Best Wood Baseball Bats: Which Will Hit Homeruns 2022

We all love the “Pop!” sound of a well-designed wood baseball bat when it strikes the ball with its sweet spot. But that requires a good hit and a good baseball bat. 

If you are a baseball enthusiast active on the field and looking forward to buying a baseball bat, this article will help make things easy for you. Choosing a bat may be stressful and confusing for both beginners and people who have bought them before. 

You need to check several things before you purchase, such as turn models, swing weights, and wood types. I have listed everything you require to know about wood baseball bats along with a list of the 10 best-selling wood baseball bats of 2022.

Table of Contents ↴

Types of baseball bats

Depending on the construction material of the bats, baseball bats can be of different types, such as wooden bats, aluminum or alloy bats, composite bats, and hybrid bats. Beginners usually use aluminum bats, which are great for somebody just starting out. However, if you want to consider building yourself up to become a professional seriously, I say wood baseball bats are your best friends. 

Why should you choose a wooden baseball bat over a metal one?

Frankly, if you are planning to play on a professional level, you better start getting used to playing with a wooden baseball bat because a lot of the major leagues don’t allow players to use a metal bat. I’ll explain why in a bit after I have given a detailed breakdown of the differences between metal bats and wood bats. 

Wood bats

  • Firstly, a well-made wood baseball bat is much more balanced than any metal baseball bat. So, they are usually more steady and provide more quality swings than metal bats. 
  • Wood bats are quite dense. So, when a ball hits a wood bat, it creates a larger impact than it would with other types of bats and can send a ball farther than a metal bat would with the same type of hit.
  • Wood bats have smaller and more defined sweet spots than metal bats. If the ball misses the sweet spot, it is easily felt by the batter. So you, as a batter, will get more feedback by contact. And the difference between the feedback a wooden bat gives upon striking with the sweet spot and the feedback it gives from a mishit is phenomenal. As a result, you will be able to accustom yourself to hitting the sweet hit spot more accurately, creating pitch discipline in you as a hitter.
  • If you swing at a bad pitch, you will likely be left with a broken bat or a stinging hand. Those with experience in batting can confirm that these are unpleasant consequences that we all want to avoid. However, you will likely avoid miss-hitting with wood bats since bad hits are felt easily on wood. 
  • As wood bats are quite dense, it takes a while to master a strike on them. But, with practice, wood bats can help the player build more muscles and hit with more power and accuracy over time.
  • The barrels of wood bats aren’t hollow like that of metal bats. So, the ball swings off a wooden bat at a more controlled speed. 
  • Only wood bats are allowed in major league games because it does justice to the experiences and hard work of the players. 

Metal bats

  • Metal bats are hollow on the inside. Therefore, they are lighter and can have larger barrels without being too heavy. And since they’re lightweight, they’re naturally easier to swing and generate potent hits upon contact. This makes metal bats great for beginners. 
  • It is no secret that metal bats provide a larger sweet spot. A larger sweet spot means metal bats often give you bigger hits at different pitches. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean more quality hits.
  • Metal bats withstand miss-hits down the barrel without breaking as a wood bat would. 
  • Because of the ‘trampoline effect, the ball bounces off a metal bat at great speed. If an experienced power hitter hits a ball with a metal bat, the ball could fly off at extreme speeds, which could result in unwanted injuries upon hitting somebody by any chance. This is also part of the reason why professional leagues don’t allow metal bats.
  • Since metal bats are very forgiving and have the largest sweet spots, there isn’t much room for error with a metal bat, unlike wood ones with which you have to be very accurate. 
  • Anyone can send a ball off flying with a metal bat. Still, only experienced hitters who have perfected their skills and accuracies over years of practice can actually play well with wooden bats. 
  • Metal bats are not allowed in major league games.

Things to consider before buying a wood baseball bat

Turn Models

Wood bats don’t only come in different materials but also come as different turn models. The turn models define the shapes of baseball bast. Let’s look at the features and benefits of different turn models.

