We’ve hit with every performance bat from 2015 through 2020. These are the Best Bat For 12 Year Old readily available that we’ve tested and measured.
By Brian September 5, 2019 3:17 pm
Update September 19: We hit with every 2020 baseball bat in the USSSA and USA market and then updated this list. If and when more bats are released we will update this best bat for 12 year old list.
We asked hundreds of parents of 12 year olds right bat drop and size for them. The most common size was a 31/21 followed by a 30/20, 31/23 and 32/24 in that order
There are plenty of opinions on what is the right bat drop for a 12 year old. Although the most common sizes was a 31/21 we found that those who swung a drop 8 were just as happy with their swing weight. Considering BBCOR bats are right around the corner we’d suggest most 12 year olds look for a drop 8 bat as the right drop. In terms of length most drop 8 bats go as low as a 30 through a 32. We think the ideal bat for the average 12 year old is a 31-inch drop 8 bat (which would make it 23-ounces).
|Best Bat for 12 Year Old||Best USA Bat for 12 Year Old||Best Cheap Bat for 12U||Top Bat for 12 Year Olds|
|Brand||1. DeMarini||2. Louisville Slugger||3. Rawlings||4. Marucci|
|Type||Two Piece Composite||Hybrid||Single Piece Aluminum||Single Piece Aluminum|
We have hit with most 2020 USA and USSSA bats at the time of this writing. We don’t believe there are any many changes in the landscape coming except for the obvious color up versions that might come for the holidays. Although not directly affecting the 12U age group, USSSA no longer allows 13U to swing drop 10s or 14U to swing drop 10s or 8s. So, if you’d like your bat to last you more than a year in the 12U space and you play a lot of USSSA then make sure you go with the drop 8.
We have hit with every USSSA and USA bat with 12 year olds to see the best 12 year old bat model. We think the average sized 12 year old should buy either the 31/23 2020 CF Zen or 2020 Marucci CAT 8 drop 8 for USSSA, the 31/23 Slugger Select for USA and, if they want to save money, should look for drop 8 bats in last year’s models. (At the time of this writing we found a 2019 VELO drop 8 on a $80 deal—easy choice).
Sizes: 29, 30, 31, 32-inch | Drop: 8 | Bat Type: Two Piece Composite | Barrel Type: Composite | Price: $$$$ | Swing Weight: Balanced | Rating: 4.8/5 | Models: WTDXUFX20, WTDXCBC20, WTDXCB520, WTDXC8Z20, WTDXCBZ20 | Features: Huge Barrel, Long Sweet Spot
Go to any big time tournament in the USSSA 12 year old space and it won’t take long to realize that DeMarini’s CF is the best bat around. It has almost 50% of the USSSA market and even more so when the kids hit their competitive stride from 10 to 13. A 12 year old ball player is, in some ways, the pinnacle of youth baseball. And DeMarini’s CF in a drop 8 is the king of the hill.
Special note, don’t listen to the haters. People despise the durability of the drop 10 and spend considerable amount of time trolling vendors that allow so called user reviews. We have it on good authority that the break rate of the CF drop 10 is not great, but it isn’t much different than a number of other two piece composite bats either.
The only real disadvantage of the drop 8 CF is its price. But, considering most bats in the two piece composite land are hereabouts then we find wallet despair everywhere. If your down for dropping almost 4 big bills for a bat then we recommend the drop 8 CF from 2020 for just about every serious 12 year old player. Big and advanced hitters might want to jump to the drop 5 32 or 31-inch and a few smaller player might want the 32/22. But, the middle 80% will love the 2020 DeMarini CF.MORE: 2020 DeMarini CF Review
Weirdly so, there are only 4 performance type bats in the drop 8 space. (A drop 8 in a 31 or 32 is our pick for the best bat for a 12 year old). They are the Quatro Pro, Easton’s Alpha and Easton’s ADV 360. The Quatro in a drop 10, especially the 2019 version, is a fantastic bat. But, the 2020 version wasn’t out hitters favorite and, at the time of this writing, we struggled to find the 2019 Quatro Pro drop 8 in stock. Otherwise, it would have been our favorite. Still, though, the Select earns the top spot because its good, not because its the only one left.
