Finding success in the diamond is all about having the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary. The knowledge and skill can be worked and developed over time, but if you don’t have the right tools when at bat, your chances of smacking the ball out of the park are significantly lower.
That’s why it’s important to come prepared with the best drop 3 baseball bat in your arsenal.
Finding the best drop 3 bats can be rather difficult, however, as there are plenty of options available each spouting the same features and factoids about their product.
Not to mention the fact that each person will find unique features in the bat that suit them better than other people. What might be the best bat for one person might be the worst for another. So how do you find the best bat for you?
For anyone who is wondering, a drop 3 baseball bat is one that has a length to weight ratio of -3. This means that the difference between the length of the bat in inches and its weight is about 3. These bats are most often found at the high school/college level of play.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Drop 3 Baseball Bat
We’ve put together this buyer’s guide in an attempt to make the search for the perfect drop 3 baseball bat a little more attainable. In this buyer’s guide you’ll find information on what features to keep an eye out for and what makes a drop 3 baseball bat great. There are a lot of bats available that don’t use the best materials and the performances they offer will suffer.
It’s important to know what features feel best in your hand when using the bat. When it comes to batting, there’s no one true answer for what makes a perfect bat as it comes down to the individual. Our tips focus on the general industry standards about what makes a great baseball bat.
We answer what materials work best, how it should feel in your hands, and what the weight distribution offers. We’ve also compiled a list of our seven favorite drop 3 baseball bats.
This is your connection to the bat, so you want to make sure that it’s a good one. Many grips are made up of composite material that offer shock resistance and sting absorption. As many baseball bats are made out of aluminum or alloy components, sting and shock from impact with the ball is quite common.
Some bats are beginning to find ways to reduce that wave other than the grip, but for now, the best way to protect your hands is the grip material.
The grip will also help decide how responsive your bat is. This is where you have control over the bat and so you’ll want it to be a good connection. Grips that feel good in your hands are great as they offer comfort while playing which is important. You’ll want to have as much control over the bat as possible.
It might not seem too important, but the end cap on a bat is what makes or breaks your swing. If you have an end cap that’s designed to make your bat more responsive and offer better swing speed, you’ll find yourself making better connection to the ball and sending it off greater distances.
If your end cap is simply haphazardly thrown onto the end of the bat, chances are you’ll put out less impressive performances.
The responsiveness of the bat is a key factor in whether you hit the ball or not. The more responsive the bat, the quicker you’ll be able to get it down and ready to make contact. Less responsive bats tend to leave you wanting more and missing often.
The barrel of the bat is what connects with the ball and the way that it’s constructed will determine how well the ball can be hit. Some barrels have many dead spots due to internal rings in the bat’s structure.
You’ll want a bat that focuses its attention on creating as large a sweet spot as possible. Many of the bats on our list have created barrels with extended sweet spots and eliminated the presence of dead zones.
This can be achieved through the material that the barrel is constructed out of. Also, depending on the material, you might encounter a “trampoline effect” which is essentially the bouncing of the ball off the barrel of the bat. This helps the ball fly further when contact is made and can be achieved through proper energy transfer between bat and ball.
Our Top 7 Best Drop 3 Bats Reviewed
Every bat on this list has been tried and tested up against industry standards in an attempt to guarantee you their quality. Each product has not only passed their tests, but vastly outshone their competitors.
If you’re looking for quality and dependable drop 3 bats that not only feels great to hold but offers a high-quality performance, each of the products on this list are a great fit for you. We offer you this list in an attempt to alleviate some of the stress of shopping for a bat.
1. Marucci CAT 8
Check out our detailed Marucci CAT 8 review.
The Marucci CAT 8 is one of the most exciting new bats available on the market. It’s a top-heavy bat which means the end of the bat is loaded to offer you more weight and strength behind your swing. The bat is made of super strength aluminum alloy which offers thinner walls and creates a faster response time while also reducing sting from the ball.
