Baseball is a great sport, and it is rightfully among the most popular pastimes – not just in the United States, but also on a global scale. However, buying the equipment is not the easiest task, especially when buying it for a younger player – since they cannot use the professional-level equipment that adults will use.
If you have ever been in the process of buying a baseball bat for your child, especially if they are picking up the sport before they turn 10 years old, you will discover that it is not as easy as it might sound. Even if you are well-versed in the game itself and the most important equipment, it proves difficult because there are o0ther guidelines to keep in mind such as the regulations from youth leagues. Fortunately, this article will help you to narrow down your choices and select the best bat for your child.
Barrel diameter (inches)
Bat length (inches)
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Combat Maxum Youth MAXYB112 bat
Louisville Slugger Youth YBAR152 bat
Easton MAKO COMPOSITE Youth bat
Marucci 2015 Cat 6 big barrel bat
25 to 27
Easton S500 Youth baseball bat
Combat Maxum Youth MAXYB112
Among the companies that focus on manufacturing baseball bats, Combat is among the premium ones – and this bat is not an exception to the rule. It seeks to push the limits of what many consider safe for composite bats, all while delivering on safety standards for younger players.
- Barrel diameter of 2¼ inches
- Uses single wall construction
- Very light swing weight for a CMBAT -12 model
- Fully composite, one-piece design
- Manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months
- Lizard skin grip for improved tackiness and softness
- Ultra-balanced feel
- Approved for use in USSSA, Little League, Pony, Dixie, and Babe Ruth
The length of the bat is 32 inches, while the weight is 20 oz. this will ensure that it remains a light swing, even while giving your child a big sweet spot to develop their swings and hand power. In fact, it gives the largest sweet spot for a model that has a 2¼ inch barrel diameter, as well as the lightest swing weight by up to 1 oz. compared to other Combat Youth models.
The bats utilize the one-piece composite design that makes them lighter and easier to handle, through PMT (Precision Molding Technology). Rather than the usual composite bat that is made through overlapping different materials to create a cohesive result, the PMT process is through injection of resin in liquid form into sleeves of high quality carbon, all done under high pressure. That results in a product that has very few weak points or seams, which is a problem present in the traditional approach.
Louisville Slugger Youth YBAR152
When you are searching for a state-of-the-art youth baseball bat, you will notice the Louisville brand coming up frequently, and for good reason. They are well known for producing great products for all ages and experience levels, including this model that offers among the best swings for junior players.
- 7/8-inch tapered handle
- Barrel measuring 2¼ inches
- Performance 7050 alloy in use
The handle has a 7/8-inch tapered handle, which will ensure your young one has enough traction to hold the bat without it slipping from their hands or causing accidents. In fact, the more they develop their hand strength, the stronger their grip becomes and the more efficient their swings will become.
The alloy that is in use here is a combination of several metals that include copper, magnesium, and zirconium. This leaves the bat with a smooth and bright finish, while also ensuring that the bat is as lightweight as possible – after all, you do not want a bat that is too heavy for them to handle. In addition, this material does not include aluminum, since this material can produce vibrations and lead to pain in the hands when they mishit the ball.
The barrel size also makes it easy to find the sweet spot of hitting the ball, coming at 2¼ inches. In addition, the Length to Weight ratio is -12 oz., which is good for a child younger than 8 years of age.
Easton MAKO COMPOSITE Youth bat
Easton is among the most famous brands when it comes to baseball equipment, as they have dedicated much of their resources to improving player performance on the field through improving the technology in their products.
- Use of TCT Thermo Composite Technology to give unmatched bat speed and a big sweet spot
- Ultra-thin design of 29/32 inches
- Drop weight of -10 and barrel diameter of 2¾ inches
- Utilizes patented two-piece ConneXion technology to improve transfer of energy
- Hyperskin grip
It is not too heavy to handle either, since the drop weight is -10. Thanks to the barrel that is in a large size, there is plenty of balance you will notice, and the bat will not slip from the hands as the player handles it. In addition, this is enhanced further through the use of Thermo Composite technology.
There is also the Hyperskin gripping that the handle has – this will ensure the bat remains securely in the hands of the player even when they sweat, and also gives them a better grip. The barrel and handle remain separate thanks to the 2X connection technology, and this will also reduce the vibrations that happen when the player strikes the ball.
The good news is that many baseball leagues approve the use of this bat, including USSSA, 1.15 BPF, Little League, and Pony Baseball. If you are unsure though, you can always heck with your Local League President.
Marucci Cat 6 Big barrel bat
This happens to be among the highest rated bats for young kids looking to get into the game – it offers very good size choices, has really good pricing, and it feels comfortable to use.
