Best BBCOR Bats: The Definitive Buying Guide with Reviews
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BBCOR baseball bats are generally the most expensive bats on the market.
Since they are the only bats allowed at the high school and collegiate levels, manufacturers and vendors hike the prices up.
Thus, it is important to not only find the best BBCOR bats, but also the most affordable.
This is important to keep in mind, as sometimes these bats can run up towards the $500 mark.
If you are playing on a budget, you want to keep this in mind as you read through BBCOR bat reviews because many of the products may simply cost more than you are comfortable spending.
The hope is that this guide will not only teach you about what a BBCOR bat is and what to look for, but also present you with several top BBCOR bats that range the price spectrum, from affordable to high-end.
This is an effort to show you some of the best BBCOR bats on the market, no matter what budget you are working with.
If you are headed into a new league or level of play that requires a BBCOR-certified bat, you may be unsure what this means.
BBCOR stands for Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution. In other words, this standard controls how much energy is lost at the moment of contact, which reduces any batted balls “pop.”
For a bat to be BBCOR certified it must register a .50 rating or less during a BBCOR test (this rating was designed to be just a little more than that of a wooden bat).
Other BBCOR guidelines state that:
the barrel diameter cannot exceed 2.625 inches,
the length must be 36 inches or shorter
and the length to weight ratio cannot be more than -3.
This all may sound heartbreaking as a hitter because more spring off the bat can make the difference between a routine play for infielders and a base hit.
You may immediately be wondering where you can get BBCOR bats with the best pop to compensate for this reduction.
However, the BBCOR rating was implemented for safety, since the old ratio did not properly protect players (especially pitchers) from dangerous and high-speed line drives created by old aluminum bats.
High school and collegiate league officials noticed increasing offensive statistics as players became bigger and bat companies began creating innovative ways to increase batted ball velocities.
While BBCOR bats are mostly only required at the high school and collegiate level, their success and use has begun to trickle down into other leagues, especially around the 10-14 age range where children are able to generate potentially dangerous force with non-BBCOR regulated sticks.
If you are unsure whether you need a BBCOR bat, be sure to consult your league rules first.
Choosing the Best BBCOR Bats
As high school and college players adapt to using a BBCOR bat, many begin to form brand loyalty. In some cases, this starts even before these levels. Choosing the best high school baseball bats is not so easy as it seems. Many hitters choose the same model bat, year in and year out, because that is their personal preference.
This inclination towards one bat or a particular style is why it is impossible to choose an absolute best BBCOR baseball bat.
Not to mention, some bats cater to the needs of contact hitters, while others are end loaded for power hitters.
Or, the differences in feel and flex between one-piece and composite designs.
For example, you may look for the best end-loaded BBCOR bats, while your smaller teammate likely isn’t interested in the best BBCOR bats for power hitters because he looks for bats with a balanced swing weight.
Naturally, some bats are better than others are.
If it is your first time buying a BBCOR bat or you are looking for a new model, understanding these slight differences can be helpful when it is time to make a purchasing decision on one of the best BBCOR baseball bats out there.
In order to make this decision easier, here are some of BBCOR bat reviews for many of the hottest BBCOR bats.
Every aspect of this two-piece composite bat is carefully designed to maximize its feel, power and performance.
Starting at the handle, the DeMarini CF8’s synthetic grip is fit with an RCI knob carefully shaped to match the natural curvature of the bottom of the hitter’s hand.
The handle itself is a D-Fusion 2.0, which precisely decreases vibrations enough that the player still feels every contact, but does not suffer from painful stinging in their hands.
Moving up the bat, the barrel is made extra long to expand the sweet spot immensely. It is easy to find every time you visit the plate. Topping the DeMarini CF8 off is the Low Pro End Cap.
Not only does this feature help optimize the end load of the club, but it improves the overall feel of each contact by directing energy to the barrel’s contact zone.
Despite its arguably high price point, the features included in this powerhouse bat make the DeMarini CF8 deadly in nearly any hitter’s hands.
In addition, DeMarini lets the consumer give their CF8 BBCOR bat a custom look using the company’s website, which lets you pick colors, graphics and give the bat a personalized touch like your name or uniform number.
Mizuno Nighthawk BBCOR Bat
The Mizuno Nighthawk BBCOR is another two-piece, composite bat with a certified BBCOR rating. It has made its name with the innovative Variable Wall Thickness Technology, which delivers six different thicknesses throughout the bat’s barrel.
This design achieves two key goals that every contact hitter will enjoy: expanded sweet spot zone and an even greater balance in the bat’s swing weight. It also allows the Mizuno Nighthawk to have a low moment of inertia (MOI) rating.