110 Turn Model

This is the most basic turn model of the ones I will mention. It is pretty comfortable for any type of hitter, be it a contact hitter or a power hitter. 

110 turn models have a 2 ½ “ barrel diameter, a long slow taper, and a 1” diameter handle. So these bats are a little bit thicker in the handle through the taper; this gives them some durability. With these models, you will get a nice long barrel and a large contact surface. 

One of the biggest benefits of this turn model is that the bats are pretty balanced because it has that long, slower tape. These bats don’t have more weight through the middle of the bat, which makes it a little bit easier to get through the zone. 

110 turn models are quite popular among contact hitters. If you are getting your first wood baseball bat, this is a great option for you.

271 Turn Model

This is probably the most popular turn model because it has a 15/16” handle and a 2 ½” barrel. And there is a slightly quicker transition at the taper. So, you will get a more end-loaded feel of a defined barrel. 

271 turn models can be used both by contact hitters and power hitters alike. 

I-13 Turn Model

It is quite similar to the 271-turn model in terms of dimensions. It too has a 2 ½” diameter barrel and a 15/16” handle. The main difference is that it has a much sharper taper. 

So, the bat transitions from the handle to the barrel much quicker, meaning the barrel will be a little more end-loaded than the 271 turn models. 

It is more popular among power hitters because it has that top-heavy feel. 

243 Turn Model

This one has the most extreme dimensions among the ones mentioned with a 2 ⅝“ diameter barrel, down to the smallest handle at 29/32”, and a rapid taper between the two. 

With such a big barrel and a nice, long handle, it provides more power and is only recommended for experienced power hitters. 

Best wood types to choose from

Wood types make huge differences in the compositions of bats. It is one of the key factors that need to be considered while purchasing a wood baseball bat. 

Not all types of wood are made into bats. The popular ones used to make baseball bats are maple, birch, and ash. There are other popular types, such as bamboo and composite wood. However, unfortunately, they are not allowed in every professional league. 

I am giving a detailed breakdown of the wood types used to make baseball bats so that you can consider every factor involved before choosing a bat to buy for yourself.

Ash wood

Ash is probably the most popular type of wood to make baseball bats. First of all, they are the least expensive variety of wood. So, bats made out of ash wood tend to be quite affordable. 

Ash bats are also softer than maple and birch bats and hence, are more flexible as well. More flexibility means it can generate quite a bit of speedy swing. 

It is great for young players starting off. They are on the lighter side, making ash wood bats quite manageable for younger players. 

Now, wait for the best part! Ashwood bats have the largest sweet spots that allow a wide range of pitches to hit. And they are quite forgiving of miss-hits as well. 

However, ash is an open-grain wood. So it loses moisture easily and becomes quite dry over time. Unfortunately, this can make the bats flaky after prolonged use. Hence, they aren’t the most durable of the bunch. 

Ash bats are allowed in all major leagues. 

Maple Wood

Maple wood is pretty dense. So bats made of maple wood are usually dense and quite durable. Maple wood bats feel pretty solid on the hands of a pro and give the best ‘pop’ when they make contact with a ball. 

Maple, being a closed-grain wood, can reliably withstand forceful impacts. Therefore, it doesn’t flake off easily and gradually gets harder on the impact region over time.

On the contrary, maple wood bats are much less forgiving than other types of bats as they are very stiff. With maple wood bats, a miss-hit isn’t at all pleasant, and to make a good hit with a maple wood bat, hitting with the sweet spot is a must. 

Another downside of using a maple bat is that they gain moisture over time and become heavier than they already are. So they get a little hard to manage for young batters or prefer contact hitting over power hitting. 

Maple bats are BBCOR-approved and are allowed in major leagues. They are usually used mostly by experienced power hitters.  

Birch Wood

Birchwood holds properties of both maple wood and ash wood. Birchwood bats provide a middle ground for players still looking to perfect their techniques.