Our hitters love the big barrel and fantastic feel of the Slugger Select for 2020. It’s hot out of the wrapper and we still believe, at least for now, the right choice in the USA space is an aluminum barrel on a hybrid bat. It gets the same great feel as a Prime or CF but also the peak performance from the first swing—something composite bats appear to have not yet conquered.MORE: 2020 Louisville Slugger Select Review
Sizes: 29, 30, 31, 32-inch | Drop: 8 | Bat Type: Single Piece Aluminum | Barrel Type: Aluminum | Price: $$ | Swing Weight: Light | Rating: 4.6/5 | Models: US9V11, US9V5, UT9V10, US9V10, BB9V3, UT9V5, US9V10 | Features: Extended Composite End Cap
The problem with finding a cheap drop 8 bat is that bat companies know only serious players buy drop 8 bats. As such, they only make performance bats in the space and the prices are rarely cheap. It’s why the only real way to get a cheap drop 8 bat for a 12 year old is to look for deals on older models. At the time of this writing we found a great deal on a Velo in a drop 8 USSSA. But, depending on how long that lasts, you may need to go on the hunt yourself.
We’d be willing to be almost any drop 8 bat because, again, they generally only make to end performance bats in drop 8s. If you want a smooth deal then look in September through November for last year’s models (or sometimes 2 years ago models).
All that said, the 2019 Velo in a drop 8 USSSA is a great choice at $80. We’d almost prefer it more than the CF or Select on our list. Those bats are good but are they nearly $300 better? We don’t think so. The Velo is a light swinging single piece bat with a decent sized barrel, a very loud ping and a long standing tradition of success in the basebal bat market. It uses an extended composite end cap to help make it swing light and make the barrel bigger. At the right price its a great buy.MORE: 2019 Rawlings VELO Review
Sizes: 28, 29, 30, 31, 32-inch | Drop: 8 | Bat Type: Single Piece Aluminum | Barrel Type: Aluminum | Price: $$$ | Swing Weight: Balanced | Rating: 4.9/5 | Models: MSBC88, MSBYC78, MCBC8 | Features: Anti-vibration knob, 8 wall thicknesses in barrel, Stiff Swing
There are plenty of people that would put the Marucci CAT 8 at the top of their list. We think the drop 8 version of this bat is remarkable. Although a bit sacrosant, we think the drop 10 lacks the weight needed to really make this bat sing. But, if you can swing a drop 8 version—which most 12 year olds should be able to—then a 31/23 or 32/24 Marucci CAT 8 USSSA is a fantastic choice. We can’t recommend it to everyone who wasn’t going for the CF and probably even then.
The bat uses an antivibration knob in the handle that helps dampen sting on mishits. It also has variable wall thickness in the barrel to help extend the sweet spot, manage the USSSA standard along the length of the barrel, and create a balanced feel. If you’ve yet to swing a CAT 8 and are in the drop 8 market we say why not. You can also find it priced out much better than the two piece composites on this list.MORE: 2020 Marucci CAT 8 Review | Cat 9 Release Date Unknown
First, they grow, and sometimes quick. 95 pounds is the average but the range of weight might be as small as 70 pounds or as big as 125+ pounds. Follow our bat size chart and choose according to weight.
Second, their skill levels often vary dramatically. Maybe more so than any other age. That means those well above average hitters will benefit from adding an ounce or two. More novice hitters will benefit from less weight.
Here is where we would suggest sizing per player size and skill level at 12 years old.
12 years old is when a lot of baseball players start to take it serious. Our experience shows this is the age a lot of kids are willing to tell their parents they don’t like it enough and start specializing elsewhere. It is also the age a lot of other kids starting playing a lot of baseball.
For those who are real serious about baseball, the idea of spending a lot on a bat makes good sense. We like the idea of multiplying your age by the number of games you play and spending NO MORE than that. For example, a 12 year old playing 40 games this year shouldn’t spend any more than $480 on bats.
$480 could buy you any bat on any list.
We think every 12U player should have a wood bat in their bat. However, we do not think they should be using at the plate. Rarely will a wood bat give you the same bat dexterity, speed and performance as an aluminum or composite.
But, we do like the idea for strength training and batting practice. The smaller sweet spot on a wood bat forces players to be more selective with their pitches and find the good spot of the barrel more often. If you are looking for some ideas, start with our favorite youth wood bats.
Our experience with 12u baseball players is the vast majority of them prefer a composite barrel. These tend to have a bit more forgiving feel on hits and mishits. As well, the barrel profile of composites tend to be bigger and younger players prefer as much plate coverage as possible.
However, do note, aluminum barrels tend to do better in cold weather as well as cost less. If you’re going to go the aluminum barrel route, we suggest you look for a two piece (often called hybrid) aluminum barreled bat.
Our 12u Fastpitch Pick
Sluggers 2017 LXT Hyper
Best 12U Fastpitch Bat
There have been no considerable changes to the premier fastpitch bat in at least a few years. And this is not a bad thing. The LXT Hyper is a brilliant bat with a great feel and a perfect balance. You can usually find decent deals on this bat especially as manufacuterers are looking to unload invenotry in time for the 2019 stock coming up shortly. Price check: Amazon.com. Our Full Review: 2017 Slugger LXT Hyper Review.