Best big barrel bats 2016-2017 (Detailed Reviews with Buying Guide)

Big barrel bats are great tools for senior level play. Even some younger players use them in spite of the additional weight. We looked at some of the best big barrel bats so we can give you some reviews. We’re listing our favorites of the ones we tried. If you’re looking for a big barrel baseball bat, this is the best place to look for a review.

Our Recommendation

We recommend the Louisville Slugger 2016 Sl Omaha 516 Big Barrel Baseball Bat. It has a good length to weight ratio for beginners and it has a great grip. This aluminum alloy bat is the best we tried. We rated each bat on a scale of 1-10 on comfort, trampoline effect, and durability. This bad received a 9.9 on both comfort and durability.

While composite bats have a better trampoline effect, this bat was outstanding because of its special alloy. The 7U1 alloy used by Louisville Slugger in this baseball bat makes it truly exceptional. Louisville Slugger has shown that they can use technology to continually improve their products. We highly recommend this bat because of the technology that has made it so strong and light.

We’ll get into our more detailed review below. But first, let’s compare our top performers.

Best Big Barrel Bats 2016-2017

​Name

​Product

​Specification

​Rating (1-5)

Louisville Slugger 2016 Sl Omaha 516(Recommended)

best big barrel bats

  • Size: 2 5/8” (-10)
  • Material: Metal – 7U1 Alloy

Rating: 4.9/5.0

More Details

Easton Mako Comp 2 3/4"

Easton Mako Comp 2 3/4

  • Size: 2 3/4” (-10)
  • Material: Composite

Rating: 4.5/5.0

More Details

Louisville Slugger SLWR14-RR

Louisville Slugger SLWR14-RR

  • Size: 2 5/8” (-9)
  • Material: Metal – 7050 Alloy

Rating: 4.7/5.0

More Details

Mizuno Generation

Mizuno Generation

  • Size: 2 5/8” (-10)
  • Material: Metal-Alloy

Rating: 4.3/5.0

More Details

Easton S400 2 5/8"

Easton S400 2 5/8

  • Size: 2 5/8” (-8)
  • Material: Metal-7046 Alloy

Rating: 4.2/5.0

More Details

Louisville Slugger SLCT152 Senior 2015 League Catalyst

Louisville Slugger SLCT152 Senior 2015 League Catalyst

  • Size: 2 5/8” (-12)
  • Material: Composite

Rating: 4.5/5.0

More Details

Easton S200 2 5/8"

Easton S200 2 5/8

  • Size: 2 5/8” (-8)
  • Material: Metal-Alloy

Rating: 4.7/5.0

More Details

Big Barrel Bats Reviews

1. Louisville Slugger 2016 Sl Omaha 516

This drop 10 big barrel baseball bat by Louisville Slugger is our favorite with a score of 9.4 out of 10. Its Lizard Skins Grip is very comfortable and allows for a firm hold on the bat.

What makes this bat really stand out is the 7U1 alloy. It is ultra-low weight giving this bat a definite edge among our list of best big barrel bats. Not all alloys are the same so it’s important to look them up before you buy. The alloy isn’t just low weight, it’s strong. That’s what makes this an exceptional baseball bat.

It has a USSSA stamp of 1.15 BPF so it is usable in some competitive formats including some divisions of Pony League. If your child is moving toward using a drop 3 in high school, this is a great bat to help along the way. Your player can build strength and be ready to move on to the next level.

We highly recommend using a drop 10 before moving to a drop 8. If your player uses a bat that’s too heavy, they will compensate by adjusting to an improper swing. The longer they swing the bat improperly, the harder it will be to go back to a proper swing.


2. Easton Mako Comp 2 3/4"

The Easton Mako Comp is a great bat. It nearly made number one on our list. The trampoline effect of the composite material is a definite plus. This drop 10 bat does not have a BBCOR stamp and is not approved for use in high school. However, it is a great baseball bat.

While it doesn’t have the BBCOR stamp, it does have a USSSA 1.15 BPF stamp. So, you can use this bat at some level competitively.

The two-piece ConneXion technology makes it so the shock of hitting the ball isn’t transferred to your hands. That makes this a very comfortable bat to use. Also, the composite material makes this bat excellent for hitting the ball out of the park. Normally we prefer composites because they’re so fun it use, but in this case, the Louisville Slugger Omaha was the clear winner with its light alloy.

Like we said before, using a drop 10 before using a drop 8 big barrel bat is highly recommended. 


3. Louisville Slugger SLWR14-RR

The Louisville Slugger Warrior is a fun bat to use. It’s allowed in some competitive leagues including some Pony league divisions. One thing we noticed was that in spite of not having the two-piece technology, this bat still had very low vibration.

We noticed that the graphics on the bat are not printed on the bat. Rather, they seem to be on some kind of coating. That really detracts from the look of the bat up close. However, it was great to play with and our batters gave it a thumbs up. If you are interested in other brands of the best BBCOR bats in the market, we have done detailed reviews on them too.

