In this article, we review the best youth big barrel bats of 2022. You’ll find the best USSSA baseball bats for all ages, budgets and hitting preferences.
What is a USSSA baseball bat?
A USSSA bat is a bat designated for use in youth leagues. You can find USSSA bats in -5, -8, -10, and -12 models. To qualify as a USSSA bat, the barrel diameter must also be either 2 3/4 inches or 2 5/8 inches.
USSSA bats may also be known as “big barrel” bats. So the “best USSSA baseball bats” and the “best youth big barrel bats” are the same thing.
Prior to buying a bat, make sure that it has the USSSA logo on taper. It’s likely to be around where the barrel meets the handle.
If you don’t see this stamp/sticker, you run the risk of not being able to use the bat during games.
How we picked our favorites?
We’ve developed a community of players and coaches that we work with. Our primary method of evaluating these players is to try to get our hands on the bats that we’re reviewing. When possible, we go out to the fields and test the bats ourselves.
We also like to meet up with players so that we can get their input. We’ll offer some live batting practice to local players and coaches and learn from their insight. We really enjoy getting their perspective on a bat.
Aside from going to the field, we comb through the internet. We’re in regular discussion on forums and we constantly look at reviews from customers on different sites.
We want a well-rounded outlook to be sure that we’re not recommending a bat that has shown durability issues.
These are the best USSSA baseball bats for 2022:
- 2022 Louisville Slugger Meta
- Marucci CAT9 Composite
- 2022 DeMarini CF
- 2022 DeMarini Zoa
- Victus Vandal
- Warstic Bonesaber
- 2022 Rawlings Quatro Pro
- Warstic Gunner
- Marucci CAT9
- 2022 DeMarini The Goods
2022 Louisville Slugger Meta
The best USSSA bat on the market
The LS Meta is the best USSSA bat on the market in 2022. It’s a three-piece all-composite model. You can find the Meta in a -5, -8, and -10 model.
It features a very balanced swing weight that means contact hitters can use it without any issue.
The Meta boasts a large barrel that features a large sweet spot and outstanding pop. Overall, you can’t go wrong with the performance that you’ll get out of this bat.
It has a VCX2 connection that controls vibration, even on mishits. You’ll also find that the LS Pro Comfort grip provides a bit of tack and additional cushion in a hitter’s hands.
We will admit that the Meta isn’t going to provide the best pop in the class, but it’s a well-rounded bat that anyone can use.
In trying to compare the different weights, some players have said that the -5 model doesn’t measure up to the -8 and -10 models.
Overall, we absolutely love the Meta. It provides premium quality, outstanding performance and comfort, and top-of-the-line durability. This bat sits pretty high on the price scale at $350, but it is well worth it.
We are convinced that the Meta is going to be one of the most popular USSSA bats on the market. Its design is a perfect blend between power and control meaning any player on the field can use it.
If you can get your hands on the LS Meta, you should absolutely buy it.
Marucci CAT9 Composite
Best exit velocity from USSSA bat
The Marucci CAT9 Composite is one of our absolute favorite models on the market.
Don’t confuse the CAT9 Composite with the CAT9 Connect. It’s a two-piece composite model that has a 2 3/4″ barrel.
It has a moderate swing weight that doesn’t quite reach being balanced. The swing weight is very manageable meaning that anyone can use this bat.
In watching the live batting practice that we conducted, it seemed like the CAT9 Composite offered more pop than any other bat we tested. It was consistently able to add distance and exit velocity for players when they stepped into the box.
The pop that this bat has comes from its multi-directional (MDX) composite design and its outer-locking system.
The MDX simply provides multiple layers of composite material which makes the barrel more responsive. The outer-locking system makes the bat stiffer than other composite models. That means that the barrel is just as responsive as most composite bats but it’s also stiffer.
Combining those two features makes this the best USSSA bat for power hitters.
Marucci designed the handle to be comfortable. One key component of that is a removable taper which means that you can adjust the grip tape to your liking.
The CAT9 Composite also features an ergonomic knob that should make swinging the bat more comfortable while also providing more control for a hitter’s top hand.