Many aluminum bats can be rather difficult to wield as sting is a common factor – the CAT 8 has internal technology that dampens the sting on the bat. The barrel itself is of a larger diameter which offers you a deep sound when the ball connects.
This baseball bat is picking up a storm of conversations for a reason, and has to be considered one of the best drop 3 bats around.
Marucci has taken the successes of each of their previous models and improved upon them to create a near perfect drop 3 bat. One of the best features of this bat when compares to other options is the weight.
It feels easy to smack the ball with full force as the top-heavy weight distribution of the bat offers nearly 15% more weight to your swing.
The super strength aluminum makes this one of the most durable bats available. With durability does not come a clunky bat as one might think.
We saw the specifications on the bat and were worried that the heavy-duty aluminum would weigh the device down to the point where it wasn’t worth it, but the thin spread of the walls made the device smooth and responsive.
Because of the ring-free barrel construction, this bat has essentially no dead spots. This is a fantastic upgrade from many other drop 3 bats who let the design get in the way of performance.
If you’re looking for a lightweight bat to use, you could switch to a smaller size of the CAT 8, but each version is built top-heavy for stronger connection options. Unless switching to a smaller size works for you, this bat might not be the best option in terms of lightweight batting.
- Super strength aluminum keeps it durable
- Thin walls offer quick response time
- Top-heavy weighting pack more of a punch
- No rings mean no dead zones
- Only offers a heavier swing
2. Louisville Slugger 2019 Prime
The 2019 Prime was one of the most impressive bats the market has ever seen, not to mention one of the most expensive. The 2020 model is around the same price, and not much has changed from the 2019 version, but if it’s one of the best performing models available, don’t fix it.
The 2.5″ by 8″ barrel offers you one of the strongest hits you’ll find. The three-piece bat is designed to transfer energy between bat and ball in a way never seen before. The connection system is unique to Louisville bats and creates a strong mold between sections that eliminates dead zones and extends the sweet spot.
When using this bat, it’s easy to see why the world of baseball went crazy for this product. It’s almost perfect – the balance feels right, the weight works both for you and the swing, and there’s not a dead zone in sight. This bat offers you everything you should be looking for in a drop 3 bat.
One of the most unique aspects of this bat is the three-point connection system it employs. This patented technology enables the device to hold a seamless and sturdy connection throughout.
The grip of this bat is exciting in itself as it feels right in your hand and helps support the weight of the device in a way that doesn’t compromise your swing. The extended sweet spot offers ample connection possibilities and helps boost your performance.
While the price sure is steep, you’re getting a device that will last you for years and can greatly improve your game.
The main performance issue we encountered with it was the vibration elimination. For all of the insane quality placed into the creation of this bat, it’s lacking in vibration elimination. Not to the point where it hinders one’s performance, but it doesn’t compare to others on this list with vibration elimination.
They also didn’t change much besides the color between the 2019 and 2020 versions which makes sense but is also slightly disappointing.
- Perfectly balanced
- Unique three-piece connection
- Insane quality on most features
- Feels light, swings hard
- Lacking in vibration elimination
- Not much changed from last years’ model
3. Louisville Slugger Omaha 519
The standout feature of this bat is the ST7U1+ aluminum casing which the barrel is made out of. This aluminum build offers a massive sweet spot and creates plenty of opportunities for a perfect hit.
The one-piece build of this bat removes the possibility of a dead zone. Much like the CAT 8, this bat is focused on offering you a steady performance rather than sleek design choices. With a six-star design end cap, this bat was created for ample energy transfer. The connection between the barrel and the ball will be smooth and sturdy.
One of this bat’s selling points is the extended sweet spot that everyone is mentioning. The aluminum casing that this bat is made out of is designed to offer you an unmatched performance at bat.
This Louisville slugger holds one of the widest sweet spot locations on our list and has almost completely removed a dead zone on the bat. The structure of this bat is what makes it so appealing as it was clearly build with the yielder in mind.
