With a new baseball season beginning, a new bat is in order. 2020 has some of the best USSSA bats to offer ever made for the new season. Ready or not, it’s time to splurge.
We know finding a bat that meets USSSA regulations is at the top of your list. Who wants to buy a bat that isn’t legal? There are so many choices and features and we are here to help. This guide will explain those features and give you our top five best USSSA baseball bats.
Before you dive into purchasing a new bat, let’s look at the qualities and characteristics of USSSA bats that you should consider. With this guide and our list of favorites, you will be able to pick the best bat for your Senior League player.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for the Best USSSA Baseball Bat
Bat standards for USSSA have not changed since 2005. This can be confusing because USA bat requirements were changed in 2018.
USA bats are allowed to be used in USSSA games but it is not recommended because the player would be at a disadvantage. USSSA bats are not allowed to be used in USA games.
To begin your search, you must find a bat that has the USSSA thumbprint. It will be located on the bat’s taper and will have the 1.15 BPF stamp.
BPF stands for Bat Performance Factor and it is how fast the ball comes off the bat. A legal USSSA bat must have this thumbprint and stamp.
In addition to the thumbprint and stamp, taking these other characteristics into consideration while looking will ensure purchasing the perfect bat.
USSSA bats are offered in three types of materials: composite, alloy, and hybrid. A composite bat has more pop, a larger sweet spot, and sounds like a crack of a tree branch.
These bats require a break in time of about 150-200 hits. If this bat gets damaged, it will crack. It is not recommended for temperatures under 65℉.
An alloy bat is also known as a metal or aluminum bat. They are less expensive, however, they have a smaller sweet spot with less of a pop.
They make a “ping” sound when contact is made. They may be used in any temperature and are ready out of the wrapper. They will dent when damaged.
A hybrid bat is a mixture of composite and alloy materials. It is generally a composite handle with an alloy barrel. It is ready out of the wrapper and usable in any temperature.
It has a larger sweet spot than an alloy bat but smaller than a composite bat. It has reduced sting and vibration when mishits happen and it has the same ping sound as the alloy bat. These types of bats are uncommon.
One-Piece vs Multi-Piece Bats
Different USSSA bats will be made from different amounts of pieces of materials. One-piece bats are stiffer, have less flex but more feedback. A two-piece bat means the handle was made separate from the barrel.
It offers more flex, and has less feedback and vibration which is more comfortable for the players hands. There are also three-piece bats. These bats have a connector between the handle and barrel to absorb nearly all the vibration and feedback.
Balance vs. End-Loading
This characteristic of USSSA bats is exactly as it sounds. A balanced bat has more balance as the weight is more evenly distributed. It offers a faster swing speed.
An end-loaded bat has more weight towards the end of the barrel. This is better for power hitters who will be hitting the ball out of the park.
This quality of a bat seems to be the most confusing. The drop weight of a bat is the difference between the length of the bat and the weight of a bat. For example, if your child needs a bat that is 27” long and the bat has a drop weight of (-10), then the bat will be 17 oz.
The bigger the drop weight the lighter the bat will be. The taller the child, the longer the bat will need to be. Generally, in USSSA ball, drop weights are (-10,-8,-5) with the occasional (-12) for new players in the league.
There are a few other details to consider when purchasing an USSSA bat. Most USSSA bats have a 2 ¾” barrel. This allows for a larger hitting surface which then instills more confidence for the player.
USSSA bat rules require the 1.15 BPF stamp or the .50 BBCOR stamp (-3). The BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the ball and is the next step after USSSA. Although the BBCOR is eligible to be used, it is strongly encouraged that players use a USSSA bat because it gives a performance advantage over other bats.
All USSSA bats must be manufactured by an approved USSSA manufacturer. Some manufacturers call USSSA bats, Senior League bats. These are the same thing so don’t be confused if you see this in your research.
Finally, although a bat comes out with a USSSA thumbprint on it, it may become an illegal bat. Before purchasing a bat, check the USSSA banned bat list to make sure it is a legal bat.
Our Top 5 Picks: Best USSSA Bats for 2020 Reviewed
Here are our top 5 USSSA bats for 2020. We believe they are the best USSSA bats for players this year whether transitioning into USSSA or transitioning out, you should find the perfect bat on this list.
1. Louisville Slugger 2020 Prime USSSA Bat
A composite bat with an optimized sweet spot, this bat is offered in both (-10) and (-8) drop weights. It is offered in lengths 27”-32”. A three-piece design allows separate barrel and handle movement.
It has a composite end cap and a balanced swing weight. It has a pro-comfort grip for a mix of tack and cushion with a quick break in time.
A one year manufacturer’s warranty is offered if purchased through an authorized dealer like Amazon. The youth version of this bat is also ranked #1 in our best youth baseball bats for 2020 post.
