This post was most recently updated on February 7th, 2020
If you regularly play baseball, then you must be aware of how important getting the right bat is for optimal performance. If you are going to be playing in a league where a BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) certified bat is required, then you should consider getting an excellent one. Having the best BBCOR bats in your kitty will always help you level up your game. These bats are also quite expensive, so you’ll want the right combination of quality and affordability.
So what are the best BBCOR bats you can buy today? Let’s look at the top 5 BBCOR baseball bats you can get and what makes them the best. Please note that we also have a detailed buying guide after the product reviews, please keeping reading.
List of Contents
Top 5 Best BBCOR Bats On The Market Today:
- Easton BB17MK Mako Beast Comp 3 BBCOR Baseball Bat
- DeMarini CF Zen Balanced BBCOR -3 Drop Baseball Bat
- Louisville Slugger Solo 618 (-3) BBCOR Baseball Bat
- Rawlings Quatro Composite BBCOR (High School/Collegiate) Baseball Bat
- Marucci MCBC7 Cat7 BBCOR Baseball Bat
Let's have a detailed review of all the listed bats so that you can be sure you are getting the exact match bat for your game. You can read on the list of frequently asked questions after the product reviews to learn more about the best BBCOR bats for 2020.
The Easton BB17MK Mako Beast BBCOR bat is the latest upgrade to Easton’s Mako line. It comes with a two-piece TCT Composite barrel which makes for a larger yet very light-weight barrel. The barrel also features Easton’s ConneXion technology which lets you swing and hit the ball better.
This BBCOR bat also features a 1.2mm Hyperskin grip for better stability and feel. It has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon and a number of positive reviews. With all these in its favor, this is undoubtedly one of the best bbcor bats out there. It offers excellent value for its price. No Wonder it is our top pick.
This BBCOR bat from DeMarini is their lightest swinging composite stick and thus, is perfect for players getting into the BBCOR game. It is part of the most advanced CF series from the company. The DeMarini CF ZEN comes with a 3Fusion handle and end cap for better weight control, a 2.5/8 inch barrel diameter, and is made entirely from a composite material which makes for better weight distribution and without any pop being sacrificed.
It has a balanced feel and is BBCOR certified for High School and Colleges. If you’re looking to step up your game with a BBCOR bat, then you should certainly consider the DeMarini CF Zen.
The Louisville Slugger Solo 618 BBCOR bat is an aluminum baseball bat that offers consistent performance. Thanks to its one-piece SL Hyper alloy build, it delivers a stiffer feel and full energy transfer on contact with the ball. Other cool features of this bat include an anti-vibration handle to keep you safe from feedback vibrations, a new Speed Ballistic End Cap for a very balanced swing weight and custom lizard skins for a premium performance grip.
As the latest in the Louisville Slugger BBCOR certified bats lineup, this bat certainly delivers and is surely worth checking out if you want a great bat.
If you’re a middle of the order hitter with the ability to handle a longer barrel, then the Rawlings Quatro Composite BBCOR baseball bat is for you. This bat is made from composite material and delivers nicely when it comes to performance, balance, flex, and distance. It comes with Rawlings’ patented hinge system which provides focused flex, helping hitters stay through the ball and generating a great amount of pop.
This bat features a 2.5/8 inch barrel and is BBCOR certified for high schools and colleges. It has one of the highest exit speed velocities compared to other BBCOR baseball bats. With its high quality built, outstanding performance and attractive design, it is one of the top BBCOR bats you can buy.
The Marucci MCBC7 Cat7 baseball bat is a quite affordably priced BBCOR bat that delivers excellent performance. It is made from the new az4x alloy, an upgrade from earlier Marucci models and has a sweet spot that is twice as large as its predecessor’s. The one-piece alloy construction allows for a clean, consistent feel and increased strength.
This bat also features an anti-vibration knob for less negative feedback. This knob features an upgraded finely tuned dampening system. It is BBCOR certified and very responsive. The Marucci MCBC7 Cat7 has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.
The BBCOR standards
The Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) is an organization that measures the trampoline effect of adult bats. It’s directly related to the bat’s performance in terms of bounciness. Instead of gauging the ball’s speed after getting hit, BBCOR measures the bounce level of the ball which is referred to as the “trampoline effect”.
When the bat hits the ball, the ball compresses and deforms by as much as a third of its size. This happens in a high pitch velocity and within a fraction of a second.
The BBCOR standards are based on a mathematical computation of the inbound and rebound speeds of the ball.
With this, BBCOR also measures the energy loss upon impact. The lower the energy loss is the faster the speed will be after it bounces off the bat.
Bats with excellent flex will have a lower energy loss level. Take note that since wood bats don’t have flex, BBCOR doesn’t regulate this bat type. It’s focused on non-wood bat models although it still regulates non-solid wood bats.