Baseball bats made of birch wood are more flexible and softer than maple bats. Therefore, they generate great speed and are forgiving of miss-hits at the same time. They are also more durable and flake off a lot less than ash-wood bats.

However, birchwood bats, when they are new, tend to dent slightly. They require a break-in period over a series of repetitive impacts to reach optimal hardness. 

Birchwood bats are allowed in all the professional and youth leagues.

Bamboo

Bamboo bats are lightweight and durable. Moreover, they have amazing weight distribution. The swinging experiences with bamboo bats are amazing as bamboo bats have quite large sweet spots and great pop. In addition, they absorb shocks very well. 

However, they do have a break-in period. So, to get the desired result out of a bamboo bat, you have to practice with it for a while. 

Unfortunately, bamboo bats aren’t allowed in every major league, but some leagues do allow them as they are still considered wood bats. Nevertheless, they make pretty great practice bats. 

Composite wood

Composite wood is a mixture of different wood materials that produce an optimum quality wood. Bats made out of composite wood are becoming increasingly popular because of their durability and their exceptional performance. These bats have the best-desired features since they are made from the most desired parts of different wood. 

They are both strong and enduring, and at the same time are quite flexible too. In addition, they can generate very powerful hits through contact. On top of that, they are more forgiving than regular wood bats as well. 

Sadly, since they are not made out of a single type of wood, they are not allowed in MLB and some other professional leagues. They break the bank a bit, but they last a lifetime. So a one-time purchase will serve you for a long time. 

Bamboo bats have great functionality as practice bats since they have some amazing features. 

Top 10 Wood Baseball Bats

There are plenty of wood baseball bats available in the market. I have researched the most reputed ones to compile this list of the top 10 wood baseball bats that are available in the market. 

This list is a bit diverse. Some bats may be preferred by power hitters while some by contact hitters. Another important thing to note is that most of these bats are allowed to be used in MLB, except the bamboo and composite bat. Major League Baseball only allows bats that are essentially one piece of solid wood.

Louisville Slugger MLB Prime Wood Bat

Specifications

  • Model name: MLB Prime Maple C271 High Roller
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 35×3×3
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Color: Deep flame/ Black
  • Size: 31”
  • Wood type: Maple 

The Louisville Slugger MLB Prime is a 271-turn model bat with an option of customizable wood. So, you can pick from maple, birch, or ash wood according to your preference. Mind you; the maple one comes in a sleek black color. 

This bat has a long thin handle, long taper, and a 2.5 “ diameter barrel. It has a balanced swing weight and is slightly end-loaded with a perfect cupped design and an extended sweet spot. 

The Louisville Slugger MLB Prime favors both contact and power hitters. The bats in this series have craftsman-style cups that are explicitly created to curb breakage and maintain hardness on contact. 

In addition, they are coated with an exopro finish that creates a beautiful mirror-like appearance and an unmatched level of hardness. Overall, this Louisville Slugger is a perfect fit for MLB matches.

Pros

  • Customers can choose from maple, ash, or birchwood
  • Both power hitters and contact hitters can enjoy the feel of this bat and use it comfortably. 
  • Craftsman-type cups
  • EXOPRO finish

Cons

  • Not a great option for new players. 

Why I like it

What I like best about these bats is that they are very consistent. The wood is hard and dense yet well balanced. The fact that these bats favor both power hitters and contact hitters is a big yes for me. Also, I find the Louisville Slugger MLB Prime design very sleek and elegant. 

Victus MH17 Pro Reserve Birch Wood Baseball Bat

Specifications

  • Model name: MH17 Pro Reserve
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 31×3×3 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Colour: Natural
  • Size: 31”
  • Wood type: Birch

The Victus MH17 Pro has the hard properties of a maple bat with the forgiving nature of an ash bat. This is the perfect blend between the two. 