No best baseball bat list would be complete without a Louisville Slugger on it. This slugger does not disappoint. This is the only three-piece bat on the list because it performs.
The handle and barrel are separated by an elastomeric connection that allows the pieces to move separately which is beneficial for control and vibration.
There is little to no feedback when a mishit occurs. The end cap is great for increasing swing speed and control and it is truly a great balanced bat.
- Three piece design for flexibility
- Well balanced
- Light to no feedback
- Check league for prior approval, buy with care
2. DeMarini 2020 Voodoo USSSA Bat
This hybrid bat comes in (-10) and (-5) drop weights and from 28” to 32”. It is a two piece bat with a composite handle and alloy barrel. Built with 3Fushion technology, there is greater weight control and feel in the handle.
The composite handle gives more feel and speed. The alloy barrel gives durability and power. This bat is offered with a one year warranty from DeMarini if bought through an authorized dealer like Amazon.
The ‘Voodoo’ range is a big favorite of ours, with the 2019 version featuring on our best baseball bats list, the youth version ranking high on our best youth bats article, and the Voodoo One coming in strong for our best USA bats post.
There is a reason this is the only hybrid bat on the list and that is because we think it is the best. We think the (-10) is great for players in the early stages of USSSA baseball and the (-5) is perfect for players transitioning from USSSA to BBCOR.
This bat would be ideal to follow the use of a DeMarini CF Zen as the grips are similar.
The alloy barrel gives a maximum pop and is very durable. The feel of the composite handle is comfortable in the player’s hands with little feedback on a mishit. Overall, this bat gives greater weight control than all other bats on this list. Designed with speed in mind, this bat outshines the rest.
- Hybrid construction to maximize the bat
- (-5) perfect transition bat to BBCOR
- Can be confused with VOODOO One, a USA bat
3. Marucci CAT 8 Senior League/USSSA Bat
This one-piece bat is offered in (-10) drop weight. It is offered in 27”-31” and is made of alloy which is great for colder weather. The CAT 8 has thinner barrel walls and a multivariable wall design to expand the sweet spot. An anti vibration knob is located at the bottom of the handle to help with feedback. The barrel is constructed with ring free technology that is beneficial to the hitter.
We love this bat because it is a bat that a player can grow with. The CAT 8 Series from Marucci is offered in several different sizes and leagues. It is also offered in a hybrid for more mature players. This particular CAT 8 (-10) has a higher response rate and is more durable than other alloy USSSA bats.
This makes it more forgiving after an off-centered connection. The anti vibration knob gives this bat a great feel and less negative feedback.
Most bats have dead spots that are found over time. We couldn’t find a dead spot in this bat and the flex is outstanding.
- Series of bat to grow with
- Great pop
- The pop can be too loud
4. Easton Ghost X Hyperlite USSSA Bat
This Easton Ghost X Hyperlite bat has a drop weight of (-12). It is a one piece bat that comes in sizes 25”-27”. A composite bat with a cushioned flex grip with a lizard skin texture ideal for feel, cushion, and tack.
It has a 20% softer barrel for improved feel and performance. A recently redesigned speed cap enhances the pop of this bat giving flexibility in the barrel.
We know this bat is a last year series but it is a bat that deserves to be on this list. Any young player will love the pop of this bat and the power behind the swing. The barrel length of this drop weight (-12) bat is excellent and the pop is phenomenal.
We feel like this bat is ideal for a smaller USSSA player. The lighter swing weight gives more speed behind the ball to get it out of the park. The barrel length enhances the sweet spot resulting in fewer mishits.
- Last year bat, cheaper price
- Barrel length for (-12)
- Ideal for smaller players
- End caps can crack, buy with care
5. Rawlings 2020 5150 USSSA Bat
This Rawlings bat has a synthetic rubber grip for vibration reduction. It is available in lengths of 26”-31”. A one-piece alloy bat with a drop weight of (-10), this bat claims to be radically responsive. It is a moderately light bat for transitioning players into USSSA.
Our Honest Review
It has a very traditional feel with a large sweet spot. It has a great performance and is very durable. As we mentioned before, Rawlings claims this bat is radically responsive and we would have to agree. The Hyperlite speed cap enabled us to swing faster.
Once connection is made, a player will feel little vibration and feedback and hear an immaculate pop. The little vibration and feedback is an improvement from the 2019 model. This bat is very user friendly with a practice player completing a hit almost every time. Finding the sweet spot is essential.
- Biggest bang for your buck
- Traditional feel
- Smaller grip than previous 5150s
Whether you are new to USSSA or old, we hope that one of these bats will give you the best season your player has had so far. Looking into the bats’ features and qualities will give you confidence in your purchase. Remember to look for the USSSA thumbprint and the 1.15 BPF stamp of approval and check the list of banned bats. Have a great season!