Every detail down to the six-star end cap is nearly perfect when it comes to offering you a balanced and effective performance. Our favorite aspect of this bat was how it felt like a traditional wooden bat from grip to swing. The way they balanced this device offers that traditional feel matched with the effective durability of an aluminum one.
The feel and swing of this bat are two of the strongest we’ve encountered while testing these options. This bat does seem to be lacking in both durability and vibration, though, as the sting on this bat can get annoying.
When compared to the CAT 8, it’s not as durable and doesn’t remove as much sting as the Easton BB17MK. However, the balance and swing of this bat is one of the best we’ve seen.
- Enormous sweet spot
- Balanced for swing and performance
- Almost no dead zone
- Feels like a traditional bat
- Doesn’t eliminate sting that well
- Not as durable as other aluminum options
4. DeMarini VooDoo One
One of the biggest differences between this bat and the Marucci CAT 8 is the material makeup of the device. This bat is made up of an X14 alloy material on the barrel and an Ion V end cap. These differences tend to sacrifice some durability when compared to the CAT 8, but the swing of the bat can be much sweeter.
The X14 alloys offers thin walls which help build weight behind the swing and creates a massive sweet spot. The end cap on this device is designed to help with the transfer of energy from bat to ball, creating the perfect home run product.
This bat simply feels right when you swing it. The internal design of the bat was set up to increase the sweet spot of the device and to offer a decreased swing rate. When compared to the CAT 8, this would be the better option for lightweight batters.
The internal rings that are used in this device are closer to the handle which keeps the weight behind the swing relatively low and decreases the opportunity for pips and dud hits.
The composite material that the handle is made out of offers you a strong grip and helps to eliminate the sting of the ball when it connects. The materials used in this handle were specifically chosen as they offer a lighter swing and help to redistribute the energy back into the barrel where it is needed.
There is less weight behind this swing, yet the same amount of impact once the ball is hit.
One issue found with this bat does stem from the handle. In an attempt to decrease the swing weight, it seems as though the handle is thinner and smaller. If you’re looking for a thick handle that fills your hands, this version of the VooDoo doesn’t quite make it.
Also, the internal rings – though positioned well – are still present and can sometimes affect the connection with the ball. Overall, this is a fantastic lightweight drop 3 baseball bat.
- Focused on less swing weight
- Materials help distribute energy into the ball
- Composite grip alleviates sting
- Great lightweight drop 3 bat
- Materials aren’t as durable
- Grip is thinner than previous models
5. DeMarini CF Zen
The CF Zen utilizes a 3Fusion technology to greatly improve performance in the most important areas. The 3Fusion end cap helps to optimize the sweet spot on the bat by redirecting the energy from the barrel directly into the barrel.
The taper uses the 3Fusion technology as well in an attempt to improve the weight distribution and offer a better overall feel. This bat also uses Paraflex Plus Composite to offer a better pop and one of the most responsive barrels available. D-Tak grip also offers an improved grip and heightened hand control.
The unique 3Fusion technology this bat uses comes in quite useful. Because of the end cap and the taper both coming equipped with it, the bat and you will benefit from it. The performance offered by this bat is quite high quality and the exit ratio this bat is capable of is outstanding.
The sweet spot this bat is capable of is large even when compared with some of the most powerful drop 3 bats on the market.
Another amazing feature is the material this barrel is made out of. By using the Paraflex Plus technology, this bat quickly becomes one of the most responsive options we’ve encountered. It feels good to crack a baseball with this barrel. The composite grip is also something of note – it makes a clear difference with regard to how the battle handles.
The only downside we encountered with this bat was the durability. It’s such different shape that the bat feels weaker around the neck than other similar products.
Many customers who have purchased this bat also mention the durability issue. Overall, this is a great product that utilizes two unique and useful new technologies to help improve handling and performance of the bat.
