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7 Best USA Bats we hit the FARTHEST (2022/2021)

Updated August 4, 2022

By Bat Digest

We recorded the exit speeds and player feedback on over 1,500 USA Bats from 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018. We think the 2021 Easton ADV -11 has the best pop—HOWEVER, the bat appears to have some durability concerns that we did not experience in our testing. If you’re not interested in dealing with potential durability issues, we continue to think the best value USA bat for 2022 is, actually, the 2019 – 2020 Solo Louisville Slugger Solo.

Weirdly, 2022 has the smallest crop of USA bats to date. Blame it on overstock from previous years, COVID distribution issues or a real focus on something else, but the world of USA bats are small for 2022. The few shining stars are Slugger’s Prime and Solo as well as Easton’s Maxum and ADV 360 in a drop 10.

Updated August 4, 2022

We’ve set our favorites for 2022 officially. However, there are so few bats in stock that we are sticking to our guns. We think an older 2019/2020 Solo is the best bang for your buck. If you want to spend more and want a better feel, check the 2022 Easton ADV 360. Another good option is Easton’s Maxum.

1. 2022 Easton ADV 360

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 10

Swing Weight: Mid

Serial Number: YBB22ADV10

Original Price: $350

Release Month: October 2021

1. Best USA Bat 2022

2022 Easton ADV 360 USA Drop 10
USA
2022 Easton ADV 360

$350

Original Price

Amazon

Although there are plenty of great less expensive options, if you want the creme de la creme of USA bats for 2022, then the drop 10 USA Easton Ghost ADV is the winner, winner, chicken dinner. The bat has a fantastic feel, huge barrel, and top-end exit speeds. Those who want the bat in the USA that feels the most like a USSSA bat should find a home for an ADV 360 drop 10 from 2022.

4. 2022 Easton Maxum Ultra

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 10

Swing Weight: Mid+

Serial Number: YBB22MX10

Original Price: $280

Release Month: October 2021

4. Best (Runner Up) USA Bat 2022

2022 Easton Maxum Ultra USA Drop 10
USA
2022 Easton Maxum Ultra

$280

Original Price

Amazon

If you want a new 2022 USA bat and are concerned about the durability of the Easton ADV, then check out Easton’s lesser-known but seriously hot Easton Maxum. This single-piece composite has more give in it than traditional single-piece alloy but the massive barrel and light swing give it the most plate coverage per swing weight in the 2022 class. If you want a single piece but something with a bit more pizazz than an alloy Solo we suggest the 2022 Maxum in a drop 10.

2. 2021 DeMarini Voodoo

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 10

Swing Weight: Mid

Serial Number: WTDXUD221

Original Price: $250

Release Month: August 2020

Best Hybrid USA Bat

2021 Demarini Voodoo USA Drop 10 2021 Demarini Voodoo USA Drop 10
2021 DeMarini Voodoo USA Drop 10
USA
2021 DeMarini Voodoo

$250

Original Price

Amazon

If you don’t want to spend the money for the ADV 360 in a drop 11 (and we don’t blame you) but you still want a great feel on a highly rated bat, we think the 2021 Voodoo is the best Hybrid USA Bat. We are not talking about the Voodoo One (although we like that bat too). The USA 2021 Voodoo is a two-piece bat made with a composite handle and an aluminum barrel. That connectin piece is the same you’ll find in the CF from DeMarini, famous for a great feel on any kind of hit.

In terms of overall performance, the bat is as good as any on the market save, by no more than a little bit, the ADV 360. But, in terms of a durable bat with a balanced swing, good to great durability, and high user ratings, the 2021 Voodoo is a great USA bat pick-up.

3. 2021 Rawlings Quatro Pro

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 29, 30, 31, 32

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 8

Swing Weight: Mid+

Serial Number: US1Q8

Original Price: $350

Release Month: October 2020

Best Drop 8 USA Bat

2021 Rawlings Quatro Pro USA Drop 8 2021 Rawlings Quatro Pro USA Drop 8
2021 Rawlings Quatro Pro USA Drop 8
USA
2021 Rawlings Quatro Pro

$350

Original Price

Amazon

If you want a massive barrel with a lot of punch, the drop 8 Rawlings Quatro Pro should do you well. This bat also comes in a drop 10 and 12, but they aren’t as recommendable as the light ones feel and sound weird on impact. The performance is there, but most of the folks who hit with the drop 12 think it is broke. The drop 10 is better and a reasonable choice, but we like the added girth behind the drop 8 over the 10.

Also, hitters who aren’t ready for a drop 5 but find the drop 11 ADV or drop 10 Voodoo to light for their thinking could really like the Quatro Pro. It has a massive barrel (biggest in the USA space) and a super flexible feel on contact. It’s a can’t miss and can’t sting your hands kind of bat. If that’s you, and you want a drop 8, this is your guy.

5. 2019 Louisville Slugger Solo

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 11

Swing Weight: Light+

Serial Number: WTLUBS619B11

Original Price: $200

Release Month: September 2018

Best Cheap USA Bat

2019 Louisville Slugger Solo USA Drop 11
USA
2019 Louisville Slugger Solo

$200

Original Price

Amazon

The exit speed performance on the 2020 Louisville Slugger Solo is as good as any USA bat on the market—including the #1 ranked ADV 360. The bat has a great price point (we saw it for under $60 at the time of this writing, and plenty of inventory is left). The bat has a good-sized barrel and, although a drop 11, swings more in line with the drop 10 world. If you want a reasonable bat with good to great performance and a decent-sized sweet spot, this is the win. The downfalls to the bat are its sting on mishit balls. This tends only to happen when you see higher pitch speeds. So, if you’re in the market for a 31 or 32-inch bat, it might not be the best feel. But, if you’re in small leagues that don’t throw too hard yet (let’s say, faster than 45mph), then the SOLO could be a big win. The fact it is a fraction of the cost of other bats on this list is enough reason to consider it alone. If you want to jump to the newer 2020 version then be our guests. The 2020 is the same as the 2019 and since the 2019 was considerably cheaper even at verified vendors at the time of this writing that is our recommendation.

