are used, think of this purchase as an investment in skills. The better the bat, the more practice the player will be able to get which will improve their skills.

    12 Best High School Baseball Bats in 2021: Detailed Reviews

    1. Easton Speed

    This one-piece aluminum bat is a nice bat for anyone looking for a bat that will not break the bank. Easton is the number one bat company used by teams in College World Series history.

    What we like:

    • The weight of the bat is well-distributed.
    • It is not the most expensive bat on the market.
    • The cushioned grip allows for a more comfortable feel in the hands.
    • Young players rave that it feels lighter than it actually is.

    What we don’t like:

    • There are some questions about its durability as many say that the bat dents easier than most other bats.
    • Several product reviews claim that the bat already had a dent in it when they received it in shipping.

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    2. Easton 2021 B5 Pro

    This new bat from trusted baseball brand Easton is one of the hottest bats on the market. It has an old-school look but uses new school technology. For those willing to spend the money, this bat is totally worth it.

    What we like:

    • This bat is made of ATAC Alloy which is the most high-quality alloy Easton has in its line of bats.
    • It has one of the biggest sweet spots of any bat on the market thanks to the different layers of alloy across the barrel.
    • The bat handle provides a more professional feel and reduced vibrations.
    • The weight is well-distributed.
    • Players rave about the comfort of the grip.
    • It has a lot of pop.
    • The speed cap on the end allows for increased bat speed.

    What we don’t like:

    • It is one of the most expensive bats on the market.
    • Some users have complained about paint chipping off the bat rather quickly.

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    3. Louisville Slugger Omaha 517

    While mostly known for their wood bats, Louisville Slugger does dabble in aluminum bats as well. It is hard to go wrong with their Omaha 517 model. Its reasonable price and durability make it an attractive bat for any high school slugger.

    What we like:

    • The weight in this bat is balanced allowing for a smoother swing through the zone.
    • The grip is made of lizardskin which makes for a more comfortable grip.
    • The bat is made of Stu 7+1 alloy that creates a bigger sweet spot.
    • It is one of the more durable bats on the market.
    • It is cheaper than some of the other Louisville Slugger bat models.
    • It is ready for game use right at purchase as are most one-piece bats.

    What we don’t like:

    • Reviews claim that the bat only has average pop.
    • The cap of the bat is slightly rounded at the top making it somewhat inefficient for bat speed.

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    4. Louisville Slugger 2021 Meta

    This three-piece composite bat is not cheap, but it is one of the highest quality bats for high school players.

    What we like:

    • This is a composite bat that is known for the distinct sound it makes.
    • The GT1 end cap is built to maximize bat speed.
    • The 3FX connection system creates a more stiff feel at the point of contact than a typical two-piece bat.
    • The connection system also reduces vibrations.
    • This bat has one of the most balanced weight distributions of any bat on the market.
    • Customers rave about how much pop it has.

    What we don’t like:

    • It is one of the most expensive bats on the market.
    • There are some durability questions as it has been reported by a few that it cracks easily.

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    5. Louisville Slugger 2021 Select

    Louisville Slugger already sells a one-piece (Omaha) and a two-piece (Meta) bat, so, naturally, they came out with this three-piece composite bat.

    What we like:

    • The barrel is made of alloy, and the handle is made of a composite material. This allows the bat to feel lighter and also generates more pop.
    • There is no need to break this bat in as it has pop right out of the package.
    • The 3FX-PWR connection point allows the bat to be stiff at the point of contact.
    • The cap of the bat is built for power and allows hitters to maximize all momentum in their swing.

    What we don’t like:

    • It is slightly end-loaded making the weight unevenly distributed.
    • Some users have complained of small cracks and the grip handle wearing down too soon.

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    6. Rawlings 2020 Velo ACP

    Rawlings has really stepped up its game when it comes to bats, and its Velo series is no different. This bat features Accelerated Carbon Performance (ACP), the first of its kind.

    What we like:

    • The ACP technology creates a light feeling when swinging the bat. The two inches at the end of the bat are made of a composite material to create this feel.
    • The rest of the bat is made of a light carbon fiber to create a balanced weight distribution.
    • The bat produces minimal vibrations when the ball makes contact with the end of the bat or the handle.
    • It is reasonably priced compared to most other bats of its quality.
    • It has one of the bigger sweet spots of all of the bats on the market.

    What we don’t like:

    • Multiple stories of this bat cracking or denting within its first few days of use make us question its durability.
    • Some customers argue that the 2019 version has more pop.

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    7. Rawlings 2020 5150

    This one-piece composite bat is not as pricey or as technologically advanced as its Rawlings Velo counterpart, but it is still a quality bat for high school players.

    What we like:

    • This bat is made of 5150 alloy which is designed and mostly successfully in generating more performance and increased durability.
    • Like the Velo, the 5150 is designed to feel lighter than its competitors. While not as light-feeling as its counterpart, it does feel lighter than the typical BBCOR bat.
    • The end cap is designed for bat speed.
    • The large sweet spot is very forgiving for young hitters.
    • Players say that it has more pop than most other bats and does not require a “break-in” period like many bats do.
    • It is considered to be one of the most versatile bats on the market.

    What we don’t like:

    • It has a simple design that may not be as exciting for some young players.