- Paraflex Plus offers better control and response
- 3Fusion technology builds both speed and strength
- Unique shape provides intense strength capabilities
- Durability comes into question
6. Easton Mako
This is a unique drop 3 bat (and don’t be put off by it’s year of release) as it utilizes a thermo composite material for the barrel rather than the typical alloy or aluminum choices. This thermo composite material allows the barrel to be extended to one of the longest lengths on this list.
Many other materials would be compromised at this length, but the sturdy composite build of this bat enables you to keep your swing long and the arch wide. Easton employs a two-piece ConneXion technology which help with energy transfer and allows you to hit the ball in just the right spot.
We won’t lie to you, having the extra 1.5-inches is nice. The more space you have to hit the ball, the less you need to worry about accuracy and the more you can focus on the strength and technique behind your hit.
When playing at a local league, the length of the bat could be an issue, so check your league’s standards and rules before purchasing this device. Though the device can feel lanky, the composite material it’s made out of provides a sturdy layer of protection against snapping.
Easton is a reputable bat maker and has plenty of drop 3 bats available. The factor that makes this one special is the implementation of the ConneXion technology which helps with the energy transfer to the barrel.
It can be quite difficult to properly smack a ball out of the park without a trustworthy energy transfer. The ConneXion technology offers one of the smoothest transfers we’ve encountered.
Another benefit of the thermo composite material is the swing speed it offers. Many alloy or aluminum bats tend to be lacking in their speeds, but the composite plays quite nicely with the swing of the bat. One of our favorite features of this bat is the pop it makes throughout connection with the ball. The composite material offers a unique and satisfying pop sound when in use.
- Thermo composite material offers added length
- ConneXion technology helps with energy transfer
- Nice swing speed
- Unique pop
- Could be too long for local leagues
7. Rawlings 2018 Velo Hybrid
This bat utilizes a one-piece composite alloy material to offer a sturdy and dependable swing. It also includes a composite end cap that is designed to improve performance by the user. The design of the cap is in a way that helps with both balance and speed of the device.
A unique feature of this bat is the inclusion of pOp2.0. This is a precision laser cutting procedure that helps boost the noise made when the bat comes in contact with the ball. Rawlings has placed evident care into the design and offers a smooth swing matched with a beautiful pop.
Does the laser precision pOp2.0 cut improve the performance of the bat and the swing? Not really, no. Is it one of the coolest features on a bat that really adds to the novelty of the product? Easily.
The laser marks really help amplify the pop that comes with contact and increase the overall fun of this product. The synthetic bat grip offers a cushioned grip that protects well against vibrations during use.
This bat was clearly designed to provide you with a balanced and fast swing. The barrel of the product is specifically created to be both light and sturdy so that you can whack a ball with tremendous strength and speed.
For a one-piece alloy baseball bat, this product stands up well against other more complex models when in use.
There really aren’t too many special features that make this bat standout from the rest. The overall quality is lower when compared to others on this list, but it still is a dependable and durable product that will vastly improve your performance at bat.
The pOp2.0 laser precision cut is what makes this bat unique and though it doesn’t add much to performance, it’s small details like it that make this bat so fun to use.
- 0 laser cut amplifies the pop
- Designed with swing speed and balance in mind
- One-piece alloy material
- Lower quality than others on this list
Overall, the bats on our list are each fantastic options and without doubt the best drop 3 bats available; each can provide you with some of the best performances you’ll encounter. Their designs are focused on assisting you as much as possible and could be the perfect bat for your high school or college experience.
If you’re looking for a wider range of young adult/youth options, check out the best youth baseball bats of 2020. We also have a detailed review on the best baseball bats for kids for the even younger stars.
Keep in mind, however, that the perfect bat is based on you. By combining the tips we offered from the buyer’s guide and the tools we provided in the list, you should have the knowledge required to find your perfect bat. There’s no better way to find the perfect bat than by testing it, so if you have the option to go into a store and feel the bats yourself, we highly recommend that.