6. 2020 Louisville Slugger Select

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 30, 31, 32, 33

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 5

Swing Weight: Mid+

Serial Number: WTLUBS7B520

Original Price: $300

Release Month: September 2019

Best Drop 5 USA Bat

2020 Louisville Slugger Select Drop 5 USA 2020 Louisville Slugger Select Drop 5 USA
2020 Louisville Slugger Select USA Drop 5
USA
2020 Louisville Slugger Select

$300

Original Price

Amazon

There aren’t many options to pick from in the drop 5 USA bat space. That should not take away from our favorite: the Louisville Slugger Select drop 5 for 2020. They did NOT reproduce this bat for 2021 as COVID threw a wrench in everything. However, you can find this bat in most major retailers—although the drop 5 version is harder to come by somedays. The aluminum barrel of the Select is a great fit for a big-hitting USA bat. It is hot out of the wrapper, doesn’t require a break-in period, feels as good as a bat-like the META, and you don’t have to worry too much about durability issues. The bat is a definite drop 5 and swings on the balanced+ size–so make sure you can handle it before you go all in. If you are looking for the best drop 5 USA bat, then the Select serves a great price point, good-sized barrel profile, and can absolutely rake if you can barrel it up.

8. 2021 Easton ADV 360

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 11

Swing Weight: Light+

Serial Number: YBB21ADV11

Original Price: $350

Release Month: September 2020

Best USA Bat 2021

2021 Easton ADV 360 USA Drop 11 2021 Easton ADV 360 USA Drop 11
2021 Easton ADV 360 USA Drop 11
USA
2021 Easton ADV 360

$350

Original Price

Amazon

USA Bats feel like they’ve come a long way since 2018, but then again, not really. The Easton ADV 360 Drop 11 is the best feeling bat out there. We’ve found the confidence in this bat gives little players a real chance to go after the ball, and, sometimes, that confidence is all they need. In fact, when we’ve gone head to head with the USA ADV 360 drop 11 and USSSA bats, most hitters can’t tell the difference. Contact sounds the same, and the bats feel the same. However, when we compare exit speeds, a USSSA bat still has 3 to 4mph more than the ADV drop 11.

 

7. 2018 Rawlings Quatro

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 10

Swing Weight: Mid

Serial Number: US8Q10

Original Price: $350

Release Month: October 2017

Most Legendary USA Bat

2018 Rawlings Quatro USA Drop 10
USA
2018 Rawlings Quatro

$350

Original Price

Amazon

Although USA bats have been around for more than a few years, the 2018 Rawlings Quatro comes as close as any to that status. The bat still fetches good prices used in the secondary market and, for a time, was a must-have. The bat is a light swing, big barrel two-piece composite that felt like it packed a punch. It compares a lot to the ADV 360 drop 11. Both have durability issues, but both get top marks for exit speeds and feel.

Based on how USA bats have improved in feel and durability over the last couple of years we aren’t sure this bat is worth paying a premium for—unless you really want to go old school. We could not find the bat anywhere from a verified vendor so can’t imagine we could find one with a warranty. However, at the time of this writing, there were a few eBay options out there in the used market that if they had come down $50 or so we would think it was worth a try.

Our strike price for this bat would be under $120 in really good shape on eBay. But, good luck finding that deal.

9. 2020 Easton ADV 360 Drop 11

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 11

Swing Weight: Light+

Serial Number: B08XZK367J

Original Price: $350

Release Month: September 2019

Best USA Bat 2020

2020 Easton ADV 360 Drop 11 2020 Easton ADV 360 Drop 11
2020 Easton ADV 360 Drop 11 USA Drop 11
USA
2020 Easton ADV 360 Drop 11

$350

Original Price

Amazon

For 2020 the best USA Bat was (and is) the ADV drop 11 from Easton. This is the same bat as the 2021 version but with a different paint job. At the time of this writing, you could find the 2021 version for LESS than the 2020 version. That isn’t how it usually works, but the 2020 version was a hard find, and its aura is still leaving some wanting more.

Still, though, the bat is the same, and you should buy the one you can get with a warranty and for the lower price. At the time of this writing, that was the 2021 version by about $50.

The 2020 ADV 360 drop 11 (not to be confused with the drop 10) uses a unique composite in the Easton line, has a huge barrel, great swing weight, and is an absolute ball killer. The only problem is its durability. More than a few have complained of the bat’s connection piece or barrel breaking. So, be sure to buy it from a verified outlet that offers a valid receipt. If you don’t want to deal with durability issues, then look elsewhere.

10. 2018 Easton Beast X Hybrid

Player Feedback
Performance
Relevance
Demand
Tech Specs
Specs

Certification: USA

Sizes: 29, 30, 31, 32

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Drop: 10

Swing Weight: Mid+

Serial Number: YBB18BXH10

Original Price: $250

Release Month: August 2017

Best USA Bat 2018

2018 Easton Beast X Hybrid USA Drop 10
USA
2018 Easton Beast X Hybrid

$250

Original Price

Amazon

Although a hefty swing, Easton came out really well in their first run at a USA Bat. The 2018 Easton Beast Hybrid is (was) a monster bat that could hit it as far as anything on the market for 2018 (and farther than most). Those looking for an old-school USA bat in the drop 8/5 space might really like the drop 10 Beast Hybrid. It has an intense swing weight.

