Ultimate BBCOR Bat Buying Guide
What the heck is BBCOR?
This is a hot-button question in the game of amateur baseball today. Even though BBCOR has been around since 2010, there hasn’t been much information provided to the public about what it stands for and the reasoning behind it. Most believe that it is just another marketing scam by major bat companies to get more money out of the pocket of everyday Americans.
The truth about BBCOR is that it stands for Batted-Ball Coefficient of Restitution. One, that is a mouth full and two, what does that mean? Below is a passage taken out of the NCAA protocol on bat certification, put into effect in January of 2011.
Bat performance is specified by using the BBCOR (Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution), which is calculated using the inbound and rebound speeds of the ball:
All the scientific babble aside, basically the NCAA wanted metal bats to be safer and to act more like wooden bats. BBCOR measures how much energy is lost when the ball makes contact with the bat. The higher the number, the greater the “trampoline” effect will be. Prior to 2011, metal bats were measured by BESR. The “trampoline” effect being produced by BESR bats was allowing 5’7” 160lbs second basemen, to hit the ball out of the park. Scoring and injuries were at all time high. The NCAA decided they needed to do something about it, so they came up with BBCOR. For a bat to be BBCOR certified, the bat must meet the .50 ratio for “trampoline” effect, which is only slightly higher than that of a wooden bat.
2014 Top 10 BBCOR Bats
Types of BBCOR Bats
BBCOR bats come in all different makes, models, and sizes. To cipher through all of the information it comes down to three questions:
- Composite vs. Alloy
- 1-Piece vs. 2-Piece
Composite vs. Aluminum/Alloy
The barrels of BBCOR bats are made out of two different types of metal; composite and aluminum alloy. Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should buy a composite or aluminum bat. It all comes down to personal preference. However, we have provided you with a comparison of composite and aluminum bats below. So that you can make a decision based upon which one you think will be a better fit for your abilities and price range.
- Balanced Feel
- Absorb the Sting
Composite bats are made out of woven fibers of carbon kevlar, graphite, fiber glass, or carbon fiber. Composite tends to be lighter and stronger allowing the bat maker to create a bat with a longer barrel(larger sweetspot) and lighter swing speed. However, if you go with a composite bbcor bat, you will need to “break it in”. Lucky for you, we have a complete guide on how to break in a composite bat. This will allow you to get the maximum performance from any composite bat.
Aluminum Alloy Benefits:
- More Affordable
- No Break In Time
Aluminum bats are made out of different alloys or types of metal. These vary depending upon the different bat companies. Aluminum bats tend to be more stiff and responsive. Meaning that when you make contact the bat is going to flex minimally and you will be able to feel whether you made hard contact or “just missed” it. Aluminum bats are also very durable and allow you to get great bang for your buck. It is also important to mention that aluminum bats do not require a break-in period. They can be taken right out of the box onto the playing field, unlike composite bats.
1-Piece vs. 2-Piece Bat
Now that you have determined what type of material you want your barrel to made out of, it is time to decided if you want a 1-piece or 2-piece bat. Each one offers unique performance improvements. Just like deciding between composite and aluminum alloy, there is no right or wrong answer here. Ultimately it is the players preference.
- More for Power Hitters
1-Piece bat is made out of either composite or aluminum alloy. 1-Piece bats tend to be stiffer and stronger. This means that when the bat makes contact with the ball, little to no energy is lost in the process. It also means that you have to be fairly strong to swing these bats through the zone, they have a little higher swing weight, but also drive the ball further. If you are strong and are a power hitter, I would recommend a 1-piece.
- Lighter Swing Weight
- Increased Bat Speed and Power
2-Piece bat is composed of a handle and a barrel that are bonded together. They can be made out of different materials. For instance the Easton Mako has a composite handle and a composite barrel, but the Easton S2 has a composite handle and an aluminum barrel. The materials of the barrels differ by bat companies. The 2-Piece design allows for the bat to flex during the swing, which will result in increased speed and power. The 2-Piece is more tailored to contact hitters that want a quicker bat speed and lighter swing weight.
We all know that price is a determining factor when picking out a BBCOR bat. It would be nice to have the money to buy whatever bat you like and if you don’t like it, buy another one. However, this is not a reality for most. That is why the BBCOR Bats HQ staff has created this website to provide all of the information to make an informed decision and to hopefully save money.