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    8. 2021 Demarini Voodoo ONE

    The Voodoo has been one of the more trusted BBCOR bats in the game since BBCOR bats have been required. It is a one-piece alloy bat that has a simple design with big results.

    What we like:

    • This bat has a balanced feel making it a good choice for both power and contact hitters alike.
    • Players who use the Voodoo rave about the bat’s pop.
    • It is considered to be one of the more durable bats on the market.
    • Its price is fair.
    • The ReAction end cap is designed to make the bat quicker through the zone.

    What we don’t like:

    • Some players do not like the grip on the handle of the bat.

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    9. Demarini Goods Half n Half

    Demarini has been known for its high-performing aluminum bats for several years, and this model is no different. Its composite handle mixed with its X14 alloy barrel creates a unique bat for young power hitters to enjoy.

    What we like:

    • Demarini knows bats, so any of their models are going to be top-notch. This bat is the company’s top product, so the quality is second to none.
    • The composite handle creates a stiff feel at contact while the alloy barrel allows for more pop and flexibility in the sweet spot.
    • The direct connection contributes to the bat’s performance as it allows for a more efficient energy transfer.
    • The design of the end cap also contributes to the efficiency of energy transfer.
    • This bat has pop the moment it comes out of the package.

    What we don’t like:

    • It is one of the most expensive bats on the market.
    • It is more end-loaded than other bat models, so players who lack strength may want to consider a different model.

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    10. Marucci Cat 8

    Marucci is becoming a more popular brand for young hitters thanks to its aesthetically pleasing designs and trusted performance.

    What we like:

    • It has a large sweet spot that generates good pop.
    • Players rave about the anti-sting knob that reduces vibrations at the point of contact.
    • This bat contains fewer “dead spots” to the ring-free barrel construction that allows for more barrel flex at the point of contact.
    • The Cat 8 is made of one of the strongest alloy materials in Marucci’s line of bats which increases the bat’s durability.
    • This bat is not cheap, but it is fairly priced compared to some of its competitors.
    • It comes in black or white.

    What we don’t like:

    • The Cat 8 is one of the loudest bats on the market. Its sound is distinct and turns some people away.
    • Some users complain that the ball goes nowhere if you don’t hit it directly on the barrel.

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    11. Marucci Cat 9

    Marucci’s more popular but more expensive bat is the Cat 9 (see Amazon) which is very similar to the Cat 8 with just a few more technological advances.

    What we like:

    • The bat is made of AZR aluminum alloy and is the only bat on the market made of this material.
    • It is built for both performance and durability.
    • Overall, this bat creates a balanced feel.
    • The bat has a Longitudinal Groove System (LGS) that runs across the thickest part of the barrel which removes excess weight and allows for more flexibility at the point of contact.
    • It has the same ring-free barrel construction as the Cat 8 allowing for fewer dead spots as the bat wears.
    • The AV2 Anti Vibration knob decreases the amount of vibration when the ball does not make contact with the barrel.

    What we don’t like:

    • The sweet spot is slightly smaller than the Cat 8.
    • Some complain that this year’s model does not have as much pop as previous models.

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    12. StringKing Metal Pro – MAX

    StringKing, known more for its lacrosse gear, has developed a BBCOR certified bat for a price that will grab its customers’ attention.

    What we like:

    • The style is simple, but its slick all-black design is attractive to many young high school players.
    • The price can’t be matched by other BBCOR bats.
    • The weight distribution is fairly even throughout, but it is slightly end-loaded just enough to give hitters a strong swing through the zone.
    • The bat has a wider sweet spot making for more consistent contact.
    • It comes with a 1-year durability guarantee.
    • Users argue that it has just as much pop as its competitors that are double the price.

    What we don’t like:

    • It is hard for many baseball people to trust a StringKing brand bat because they are more known for their lacrosse gear.
    • The price is so low that it makes you question the quality of the bat.

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    Related Questions

    How are BBCOR bats different from USA bats?

    BBCOR and USA are stamps that bats must receive in order to be legal for their respective governing bodies. BBCOR certified bats are used in high school baseball while USA certified bats are used in little league and some travel tournaments. BBCOR bats must have a drop weight of -3 while USA bats may be -8, -10, or -12.

    When were BBCOR bats invented?

    In 2011, college baseball switched from BESR certified bats to BBCOR bats in order to protect its players and the integrity of the game. High school leagues followed suit the next year requiring all hitters to use BBCOR bats. BESR bats had more pop, but BBCOR bats have gotten better in terms of the pop in their bats.

    How important is the quality of the bat when it comes to being a good hitter?

    The quality of the bat does play a significant role in hitting; however, it does not affect everything. The quality of the bat does, to an extent, affect the distance batted balls travel and the velocity at which they exit the barrel. It does not directly impact a player’s hand-eye coordination and his ability to make consistent contact.

    What it comes down to is that the player must be comfortable with the bat that he uses. Some players prefer a two-piece bat; some prefer a one-piece. Some would rather swing a bat with evenly distributed weight; some like end-loaded bats. It all comes down to individual preference and what the hitter needs in order to reach his potential.

    See Also:
    5 Best Shoulder Braces for Baseball
    4 Best Knee Pads for Baseball
    7 Best Baseball Batting Tees: Our Ques
    How Long Does a High School Baseball Season Last?