Mizuno’s lightweight, speedy Nighthawk has a synthetic leather grip wrapped around the sturdy black onyx handle. As the grip prevents the batters hands from drifting during the swing, the onyx handle promotes a great feel upon contact.
At the connection point between barrel and handle, the Mizuno Nighthawk places its LINK technology that uses pieces of carbon fiber to heavily reduce vibrations in the handle. This helps prevent bat sting on the hands.
Overall, the Mizuno Nighthawk is a high-end, balanced bat. Although it makes a case as being a hybrid bat (similar to the DeMarini CF8), it really does lean more to the balanced side of the spectrum.
With enough practice, hitters grow to love the wide sweet spot that is created by the varying barrel thicknesses. The only apparent downsides are its price and potentially long break in period.
DeMarini Voodoo BBCOR Bat
Another favorite BBCOR bat by DeMarini, the Voodoo offers a more end loaded swing compared to its hybrid cousin, the CF8.
As a DeMarini BBCOR bat, the Voodoo contains a lot of the same technology and features that are inside the CF8. It uses the same synthetic grip with RCI knob, D-Fusion 2.0 handle and Low Pro End Cap.
The Voodoo’s difference from the CF8 is its extended barrel design that has a better end-loaded swing to give balls more power and distance.
The bat’s barrel is made from X12 alloy to give it flex during the swing and long lasting durability.
The DeMarini Voodoo is as highly regarded as its close relative, the CF8. Yearly, it has been the top choice for NCAA Division 1 players.
Considering these are some the biggest and top-of-the-class college athletes in the country, it stands to reason that the Voodoo is tailored for players with raw power and hitting ability that can swing it with proper control.
With a much lower price than the CF8, the Voodoo is an affordable and commanding BBCOR bat that has earned its place on the list.
Just like the CF8, the Voodoo can have its appearance completely customized by ordering online.
2016 Easton Mako BBCOR Bat
The Easton Mako’s TCT Thermo Composite Technology pairs a tremendously large contact zone with superior bat speed and allows this two-piece BBCOR bat to have one of the lowest MOI ratios available.
The 31/32 inch, tapered handle meets the barrel of the bat with Easton’s innovative ConneXion Technology, which helps focus energy into the barrel of the bat upon contact.
At the same time, it reduces vibrations coming down the barrel and into the handle of the bat. The bat handle is wrapped with a HYPERSKIN grip that ensures a steady, unwavering grasp of the handle during a high-speed swing.
What truly make the 2016 Easton Mako BBCOR baseball bat stand out are its many versions:
Easton MAKO BBCOR (-3)
Easton MAKO XL BBCOR (-3)
MAKO TORQ BBCOR (-3)
MAKO TORQ XL BBCOR (-3)
All models are still BBCOR-certified, but are favored by hitters who prefer a more hybrid or end loaded stick.
For example, the XL has an end load that makes it 12% heavier than the regular Mako.
The TORQ is a relatively new Easton model, but features one of the newest bat innovations on the market – a 360-degree rotating handle.
In 2015, hitting gurus were pleasantly surprised at this handles ability to help players hit with power to all parts of the field and avoid getting jammed by inside pitches.
The Mako TORQ XL has the same end load as the normal XL, but with the TORQ spinning handle.
The Easton Mako series allows these bats to cater to all types of hitters. Plus, the 360-rotating handle may be the next big thing in aluminum alloy bat construction.
On the downside, however, these BBCOR bats are extremely expensive (even more than a customized DeMarini CF8).
Rawlings BBRV3 Velo (-3)
This is the only one-piece bat on the list, which means it deserves special recognition.
With this one-piece design, the Rawlings VELO requires less time to break in and has a stiff, consistent feel that some hitters prefer over composite BBCOR bats.
The highlight of this stick is its Precision-Optimized-Performance, or pOp, 2.0 technology.
This performance element expands the sweet spot by approximately 25% and improves the overall flex index of the bat.
Pair this with the balance-enhancing Comp-Lite End Cap and you have a winning bat.
The last notable feature of the Rawlings VELO is the Acoustic Performance (AP), which does not enhance the actual ability of the bat (or the hitter), but it does create an impressive, head-turning ‘ping!’ upon contact.
The Rawlings VELO is one of the better solid construction BBCOR bats on the market.
A large power zone and high flex capability allows balls to explode off the VELO’s barrel.
Plus, everyone will know when you have made serious contact thanks to the acoustic alloy.
Its midrange price will make every ‘ping,’ worth every dollar spent.