If you go to the Ultimate BBCOR Bat Guide you will see a chart that can be organized by brand, make, barrel material, lengths, features, rating, and even the lowest prices listed through Amazon. Our goal is to provide you with the information needed to get the perfect bat for the perfect price.
Review of the Top 5 2014 BBCOR Bats
Rip-It Prototype BBCOR Air Elite
Reviews (5 / 5)
Rip It’s Air Elite is a two piece bat with a composite handle and R2 alloy barrel. Rip It nicknamed the bat “fastest”. The team at Rip It was able to put more weight in the handle and less in the barrel, resulting in a very light swing weight. The Air Elite also includes Rifle Barrel Technology which reduced the thickness of the barrel walls without reducing the durability. This provides the player with a bat that is light, durable, and has an uncanny amount of pop. To top it off, Rip It has a very comfortable grip that makes the bat just feel amazing in your hands.
Rip It is so confident in their bat, that they offer a “love it or return it” policy. You have 30 days to try the bat and if you are not happy with the bat, they will refund your money and even pay for the return shipping. They also offer a 400 day gurantee which is longer than most bat companies. If your bat breaks, dents, or isn’t performing up to standards they will replace your bat as many times as needed.
Overall, Rip It provides a bat that is light, has a lot of pop, and comfortable. Couple that with great customer service and you have one of the top BBCOR bats on the market.
Reviews (4.9 / 5)
Easton has been a leading manufacturer for years now. They continually put out quality products. The Mako is a new member to their Speed Series. Both the handle and barrel are composite. The barrel has less mass, which results in a much lower swing weight. This will result in greater bat speed for you and in turn more power. The Mako is a two piece bat that has the connexion technology, which maximizes energy transfer and lead to a much smoother feel. This bat is a combination of the S1 and the XL. It has the swing speed of the S1 and the power of the XL. It is extremely balanced and overall a great bat for both a contact and power hitter.
Demarini Voodoo Paradox
Normally you pay for what you get when it comes to baseball bats. The more you spend the better the bat is going to be and hopefully perform. This isn’t always the case. The Voodoo Paradox is a less expensive option that still brings great performance to the table.
The Voodoo is a two piece bat that has a composite handle and alloy barrel. The two piece technology allows the bat to have a long barrel and larger sweet spot. Overall the Voodoo is very light, but is top heavy. Therefore, we would recommend it for a stronger or power hitter. Even though it is top heavy, the bat still has an incredible amount of control and pop for the very pedestrian price. Another unique feature of the Voodoo Paradox is that it actually comes in half sizes as well. This is a feature that is rare among bbcor bats. This bat gives you the most bang for your buck for those of us who are on a budget.
Reviews (4.9 / 5)
This bat was inspired by NL MVP, Andrew McCutchen. This bat gives you big league speed resulting from its carbon-composite handle and multi-material barrel. This bat is extremely balanced and light because it is balanced in all of the right places.
The barrel looks large, but has less then desirable performance. Don’t get me wrong, if you catch it on the sweet spot it is going to go, but the sweet spot could be larger. One of the factors that sets this bat apart from other high quality bbcor bats is its grip. Marucci has decided to go with a grip made out of Kevlar that does a remarkable job of reducing the vibration sting, while feeling comfortable in your hands.
Reviews (4.7 / 5)
Louisville-Slugger is a household name when it comes to baseball bats. You don’t have to believe us here at BBCOR Bats HQ, Top 25 programs like Florida State, Rice, North Carolina and Stanford, not to mention the 2012 College World Series Champion Arizona Wildcats are using Louisville Sluggers.
This year they have produced a bat that is both affordable and performs great on the field. The Assault is a one-piece bat made out of ST+20 Alloy. It also contains Louis Sluggers patented Flex Band, which allows for the bat to have thinner walls, lighter swing weight, and a larger barrel. This makes the Assault one of the most balanced and fastest bats on the market. It also provides the stiffness and power of the traditional one-piece bats.
For the price and performance, you can’t go wrong with this bat. Also if you are looking for a 32.5” this is one of the only bats on the market for that half size.