At the beginning of the 2018 season—when USA bats were coming online—the swing weights were all over the place. The Easton Beast Hybrid was marketed as balanced, but it was not. The lack of conformity was expected in USA Bats inaugural year. By today’s standards, the 2018 Easton Beast Hybrid would be considered endloaded.

Recommended Video

7 Best USA Bats we hit the FARTHEST (2022/2021)

1

2022 Easton ADV 360

1. Best USA Bat 2022
ADV 360 Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2022 ADV 360

Although there are plenty of great less expensive options, if you want the creme de la creme of USA bats for 2022, then the drop 10 USA Easton Ghost ADV is the winner, winner, chicken dinner. The bat has a fantastic feel, huge barrel, and top-end exit speeds. Those who want the bat in the USA that feels the most like a USSSA bat should find a home for an ADV 360 drop 10 from 2022.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Drop: 10

Serial Number: YBB22ADV10

Release Month: October 2021

4

2022 Easton Maxum Ultra

4. Best (Runner Up) USA Bat 2022
Maxum Ultra Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2022 Maxum Ultra

If you want a new 2022 USA bat and are concerned about the durability of the Easton ADV, then check out Easton’s lesser-known but seriously hot Easton Maxum. This single-piece composite has more give in it than traditional single-piece alloy but the massive barrel and light swing give it the most plate coverage per swing weight in the 2022 class. If you want a single piece but something with a bit more pizazz than an alloy Solo we suggest the 2022 Maxum in a drop 10.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Drop: 10

Serial Number: YBB22MX10

Release Month: October 2021

2

2021 DeMarini Voodoo

Best Hybrid USA Bat
Voodoo Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2021 Voodoo

If you don’t want to spend the money for the ADV 360 in a drop 11 (and we don’t blame you) but you still want a great feel on a highly rated bat, we think the 2021 Voodoo is the best Hybrid USA Bat. We are not talking about the Voodoo One (although we like that bat too). The USA 2021 Voodoo is a two-piece bat made with a composite handle and an aluminum barrel. That connectin piece is the same you’ll find in the CF from DeMarini, famous for a great feel on any kind of hit.

In terms of overall performance, the bat is as good as any on the market save, by no more than a little bit, the ADV 360. But, in terms of a durable bat with a balanced swing, good to great durability, and high user ratings, the 2021 Voodoo is a great USA bat pick-up.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Drop: 10

Serial Number: WTDXUD221

Release Month: August 2020

Our Review:

3

2021 Rawlings Quatro Pro

Best Drop 8 USA Bat
Quatro Pro Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2021 Quatro Pro

If you want a massive barrel with a lot of punch, the drop 8 Rawlings Quatro Pro should do you well. This bat also comes in a drop 10 and 12, but they aren’t as recommendable as the light ones feel and sound weird on impact. The performance is there, but most of the folks who hit with the drop 12 think it is broke. The drop 10 is better and a reasonable choice, but we like the added girth behind the drop 8 over the 10.

Also, hitters who aren’t ready for a drop 5 but find the drop 11 ADV or drop 10 Voodoo to light for their thinking could really like the Quatro Pro. It has a massive barrel (biggest in the USA space) and a super flexible feel on contact. It’s a can’t miss and can’t sting your hands kind of bat. If that’s you, and you want a drop 8, this is your guy.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 29, 30, 31, 32

Drop: 8

Serial Number: US1Q8

Release Month: October 2020

5

2019 Louisville Slugger Solo

Best Cheap USA Bat
Solo Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2019 Solo

The exit speed performance on the 2020 Louisville Slugger Solo is as good as any USA bat on the market—including the #1 ranked ADV 360. The bat has a great price point (we saw it for under $60 at the time of this writing, and plenty of inventory is left). The bat has a good-sized barrel and, although a drop 11, swings more in line with the drop 10 world. If you want a reasonable bat with good to great performance and a decent-sized sweet spot, this is the win. The downfalls to the bat are its sting on mishit balls. This tends only to happen when you see higher pitch speeds. So, if you’re in the market for a 31 or 32-inch bat, it might not be the best feel. But, if you’re in small leagues that don’t throw too hard yet (let’s say, faster than 45mph), then the SOLO could be a big win. The fact it is a fraction of the cost of other bats on this list is enough reason to consider it alone. If you want to jump to the newer 2020 version then be our guests. The 2020 is the same as the 2019 and since the 2019 was considerably cheaper even at verified vendors at the time of this writing that is our recommendation.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Drop: 11

Serial Number: WTLUBS619B11

Release Month: September 2018

6

2020 Louisville Slugger Select

Best Drop 5 USA Bat
Select Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2020 Select

There aren’t many options to pick from in the drop 5 USA bat space. That should not take away from our favorite: the Louisville Slugger Select drop 5 for 2020. They did NOT reproduce this bat for 2021 as COVID threw a wrench in everything. However, you can find this bat in most major retailers—although the drop 5 version is harder to come by somedays. The aluminum barrel of the Select is a great fit for a big-hitting USA bat. It is hot out of the wrapper, doesn’t require a break-in period, feels as good as a bat-like the META, and you don’t have to worry too much about durability issues. The bat is a definite drop 5 and swings on the balanced+ size–so make sure you can handle it before you go all in. If you are looking for the best drop 5 USA bat, then the Select serves a great price point, good-sized barrel profile, and can absolutely rake if you can barrel it up.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 30, 31, 32, 33

Drop: 5

Serial Number: WTLUBS7B520

Release Month: September 2019

8

2021 Easton ADV 360

Best USA Bat 2021
ADV 360 Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2021 ADV 360

USA Bats feel like they’ve come a long way since 2018, but then again, not really. The Easton ADV 360 Drop 11 is the best feeling bat out there. We’ve found the confidence in this bat gives little players a real chance to go after the ball, and, sometimes, that confidence is all they need. In fact, when we’ve gone head to head with the USA ADV 360 drop 11 and USSSA bats, most hitters can’t tell the difference. Contact sounds the same, and the bats feel the same. However, when we compare exit speeds, a USSSA bat still has 3 to 4mph more than the ADV drop 11.