2017 Louisville Slugger Prime 916 BBCOR Bat
The Louisville Slugger Prime 917 has one of the best swing-weight-to-sweet-spot ratios on the market. Largely what allows this stick to achieve this feat is its Flex Band Technology.
This graphite band inside the walls of the barrel allows them to be thinner than traditional BBCOR bats, but does not diminish the bat’s overall durability.
Thinner walls help lighten the bat, while expanding the sweet spot.
The Flex Band Technology enhances the already explosive potential of the Fused Carbon Structure (FCS) composite design of the bat.
To protect the batter’s hands from painful bat ringing through the handle, the Prime 916 uses Louisville Slugger’s 3-piece TRU3 Explosive Power Transfer Technology.
This puts a rubber insert between the barrel and handle to help redirect energy to the barrel and dampen bat sting.
Also helping to eliminate vibrations in the handle is the Lizard skin Grip, which also helps keep the batter’s hands from drifting during the swing.
The Louisville Slugger Prime 916 is on par with the Easton Mako, DeMarini CF8 and Voodoo, both in price and performance-enhancing features. As high-end bats compare, it will likely come down to hitter preference.
It is worth mentioning that the Prime 916 is a popular choice amongst the top twenty-five NCAA baseball teams.
Rawlings BBR53-3 5150 Alloy Bbcor
In 2015, the BBCOR Rawlings 5150 was the bat used most by the NCAA World Series Champions, the Virginia Cavaliers.
This prestigious honor, however, has not gone to the head of Rawlings as they continue to offer this highly competitive bat at an ultra-affordable price.
That alone allows the 5150-alloy bat to stand out. When you add in the bat’s features, such as the Precision Optimized Performance (pOp) technology or Comp-Lite End Cap, you have a tremendously well-equipped and competitive piece of equipment.
For power, this Rawlings bat couples the 5150 alloy, made from aerospace-grade metals, with pOp technology, which improves the, well, pop of the bat, from inside the barrel itself.
The Comp-Lite End Cap gives a small-added weight to the end of the bat, which makes the 5150 feel slightly end-loaded, especially compared to the Rawlings VELO.
Overall, the 5150 is considered to have a balanced swing weight.
The Rawlings 5150 is a one-piece bat and delivers the stiff, solid feel that hitter’s have come to love in these types of sticks. However, this design presents the 5150’s only drawback. As a one-piece bat, it is more likely to produce unpleasant feedback on the hands.
The untraditional design and appearance of the AXE Element HyperWhip has allowed it to achieve one of the most balanced swing weights of any one-piece bat on the market.
The bat actually swings like a two-piece composite bat.
To deliver this fast swing, the AXE Element features the HyperWhip Composite End Cap, which tapers on only one side to reduce weight in the end of the bat.
This innovative construction allows the AXE Element to lower its overall MOI rating, without sacrificing barrel length or shortening its sweet spot.
The untraditional handle and knob, which AXE bats are known for, has allowed designers to shave off weight all over the bat because it is swung in the same manner each time, unlike traditional bats which can be gripped and held differently each time.
According to AXE, this unique handle is scientifically proven to deliver better bat control, produce more power and bat speed, improve comfort and even prevent injuries.
The AXE Element HyperWhip has a lot of pop, thanks to the Mantic Alloy used in its construction.
This military-grade material helps strengthen the durability on the hitting side of the bat, while adding to the maximum trampoline effect of this bat.
Due to the untraditional design of AXE bats, the company offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee.
If you do not like the handle or one-sided hitting, simply return the bat.
Marucci CAT 6 BBCOR Bat
The Marucci Cat 6 is a balanced, one-piece bat made from AZ3000 alloy. This high-grade material aims to accomplish two things: give the bat more pop and improve its lifespan.
You will be especially grateful of it when your teammates’ bats are breaking down and losing their pop, while yours is still cranking balls.
For power, the Cat 6’s barrel walls are uniquely calibrated in thickness, which ensures the very best swing weight and sweet spot size. The bat’s barrel itself is slightly elongated, allowing it to reach the outside of the plate more easily.
Where the Marucci Cat 6 really shines, however, is in its ability to reduce vibrations felt on the hitter’s hands.
With the revolutionary Anti-Vibration Knob, the bat is able to eliminate bat sting, by dampening vibrations 5.6 times more than the next leading competitor.
No other bat allows a hitter to remain so comfortable at the plate because they know their hands are protected from bat sting.
Marucci’s bats are well respected because they staff some of the game’s current best hitters.
With an advisory full of big league sluggers, every bat has been inspired, designed or tested by a handful of professional hitters; these are the people who know hitting the best.
Their knowledge and expertise helps create some of the top-performing wooden and metal bats on the market.