Birchwood is very resilient. Therefore, these bats are very durable. They have good, strong, straight fibers down to the end of the barrel. 

In addition, these bats have flared knobs, thin handles, and large, 2.5” barrels. They also have quite large sweet spots.

Pros

  • The big barrel gives more whip.
  • Great for power hitters 
  • Long-lasting
  • Hard and resilient
  • Light swing weight
  • Ink dot approved 

Cons

  • This bat is on the expensive side.

Why I like it 

This bat has a large sweet spot and a flared knob, creating a great whip. It is also very precise and provides great swing control. Therefore it’s an absolute treat to use. 

Victus FT23 Pro Reserve Maple Wood Baseball Bat

Specifications

  • Model name: TATIS23 Pro Reserve 
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 31×3×3 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 ponds
  • Color: Flame/Charcoal 
  • Size: 31”
  • Wood type: Maple

This FT23 turn model bat is a work of art. It is made of high-quality close-grained maple wood. 

The Victus FT23 Pro has a large barrel with a 2.5” diameter that tapers down to a medium handle. It has a drop three length to weight ratio with a straight grain slope. 

This bat features a cupped barrel. You will get an end-loaded swing feel from the Victus FT23 Pro. Also, it has a flared knob that will come in handy for those transitioning from metal bats to wood bats. Nevertheless, this bat has a heavier feel down the barrel that power hitters like.

Furthermore, the Victus FT23 Pro is flame-tempered and has a ProPACT finish that compresses the wood, creating an extremely hard-hitting surface on the bat. Victus FT23 Pro Reserve Maple wood bats are ink dot certified and MLB approved. 

Pros

  • Cupped barrel for a balanced swing
  • Flared knob provides a great grip
  • Very durable 
  • Slightly end-loaded which provides a powerful swing weight 
  • Handcrafted to perfection

Cons

  • Not ideal for contact hitters

Why I like it 

This bat is end-loaded and cupped at the end. So, it has a powerful but balanced swing weight, which is amazing for players who are transitioning from metal bats. Moreover, it has a great grip because of the flared knob. So it is very easy to manage. The quality of the maple is also top-notch. Lastly, this bat has a stunning pop that you will instantly fall in love with. 

Rawlings Pro Label MMBLP Manny Machado Wood Bat (climate adapter)

Specifications

  • Model name: MM13PL-34
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 1×1×1 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Color: 34in
  • Size: 34”
  • Wood type: Maple

Rawlings has been in the business for a while, and I assure you that you can put your trust in their bats. The Rawlings Pro Label MMBLP Manny Machado Wood Bat is one of those trustworthy bats.

This bat is made from top-quality maple wood. It has a big barrel with a medium-sized handle, which favors both power hitters and contact hitters alike. It is light for a maple wood bat and is great for playing in any weather. 

Overall, the quality of this bat is top-notch. Also, it goes without saying that this bat is ink dot approved.

Pros

  • It doesn’t need any break-in time 
  • The 2 ⅜ “ barrel generates a good force on impact. So, it is great for power-hitting. 
  • It comes sealed from the factory which ensures quality

Cons

  • It has a small handle for a big barrel, so newer players may struggle to find the right balance while using this bat. 

Why I like it 

Since these bats come factory sealed, their weights stay consistent. So, you get a bat with the perfect weight at any time of the year despite the differences in the weather. This bat is also smart bat enabled. Well, isn’t that cool?

Marucci Bringer of Rain Pro Maple MYVE2BOR-N/BK Youth Baseball bat

Specifications

  • Model name: Bringer Of Rain
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 26×1×1 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Color: Natural/ Black
  • Size: 26”
  • Wood type: Maple

The Bringer of Rain Pro model is built to deliver massive power with each strike. It is very suitable for youth players. 

This bat is made from Marucci’s top-quality maple wood, which has also been bone rubbed for ultimate wood density. This bat has a slightly end-loaded swing feel with a length ratio of -5 to -7. It has a thin handle and a flared knob. 