 

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Drop: 11

Serial Number: YBB21ADV11

Release Month: September 2020

7

2018 Rawlings Quatro

Most Legendary USA Bat
Quatro Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2018 Quatro

Although USA bats have been around for more than a few years, the 2018 Rawlings Quatro comes as close as any to that status. The bat still fetches good prices used in the secondary market and, for a time, was a must-have. The bat is a light swing, big barrel two-piece composite that felt like it packed a punch. It compares a lot to the ADV 360 drop 11. Both have durability issues, but both get top marks for exit speeds and feel.

Based on how USA bats have improved in feel and durability over the last couple of years we aren’t sure this bat is worth paying a premium for—unless you really want to go old school. We could not find the bat anywhere from a verified vendor so can’t imagine we could find one with a warranty. However, at the time of this writing, there were a few eBay options out there in the used market that if they had come down $50 or so we would think it was worth a try.

Our strike price for this bat would be under $120 in really good shape on eBay. But, good luck finding that deal.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Drop: 10

Serial Number: US8Q10

Release Month: October 2017

9

2020 Easton ADV 360 Drop 11

Best USA Bat 2020
ADV 360 Drop 11 Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2020 ADV 360 Drop 11

For 2020 the best USA Bat was (and is) the ADV drop 11 from Easton. This is the same bat as the 2021 version but with a different paint job. At the time of this writing, you could find the 2021 version for LESS than the 2020 version. That isn’t how it usually works, but the 2020 version was a hard find, and its aura is still leaving some wanting more.

Still, though, the bat is the same, and you should buy the one you can get with a warranty and for the lower price. At the time of this writing, that was the 2021 version by about $50.

The 2020 ADV 360 drop 11 (not to be confused with the drop 10) uses a unique composite in the Easton line, has a huge barrel, great swing weight, and is an absolute ball killer. The only problem is its durability. More than a few have complained of the bat’s connection piece or barrel breaking. So, be sure to buy it from a verified outlet that offers a valid receipt. If you don’t want to deal with durability issues, then look elsewhere.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Drop: 11

Serial Number: B08XZK367J

Release Month: September 2019

10

2018 Easton Beast X Hybrid

Best USA Bat 2018
Beast X Hybrid Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2018 Beast X Hybrid

Although a hefty swing, Easton came out really well in their first run at a USA Bat. The 2018 Easton Beast Hybrid is (was) a monster bat that could hit it as far as anything on the market for 2018 (and farther than most). Those looking for an old-school USA bat in the drop 8/5 space might really like the drop 10 Beast Hybrid. It has an intense swing weight.

At the beginning of the 2018 season—when USA bats were coming online—the swing weights were all over the place. The Easton Beast Hybrid was marketed as balanced, but it was not. The lack of conformity was expected in USA Bats inaugural year. By today’s standards, the 2018 Easton Beast Hybrid would be considered endloaded.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 29, 30, 31, 32

Drop: 10

Serial Number: YBB18BXH10

Release Month: August 2017

11

2019 Rawlings Threat

Best Drop 12 USA Bat
Threat Ratings
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter
swing weight meter

Why We Love the 2019 Threat

In full disclosure, we are not huge fans of the drop 12 Rawlings USA Threat. However, in the drop 12 space, every bat is tough to like. We dislike the threat the least amount—so it wins. We love its price point and durability. We also think most kids swinging it like how it looks and feel like they have something special.

But drop 12 bats struggle to impress anyone. They should be chosen strictly as a swing-weight play. That is, if you need an entry-level bat for a new, young or smaller player, then the Rawlings Threat is your best bet. Here, we’re thinking of a 6 through 8-year-old (and maybe 9) who needs a USA bat, a light swing, and isn’t seeing crazy pitch speeds. It’s a great starter rec type bat at a decent price in an older model (sub $60).

However, it lacks the punch to do any real damage for a skilled hitter. If you are playing travel ball, seeing any decent amount of pitch speeds, and/or can fit into a drop 10, then we suggest you look elsewhere. However, those that need a drop 12 this as good a value and bat as you’ll find anywhere in the USA Bat land.

Also, the Rawlings Threat USA has been released since 2018 but has not changed much. So, any year will do. The 2019 and 2018 are painted the same. The 2020 has an updated paint job.

Amazon

Specs

Certification: USA

Barrel Size: 2 5/8

Sizes: 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Drop: 12

Serial Number: US9T12

Release Month: October 2018

The Research

How to Break in a USA Bat

One concern we raised in our hottest bats testing is the lack of performance within the USA composite bats. We wondered out loud—and will here too—whether USABats with composite barrels require more break-in when compared to BBCOR and USSSA composite barrels. Early evidence and reports suggest they do.  But, we know for sure, aluminum barrels tended to outperform the composite ones in the USABat space out of the wrapper.

Whether that phenomenon is a limitation of composite and the USABat standard, or something more simple like requiring a stronger work in, is yet to be seen. (We did work the USA Bat composites the requisite 250+ times before testing).  As of this writing, we are confident the Beast X Hybrid hits the ball harder, although not by much, than any composite USA Bat barrel on the market.

