TLDR; If we had to choose a Best BBCOR bat for September of 2023, we think the Marucci CAT X is the best. It can work for contact and power hitters alike, has a more reasonable price point, and will last you a season or two. Among a great crop of options to choose from, we think it stands out above the rest. If you want composite, we love the CAT X Composite and Icon. Power Hitter's best option is still The Goods from 2022 which you can find at a discount since the 2024 The Goods came out in the last month. Contact hitters check the Bonesaber single piece. If you want the best value, it is still the Marucci F5 which also came out with a 2024 version in the last few weeks.
As 2024 BBCOR bats start to roll in, we have updated our best BBCOR bats list for September of 2023, which has remained largely intact. We still await more feedback on the 2024 The Goods and the new F5. Both previous versions grace our best BBCOR bats list, and they still do, as we don't want to switch to the new one prematurely (especially as you can get the older ones for deals right now, making them even better). The CAT X is still our top choice for September of 2023 for its price point, great feel, and outstanding player ratings. The ICON holds onto its best composite ranking for now.
What We Cover
Updated September 26, 2023
We've updated the rankings with September of 2023, and with our new AI data collection process, we feel like some changes to our rankings will occur next month... But for September 2023 our stays largely the same. We've got a close eye on the movement of the 2024 The Goods as well as the new F5. Easton's bat line including the MAV-1 is expected to drop in September so we will see how that plays out.
Quick Top 3
Best BBCOR Bats 2023 (September Updates)
What is the Right Bat Size
The best-kept secret in the industry is that the best BBCOR bat is actually the right size bat. BBCOR standards have leveled the playing field such that barrel performance is eerily similar across every brand, model, and make. The best way to improve your exit velocity is to dial in the right swing weight. See our Bat Size Chart. If you are still not sure about the right bat size, check out our advice column.
So many rumors right now becuase so many bats are about to drop in the next 3 months. Expect the Marucci Vanta as well as DeMarini's full crop of 2024 bats save the Voodoo One (which alreayd dropped). Rawlings and Easton should be dropping a lot too. Stay tuned.
In very short, two-piece bats are made from two pieces (barrel and handle) while the one piece is a single piece of material. This, of course, excludes things like the end cap and grip.
Are BBCOR bats more expensive than other types of bats?
Usually, yes. The reason? Probably because people will pay it. BBCOR players tend to be more serious as this is high school and college baseball; therefore, they’re more willing to spend more of their resources (including money) on their equipment. The bats don’t cost much more than little league bats to produce, but their price is a function of supply and demand.
How do I choose the right BBCOR bat for me?
The best way to find the right BBCOR bat for you is to find opportunities to swing them. If you have a local sporting goods store that lets you hit, that’s great! If not, maybe some of your friends and teammates have bats that you can borrow.
Worst case, you can search used markets for really cheap older versions of bats and get them to see if you like them. If you do, and you want the new one, you can usually sell the used one for about what you paid and then buy a new one of that version.
What is the right swing weight?
Generally, you want a bat that maximizes your ability to square up the ball with the most power possible. The correct answer for you, then, is individualized. A hitter’s right swing weight depends on their skill level and preferences. Some hitters like short bats with an end-load to long bats with a light swing.
BBCOR Bats Legal?
Yes, BBCOR bats are legal for the United States for high school and college baseball. In the US, high school and college baseball leagues require the use of BBCOR-certified bats, which meet specific performance standards established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
What Are BBCOR Bats Made Of?
BBCOR bats are typically made from aluminum (aka alloy), wood, or composite materials. They have a maximum length of 36 inches and a maximum diameter of 2.625 (2 5/8) inches. They also have a maximum stated weight-to-length ratio of -3, meaning the bat cannot be more than 3 ounces lighter than its length in inches (for example, a 31-inch bat must weigh at least 28-ounces).
When Did BBCOR come and Why?
The BBCOR standard was introduced in 2011 as a response to concerns about the performance of non-wood bats, particularly in high school and college baseball. The standard is intended to make the performance of non-wood bats more similar to that of wood bats, which have a lower trampoline effect.