The BBCOR .50
All BBCOR-certified bats should have the BBCOR .50 stamp printed somewhere on its taper or barrel area. The .50 mark is the maximum value a BBCOR bat could achieve. This is generated by calculating the inbound and rebound speeds of the ball.
The higher the number is the bigger the trampoline effect will be. BBCOR tests all bats to ensure that it doesn’t exceed nor go below its set standards.
BBCOR bat specifications
Aside from the trampoline effect value, BBCOR also has strict rules when it comes to the dimensions of the bat they will approve. Here are the basic bat specifications of a BBCOR-certified bat.
All bats with the BBCOR certification will have a barrel that’s no more than 2 5/8” in diameter.
-Length to weight ratio
BBCOR has a strict -3 length to weight ratio. For example, a 33-inch bat should have a fixed weight of 30 ounces. Take note that the -5 length to weight ratio doesn’t exist in the BBCOR standards.
It could be -3 or heavier to stay within the BBCOR standards.
All BBCOR-certified bats should have a total length that doesn’t exceed 36 inches. Depending on the specific league, a baseball organization may or may not specify a certain range.
Why are these standards made?
Before BBCOR, there was BESR or Ball Exit Speed Ratio. This organization’s standard deals with the comparison between the incoming pitch speed and the speed of the ball as it bounces off the barrel.
However, over the years, the Division I of college baseball leagues recorded a higher record of offensive performance when using bats certified for BESR standards.
With BESR standards, the ball can leave the bat with intense speeds that compromises the pitcher’s safety.
To answer these concerns, the BBCOR standards were introduced. It reduced the batted ball speed by 5% from the previous BESR standards.
Also, BBCOR performs special tests on each bat material to ensure that they are calculating the maximum value properly.
Take note that the BBCOR standards are in place so alloy and composite materials can be in the same playing ground with wood bats. Aside from that, it increases the safety of every game. The BBCOR standards also improve the playing conditions of baseball games.
BBCOR vs. Big Barrel Bats
You have to know that BBCOR bats and Youth Big Barrel Bats follow different regulating rules.
Youth Big Barrel Bats are also called Senior League Baseball Bats. It’s used in most youth leagues. This can have a barrel diameter of 2 5/8” or 2 ¾”. Aside from that, its drop weight is anything between -5 and -12 whereas BBCOR imposes a strict -3 fixed length to weight ratio.
Also, most Big Barrel Bats have the USSSA certification. This means that the baseball bats shouldn’t exceed the length of 34 inches. This is two inches shorter than what BBCOR allows.
Big Barrel Bats are made for young children who can’t swing a BBCOR bat just yet. The former is lighter and has a bigger barrel.
For college and most high school leagues, BBCOR bats are standard options. The two differs on standards which all boils down to the safety of the sports concerning the player’s age.
Leagues that require the BBCOR stamp
More and more senior baseball leagues have been picking up BBCOR standard over the years. The following are some of the organizations that follow the BBCOR standards:
-National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
NFHS ordered that starting January 1, 2012, all non-wood baseball bats that will be used for high school games should have the BBCOR certification. With that, NFHS bans the use of all composite bats unless it meets the BBCOR standards.
-National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
The NCAA imposed a rule that starting January 1, 2011, all alloy and composite bats should have the BBCOR certification to be used in both collegiate and NCAA leagues.
-California Scholastic Federation (CFI)
The California Scholastic Federation also gave its nod on BBCOR’s standards after it required all non-wood baseball bats to meet the BBCOR standards and certification before it can be used in actual games.
CFI still recognizes the BESR-ABI (Ball Exit Speed Ratio-Accelerated Break In) approved bat list. Unless alloy bats receive the ABUI waiver, it will be illegal to use on actual games.
The Little League also recognizes bats with the BBCOR certification. Take note that it’s only permitted for use in Intermediate (50-70) Division as well as the Junior League.
For the 2019 season, Ripken Baseball made changes to its bat rules. For the 13u players and younger, the bat should have a BBCOR, BPF 1.15, or a USA Baseball certification stamp. When it comes to their 14u and older divisions, a BBCOR or USA Baseball certification is needed. Its drop weight shouldn’t exceed -3 as well, a nod on BBCOR standards.
-Babe Ruth League
Both the Babe Ruth 13-5 and 16-18 divisions allow the use of bats bearing the BBCOR .50 stamp.
-Metro Baseball League (MBL)
For the MBL 9u-14u, the players should use bats with USA stamp or one with a -3 drop weight based on BBCOR standards. Players in the 15s division are required to use BBCOR bats or wood bats.
More unsanctioned baseball organizations are also acknowledging the BBCOR standards when regulating the type of bat their players are using. Usually, these organizations use the NFHS rules for their games.