Are We Right?

Bat performance standards in baseball bats have narrowed the performance gap considerably, and as such, the feel of a bat becomes much more a conversation point than the actual performance.

What is a USA Bat

What’s the New USA Bat Standard?

Why?

USA bats are the new standard by which many youth baseball organizations abide starting 1/1/2018. These bats use a performance standard different than USSSA or 1.15 BPF bats. Although more like BBCOR bats, which are used in the high school and collegiate space, these USA baseball bats use a more prominent drop (or lighter swing weight) to allow younger players success. You can read more about the reasons behind the change in our USA Bats article.

Best 2019 USA Bat Video

Customer Satisfaction by Leauge

Best USA Bats Rating Chart
There is virtually no surprise here. USA bat customers are not nearly as happy as USSSA or BBCOR folks. (Fastpitch, although not listed here, come back with an average score of 79). We can think of no other single metric we have yet to gather that is as telling as the general dissatisfaction USA players and parents are with their choices of bats.

Users Rank By Brand

In our survey, we found that DeMarini, Slugger, and Easton owned a similar amount of market share in the USA Space. But, unlike USSSA and BBCOR bats, the USA market had 4th and 5th place not far behind. Both Rawlings and Axe have considerable market share.

The outer ring of the chart below shows which brand bat owners thought was best. As an example, the majority of Easton owners though Easton was the best USA brand (not surprising). But, many of them also thought DeMarini was the best USA bat brand. It is one thing to understand that bat owners think their bat is best and quite another to know when bat owners think another USA brand is best.

In any event, there is a lot to gather from the chart below. Have at it.

Best USA Bats 2019

Most Popular 2019 USA Bat Brand

Most Popular USA Bats

The order by popularity brand goes like this:

  • Easton
  • Louisville Slugger
  • DeMarini
  • Rawlings
  • Axe

Somehow Marucci, which didn’t even make a 2019 USA bat, made the list. This oversight is likely to user error as people don’t know in what league they are. (They do make a 2020 Marucci CAT, but this is a 2019 Survey completed before the release of the 2020 Marucci USA Cat).

What are USA Bat Rules?

Players in leagues that require the new USABat standard will need to use bats with the USABat stamp. The stamp indicates the bat has passed its performance restrictions. Those restrictions include a particular trampoline effect akin to BBCOR and less than USSSA 1.15 standards. Barrel size must be no greater than 2 5/8.

Who is required to swing the USABats?

Many leagues have agreed to use the new USABat standard. They include Little League International and many of its affiliates. Including, but not limited to, Cal Ripken, Dixie Youth, Pony, and at least a few more. Check with your local league to see if they are adopting the new standard.

Why Make New USABat Rules?

 

This continues to be a question in many people’s minds—and one we have yet to find a great answer for.

Ultimately, USA Baseball felt the Little League game was wrought with too much offense. Insomuch the game was morphing into something different than what they had envisioned. A restriction on bats would limit the offense, force the game to become more defensive and give players a chance to focus on skills outside of hitting home runs. We find this mostly hard to believe, but there it is nonetheless.

Safety is another issue many have brought up, but USA baseball denies this as a reason for the change. And, yes, we are stretching for an answer here.

When did USA Bat rules take effect?

USABats first went on sale in September of 2017. The leagues adopting the new bats’ rules required them for play starting January 1st, 2018.

What is the Right Bat Size

The right bat size is significant. We’ve said it before and will repeat it here to get the right bat size before getting the ‘best’ bat. If your size is not available in the ‘best bat,’ then find a bat that has the right size.

Also note, bat size is really a question about swing weight. It would be best if you were not concerned about the length and drop as you are the correct swing weight—which is determined by the distribution of the weight within the bat. Bats of the same length are NOT created equal. You can read much more about swing weights here and the right bat size here.

Bat Rumors

We don’t expect any exciting news in the USA bat space until early summer. We are hopeful the LLWS is on for 2021 and expect to see major companies unveil their new 2022 USA bats around that time.

Comments

Andrew Henderson says:

First off great website. I have a 10 year old son. Big kid. Clean up hitter. He swings a Select Drop 5 for Little League. Only bat I have found that the ball doesn’t die when hit. He smacks the ball with it. It is slightly heavy for him and a good amount of work but he rarely strikes out. For USSSA space he uses a Warstick Bonesaber Drop 8. He can no doubt move that bat better, create a better path, and hits nukes with it.

Is there anything in the Drop 8 USA space that doesn’t absolutely suck? We have the Select Drop 8 and the Ghost X Evolution Drop 8. He can def swing those bats faster and create a better path but the ball just dies on those bats compared to the Select Drop 5. Would rather not spend $350 on a Quattro Pro Drop 8 to find out the it has the same issue as other drop 8 bats. Drop 10/11 bats are way too light for him.

Any advice?

Brian says:

Hey, Good question. We aren’t sure you’ll find anything you like because, as you accurately state, USA bats most often suck. Our first thought was the Select—but if you’ve already tried that then our last ditch advice would be the Easton Beast Pro. That has a drop 8 and we like it. The fact he likes the Bonesaber makes me think he’ll really like the Beast Pro too. The price point isn’t bad so maybe worth a shot. Thanks for reading.

Daniel Mejias says:

Easton ADV 360

My 10yr old son is already on his second bat. Both cracked within a week. Some people are saying that the bat shouldn’t be used in weather below 70. Well that just about every night in April and May in New Jersey.

While Easton replaced the first one, I hope I won’t have an issue returning this one since they’ve already replaced one. It is a bit frustrating considering you shell out all this money and these bats don’t see to last a full season.

