Updated: September 7th, 2018
As the 2018 USA Baseball season commences, parents can count on aluminum USA bats distributing comparable performance results to composite USA bats. Before the USA Bat Standard took effect, composites have developed a reputation of delivering greater impacts on a baseball over their alloy counterparts. If a player was looking to enhance pop, they too would prefer youth bats housing a composite barrel over alloy. (Get the gist?) BUT, if players aimed to increase bat speed, aluminum barrels were often more encouraged.
Currently, our team has stayed up-to-date by testing and reviewing the majority of all available USA bats. We have evaluated over 30 USA youth bat models of all compositions, sizes, and length-to-weight ratios. As most families know by now, the USA Bat Standard decreases the potential for pop when compared to USSSA bats of years past. This factor is definitely the most significant change youth ball players must adapt to. While testing these USA bats, our team also noticed that the aluminum USA bats seemed to distribute relatively the same performance levels as composites USA bats. Thus far, the USA Bat standard has seemed to level the playing field overall between alloy and composite barrels. In our opinion, the best one piece baseball bat options will serve most USA Baseball youth players better than composites. Below are our best 5 non-composite youth baseball bats for this season.
#5. 2018 Rawlings 5150
The 2018 Rawlings 5150 makes our list simply for the value it provides for youth baseball parents. This USA bat might not outperform a handful of others, however it’s a great choice for those families on a strict budget. From our research thus far, the Rawlings 5150 comes equipped with enough pop to create solid line drives pending the individual hitter’s ability to achieve a level swing. It is one of the lighter weight USA bats available for purchase and protects well against vibrations upon the grip. Coming in a drop -11, this USA bat is perfect for contact hitters who have a budget hovering around $100 to spend on a bat this season. Read a more in-depth review about the 5150 here...
#4. 2018 DeMarini Voodoo One
Still not breaking the bank (price, as compared to the other bats of course), the Voodoo One gives youth baseball families a quality USA bat option without a $300 price tag. Compared to the two-piece hybrid construction found in the standard Voodoo USA bat, the Voodoo One utilizes a single piece aluminum design. One noteworthy aspect about this youth bat which is non-existent in about 70% of other USA bats is how accurate the actual weight is when compared to the weight stamped on the barrel. As some youth baseball families know, every so often a metal bat’s actual weight doesn’t always match the weight indicated. When drop -10 bat feels like a -8 drop, this usually does not benefit the player. This bat provides a quick swing, solid shots, and very comfortable grip all for about $150.
Read a more in-depth review about the Voodoo One here...
#3. Easton Beast X (All Drops)
The 2018 Easton Beast X is one of the most popular youth USA bats currently on the market. When evaluating all three drops, our team tested and reviewed all the Easton’s in our possession at the same time with the same group of volunteer youth hitters. Out of every Easton tested that day, it was voted as the most favorable Easton bat for 2018 among our volunteers. It features an all-new durable ATAC alloy material that offers youth hitters a balanced swing weight, quicker bat speeds, which translates to more forceful impacts on the baseball. Our favorite element of the Beast X comes from the sound emitted when colliding with a baseball. The “ping” that resonates from the alloy barrel is a great indicator as to how well the ball was hit. Our results meant; the louder the ping, the better the hit. This feature assists youth players in understanding the location of the sweet spot. The Beast X is definitely a solid pick taking our third spot. Read a more in-depth review about the Beast X -5, Beast X -8, or Beast X -10.
#2 Rawlings Velo
The Rawlings Velo gives youth hitters a lightweight USA bat option that immensely helps maintaining a balanced and level swing. If our staff had to give any bat company the award for “most improved bat manufacturer”, we think Rawlings deserves the trophy more than anyone else. This bat showcased high scores in our evaluations especially in the categories of “Grip & Comfort” and “Durability”. The most surprising aspect is how it performed vs the other more expensive aluminum barrel USA bats, and it only comes at a price tag of under $200. For us, the Velo displayed similar levels of bat speed and pop as the Easton Beast X, Beast X Hybrid, and the Axe Origin. Definitely a bargain and worth the money. Read a more in-depth review about the Rawlings Velo here...
#1 Louisville Slugger Solo 618
When deciding what our choice for the best alloy barrel USA bat would be, our team spent little time debating because we all knew the Louisville Slugger Solo 618 would be the gold medal winner. Coming in a -11 length/ weight ratio, it features one of the lightest swing weights among any USA bat. During our evaluations, the volunteer youth hitters consistently noted how easy the Solo was to swing through the zone keeping a level rip. No other Louisville Slugger will deliver such quick swing speeds and an ultra-balanced feel more than the Solo with its single piece light aluminum construction and composite end cap. Being that it is a single-piece designed USA bat, one might think it is susceptible to stinging vibrations upon the handle. Our volunteer scorecards suggested the exact opposite. After analyzing the recorded data, the Solo 618 gave off unwanted shock less than 5% of the time when engaged with solid connections on the baseball. Despite being a USA bat engineered for younger contact hitters, the Solo also delivered an impressive amount of pop. The alloy handle comes with Louisville Slugger’s cool Lizard Skins grip helping to provide a traditional stiff alloy bat feel. Best of all, the Solo will cost anywhere between $150-$200 clearly out-performing (in our opinion) other USA aluminum bats almost double in price. The Solo 618 is highly recommended from our team and will compliment young contact hitters very well this season. Read our more in-depth review about Louisville Slugger's Solo 618 here...