What is a BBCOR Bat?
BBCOR stands for “Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution.” A BBCOR bat is a type of baseball bat that has been approved for use in high school and college baseball in the United States and other organizations that follow these rules. BBCOR bats are designed to have a lower “trampoline effect” than different types of baseball bats, meaning that the ball will not travel as far off the bat when hit.
2023 BBCOR Bats
You can see the 2023 BBCOR bat reviews we have written here.
We update those consistently and as we see new BBCOR bats get approved.
2023 BBCOR Swing Weights
Every swing weight below is measured by us in our lab. We measure the actual swing weight as the industry tests and standards do. We take the balance point between two scales, the pendulum period on a laser timer, and measure the pivot point with accurate measurements.
We’ve seen a few lists that put together the swing weight and, to be frank, they’re wrong. These people are, ultimately, guessing based on marketing writeups.
We have the exact swing weights and these are it, in order of heaviest to lightest.
Axe Avenge Pro Hybrid
Slugger Select PWR
DeMarini The Goods (2022)
Easton Hype Comp
Marucci CAT X Connect
Marucci CAT X Composite
DeMarini Voodoo One
Marucci CAT X
2023 BBCOR Barrel Sizes
We measured the distance from the end cap to the part of the bat where it begins to taper below its 2 5/8 maximum diameter. The longer the measurement the bigger the barrel.
How important is this metric? We can’t believe it is that significant, but if all things were equal we’d want a bat with a bigger barrel. In any case, we measured it so here is the data.
For 2023 bats, we found a considerable range. From biggest to smallest:
Marucci CAT X Composite
Easton Hype Comp
DeMarini The Goods (2022)
Slugger Select PWR
CAT X Connect
Avenge Pro Hybrid
How We Decide
At Bat Digest, we make it a point to deliver genuine reviews from real players. A significant piece of the baseball bat market is the BBCOR space, and as such, we have used every performance ($150+) BBCOR bat since 2017 for testing in some fashion or another. Most of that work comes between three to four different hitters, but often we gather feedback from far outside that circle, too.
Qualitative Measures (What We Measure)
Over the years, much of the data we capture has been qualitative. That is, it responds to the quality of the product in terms of feel, aesthetics, and personal feedback. They serve as a basis for our impressions of the bat. Qualitative data is less objective and, therefore, harder to transfer its value from one player to another.
Quantitative Measures (What We Feel)
We also use several quantitative measurements to get a feel for the best BBCOR bats. Our exit speed testing, barrel testing, and swing weight and compression testing influence our rankings considerably. We also use aggregated feedback from some rating sites like Amazon and justbats.com to get a feel for what people may or may not be saying about the bat.
Granted, many of those reviews are challenging to verify, and it is possible that the sellers scrub them only to portray a positive outlook.
Are Our Rankings Correct?
Our funny way to answer the question of whether we are right by simply saying no, we are probably not correct. Our recommendations may not be suitable for everyone.
Our defense is that our rankings are the objective effort in finding the 2023 BBCOR bat players we would be the happiest with on average.
Does that mean everyone will appreciate the feel, pop, and balance? Of course not. But our best guess—which we believe is more educated than anyone in the market—is without industry or vendor bias.
2020 BBCOR Barrel Sizes
We also measured the length of the max barrel size on each BBCOR bat. The vast majority are very close to each other. The winner is the Easton Maxum followed real closely by Easton’s ADV 360, Axe’s Avenge, DeMarini’s CF, Slugger’s Meta, Marucci’s Cat, and the Victus Vandal.
Here’s an image showing the best BBCOR bat barrel sizes.
2020 BBCOR Swing Weights
We also measured all the swing weights of the 2020 BBCOR bat class. We measure these bats individually and, we’ve learned, many of the same models have a manufacturing tolerance of their weight distribution. Not all bats of the same make and model and weight are the same. In other words, your results may vary, but these are the swing weights (+/- 3%) of the bats we worked with to get our ratings.
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