Here are the top rated USA Baseball Bats for 2018

top rated USA baseball bats


There was a lot of angst over the new bat standard applied by USA Baseball in 2018. Many of the youth players that I know were concerned about these new bats having less pop than the previous youth bats. While they do, by definition, have less bounce than their counterparts, there are still some great USA Baseball bat models that don’t feel deadened.

I’ve chosen three USA Bats that have garnered rave reviews online. They also happen to be three bats that I’ve heard only positive feedback on from hitters that I train. Users report that all three of these bats are lively, and offer a significant amount of pop.



This is the correct review for you if your ballplayer is going to be participating in any of the following leagues:

  • American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC)
  • Babe Ruth
  • Cal Ripken
  • Dixie
  • PONY
  • Dizzy Dean

Beginning January of 2018, all participants in the aforementioned leagues MUST use bats that carry the USA Baseball certification stamp.


Top Rated USA Baseball Bats

(***Approved for play in Little League, Babe Ruth, AABC, Cal Ripken, Dixie League, Pony & Dizzy Dean***)


Rawlings Velo USA Youth Bat 2018 (-10) ***Also available in -5***



Why it’s on the list:

There is something to be said for how a bat sounds when it hits a ball. I’ve been a hitting instructor for over a decade, and the Velos are by far, the loudest bats I’ve ever heard! The “ping” of a Velo is unmistakable. As a hitter, you have to feel confident in your weapon of choice. A solid sound at contact will undoubtedly increase a hitter’s confidence level. I constantly hear from hitters I work with that the Velo has tons of pop. The balanced weight distribution of this bat makes it ideal for most youth hitters. It is going to be easier for them to get the bat around quickly, when compared to some of the heavier end-loaded bats. If you’re player is older and stronger, there is also a drop 5 version of the Velo. Get that here.


Price at publication of post: $149.95


Includes the following features:

  • Weight Distribution – Balanced
  • Acoustic Alloy for loud contact
  • One-piece design
  • 2 5/8 inch barrel
  • Comp-Lite ™ end cap for added balance and bat speed


Available in the following sizes (*NOTE – the Velo is also available in -5 weight ratio):

  • 28 inch / 18 ounce
  • 29 inch / 19 ounce
  • 30 inch / 20 ounce
  • 31 inch / 21 ounce
  • 32 inch / 22 ounce


Buy the Rawlings Velo on Amazon now!

Buy the Rawlings Velo at Baseball Plus Store now!


Axe Element USA Youth Bat (-8)



Why it’s on the list:

I have to admit I was skeptical of the Axe style handles when they first came out. Like any old school baseball guy, I’m a little resistant to change. However, I have heard nothing but positive feedback on Axe Bats. If fact, several MLB players now use Axe handle bats and love them. The design actually fits the human hand better than a standard handle. Every player that I’ve worked with that has used an Axe bat swears by them. Once you go Axe, you’ll never go back! This model also happens to be their toughest, most durable youth bat yet.


Price at publication of post: $105.95


Includes the following features:

  • Weight distribution – End-loaded
  • 2 5/8 inch barrel
  • Single piece construction
  • Military grade mantic alloy
  • HyperWhip™ composite end extends the sweet spot of the barrel
  • Ergonomically designed Axe handle for better comfort and control


Available in the following sizes:

  • 29 inch / 21 ounce
  • 30 inch / 22 ounce
  • 31 inch / 23 ounce
  • 32 inch / 24 ounce

Buy the Axe Element on Amazon Now!



Easton Beast X Hybrid USA Youth Bat 2018 (-5) ***Also available in balanced -10***


Why it’s on the list: Lots of pop and no sting, what more could you want?! Users of the Beast X notice that the bat has much less vibration when compared to other bats. Talk about a confidence booster! I know from experience, if you get your hands stung badly it can affect how aggressive and confident you are at the plate. Removing that fear of your hands stinging and it is sure to increase your confidence! On top of the fact that it has very little vibration, users report that the bat has lots of pop. Being an end-loaded drop 5, this one is recommended for the stronger, more powerful youth hitter. Easton also makes a balanced weight, drop 10 version of the Beast X. Get that version here.


Price at publication of post: $119.97 – $199.95


Includes the following features:

  • Weight distribution – End-loaded
  • 2 5/8 inch barrel
  • Single piece construction
  • 1.4 mm HYPERSKIN grip for extra cushion
  • Advanced Thermal Alloy Construction creates arguably the strongest, most powerful barrel ever
  • Utilizes Easton’s Z-CORE technology to create a huge sweet spot


Available in the following sizes (*NOTE – the Beast X is also available in balanced -10 weight ratio):

    • 30 inch / 25 ounce
    • 31 inch / 26 ounce
    • 32 inch / 27 ounce

Get the Easton Beast X on Amazon now!

Buy the Easton Beast X now at Baseball Plus Store!



  1. Tony Spagnolia says:

    My Dad would always say it’s not the bay it’s the man! I would disagree as if you feel more comfortable with a certain bay you would always perform better. It seems hard have changed quite a bit due to safety reasons over the years. I noticed you didn’t have any drop three bats on your list? I’d that no longer allowed for youths?

    1. Ryan Basham says:

      Thanks for the comment Tony. Your dad was right in the literal sense. However, like Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.” If you think you have an edge, you do. It’s similar to a placebo effect. I’ll be doing a post on drop three bats soon. Those are BBCOR certified bats, which are used at the high school, and occasionally middle school levels. This post is specifically for the new USA Baseball bats, which are for players younger than high school age. A drop three would be a bit heavy for kids that age.

  2. Richard U. says:

    Hey, thanks for sharing this. I am not a big fan of Baseball that much as I like basketball but what you have done here is amazing.
    The reason why it is on the list also helped satisfy my curiosity because I was going ask that as a question.

    I can see that you have a full knowledge of the game and quite frankly to be able to keep up with current the huge trends.

    I will be coming back for more article especially ones that talk about various products that are associated with the game.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ryan Basham says:

      Thanks for the comment Richard! I’m glad you found the article to be useful. It certainly helps create a thorough review if you’re around the products on a daily basis. Being a baseball instructor and coach has really broadened my knowledge of the types of products that players and parents are looking for, like these quality USA Baseball bats.

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