Combat MAXUM -10 Senior League Baseball Bat
Similar to the Louisville Slugger Prime 916, 2016 COMBAT’s MAXUM BBCOR baseball bat blends together an ultra-light swing weight with an enormous sweet spot.
In fact, the MAXUM’s sweet spot is between 20-40% bigger than most competitors’ bats; it will be hard not to land a ball in that zone.
This creates more solid hits and helps hitters build greater confidence at the plate.
The MAXUM Sweet Spot has helped put COMBAT on the map, along with its specialty Precision Molding Technology (PMT), which allows this bat to have an untraditional composite design.
Unlike other bats that are constructed by layering materials on top of one another, COMBAT’s PMT system works by injecting each carbon fiber with a high-quality liquid resin substance under pressure.
This process creates a more seamless end product, compared to the traditional layering construction, and improves the stick’s overall lifespan.
COMBAT believes its PMT process is so effective at increasing a bat’s lifespan that they back the BBCOR MAXUM with a 500-day manufacturer’s warranty AND a 30-day money-back-guarantee.
No other manufacturer will guarantee their sticks for this long.
There is great comfort in knowing that your bat is guaranteed to last at least two seasons.
2017 Easton MAKO BEAST BBCOR Bat
The Easton MAKO has long been the centerpiece of the company’s Power Brigade lineup. For 2017, it got a little bit bigger thanks to the MAKO BEAST.
According to Easton, this will be one of the biggest and most powerful composite bats in the game.
It has all of the existing MAKO features (Connexion Technology, Thermo Composite Tech (TCT)), but the engineers at Easton have managed to extend the barrel 1.5 inches in length.
This allows the hitter to cover more parts of the plate and be able to drive outside pitches with power.
With this added weight, you’d imagine that the bat would have some added weight to it as well.
Well, you’d be wrong; the 2017 Easton MAKO BEAST actually has the lowest swing weight out of any of Easton’s offerings for this year.
Thus, it is not only incredibly powerful, but this balanced bat also has some of the fastest swing speeds through the strike zone.
Part of what helped Easton achieve this incredible engineering feat is their re-designing of the Thermo Composite Technology.
We have seen this in action with previous years offerings and now it is even more responsive.
In essence, the 2017 Easton MAKO BEAST is the same as the first generation MAKO bats, but longer, bigger and badder; it even looks cooler!
2017 Louisville Slugger Solo 617 BBCOR Bat
Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of top of the line sticks come out of the Louisville Slugger laboratory, such as the Prime series, the Omaha series and others.
New in 2017 is a never-before-seen bat by Louisville Slugger: the Solo 617.
This BBCOR-only addition to the company’s offerings is a one-piece bat that delivers a consistently stiff, solid feel on contact.
This, paired with the bat’s new SL Hyper Alloy material makes for greater energy transfer on each hit.
To compare, the Solo 617 is similar to the Omaha-series because of this one-piece design.
However, there is one big difference maker between these two clubs: the Speed Ballistic Composite (SBC) end cap, which is only available in the Solo 617.
This end cap delivers the lowest MOI (moment of inertia) possible, which allows this bat to have the fastest swing speed out of any of Louisville’s products.
It also helps remove excess weight in the end of the bat thereby achieves a more balanced bat.
Because of this bat’s low MOI and balanced feel throughout the stick, it offers exception control and handling.
As a hitter, this means your swings are not only faster and more powerful, but also more accurate.
It delivers comfort, better grip and even decreases the vibrations that can cause bat sting on the hands.
2017 Mizuno Covert BBCOR Bat
The 2017 Covert is Mizuno’s newest headliner for their 2017 lineup of baseball bats.
It is a two-piece hybrid bat, with its barrel being alloy, while the handle is made from composite materials.
These separate pieces are joined with Mizuno’s patented 2 PC LINK Construction, which adeptly combines performance, with comfort and vibration reduction; it allows the hitter to swing freely and without fear of bat sting or sacrificing energy output.
Ultimately, this two-piece design delivers out-of-the-park durability and exceptional performance.
Aside from its two-piece design and LINK Construction feature, the 2017 Mizuno Covert bat has a number of other performance-enhancing features.
For power and added pop, the Covert is made from Mizuno’s Hot Metal aluminum alloy.
This single wall construction gives it a larger sweet spot and helps maximize the trampoline effect exerted on batted balls.
The size of this stick’s sweet spot is enlarged thanks to a new CORTECH feature.
CORTECH adjusts the barrel’s walls to have the absolute optimal thickness at any given point.
So, the barrel thickness at the end of the bat, may be different than its thickness closer to the handle or directly on the sweet spot.