Overall, the design of the Bringer of Rain Pro model allows for a vigorous whip that power hitters are bound to love. This bat is ink dot approved so that you can use it in major leagues.

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Bone rubbed finish
  • This bat is perfect for young batters looking to increase the power of their hits
  • Good weight distribution

Cons

  • They aren’t too great of an option for contact hitters.

Why I like it

This bat has a slightly thicker handle and an end-loaded feel. I really like how it is literally built for colossal power and creates an extreme whip. It is a dream for power hitters.

Marucci AP5 Wood Bats

Specifications

  • Model name: AP5
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 32×3×3 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Color: Black/Natural
  • Size: 32”
  • Wood type: Maple

AP5 bats are names after Albert Pujols. So you know they’re popular. They are the most used bats from 2019-2022. The AP5 model is made from premium maple wood, making it a very hard and durable bat. 

It is a 271-turn model. It has a large barrel that will give you an impactful and heavy swing weight. Despite the powerful barrel action, the tapered handle and knob make the bat surprisingly easy to handle. Moreover, this model features a sufficiently large sweet spot.

AP5 models enjoy a bone-rub finish. The Bone rub process minimizes pores and compresses fibers, which makes the wood denser and these bats quite long-lasting.

Furthermore, these models are handcrafted. The attention to detail is obvious in this sleek and beautiful model.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Large sweet spot
  • End-loaded
  • Great for power hitters
  • They have both the youth version and the pro version available 

Cons

  • Not very ideal for contact hitters. 
  • You must find a version that matches your body weight for the bats to perform the best. 

Why I like it

They are so exquisitely crafted that they look like trophies to be hung on the walls. Even if you put the looks aside, their performance on the field is just as great. These bats are light and durable with the most amazing pop and a great hand feel. 

Louisville Slugger 2020 Select Cut Birch Baseball Bat

Specifications

  • Model name: Select Cut Maple C243 Baseball Bat
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 35×3×3 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 31”/ 32” / 33”
  • Wood type: Maple/ Birch/ Ash

This is a classic Louisville original model. The selected cut wood series’ bats come with different wood options of maple, birch, and ash. This bat has a large barrel and a thin handle. This particular type has a drop 3 weight and a large barrel with a slightly end-loaded feel. 

Moreover, the ExoArmour finish gives these bats superb harnesses and makes them durable. In addition, they are bone rubbed. This process compresses the wood to make it even harder. Furthermore, they have cupped ends for more controlled swing weight. 

Pros

  • Bone-rubbed
  • It has an ExoArmour finish 
  • Flexibility
  • It feels lightweight yet provides great swing weight

Cons

  • They are not as durable as maple bats

Why I like it 

I like it because it has a good grip and feels lightweight but generates plenty of power to send the ball off flying. It also has decent pop. I also like how durable and hard the bat is. It is a great option for someone who is transitioning from metal bats.

Rawlings Adirondack Natural ash wood bat 

Specifications

  • Model name: Rawlings Adirondack Natural ash wood bat
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 31×3×3 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Color: Wood/Black
  • Size: 31”
  • Wood type: Adirondack Ash

This one is probably the best of all the bats made of ash wood. Rawlings selects from the finest Adirondack Ash to make this bat.

Rawlings Adirondack ash bat is extremely light, flexible, and very easy to control. This bat has stunning swing speed and a great trampoline effect, allowing you to drive the ball with an extra boost. 

Moreover, the bats in this series are quite accurate because of their dimensions. And they are also pretty forgiving of miss-hits. 

These bats come with a youth model and an adult model. The adult model has a slightly larger barrel to provide more power and swing weight. On the other hand, the youth model has a medium-sized barrel cupped at the end to provide great balance.

Pros

  • Light
  • Easy to handle
  • Great for someone who is just starting with wood bats
  • They offer options for both young players and more experienced batters. 

