Bats are made of composite, metal/alloy, hybrid (alloy barrel, composite handle), or wood. If you’re in the market for a baseball or softball bat, you’ll likely need to choose between a composite vs aluminum bat, hybrid or wood bat.
Below, we’ll compare each bat material and give specific recommendations depending on the level, i.e. little league, high school, or college.
Composite vs Aluminum Bats
Composite bats are made with a layered carbon fiber barrel. These carbon fibers are lighter, meaning manufacturers can manipulate these fibers to elongate barrel length, and make for a bigger sweet spot without sacrificing swing weight.
Composite bat construction could either be one piece or two piece, where the one piece is as a single piece all-composite handle and barrel, or a two piece, with a composite handle and barrel that are then fused together through a connection piece, which helps to minimize hand sting from a mis-hit ball.
Composite vs Aluminum
Considerations for Youth Players
Composite vs aluminum bats in the USA space are pretty similar, since bats at this level are all going to have upper performance limits. At this level, the main difference between bats is feel, since composite USA bats don’t trampoline unlike USSSA bats, and any that would, have a ring in the barrel to prevent it
USABats hit like wood, so in the USA space, two-piece composites won’t give you an edge over a good alloy bat.
We like composite bats for their sting dampening benefits. Younger kids still learning the ropes won’t swing as hard to crush the ball if they think it’s going to hurt their hands. However, composite bats are expensive, and may break. In-season, this is not only frustrating, but time consuming, as warranty replacements take time and bats aren’t always in stock.
For this reason, we recommend a 2 piece hybrid bat with an alloy barrel and composite handle. They are more durable, still have plenty of pop, and do a great job of dampening sting so they’re comfortable to hit with.
Here, you will trade durability and longevity for extra performance. USSSA bats are almost comically hot. Composite bats tend to produce better results, where bigger, stronger kids (11U, 12U, 13U, 14U) swinging drop 8s and drop 5s are able to compress the composite enough to generate better exit velos.