If you’re wondering if you need a BBCOR-certified bat, it’s best to check with your baseball team’s organization first.
BBCOR has a different measuring approach on every bat material. Since each one has a different flex, it will have varying trampoline effect levels. Here’s a quick rundown on alloy, composite, and wood bats.
Alloy bats usually have more flex than wood which means less energy is lost as the ball bounces off the barrel. It’s also deemed as the best BBCOR bats for most players.
-Can be used straight from the wrapper
-Has the lowest energy loss upon contact
-Provides a greater trampoline effect
-Doesn’t need any break-in period
-You need to invest in high-end alloy bats to get a larger sweet spot
Aside from the BBCOR standards, composite baseball bats need to undergo the Accelerated Break In (ABI) test. It’s a test for composite bats after it has been completely broken in. This ensures that the bat is measured on the same condition as it will be when used in a field game.
Once a composite bat passes the ABI test, it will receive a waiver. Through this, the bat can be played on leagues that don’t usually accept composite bats but honors the ABI test waiver. This includes leagues in California.
-Larger sweet spot
-Reduced vibration and sting during mishits
-Produces excellent trampoline effect
-Requires a specific break-in period
-More expensive than alloy bats
The BBCOR standards are made so both composite and alloy bats will have almost the same playing performance with that of wood bats. Bats made from solid wood except bamboo doesn’t need a BBCOR certification to be used on NFHS and NCAA games. However, if it’s made from bamboo or a blend of wood types, it will need to meet the BBCOR standards first.
-Very durable, especially if made from Maple
-Provides the loudest pop
-Excellent weight balance for extra power
-Provides the least flex, thus higher energy loss
-Could be very heavy
BBCOR bats come in either one-piece or two-piece construction. Here are the differences between the two:
One-piece bats – This solid construction is perfect for power hitters. Since it has a continuous build, very little power is lost, especially if it’s made from alloy. However, one-piece bats also tend to have more vibrations and sting during mishits.
Two-piece bats – This type of construction uses a separate barrel and handle joined on the taper. It can have a composite barrel and alloy handle or vice versa. This has reduced sting even during errant pitches. It also allows the players to maximize the benefits of both bat material.
BBCOR doesn’t limit what type of bat construction you can use. As long as it bears the right stamp, it’s up to the player which of the two they will choose.
If you’re not sure which combination you’d like for a two-piece bat, it will help to consider what you want to achieve. If you want the low energy loss of alloy, you can get an aluminum barrel and alloy handle.
Am I required to use a BBCOR-certified bat?
If you’re playing for NCAA and NFHS, you’re required to use baseball bats that meet the BBCOR standards. The likes of PONY, Dixie, and more may allow the use of such bats on older divisions.
How will you know if a bat is BBCOR-approved?
All BBCOR-certified bats will have a “BBCOR .50” stamp. If you’re not sure if the bat is really certified, you can refer to the full list in Washington State University’s Sports Science Lab. They have a comprehensive repository of all the brands and model numbers that meet the BBCOR standards. You can check it here.
WSU also posts notices on bat models that aren’t BBCOR approved. You can see the latest updates here.
Most Popular BBCOR baseball bat brands
In a survey conducted by BatDigest.com, 2,136 participants voted on which BBCOR bat brand is the best. The Louisville Slugger emerged as the winner. The likes of EASTON, DeMarini, Marucci, Rawlings, and Axe trail next. Brands like Dirty South and Mizuno also ranked well.
This doesn’t come as a surprise since the Slugger brand has been dominating the BBCOR certification for years now.
When it comes to bat league satisfaction, BBCOR records the highest satisfaction rate at 80%. USSSA and USA-certified bats come next.
With BBCOR’s strict safety standards and regulations, adult leagues are more inclined to use bats that underwent the approval of this governing body.
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on the tournament, BBCOR bats can be used on USSSA games. For example, 14u and 13u divisions in the USSSA may allow BBCOR-certified bats.
Yes, most aluminum and composite bats certified by BBCOR will lose its pop over time. Still, it will need hundreds of hits before its performance starts to deteriorate. Besides, most leagues won’t allow worn out bats to be used during field games.
BBCOR bats are made for adult players. Since young children can’t swing a heavy bat, all bats with BBCOR certification can be found on high school and collegiate-level tournaments.
Drop 5 or drop weight -5 is no-existent in the BBCOR standards. This regulating body only certifies bats that meet their -3 length to weight ratio.
So these are the best bbcor bats out there from the finest brands. Most of them are the latest releases in the lineups of popular BBCOR certified bats. Thus, they have a proven track record of performance. While not the cheapest out there, these bats offer a great mix of features and affordable pricing so you can rest assured that you’ll be getting bang for your buck. So choose what’s best for you and get swinging.