Brian says:

Daniel,

Thanks for this feedback. I hate to use you as a guinea pig, but we’ve had enough feedback on the 2021 ADV durability issues that we took it off as our #1. I know that doesn’t solve your problem, but we don’t want to give a bat, but a bat that won’t last a month doesn’t get the #1 spot. Going forward, we recommend that people see if they can get a voucher from Easton instead of a bat replacement. We have reached out to Easton with any commentary they have here. But, since they have been bought from Rawlings in the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing how responsive they are.

Weirdly, we don’t think the 2020 version did this as much. It had its complaints, sure. But, despite the bat’s claim as the same, we are struggling a bit to understand what is going on here.

In any event, good luck with the replacement on the 2nd bat. Two replacements in 4 to 5 weeks seem like something you can raise some can about get made whole from. Let us know how it goes. Feel free to contact us directly at admin@batdigest.com

Thanks

Ron says:

Appreciate the recent updates. Have you guys had a chance to review Cat Connect USA -11? Son hit at practice today and loved it. Seems tough to get at moment. Was not sure if you have it yet?

Brian says:

Hey Ron,

We do like the Marucci CAT Connect drop 11 but don’t like it as much as the ADV drop 11. The smaller barrel profile and different feel isn’t something our hitters gravitated towards.

Ray says:

Easton and the Dick’s website advertises a “bigger barrel and sweet spot” on the new Blue 2021 ADV 360 drop 11 compared to last year’s Red 2020 version. I also read on here that it is the same bat with different paint. The 2020 drop 11 ADV did have a small barrel. Does the 2021 have a bigger barrel, or is it the same? I am looking at the 28/17 bat.

Brian says:

Hey Ray,

It’s the same bat. Not sure what those marketing blurbs are trying to get at. We’ve had both bats side by side and there is no change in them. Same bat, different paint job.

Andrew says:

2020 Louisville Slugger Select/2019 719 versus 2021/2020 DeMarini VooDoo (I believe neither company made changes to these models in the years listed). Both USA Baseball certified and both Drop 5. Price is close enough between the 2 to be nominal. Which would you choose? (My son swings a 2021 DeMarini CF Drop 5 in the USSSA arena.) Little League starts in 3 weeks 🙂

Brian says:

Hey, Good question. We’d probably go with the 719 Select for USA. It probably ‘feels’ the most like the CF although, as you might guess, it is nothing like the CF. And if you can find the 719 for a deal then go that route because, as you mention, they are the same for 2020. Good luck and hope that helps!

Tyler says:

Hello. I’m looking for some advice on an Easton ADV for my son. He’s about to turn 11, is a bigger kid (5’2″, maybe 5’3″, 115lbs). He’s a good hitter, with some power. Plays in a USA Bat league, and a USSSA league. Last year he primarily used a LS Select 31/21 for USA league. He’s set on an ADV for his next USA bat for this season. I know your reviews hail the -11 as the best version, but I’m a little wary of having him using a -11 at this point, especially since he’s used to handling a little bit heavier-swinging bat like the Select. At what point to you look past overall bat performance and go for more of an appropriate swing weight? In other words, is he better suited to maybe the ADV -8 (31-inch) or stick with the -11 or -10? If it makes any difference, I have purchased your Exit Speed data for ’18-’21 and have seen the swing weights of what you’ve tested. That’s why I’m wondering about the ADV -8, with the ADV line seeming to be a bit lighter-swinging in general. Thanks in advance and thanks for all the work you guys do in this space. It’s a great resource to have.

Brian says:

Tyler,

Great question and this is where bat fitting turns into more of an art than a science. To start, because the bat industry is messed up, the drop 11 ADV swings just as heavy as the drop 10 ADV. It makes no sense, we know. But it does. It’s just how it goes. So, I don’t think it should be taken off the table completely.

That said, 11 years old is where we really like to see the transition to heavier bats start. The increase in weight, as long as you can keep the bat length at least a 30″, makes good sense. In terms of the perfect bat for your boy, I’m not sure we have the exact answer. But you’re on to something with the drop 8 ADV in a 30/22 or 31/23. Of course, the other way to increase bat weight is to increase its length. We don’t have the numbers exactly, but we’d guess the 32/21 ADV Drop 11 swings as heavy as the drop 8 30/22. Although the drop 8 has the extra ounce, the drop 11 has the extra inch which pushes the balance point down the barrel and increases swing weight.

In the end, we are cheap folks, so we’d go with what was the least expensive. However, if money is no object, then the drop 11 ADV in a 32/21 will be a great pick.

As per the 31 or 30-inch drop 8, it’s impossible for us to tell. We had some 11-year-olds in our building a few days ago hitting USA and USSSA bats. They chose the 30/22 over the 31/23 and they are pretty advanced hitters for the age. So, that makes me think you should go with the 30/22. But, again, at some point this becomes an art.

Jesrod says:

My son is 10 yrs, Size 1.35m and 75 pounds, He have a 28/17 Easton ghost x hyperlite,
His trainer says that this bat is very good for him, his control is excelent and hit ball.
But I want to change this bat for this year.
What bat do you recommend me, in USA Stamp 2 5/8, I think into Marcucci Cat Connect 29/28, Rawlings Threat 29/12, LS Solo 29/28, Easton Alpha or Beast Speed because have the same price.

Brian says:

Of the ones you listed, we would go with the Louisville Slugger Sol 29/18 (you wrote 29/28, but I assume you meant the drop 11). Those are good bats. None are particularly better than the other (including the Easton Ghost Hyperlite). I hope that helps!

