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Best Bat For 12 Year Old

2018 Marucci CAT 7 Review

We have hit a lot of bats with 12-year-olds. Their body type ranges dramatically, so it’s hard to narrow down a specific bat. That said, if we had to choose, we like Marucci’s Cat Composite in a drop 8 for USSSA, Easton’s ADV 360 in a drop 8 for USA, and Slugger’s LXT in either a drop 10 or 11 for fastpitch.

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Updated February 8, 2024

We hit with every bat in the USSSA and USA and fastpitch market and then updated this list. If and when more bats are released, we will update this best bat for the 12-year-old list.

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Best Bat For 12 Year Old Write Ups

What is the Right Bat Size

We asked hundreds of parents of 12-year-olds right bat drop and size for them. The most common size was a 31/21, followed by a 30/20, 31/23, and 32/24 in that order.

Bat Size Chart

What Size Softball Bat for 12 Year Old

For most 12-year-old fastpitch softball players we like a 31/21 or 31/20. That is to say a 31-inch and either a 21 or 20-ounce bat. You can see more on our bat size chart.

What Size Bat for a 12-year-old?

There are plenty of opinions on the right bat drop for a 12-year-old. However, the most common size was a 31/21; we found that those who swung a drop 8 were just as happy with their swing weight. Considering BBCOR bats are right around the corner, we’d suggest most 12-year-olds look for a drop 8 bat as the right drop. In terms of length, most drop 8 bats go as low as a 30 through a 32. We think the ideal bat for the average 12-year-old is a 31-inch drop 8 bat (which would make it 23 ounces).

Wood Bat for 12U

We think every 12U player should have a wood bat in their bat. However, we do not believe every 12U player should use their wood bat when at the plate. Rarely will a wood bat give you the same bat agility, speed, and performance as an aluminum or composite.

But, we do like the idea of strength training and batting practice. The smaller sweet spot on a wood bat forces players to be more selective with their pitches and find the good location of the barrel more often. If you want some ideas, start with our favorite youth wood bats.

Our experience with 12u baseball players is that most prefer a composite barrel. These tend to have a bit more forgiving feel on hits and mishits. The barrel profile of composites also tends to be bigger, and younger players prefer as much plate coverage as possible.

However, do note that aluminum barrels do better in cold weather and cost less. If you go the aluminum barrel route, we suggest you look for a two-piece (often called hybrid) aluminum barreled bat.

How Much to Spend on a 12Us Bat

12 years old is when a lot of baseball players start to take it seriously. Our experience shows this is the age a lot of kids are willing to tell their parents they don’t like it enough and start specializing elsewhere. It is also the age at which many other kids start playing baseball.

For those who are serious about baseball, the idea of spending a lot on a bat makes good sense. We like the idea of multiplying your age by the number of games you play and spending NO MORE than that. For example, a 12-year-old playing 40 games this year shouldn’t spend any more than $480 on bats.

$480 could buy you any bat on any list.

The 2 problems with 12-year-olds

First, they grow, and sometimes quickly. 95 pounds is the average but the range of weight might be as small as 70 pounds or as big as 125+ pounds. Follow our bat size chart and choose according to weight.

Second, their skill levels often vary dramatically. Maybe more so than any other age. That means those well-above-average hitters will benefit from adding an ounce or two. More novice hitters will benefit from less weight.

Here is where we would suggest sizing per player size and skill level at 12 years old.