The Best Wood Bats for 2021 (with reviews)

For ballplayers looking for a classic or professional baseball experience, nothing beats the sound and feel of using the best wood baseball bats on the market. There are a lot of wood bats to choose from, so we've put together an informative guide to help you choose from some of the best wood bats for your baseball experience.

To see more options, check out our full selection of wood baseball bats.

 

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • List of the Best Wood Bats
  • How to Size Your Baseball or Softball Bat
  • Best Wood Bats by Category
  • What Materials are Used to Make Wood Bats?

The Best Wooden Baseball Bats Reviewed by BaseballMonkey

Rank

Image

Name

Top Benefit

1

Louisville Slugger MLB Prime C271 High Roller Maple Wood Bat - Black/Flame

Crafted from the top 3 percent of Louisville Sluggers wood selection, the hardness of the maple helps increase exit velocities for any type of hitter.

2

Rawlings MM8PL Manny Machado Maple Wood Bat

Designed with Wood Saver Technology to ensure the preferred weight in any climate, the Rawlings MM8PL is designed for elite college and high school play.

3

Victus HD28 Grit Matte Maple Wood Bat



Designed for distance, the Victus HD28 Grit Matte maple wood bat features a slightly end-loaded barrel that gives you the power and sound of the crack of the bat whenever you barrel a pitch.

4

Marucci Pro Model Smart Wood Softball Bat

Handcrafted softball smart bat to take your swing to the next level. For use with the SwingTracker sensor and recommended only for practice or cages.  

5

Marucci AP5 NB Albert Pujols Pro Model Youth 

The Marucci AP5 NB youth model features the same design as their Albert Pujols game-day engineered adult model. It has been crafted for a balance of control and power for young players.

 

1. Louisville Slugger MLB Prime C271 High Roller Maple Wood Bat - Black/Flame 

Louisville Slugger MLB Prime C271 High Roller Maple Wood Bat - Black/FlameLouisville Slugger MLB Prime C271 High Roller Maple Wood Bat - Black/Flame

Type: Adult Baseball

Material: Maple

Overview: One of Louisville Slugger’s most popular wooden bats, the MLB Prime is crafted from choice maple wood. This hard wood offers stiffness for advanced control and an increase in exit velocity of struck balls. A glossy sheen gives this bat a classy look.

Key Features:

  • Crafted from the top three percent of Louisville Sluggers’ maple stock
  • Constructed from hard maple for stiffness during swings
  • Medium handle and barrel provide balance

2. Rawlings MM8PL Manny Machado Maple Wood Bat

Rawlings MM8PL Manny Machado Maple Wood BatRawlings MM8PL Manny Machado Maple Wood Bat

Type: Adult Baseball

Material: Maple

Overview: Rawlings has designed their MM8PL Manny Machado wood bat to meet the needs of the best professional baseball players. With a drop 3 length to weight ratio, this Rawlings bat is crafted for balance at the plate.

Key Features:

  • Wood Saver Technology to ensure weight in different climates
  • 15/16-inch handle
  • Sized for elite high school and college ballplayers

3. Victus HD28 Grit Matte Maple Wood Bat

Victus HD28 Grit Matte Maple Wood BatVictus HD28 Grit Matte Maple Wood Bat

 Type: Adult Baseball

Material: Maple

Overview: The Victus HD28 maple wood bat was crafted to give batters maximum distance when they barrel their pitch. This bat features the same quality maple wood as the Victus Pro Reserve line for high-end response and it's been suggested that the texture of the matte finish allows for more backspin on batted balls.

Key Features:

  • Medium handle and barrel
  • Slight end-loaded feel
  • Big League-grade ink dot certified

4. Marucci Pro Model Smart Wood Softball Bat

Marucci Pro Model Smart Wood Softball Bat (No Sensor)Marucci Pro Model Smart Wood Softball Bat (No Sensor)

Type: Softball; Practice Smart Bat)

Material: Smart Bat


Overview: The Marucci Pro Model Smart Wood Softball bat is handcrafted with smart technology using Diamond Kinetics’ SwingTracker sensor to offer players real-time feedback and data about their swing. Analyze and enhance your swing using the data provided from 11 metrics across 4 categories: Control, Power, Quickness and Speed. 


Key Features:

  • Diamond Kinetics precise swing data
  • Free IOS app
  • Removable sensor

 

*NOTE: The Marucci Pro Model Smart Wood Softball bat is not recommended for regular game play; use the smart bat only in practice and batting cages.