Roemer says:

First of all… thank you very much for all the information on your site. It’s incredibly helpful. My 12 year old swings a Demarini Voodoo 30 inch drop 10. His hitting coach is saying the bat getting on the short and light side. So as follow-up I was thinking to get Easton Adv 360 31 inch drop 8. But I really have no clue if this is the right way to go. I have no baseball history myself… and on this side of the world (Europe) it’s a little difficult to get good info and help.

Brian says:

Hey Roemer,

Always good to hear our internet connection is working across the pond. Thanks for reaching out.

I’m assuming you’re talking about USA certification bats since those sizes match up there. If you are playing a USSSA league (though most international youth baseball leagues, I think, use USA certified bats), then disregard.

The jump from a 30/20 to a 31/23 is significant. That’s not to say your boy can’t make it. But, if the bat is just marginally short and light, he might find the jump to the drop 8 32 a bit much. Our hunch is you’d likely do better with the drop 8 in a 30-inch.

Better yet, the average 12-year-old swings a 31/21. So, if he’s relatively good for his age, then go for a 32/22. If he’s good, then go for a 31/21.

In terms of the right model bat, we are big fans of the ADV 360 drop 11. It is made from a different material than the drop 10, so it does perform differently (and we think better). So, a 32/21 ADV drop 11 would be our best bet for him. If those price points don’t sound reasonable, then a 31/21 in a Louisville Slugger 719 Select would be the ticket.

I hope that helps, and thanks for reaching out!

Roemer says:

Hey Brian,
Thanks a lot for the information. You are right… all leagues here until the age of 17 are USA Baseball.
It looks like that is will be difficult to get a 31/21 ADV to Europe, most vendors just don’t send directly across the pond.

So i think we will stick to the DeMarini Voodoo but then a… 32/22

Brian says:

Sounds good! Let us know how it goes.

Terry says:

hello looking for a good bat for my 12 year old son. plays Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken league that requires the USA Bat Certification. he really like the Victus Vandal, but not sure that is the best bat. thoughts?

Brian says:

Terry,

Lots of decent bats in the USA. Our favorite is the drop 11 ADV 360. Our exit speed tests showed to have top-end performance. Although it says it is a drop 11, it swings like a balanced drop 10. In fact, depending on the size, it likely swings with the same swing weight as a drop 10 Victus Vandal. Knowing nothing more than you’ve said above, we’d go for a 32/21 ADV 360 from Easton in USA.

We’ve found that youth level players really prefer the feel of a two-piece bat. The Victus Vandal isn’t bad. But, in terms of the best feel and performance, we’ll think he’ll get that in the ADV drop 11. If that bat is not big enough, then you can get away with a drop 8. However, the Vandal doesn’t come in a drop 8 USA. If that is the case, we suggest the Easton Beast Pro in a drop 8. Something like the 31/23 or 30/22 should be a pretty good fit and swing.

I hope that helps get you started, and thanks for reaching out.

Pete says:

I have a 9 year old looking for a USA bat. I have heard that two piece bats are the way to go but I also prefer an Alloy bat. I am looking at the Cat 9 Connect USA bat and maybe the Demarini Voodoo. Both are two pieces with an Alloy barrel. Also we are in Massachusetts so the begining of the season is rather chilly. Any advice.

Brian says:

Hey Pete,

Thanks for the question. Unless we are misunderstanding something, the CAT 9 Connect doesn’t come in a USA version. Marucci’s USA Bat is called the CAT Composite and that is a single-piece bat.

We think most younger kids in USA baseball prefer the feel of two-piece bats. It’s nicer on the hands-on mishits and gives a better perception of performance. There isn’t anything in terms of ball flight that is different between the two. That said, we’ve seen a lot of kids with single-piece bats at 9U do just fine.

Our suggestion would be a hybrid bat like Easton’s Beast Speed Hybrid, Slugger’s 719 or 2020 Select, or DeMarini’s Voodoo Balanced. If we had to choose between those three we’d likely choose the 719 Select in a drop 10 due to its discounted price at the moment. The 719 Select will give you the aluminum barrel you want for cold weather and that two-piece feel. So, the best of both worlds.

Hope that helps and good luck.

Pete says:

The Cat Connect USA must be pretty new then. Its on the Marucci website https://maruccisports.com/cat-connect-senior-league-usa-11/….I would love to find out what you guys think of it.

Brian says:

Pete,

Wow. Thanks for this. We generally feel like we’re in the know on these things. But, all be danged. There it is. We’ll get one of these in house and check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

James says:

Looking for a USA bat for 7 yr old, 4′, 68lbs. Swings a 27″ but chokes it a little. Don’t see a ton of 27″ drop 11 or 12. Thoughts?

Brian says:

James,

The good news here is that most 7-year-old players and pitchers can’t generate the type of collision speeds that make it, so the bat’s barrel matters. They are subject to the same speed tests that see 65+ pitches and 65+ swings. As a result, the small guys seeing 30mph at the plate and swinging 30mph don’t really engage the barrel.

That’s good news because it means the model/brand you buy doesn’t really matter in scientific performance. There may be some psychological advantages kids have from believing they have the best bat.

That said, We’ve always liked the F5 in a drop 11.5 from Marucci. At under $100, it’s as legit a bat you’ll find for that age. The other high-end option is the Easton Ghost X Hyperlite, but we’d struggle to pay that much for a 7-year-olds bat who will use for max, 30, or 40 games and then be done with it. Those things are cheap on the secondary market for a reason.

Thanks.