Another great thing about this bat is that it’s well-balanced. Some of the bats that didn’t make our list seemed to be a little end loaded which isn’t ideal for younger players. It’s a good bat, but not as good as the other Louisville Slugger on our list. We’re big fans of Louisville Slugger and this is a good bat, but it’s just not as good as the top contender.


4. Mizuno Generation

This drop 10 bat from Mizuno is BBCOR certified approved for USSSA. That makes it a good option for competition. The aerospace grade alloy is also notable. It made this bat strong and there was a good pop when the bat hit the ball.

The price of this bat is notable. It sells for a lower price than some of our other listed bats. That makes it a good deal. While there was a little vibration, Mizuno reduces vibration with a patented technology. Mizuno’s wall thickness technology gives the bat a large sweet spot and reduces vibration.

It’s available in sizes from 27-32”. It’s also a really nice looking bat. Everyone wanted to give it a try. While it wasn’t as comfortable as the Louisville Slugger, our players really liked it. Mizuno make high quality baseball products and this bat is no exception.


5. Easton S400 2 5/8"

This USSSA 1.15 BPF certified bat is a drop 8 from Easton. Like most of our listed bats, it has a warranty. Its lower relative price makes it a great option. One great thing about this bat is that it’s a good bat for when you are incrementally working your way toward a drop 3 for your player. When you’re buying a bat as a stepping stone, you don’t always want to spend a lot of money.

Remember to have your player try a drop 12 and drop 10 before moving to this heavier bat. A bat that’s too heavy can cause a player to develop bad habits with their swing. It takes a lot of training to overcome some of those habits.

Of the drop 8s this was our favorite, though. While it has a good alloy, it’s not as good as a 7050 or as light as the Louisville Slugger 7U1. Strength and lightness are what we look for in the really exceptional bats. However, we still enjoyed this bat. It was light and strong enough to get through testing. It wasn’t our favorite, but it was a strong contender.


6. Louisville Slugger SLCT152 Senior 2015 League Catalyst

The League Catalyst is a fantastic drop 12 bat. It’s a composite one piece bat. It has a USSSA BPF 1.15 certification. It’s approved in all Pony League divisions except Palomino and Colt.

The weight of this bat is good for children. They have the size of the big barrel, but their swing may not suffer like it would if they went straight to a drop 8. Being a lighter big barrel bat makes it a great first step to a drop 3 in high school. Make sure to use increase the weight of your player’s bat gradually for the sake of their swing.

We liked this bat, but it had some vibration. It stood up well to hours of play. We tend to prefer composite bats. They’re light, strong, and send the ball flying. In this case, we found that the other Louisville slugger on our list out preformed this one. Still, it’s a solid bat and we enjoyed using it.


7. Easton S200 2 5/8"

The Easton S200 is a nice low cost big barrel baseball bat. It’s made with an aluminum alloy. As with our other drop 8 bat on the list, it can be heavy and it isn’t always allowed in league play. Move your child to a drop 8 after they have good control of a drop 12 and then a drop 10. That way the bat won’t be too heavy and adversely impact your child’s swing.

This bat wasn’t as comfortable as some of our others, but it was durable. It also hit the ball well. Our players like it and most said they would be willing to try it again if given the chance. Our players liked it, but not as much as the Louisville Slugger Omaha.

Some of the issues with the bat were likely related to us testing so many drop 10s that this one felt heavier when we got to it. However, we also tested other drop 8s. The weight is an issue if you aren’t ready for it, but our other drop 8 was more comfortable to use.


Buying Tips

  • Consider whether you want an alloy or composite bat. Penn State has a great paper on whether composites are better or not. Composite bats can be worth the extra money if they’re allowed in your league.
  • Don’t switch to a heavy bat too quickly. Gradually increase the weight until your child can use the bat appropriate for the league they’ll be playing in. You don’t have to go directly from a drop 12 to a drop 3.
  • Some experts think that younger players should stick with regular bats depending on what their league allows. It will give them a chance to improve their swing and accuracy. If the bat a younger player uses is too heavy, they may develop problems with their swing that will be hard to adjust when they get older and stronger.
  • Don’t use a big barrel bat on the assumption that it will increase performance automatically. They are heavier and there’s a learning curve.
  • The alloy of a metal bat is important. It has an impact on durability and weight. The right alloy can make a baseball bat light and strong. That’s just what you want. Conversely, a weak alloy can make a bat dent easily.

Conclusion

All of these bats were amazing. While it’s difficult to compare bats with different weights, we mostly agreed that the Louisville Slugger 2016 Sl Omaha 516 Big Barrel Baseball Bat was our favorite. That came as a surprise because we are fans of composite bats, but the alloy in this bat was perfect. We couldn’t have asked for more comfort and durability. The lightweight alloy is what puts this bat above the rest.

When we were putting together our list of the best big barrel bats we considered the needs of young players. We think the list we came up with will be a pleasant surprise to families expecting to pay over $300 for a good bat. We hope these reviews will help you pick out the right bat for your player. If you are interested in other type of baseball bats instead, you can find our detailed reviews on all other types of the best baseball bats in the market.