5. Marucci AP5 NB Albert Pujols Pro Model Youth

Marucci AP5 NB Albert Pujols Pro Model Youth Maple Baseball BatMarucci AP5 NB Albert Pujols Pro Model Youth Maple Baseball Bat

Type: Youth Baseball

Material: Maple

Overview: Crafted from Pennsylvania forest-grown maple, the youth model has been designed with the same care as Marucci's AP5 Pro adult wood baseball bats. With a tapered handle and moderately-sized barrel, this is one of the best youth wood bats for players looking for a balanced feel.

Key Features:

  • Bone rubbed for an ideal feel
  • Cut from naturally grown trees
  • Albert Pujols' Signature model

How to Size Your Wood Baseball or Softball Bat

When choosing the best wood bat, you'll want to make sure that you choose the appropriate size for your height and swing.

When sizing a wood bat for an adult, an easy way to begin is to measure the distance from the center of your chest to your fingertips. This distance will be the average length of bat that works for your wingspan. 

Youth players between 3' and 3' 4" tall should start with a 26-inch bat and increase by one inch for every four inches of growth.

For more information, check out our complete guide to baseball and softball bat sizing.

Best Wood Bats by Category

Just like with most other aspects of baseball equipment, not every wood baseball bat is perfect for every age and skill level. To help you find the best wood bat for your game, we've selected our top-rated, best wood bat for each of the following categories.

Best High School/College Wood Baseball Bats

Rawlings MM8PL Manny Machado Maple Wood Bat: A drop 3 length to weight ratio gives the Rawlings MM8PL bat the balance of contact and power required at the high school and college levels of play. This is one of the best wood baseball bats for travel as it has been crafted with Wood Saver Technology to ensure a preferred weight in nearly any climate.

Best Youth Wood Bat

Marucci AP5 NB Albert Pujols Pro Model Youth: The Marucci AP5 NB Albert Pujols Pro Model Youth bat is designed with the same balance and power of the adult model. It gives youth players the control they need as they learn how to make solid contact. This bat is made from forest-grown Pennsylvania maple for optimum quality.

Best Wood Bat for Ages 13-15

Louisville Slugger MLB Prime C271 High Roller Maple Wood Bat: The Louisville Slugger MLB Prime C271 is our best wood bat for players outgrowing youth sizes. While this bat is designed for elite ballplayers, it’s also one of the most balanced maple wood bats available. This balance will help growing ballplayers continue to improve their game. It also makes this the best bat for contact hitters.

Best Wood Bat for Power

Victus HD28 Grit Matte Maple Wood Bat: Slightly end-loaded to help hitters achieve maximum distance, the Victus HD28 Grit Maple Wood bat is our selection for the best wood bat for power hitters. Combine the end-loaded design with a medium barrel, and this bat will awe spectators with a deafening crack every time you barrel your pitch.

Best Wood Bat for Contact

Louisville Slugger MLB Prime C271 High Roller Maple Wood Bat: If you're looking for the best contact from a wood bat, you want a bat that’s perfectly balanced. The Louisville Slugger MLB Prime C271 combines a drop 2 weight to length ratio with a medium handle and barrel for ideal balance for contact hitters. Its hard maple construction also provides better exit velocity when making contact at the plate.

Best Fastpitch Softball Wood Bat

What Materials are Used to Make Wood Bats?

Wood baseball bats have been used since the invention of the game. Over the history of baseball bat construction, different materials have been used in bat creation, each having different qualities. When you're searching for the best wood baseball bat, you may notice some of the following materials used in baseball bat craftsmanship.

  • Maple: Maple wood baseball bats are the most common on the market today. Maple is a hard wood and the choice of many pros and elite ballplayers due to its durability and solid nature when making contact.
  • Ash: At one time, ash used to be the most common wood used in baseball bat construction. It’s incredibly lightweight, giving ballplayers much more control at the plate, but with its weight comes a sacrifice in durability.
  • Hickory: Hickory was the wood of choice in the early days of baseball. Hickory bats can be incredibly heavy, so many ballplayers shy away from hickory bats in today's game. If you’re a stronger player who likes a heavy bat, some manufacturers still craft hickory wood baseball bats.

Bamboo: Bamboo bats are some of the lightest and most durable bats available on the market. Bamboo is technically grass (not wood), so these bats are made by gluing several strips of bamboo together. MLB and elite leagues ban the use of bamboo bats due to the fact they’re not constructed out of a single piece of wood.

Find the Best Selection of Wood Bats at BaseballMonkey!

By now, you should now have all the information you need to find the best wooden baseball bat for success, no matter what your skill level currently is. Now that you have all the info you need, feel free to browse our full selection of wooden bats on BaseballMonkey.com!