A Short Introduction: Why 18YB?
Welcome and thanks for visiting 18YB! Our goal is simple: To Be Regarded As The #1 Source For Anything And Everything Related to USA Bats from 2018 and Beyond. By focusing all of our efforts into studying, analyzing, evaluating only USA bats, we are able to provide a specialized service for the USA Baseball community. 2018 will surely go down in youth baseball history as one of the most impactful seasons ever with the inception of the USA Bat Standard. Since January 1st 2018, USA Baseball and their affiliates collectively adopted the new USA Bat Standard which specifically effects the following youth baseball organizations including Little League, Pony, Dixie, Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth & AABC. This change in bat performance meant the end of an era in which offensive production and field related injuries reached an unnatural all-time high. We at 18YB strive to deliver the most resourceful and detailed analysis of every available USA Bat from the very beginning. We understand the difficulties that ensue when searching for the perfect youth bat to compliment your child's ability and hitting style. By developing a rigorous testing method that focuses on evaluating 5 major elements of a bat, our team has removed the guesswork for you. If you find this website to be helpful, please share us throughout your baseball community as this is the best way for us to grow.
Check Out Our Featured 2019 Youth USA Bat: 2019 Rawlings 5150
18YB Featured Baseball Gear and Training Product Reviews
Through the many seasons of youth baseball, our staff (parents and coaches) has comprised a list of products that they have considered to be some of the top-rated baseball training equipment they have used. We try to keep everything inexpensive as baseball bats are already pretty pricey as it is. We’ve listed and reviewed them here (in no particular order), but we hope that you ultimately decide to use some of these products like we have, to better your children’s games!
MacGregor Infield Training Glove
Fine tuning your players’ ability to efficiently scoop ground balls is probably one of the most important factors coaches look at when putting together a starting infield. As a parent, anything you can do to improve your child’s ground ball game will translate into more playing time during the season. MacGregor has designed an infield ground ball training product that will fine tune your players’ fielding fundamentals and speed their “glove to hand to throw” transition. As ground balls scale up this pancake shaped training glove, young players aren’t given the luxury in squeezing the baseball within the pocket. Youth fielders will begin to develop quicker reaction times with faster releases when snagging and throwing balls around the infield. This is a cheap and effective tool to better improve anyone’s baseball or softball defensive skillset.
SwingAway MVP Hitting Trainer
If you child has a quick and level swing but is having trouble pin pointing baseballs that paint the corner of the strike zone, the Swing Away MVP Hitting Trainer is a great piece of training equipment. With its innovative ball placement mechanism and patented Hitting Training Matt, the MVP Hitting Trainer teaches batters where to place your feet and how to swing across the plate when aiming at pitches that reach the edges of the strike zone. Using the Hitting Trainer, parents are able to immensely help their little players develop fast twitching hands for inside pitches which is a skill not often seen in youth baseball. The Swing Away MVP Hitting Trainer is a must have for the serious youth ball player.
Swivel Vision - Sports Vision Training
Swivel Vision presents one of the most revolutionary vision training tools that can improve eye coordination for players in any sport. The unique design of these goggles forces proper focus by sharpening an athlete’s visual tracking of ball flying onto the field and improving the reaction time for hitters when ripping at pitches through the zone. The Swivel vision comes one size fits all and is a steal of as price for what it provides your youth ball player.
Electric Athletics Lighting Training Baseball
The Lightening Ball Heavy Duty Training Baseballs are the most durable heavy balls I have ever used as a youth coach. Some heavy balls tend to dent, crack, or knot up after several uses. The Lightening Balls always return to form and never lose their impact. When contacting the barrel, these heavies deliver hitters a feel for solid contact in a more compact region perfect for soft toss in your driveway or backyard.
KingSports Softball/Baseball Caddy, Sports Ball Holder with Carry Bag
Pitching caddies have been a supremely convenient invention for coaches and parents during batting practice. This particular caddy from KingSports comes with a very durable and easy to assemble stand + net combination with its own carrying case making storage and transportation as efficient as possible. The caddy takes merely seconds to setup and breakdown and is the best way for adults to avoid back problems when training ball players.
Sports Attack Baseball Pitching Machine
One of the best ways to continuously improve your child’s hitting year around is the Sports Attack’s baseball pitching machine. The Junior Hack features multiple types of pitches coming from a right hand or left hand throwing angles. The pitching settings include curve ball, sliders, split fingers, knuckles, and fastballs reaching speeds of 70 MPH. After your little slugger hits a few buckets, put him or her on the field and the Junior Hack Baseball Pitching Machine can double as a fielding machine by shooting line drives, bouncing ground balls, and launch 250 feet popups. Easily transportable and easily assembled, the Junior Hack will offer youth baseball families the ability to simulate game day situations at home or the park. It comes with a 5 year limited manufacturers warranty!
Mizuno Prospect GXC105 and GXC112 Youth Catcher’s Mitt
Best known for their high-quality baseball gloves, Mizuno has created one of the best and most popular series of catcher’s mitts in youth baseball called the Mizuno Prospect GXC (112 31.5” or the 105 32.5”). Like with most Mizuno gloves, The Prospect GXC features the company’s patented Power Close technology which allows for a more secured closure that encapsulates the baseball once upon entering the mitt. Within the full grain pigskin leather lies Mizuno’s Parashock Palm Pad. This innovation immensely helps to suppress the irritating and painful sting vibration that can sometimes shock a catcher’s hand. In order to ensure player’s experience ultimate comfort and confidence crouching behind the plate, Mizuno also added their V Flex Notch technology which adds more flexibility making the closing process even easier. With a multitude of enhancements aimed at making a catcher’s job easier, the Mizuno Prospect Youth Catcher’s Mitt is a fantastic option especially for a child’s first catcher’s glove.
Color-Coded Pitch Training Baseball
Are you looking for a convenient and easy way to teach your young pitcher how to throw all the major types of pitches? This league regulated 9 inch baseball comes with color coordinated finger placements for an easier understanding on how to throw a curve ball, slider, 2-seam or 4- seam fastball. Also, this pitching aid comes with flash cards with photos and detailed information to further assist in teaching kids how to through these difficult pitches. This is a great pitching training aide at a great price.