This design hopes to mimic the feel and pop of the sweet spot, even when you are getting jammed on the inside.
According to Mizuno’s engineers, it has given the Covert BBCOR bat a 35% larger power zone.
Top it all off with a Super-Helix grip for control and comfort and you’ve got one powerful stick to start consistently driving balls into the gaps and beyond more often.
2017 Easton Z-CORE BBCOR Bat
For 2017, the Easton Z-CORE BBCOR bat comes in three different variations: SPEED, XL and Hybrid.
As we’ve seen with the Easton MAKO, XL is an end-loaded model. It has the highest swing weight of the 2017 Power Brigade lineup, which makes it one of the most appealing options for a big power hitter.
Z-CORE Speed BBCOR
Z-CORE Speed (TORQ)
Z-CORE XL BBCOR
Z-CORE Hybrid BBCOR
The Hybrid Z-CORE model has a slight end load, which makes it an interesting option for a hitter looking to transition into a more power slugging role.
Lastly, the SPEED is a new variation and is designed to be a fast-swinging, balanced bat. In fact, it has the second lowest swing weight of any BBCOR bat in Easton’s lineup.
These different variations make the 2017 Z-CORE a universal option; no matter what type of hitter you are, there is a bat that fits your style.
Each model is constructed with Easton’s Hyperlite Matrix Alloy to give them added durability and an expansive power zone.
In addition, as a Z-CORE bat, they each feature the Internal Core Technology, from which the bats get their name.
This also helps make the sweet spot larger and more powerful.
They Hybrid model also features the ConneXion Technology feature that we have seen with other models, specifically the Easton MAKO.
This reduces vibrations, while enhancing energy transfer.
Thus, even though the bat is two pieces, no energy is lost and every bit of it is redirected into the barrel of the bat.
The handle of the Hybrid Z-CORE BBCOR bat is made from SIC Black Carbon fiber and is engineered to further reduce any shockwaves that make it through the ConneXion transfer point.
2017 DeMarini Voodoo One/Insane BBCOR Bat
Similar to the 2017 Easton Z-CORE, in that it offers multiplate variations, the 2017 DeMarini Voodoo also has three different models to serve different hitter’s preferences.
For example, instead of the X12 alloy of its predecessor, the 2017 Voodoo lineup features a brand new X14 alloy, which has even better pop and more optimized wall thicknesses.
The three models of the 2017 DeMarini Voodoo are the regular Voodoo, Voodoo One and Voodoo Insane.
DeMarini Voodoo Balanced BBCOR
Voodoo One BBCOR
Voodoo Insane BBCOR
Whereas last year’s regular Voodoo had a slight end load to it, this year’s achieves a completely balanced swing.
If you are looking for that end load for added power, you will want to pick up the Voodoo Insane.
One of the criticisms of last year’s Voodoo came from a lot of hitters that were looking for it be a stiffer, one-piece bat instead.
Enter the Voodoo One. This bat has all of the fixings of the Voodoo that hitters have come to expect, minus the D-Fusion 2.0 Handle Technology (as it isn’t a two-piece bat anymore), inside a one-piece bat.
Unfortunately, the Voodoo One is only available as a balanced swinging bat.
It won’t likely be until at least next year that we see it as a one-piece and end loaded.
What is the Best BBCOR Baseball Bat?
If there had to be a single winner – the hottest BBCOR bat this year, it would be Easton’s 2017 Z-CORE.
Largely what makes the Z-CORE so appealing is its three different variations, to suit the needs of any style hitter AND its fair price.
This is after taking into account the price, style and features of each bat.
This is simply one of the best BBCOR composite bats you can buy and caters to a wide range of hitters.
That said, it is one of the most expensive bats on the list as well. So, if you are working on a tight budget, you may want to shoot for a cheaper option.
For hitters on a budget, the Rawlings 5150 offers the best blend of performance-enhancing features and affordability; it has proven itself as a competitive BBCOR bat, but has a low-to-mid-range price.
Neither is better; one is simply more affordable than the other is and they each have different characteristics.
Even though ordering a fully customized DeMarini Voodoo or CF8 is incredibly enticing (seriously, try their bat creator out online and try resisting the urge to press the checkout button), you might receive it and realize it is a horrible bat in your hands.
Thus, it is always a great option to find a local bat shop that will let you test a few BBCOR bats out in the cage before you make any purchasing decision.
Although, bats that offer money-back-guarantees, like the COMBAT MAXUM and AXE Element HyperWhip, offer a special kind of security in knowing that you can return the product if it is not your cup of tea.
For the price you will pay for a BBCOR bat, performing the necessary research and testing beforehand, could save you from overspending or buying a bat that is not for you.