For the upcoming 2018 youth baseball season, the majority of bat manufacturers have decided to invest more into the production of alloy barrel bats over composite barrel by about a 3:1 ratio. It’s no secret that the USA Bat Standard has decreased the amount of pop potential youth players have become accustomed to. With these new USA bats not packing as much of a punch, we believe most of these manufacturers didn’t place a big emphasis on developing bats that are composed of heavier and denser composite materials. Out of all the companies who have produced new 2018 bats, only three offer USA bats that utilize a composite barrel. It also seems with pop levels expected to play much less of a factor in performance, manufacturers have decided to allocate more resources to alloy barrels vs. composite barrels.
During our evaluation process of the new USA bats, we have tested and reviewed the majority of bats available for purchase which includes all the youth bats encompassing a composite barrel. For those youth baseball families interested in composites, we at 2018YouthBats have compiled a short list of the top 3 composite USA bats in terms of pop, balance, energy transfer, comfort and overall experience at the plate. This list contingent upon the performance results derived from our numerous provisional tests.
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(Easton Ghost X -10 scores are shown below)
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#3: THE 2018 MIZUNO GHOST USA BAT
Even though we are giving the 2018 Mizuno Ghost USA bat 3rd place, our staff still believes it possesses all the capabilities of being the most effective composite USA bat for youth baseball players. This USA bat features a specific component that other USA youth bats do not have, no matter the internal composition of the barrel (alloy or composite). The Mizuno Ghost comes with an added technology they call their Power Ring Technology. This patented feature allows for players to achieve quality swings without needing any “breaking in” period. The 2018 Mizuno Ghost USA bat comes ready to provide optimum performance straight out of the wrapper and into your child’s swing.
Housing a 2-piece composite construction, the Mizuno Ghost is lightweight and keeps great balance. As stated earlier, all of the USA bats will showcase less power than during the USSSA standard. Please don’t expect this bat or others bearing the USA Baseball stamp to send the ball as far as youth bats from last year. Despite this, the 2018 Mizuno Ghost USA bat will provide your child with instant positive performance right off the shelves.
#2: THE 2018 EASTON GHOST X USA BAT
Not to be confused with the Mizuno Ghost, the 2018 Easton Ghost X USA Bat is set to become Easton’s premiere composite USA bat model for the upcoming 2018 season much like the Mako model has been for the past company in years. Most individuals who have an affiliation to youth sports can agree that Easton is the most popular brand within the sporting goods industry when it comes to baseball and softball equipment. No other bat manufacturer in the market comes close to Easton when comparing:
- the number of bat models that have been designed, produced, and sold
- the level of marketing used to advertise their products
- the production of other baseball equipment (gloves, apparel, etc..)
Considering how big Easton as a company is on a global scale in the youth baseball industry, one would expect their premium composite model to be one of the best USA bats for the 2018 USA Baseball season. The Ghost X is not only one of the best composite USA bats available in terms of overall performance, but it provided the highest levels of pop during our evaluation process over any other youth USA bat. The drop -10 Ghost X features a very balanced swing weight to better help young hitters transfer a fluid flow of energy when swinging through the strike zone. We would not recommend this bat if you are looking for a supremely lightweight USA bat. The Easton Ghost X is for kids who are beyond the basic mechanical stages of learning how to maintain a level swing. None of these USA bats will showcase the power of other youth bats abiding by the USSSA standard or the BBCOR, however we believe the Ghost X will recapture the most pop lost from your child’s swing from last season.
#1: THE 2018 RAWLINGS QUATRO USA BAT
After much deliberation, our staff has determined that the number one youth USA composite bat we have reviewed, tested and evaluated is the 2018 Rawlings Quatro USA Bat. Reaching this conclusion was by no means easy. Half of our staff suggested the Easton Ghost X should’ve taken the crown because of its incredible pop value mixed with its ultra-balanced weight distribution and the fact it comes in three drops (-10, -8, -5). While all of these factors are very impressive, we came to the conclusion that the feel of the Rawlings Quatro presented the best overall case for being number one among USA composite bats.
As we have mentioned before on different pages of our website, we feel the most important adjustment these players must make when swinging a youth USA bat is maintaining a level and fluid swing. With the imminent loss of pop off the barrel this year, our primary concern for players comes from their attempts to compensate for this lack of power with heavier bats and faster unbalanced hacks at the baseball which ultimately leads to the dismantling of proper swing mechanics. Through our evaluations thus far, the Quatro showcased very similar results to the Easton Ghost X in the categories of pop, grip & comfort, and overall experience. That being said however, many of our volunteers thoroughly enjoyed how light the bat was and the ease they felt maintaining a level rip through the strike zone.
While distributing great pop, the 2018 Rawlings Quatro will provide hitters unwavering confidence by offering the following:
- Super lightweight design- many of our hitters feel they were swinging an aluminum bat
- Unique 4-piece construction- aimed to eliminate all vibrating shocks
- Fully composite internal composition- giving hitters as much pop as possible
- Balanced weight distribution- on par with the Easton Ghost X
In our opinion, the 2018 Rawlings Quatro will be the best bat for kids to swing as they transition to the USA bat standard. If your child can swing a drop -10, the Quatro will be a very important tool in helping them adapt to this new performance standard.