Being a two-piece composite, this bat also has almost no vibration, even when the hitter gets jammed.
There are two concerns that we’ve found with the CAT9 Composite. First, it performed well for us, but we’ve seen a few too many reviews that are concerned with durability. In our discussion with customers who ran into issues, we found that sometimes the bat just can’t hold up.
The other issue is, of course, pricing. Hitting the market at $350 makes this another one of the most expensive models you can buy. At least with the CAT9, you’re getting one of the best bats when you pay that.
We’d love to see the price come down, but we can’t argue with charging a premium when you’re offering elite quality.
2022 DeMarini CF
The best balanced USSSA bat
DeMarini is one of the best bat companies in the industry. You’ll find that they have 3 of our top 10 USSSA bats in this article.
The DeMarini CF is a two-piece all-composite model. You can find the CF in -5, -8, and -10 models.
The CF is fairly middle-of-the-pack in regards to swing weight. It’s not quite a balanced swing weight, but it certainly isn’t considered end-loaded either.
It is worth noting that the -5 model is a bit more end-loaded than the -8 or -10. Some players have said that the -5 swings a bit heavier than the -8 or -10.
Overall, it’s still a fantastic option. The 3Fusion connection really limits the vibration in a hitter’s hands. Even on mishits, players have said that they don’t feel much.
You’ll find that the grip is pretty average, so it loses some points on the comfort grade because of that.
It seems like the sweet spot is a bit smaller than the likes of the LS Meta, but it still stands up against the competition. Even with a slightly smaller sweet spot, this bat has fantastic pop.
We have heard a few parents tell us that durability is a concern. We haven’t personally experienced any issues though.
The good news is that DeMarini provides a 12-month warranty. So, if the bat breaks down, you’ll lose some time while waiting for a replacement, but it’s good to know that the company stands behind their product.
This is another great option for any hitter. It has a $350 price tag which is in line with its competition. This bat definitely sits on the high end of the spectrum in regards to cost, but it can compete with the best models on the market.
Being a composite bat means that it’s going to provide premium production for you. We’ve seen this bat handle hundreds of swings without issue, so durability isn’t a concern.
Note: Some people have asked about the CF Glitch. The Glitch is the same bat with a different paint job.
2022 DeMarini Zoa
The best composite USSSA bat for power
The DeMarini Zoa is a two-piece, all-composite model that you can find in -5, -8, and -10 models.
The continuous fiber composite is a unique design where one piece of composite material has been rolled continuously. By rolling the composite (think of a carpet) the composite is reinforced which allows the bat to perform better even when hitting away from the sweet spot.
DeMarini paired an Anomaly connection system with a stiff connector piece. This makes the bat look more like The Goods while also minimizing any negative feedback in a hitter’s hands.
It also provides a very stiff feel; especially for a composite bat. Players noticed a dramatic difference between the stiffness of the Zoa and the CF.
This bat is one of the most end-loaded USSSA models in our review. This is definitely a power hitter’s bat. The only other bat with this type of swing weight is the Easton Maxum Ultra.
You’ll find that the Zoa is hot out of the wrapper and will be ready for play the day that it arrives which is unusual for a composite model. The Zoa provides unquestionable performance.
The Zoa falls short in two key areas: pricing and comfort. DeMarini is known to set the price for the market and that’s exactly what they did with the Zoa. It is $400 which is the most expensive USSSA bat on the market.
While the Zoa is one of the hottest USSSA bats on the market, $400 makes this bat difficult for some families to afford. Their pricing has taken them out of our number one spot.
The other key issue is comfort. The Zoa has a very average grip tape that multiple players have complained about. Some just didn’t like the tape and other said it had to be replaced. There’s just no reason for DeMarini to skimp on quality when it comes to the tape they use.
Overall, this bat performs as well as any bat out there. Its end-load makes it a better option for power hitters, but anyone could use this bat and see results.
There is an easy argument for this bat to be our favorite USSSA bat on the market, but we couldn’t recommend it above all others because of its price tag.