- A professionally-inspired barrel profile (extended)
- Approval from 1.15 BPF
- One-piece alloy construction
- Anti-vibration knob (patented)
- Ring-free barrel
- Barrel size 2¾ inches
- Recommended for ages 5 to 8
The swing weight is right in the middle, while it uses the same proprietary knob that is a feature of other Marucci models. It will generally work well for a player that enjoys the stiff feel of single piece bats, while still offering quality service. The size options will also mean that it is available for almost any player.
The most unique aspect it has is the dampening knob, which happens to be proprietary. This goes a long way to ensuring its smoothness, even when hitting the ball, allowing to concentrate on swing speed. The drop weight is -10, and the weight size is at 15 to 17 ounces.
The material that makes up the bat is an alloy, which allows for maximum performance and durability. In addition, it uses a one-piece construction method, which allows the bat to be lightweight enough for a young child to use comfortably. There is also quite the large barrel size that ensures the child has a larger area to prevent traveling of vibrations down the length and causing pain.
Easton S500 Youth bat
If you want a cheap baseball bat for your young ones without compromising of the quality, then consider the Easton S500 as a part of that category.
- Made from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy
- Drop of -13, with barrel size of 2¼ inches
- Plenty of power and speed
- Ultra-thin 29/32 handle
- One-year warranty
The bat is made primarily from aluminum alloy, which is the reason it is cheaper compared to many premium baseball bats. The drop weight is -13, which also makes it quite light for a junior player that wants to learn to swing bats easily and improve their swing speed.
The barrel size is 2.25 inches, making it hard to miss the ball with practice, and the balancing is very good. The handle is also ultra-thin, allowing your child to handle the bat easily without the risk of slipping or accidents. The only problem we notice with the bat is that it is prone to getting dents after some time, even though the other features are great.
Guide to buying a baseball bat for a 7-8 year old
Before you go spending your money on any baseball bat, it is important to know that a very young player will not handle a normal-sized bat very well. To get an adult bat, the player must be at least 13 years old and have some experience in playing the game – otherwise, it is better to get a youth bat.
There are additional considerations you must keep in mind though, even before buying a youth bat. These are:
When it comes to baseball, the size will matter greatly, especially if you are dealing with a young child and you are introducing them to the game. The priority here is safety as well as teaching them how to hit the ball – the last thing you want is them making misses all the time and eventually getting discouraged because you gave them the wrong bat size.
Size encompasses three aspects;
- Length – the general rule is that a 7 or 8 year old should handle a bat that measures between 26 and 28 inches comfortably. However, these is not set in stone because it will depend on their weight and height, as well as whether they are a complete newbie or have some experience. Therefore, you should measure their weight and height first, then use that to figure out the bat length. When a bat is too long for them, they might not have the muscle power needed to swing it properly.
- Width – this refers to the barrel diameter or width. The bats with a full width have larger surfaces compared to small widths, and it will be easier for the child to hit the ball without too many misses. However, consider that wide-width bats can also be quite heavy, which compromises on their performance. The safest bet is a bat that has a 2¼ inch barrel, which is recommended for most youth players.
- Weight – the heavier the bat, the more inertia and force it has, so it will hit the ball harder and send it further away. With that in mind, bats that are too heavy for your child will become uncomfortable to swing, and their hitting power will reduce. Therefore, keep the strength of your child in mind, and give them a lighter bat if they are new to the game or have not developed their muscle strength.
Making the best bat weight decision
Generally, the rules are:
- If your child’s height is 48 to 52 inches, choose a bat weighing 16 or 17 ounces
- If the child is 52 to 56 inches in height, bat should be 17 or 18 ounces
- For kids with height of 56 to 60 inches, bat should be 18 or 19 ounces
Making the best bat height decision
- If the child is 80 lbs. or less, then the bat should be 19 to 19 oz.
- For a kid weighing 80 to 100 lbs., the bat should be 19 to 20 oz.
- For a kid weighing 100 to 120 lbs., the bat should be 20 to 21 oz.
- For a kid weighing 120 to 140 lbs., the bat should be 21 to 23 oz.
- For a child weighing 140 lbs. or more, the bat should be 23 to 24 oz.
This is the difference between the weight and the length of the bat. The lighter bats have a higher drop number, while heavier bats have less drop numbers. By law, youth bats must have drops of between -7 and -13.5, although most of them will have drops of between -10 and -13.
That said, different leagues will also have their own requirements of drops that they deem safe, so consult with the policies of your league before making a final decision.
There are two main types of materials that are common in baseball bats: metal and wood. For many youth players, including 10-year olds, will prefer to use the metallic ones because they are resistant to breaking, lighter to swing and easier to handle. In the same vein, some of them will train using wood bats, instead of using metal ones.
However, wood tends to be very heavy for a young player and can be prone to breaking, so this has eventually resulted in what is known as the ‘composite bat’ – combining the efficiency of wood bats with the durability of a metal bat.
As you have seen from this article, choosing a baseball bat for a 7 or 8 year old child is not easy. Out of all the factors, size is the most important, so measure your child’s weight and height to get the best option for them.