Derek says:

My son is in 7-8u coach pitch and we are looking for a two piece composite bat for him. He is 4’2” 62lbs. What size would fit him best and what bat should we get him. We been looking at the USA Easton adv 360 -11 but not for sure if that would be the right choice. Can you help point us in the right direction on a USA bat. Thanks you 

Brian says:

Derek,

For that age, we really like the 27/15 or 27/16. We also are big, big fans of the drop 11 ADV. However, at that age, it’s very difficult for players to generate the kind of bat speed that really engages the barrel. They also rarely see the kind of pitch speed that can benefit from a top-notch barrel. In other words, at 7/8 we think finding the right bat weight in a less expensive bat like the Marucci F5 or Easton Speed series might be a better fit for now. Save those dollars towards hitting lessons, a sweet bat bag, or a nicer leather glove he can start working in for that 9/10U season when bats really start to matter more.

Hope that helps!

Jason says:

Hi there. I’m looking for bat advice for a 12U player who’s 5’3″ and weighs ~90 pounds. His travel team employs the USA standard. He’s been training with a wood bat during the winter (30″, 24oz) but now we need to buy a bat for the season. His coaches have suggested a 31″, -8 bat given how he’s swinging the bat. Most reviews we see out there are for -10 and -11 bats. He’s a contact hitter that rarely strikes out, so looking for a bat that performs consistently and can provide any extra power. He’s had a composite bat the last 2 seasons but isn’t necessarily committed to the 2-piece. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Brian says:

Jason,

Thanks for the question. The drop 8’s follow the drop 10s pretty well in terms of barrel performance. The only difference is they add some weight towards the end cap—so there isn’t much change in the actual barrel. But, in a drop 8, you get more durability with the same performing barrel as the drop 10s. In fact, most drop 10s and 8s have the same barrel–it’s just a function of weight distribution.

As such, we really like the CF for USSSA in a drop 8. It helps a ton with durability issues too. I know it sounds cliche to go with the DeMarini CF, but in USSSA, it really is the king of the hill. If you want to get away from the two-piece composite market, we’d say something like the USSSA CAT 9 Connect or CAT 9. You can also check out something new like the Victus Vandal.

Brian says:

We’ve finally got around to updating our comments section! So, feel free to chime in. This article is read hundreds of times a week and should generate some good discussion. As always, be civil, nice, and assume the best I people.

Randy says:

My 7-year-old son plays in PONY, so USA bat standard. He swings the Slugger Omaha 27/17 really well. Drives the ball to center field for doubles more times than not. The heavy swing weight probably helps him with that. Where do we go from there? Omaha in 28, or do you recommend a “better bat” with the same swing weight? I don’t mind spending a little more for a bat. I just don’t want to “mess with his swing” if it ain’t broke. 

Brian says:

Randy,

We agree with the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it mentality. So much so that we even suggest he stick with the 27/17. On our bat size chart, most 7 and 8-year-olds are plenty happy with a bat that weighs 17 ounces.

At some point, pitch speeds increase enough that a single piece bat will not be what he wants (or needs). That usually happens around the 9/10-year-old mark depending on his competition. Until then, we say save your money (because you’re going to need it to buy that two-piece composite when he’s 10) and have fun with the Omaha in a 27/17 while you still can.

Brandon Martin says:

Glad to see that you guys don’t just push buying new stuff.

Brian says:

Hey Brandon, Yeah. For sure. Bats don’t change much year over year so it’s usually pretty smart to find some deals on older models or check the used market.

Steve Gutierrez says:

I don’t see the Louieville slugger 718 in your report. Did it not make your cut. We used the beast all season and what a great bat it was but for allstars we purchased the 718 and the bat is everything I read it would be. Try it out you won’t be unhappy

Brian says:

It showed up late to the game this year so never made it to our big testing day. But, we will have the 719 when it comes out here soon. thanks!

Ron Martin says:

Brenda,

Most town leagues have team bats available to use. As with golf clubs, tennis racquets, hockey equipment, football helmets, and many other sports – you can buy sufficient equipment for reasonable prices – or – you can spend like there’s no tomorrow on the best tech money can buy. No need to keep your child out of a sport they may like…. and don’t forget that there’s some gently used equipment on eBay too. Good luck.

Brenda Carey says:

We are new to little league and I am amazed of how high a bat can cost…I will never pay that price for a child sport. They can play neighborhood games…

Brandon Martin says:

Like with most things, you spend what you want to pay. If your kid is crushing it on all things hitting, a $300 bat might give him an edge and more confidence because of it. But for most kids there are plenty of excellent choices under $100 and a lot of great stuff under $50. Until they get good at hitting the ball the extra money spent doesnt do much.

Rose C says:

Living in the PNW, is there a base temperature that you can use these bats in- sometimes it could be 45degrees out and we are playing a baseball game- what’s the temp range, or is denting because it’s too cold even an issue any more?? thanks

Brian says:

https://batdigest.com/best-bats/hit-composite-bat-cold-weather/

That should help you a bit in this regard. The real issue is the temperature of the baseballs and softballs, not the bats. There is no set number, but most manufacturers suggest less than 60 degrees.

Jesus Sanchez says:

Do you know what the little league rules are for wooden bats? Do they need a USA stamp?

Brian says:

Full single piece wood bats do not need the USA stamp. But composite wood bats do.

Carol E Gries Sams says:

Looking for advice on what bat or what other options for improving upper body strength & therefore better success with every swing

Bill Dalton says:

These bats all suck and it is a ripoff to sell more bats. What a joke. Use a wood bat. Better pop and cheaper.

Brad says:

The new USA bat change rules boil down to one thing, more money for the bat companies! I’m sure in a few years it will change again, so everyone has to run out and buy a new $200-$350 bat! What a joke!

mark magna says:

you have the wrong picture up for the easton beast x hybrid

Brian says:

Why yes we do. Thanks for the catch. Changing now.

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