Simply put, the DeMarini Zoa is the USSSA bat with the best pop.
Lightest swing weight, best value USSSA bat
The Victus Vandal is a one-piece alloy model that can be purchased in -5, -8, and -10 models. You can also find the Vandal Gold in -5, -8, and -10 models. They’re the same bat with a different paint job.
The Vandal is considered “ultra-balanced” which is meant to play up its light swing weight. The low MOI (swing weight) is an intentional design for the Vandal in every category. The BBCOR model is built similarly with the goal of increasing bat speed.
The Vandal is built with Victus’ patented VXP alloy that is designed for durability. Having such a strong alloy means that Victus is able to use multi-variable walls and a ringless design; meaning that Victus is able to build durability without weighing the bat down.
Players have told us that they really like the feel of the bat in their hands. Victus uses a “pro-tapered handle” which allows for better bat control.
The Vandal also features a soft-touch grip with micro-perforations. Like any one-piece model, the bat will sting on bad hits.
Victus lists the Vandal at $280 on its website, but you can find discounts if you look elsewhere. We absolutely recommend taking the time to shop around to find the best deal.
Ultimately, this is a high-end bat that, even at its most expensive point, is significantly cheaper than its other high-end competitors.
The Vandal is a great option for any player starting to develop power. It has a large sweet spot and offers great performance for a fraction of the price of the Meta or the CF.
Because of that, we believe the Victus is the best value USSSA bat that you’ll find.
The best pure contact USSSA bat
Warstic is a company that is developing a reputation for putting out high-quality bats. Warstic won awards for innovation last year by being the first to add a taper to the handle of an aluminum bat.
The Bonesaber is a one-piece alloy model that features as 2 5/8″ barrel. You can find in -5, -8, and -10 models.
The Bonesaber is a model that is gaining popularity among players at all age levels. It has a balanced swing weight that makes it perfect for a contact hitter.
Warstic set out with the goal to make this look like a professional model and they nailed it. The paint job looks like a typical maple bat. Warstic is also the only company that has a professional style taper like a wood bat.
The Bonesaber features a Tsuka Warrior’s Grip which is one of the thinnest grip tapes that you’ll find. Players tell us that it’s still comfortable in their hands.
It is designed to be smooth, but not slick. That is, the warrior’s grip isn’t tacky, but will still allow you to keep a good hold of the bat.
We haven’t seen any durability issues, but did have one player tell us that his barrel dented. Fortunately, Warstic stood by their warranty and was able to replace the bat without any issue.
One issue that some players have mentioned is the sound the bat makes on contact. The Bonesaber has a high-pitched ping that some players don’t like.
Looking at their website, Warstic says that it’s an “explosive, higher pitched sound like samurai sword slicing through its target”. That seems like a stretch, but it is definitely a unique sound.
The Warstic Bonesaber comes in at about $270 which makes it reasonably priced. It’s a bat that offers pop for power hitters and balance for contact hitters.
It fits any hitting profile, has a natural wood-style design, and has the unique taper on the handle. Adding all that up makes the Bonesaber one of the best USSSA bats on the market.
2022 Rawlings Quatro Pro
The Rawlings Quatro Pro is a two-piece composite model. You can find it in the typical -5, -8, and -10 models.
They’ve made some significant upgrades including trying to join the analytics game. The Quatro Pro features a space in the knob that is designed to attach a motion sensor so that you can analyze your swing an entirely different level.
The Quatro Pro is a mid-loaded bat that offers a great balance between power and contact. If push comes to shove, we’d profile this as more of a power hitter’s bat, but it’s not fully end-loaded.
You’ll find that the 2022 Quatro Pro has a large sweet spot and provides great performance.
Rawlings did a great job of combining unique composite material with their F2 collar to significantly reduce the vibration in a hitter’s hands. That F2 collar also helps to reduce barrel drag which makes it easier to guide the bat through the zone.
The Quatro Pro also features the high-end Lizard Skins bat grip that players love. Lizard Skins provide extra tack to really allow the hitter to trust his grip when swinging.