Cons

  • Ash isn’t quite as dense as maple wood
  • It might not generate sufficient power for experienced power hitters

Why I like it

This bat is very beginner friendly. It has large sweet spots. Also, it is quite forgiving of miss-hits. I like the amazing performance it provides despite being so affordable. I think it’s a great wood bat to start with.

DeMarini DI13 Pro Maple Wood Composite Baseball Bat

Specifications

  • Model name: 2018 DI13 Pro Maple Wood Composite Baseball bat
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 1×1×1 inches
  • Weight: 1.75 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 31”
  • Wood type: Maple composite

It is designed with a maple wood composite to enhance the bat’s performance on the plate. This bat has a large barrel with a single wall. The barrel design allows a substantial amount of trampoline effect, and you can hit the ball pretty hard with it.

It has a slightly end-loaded feel, but the hollowed-out end makes it very manageable. In addition, this composite wood bat is mightily durable. This sleek looking bat definitely delivers on its promise. 

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to swing
  • Good pop

Cons

  • Not legal in some major professional leagues
  • It is an absolute pain in the ass to get the sticker off the bat.

Why I like it

Because of the large barrel size, it has an extended sweet spot. And the single wall design adds length for increased hitting surface. I like it is also end-loaded because it generates maximum power during hits. Also, this bat has damn great pop. 

Mizuno 340465 Bamboo Classic MZB 243 Baseball Bat

Specifications

  • Model name: 340465
  • Dimensions L×W×H: 35×3×3 inches
  • Weight: 1.81 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 31”
  • Wood type: Bamboo

This one is made by an Asian company that has gained players’ trust worldwide regarding baseball bats. Bamboo bats look gorgeous and provide immense control. And this bat by Mizuno maximizes all the benefits of a bamboo bat.

The 2 ⅝ “ barrel of the Mizuno Bamboo Classic gives the bat a large sweet spot. It is very light, so handling it is a walk in the park. Also, this bat has sanded handles to make the grip firmer and better. 

In addition to the lightweight, the cupped end of the barrel gives you lighter swing weight. You’ll also like the rich furniture-grade finish on the Mizuno Bamboo Classic that gives the bat a more premium look.

Pros

  • Light and durable
  • Cupped end
  • Looks dope

Cons

  • As it is made from pressed-down layers of bamboo sheets, it’s not allowed in MLB.

Why I like it

I really like the controlled grip of these bats because their handles are sanded. The matte-black look of it is an absolute knock-out for me. Also, I appreciate the size of the barrel and how durable they are. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Which is the best wood type for baseball bats?

According to some studies, up to 80% of the wooden baseball bats used by MLB players have maple in them. In fact, in the last 20 years, maple has become the best wooden baseball bats for most players pro and recreational.

What is a baseball bat turn model?

In short, a turn model for a baseball bat is the blueprint most manufacturers use when making a baseball bat. There are different turn models or blueprints, but few are standard across all wooden baseball bat manufacturers. Among all these the 110, 243, 271, and I-13 are the most popular choices for pros and beginners alike. Each turn model has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose wisely.

Are wood bats better than metal bats?

Since wooden baseball bats are used in the MLB, you might think it’s better than metal bats, but that’s not 100% true. Both wood and metal bats have their pros and cons. However, competitive baseball players should only use wooden bats since that’s what is used in competitions.

Which baseball bat brand do MLB players use?

Most baseball brands make the best baseball gloves and best baseball bats at the same time. Therefore there are many brands of baseball bats you could choose from or rank. Here are the best baseball bat brands according to us only:
Louisville slugger
Marucci
Victus
Rawlings
Mizuno
And DeMarini

Conclusion

All of these bats are the best choices in the market. However, remember that some of these bats will be more suitable for you than others, depending on your requirements, experience, and playing style. Nevertheless, when you have figured out your basic preferences, this list will give you a reliable choice. 

Have fun playing! 

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