Here we have a general baseball bat size guide for those searching for the perfect bat. Remember that size, age, maturity, etc. of the player must be taken into account when purchasing any equipment, and that while the charts below are a great resource and starting point, the metrics are just recommendations.
There are a lot of factors involved in finding the right bat. When I played, I would constantly be testing out bats, looking for any real or imagined power advantage. Baseball players are a fickle bunch, oftentimes casting a bat or glove aside whenever an error is made or ball not hit solid enough, but of course, that is more of a quirk of the game than it is an indictment of faulty equipment.
For bats, it’s all about finding the right balance. Getting the right length is important, as is the length to weight ratio, which is commonly written on the bat and referenced with a (-#). Youth players typically use bats that are between (-8) to (-13), meaning that the weight of the bat is 8 or 13 ounces less than the length of the bat. So if you buy a 29 inch bat and it was a (-13), its weight would be 16 ounces. It follows that the older one gets, the closer this ratio becomes, with high school and college players typically using (-3) with lengths 31-34 inches.
You also want to find a comfortable grip, however it is possible to get the grip you want on any bat by buying baseball bat grips and applying them yourself, and you also want to find out if the bat is top heavy or has a more equitable weight distribution. Descriptions are useful, but as always, it’s best to get your hands on one so you can test it out in the cage or at least get a few swings with it. The goal is to find a bat that you can swing at a high velocity, and you also want it to be as long and heavy as possible. This is the balance you must strike as a hitter, using the heaviest and longest bat you can so long as you can maintain a quick bat speed.
As you get older, you’ll naturally be able to handle heavier and longer bats, but there is latitude in the weights and lengths you can use at all levels, so if you’re physically capable, you can find the the proper combination that’s right for you. I can remember kids bragging about how they were using longer an heavier bats than their teammates, trying to act is if it automatically meant they were better. Don’t get caught up with trying to prove yourself or use bats that you can’t effectively handle just because others might be using them. You’re trying to find out what works for you, not anyone else. Let your hitting do the talking, not the size of your bat.
Before purchasing a bat, the first thing that should be done is to check your local league’s regulations and find out what sizes and weights you can use, so you can narrow your search. This is more important for kids 14 or younger, as there are many more layers of regulations in youth baseball because kids are quickly growing and there are many specific age groups, so what’s allowed is constantly changing as a result. Once you get to high school or senior level ball, the rules are essentially ubiquitous, making it easier to comply and buy equipment.
If you want to see our youth and adult bat reviews and comparisons, follow the links below.