Looking at each model, we believe the -10 is the best option out of the bunch, but they all perform pretty closely. Overall, we’re happy with the bat that Rawlings has put out.
One key downfall that we’ve found is that the bat has a $350 price tag. That makes this bat priced as one of the best in the game, and it just isn’t there.
There are multiple models that significantly outperform the Rawlings Quatro Pro, so we’d like to see the price come down a bit.
The best hybrid USSSA bat
The Warstic Gunner is one of our favorite BBCOR models this year. In the USSSA arena, it doesn’t make quite as much of an impression.
This is a two-piece hybrid model that was designed for power hitters. It has an end-loaded swing weight that will let hitters generate high velocities on a consistent basis.
There aren’t many hybrid models in the USSSA arena. The Gunner is the cream of the crop. It has an enormous sweet spot that performs well regardless of where you hit the ball.
Combining that with alloy barrel features a stiff connection joint that lets hitters whip the bat through the zone like a one-piece.
The Gunner also features an ultra-thin grip which makes this bat easy on the hands.
The Marucci CAT9 is a one-piece alloy model. You can find this in a -5, -8, and -10 model.
The CAT9 is a bit of a mid-load model. That means that it really doesn’t qualify as a balanced bat or an end-loaded bat, but somewhere in the middle.
That means that the bat was built to be a great option for any hitter. The CAT9 has a large sweet spot and provides a ton of pop.
The CAT9 offers elite durability. That is largely due to the AZR alloy material that they use to make the bat. It gets a three part thermal treatment that improves performance, smooths out any imperfections, and offers a better, more natural feel for the hitter.
The multi-variable wall and ring-free barrel provide outstanding performance without sacrificing swing speed. The design makes the CAT9 a bit less stiff than your standard one-piece.
Ultimately, the biggest issue you’ll find with the CAT9 is the standard issue with one-piece models. This bat isn’t able to dampen vibration the same way that a composite or hybrid model can.
To that point, Marucci has added a soft-touch grip and anti-vibration knob. The grip provides a bit of tack so that a hitter can feel more confident. The AV2 knob does decrease the amount of vibration, but it’s still certainly there.
Players have told us that this bat provides outstanding pop. It seems to have a large sweet spot making it a great option for any hitter.
2022 DeMarini The Goods
The best hybrid USSSA bat for power
The Goods has developed a reputation for being one of the best bats on the market. It’s certainly our favorite BBCOR bat that you’ll find. While it doesn’t quite reach the same level of quality in the USSSA realm, it’s still a high-end bat.
The Goods, USSSA bat, is a two-piece hybrid model designed for power hitters. It features an alloy barrel and a composite handle. You’ll find The Goods in -5 and -10 models.
The goods is designed with DeMarini’s X14 alloy which is designed to provide durability, hard contact, and consistent performance.
Combining the high-quality alloy with a direct connection point generates most of the power. The direct connection point allows this bat to have a stiff feel, similar to a one-piece model.
To really emphasize that this bat is made with the power hitter in mind, DeMarini made The Goods more end-loaded than most of its competition.
In watching players take live BP, we found that The Goods consistently outperformed the competition on exit velocity. In fact, one of our testers set a personal record for exit velo.
In regards to performance, the biggest downfall that we found was that The Goods has a smaller sweet spot than some of the other bats we’ve reviewed.
Durability hasn’t been an issue with any of the players that we’ve talked to. This bat consistently performs over hundreds of swings. Some players have mentioned that it has a bit more vibration than they’d expect from a hybrid model.
In the end, The Goods offers outstanding performance. It’s priced at $300 which isn’t terrible. We’d love to see that price come down a bit, but that’s the cost of baseball bats these days.
The Goods will compete with your favorite bats but doesn’t quite reach the top tier the way it does in the BBCOR frame.
There you have it, our list of the best youth big barrel bats that 2022 has to offer. With each model offering multiple variations and drop weights, you should have no problem selecting the perfect bat for your age, budget and preferences.
We hope that whichever bat you choose serves you well in the 2022 season!