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At What Age Do Bats Make a Discernable Difference?

May 3, 2018
So I'm an analytic and an overthinker. My daughter is 9, turns 10 in January. She's played rec and all star tournament ball, and is now starting travel ball. Throughout the seasons, I have had her try different bats that teammates' parents spent a lot of money for and I haven't seen much if any difference in how far she hits with a $350 LS LXT (and other similarly priced bats) vs. the $120 DeMarini Bustos she wields now.

Am I blind? Or do the girls have to gain enough muscle mass through age before I see this difference?
Sep 28, 2018
For my daughter it was around age 12. She has always been one of the smaller players on the team, but she is fairly strong for her size. Before age 12 we tried several bats and it didn't make a difference (she just wasn't swinging hard enough). We purchased her a CF-8 when she broke her Vendetta at 12 and noticed an immediate difference. It was the first time I had noticed a difference between bats. There was more pop and her line drives were carrying further.
Oct 11, 2010
Chicago, IL
DD made the change when she was 10, it made a big difference.

I have heard when using a safety ball aluminum bat might actually be better.

When they moved to 12U they are going to hit on how far they hit the ball. Might be a good time to jump to .mitigate move to 12 inch ball.
Feb 26, 2018
The LXT is going to have a different feel than a Bustos, especially with the weighting. The CF8 swings very light, so more like her Bustos she had. Also, the CF8 was probably the best bat DeMarini has ever made, which is why you still see girls swinging them even at the college level. I wish my DD's hadn't broken because it was straight fire.
Sep 19, 2018
My DD turned 9 this spring (April). I bought her a demarini CFX - 11 for All stars. On well struck balls, there was a noticeable difference in how hard the ball was hit.

One my DD All star teammates turns 10 in the coming days. She is big and strong for her age (my dd just reaches her shoulder). During all stars this girl used a $50 easton. Both girls are now on a TB team together. The TB coach is told this girl use one of the expensive team bats. Balls are flying everywhere. There is a huge difference in how far she is hitting balls. Easy 10 - 15 feet.

Is it possible that this girl has gotten stronger or a better swing, both even in 2 months? Sure, but there is a reason that you see these nice bats at the higher levels.


Jun 8, 2016
My DD just turned 9. Her first year of 10U (last Fall and most of this spring/summer) she used $150 bat (Easton) and since the end of the summer she is using a $200 bat (Marucci). The expense of the bats used on her team team probably varies between $100 (aluminum..although this girl just bought an LXT) and $400 (Ghost). The best hitter on the team uses a hand me down Worth which she got from her older sister. The next two best hitters are my DD and the girl who, up to last month, used an Aluminum bat. At 12U and under, unless you are wealthy and money is no issue, I would suggest not spending more than $200 on a bat. You can find some good older models, or good less popular new models, out there for that price. Spend the extra $150 on 3 or 4 dozen balls and throw front toss to her with them...
In my experience, now is the perfect time for OP to upgrade.

When I coached rec ball, 9 y.o. DD moved from a $25 Big 5 aluminum bat to an OG Xeno, and the difference was immediate. By mid-season, that Xeno morphed into the team bat, because the improvement was noticeable even with kids who had poor hitting mechanics.
Feb 26, 2018
You don't always have to go buy a brand new bat. With how fast they grow out of bats, you may be better off looking on Craigslist and getting a used bat. My DD's first couple composite bats were purchased on CL. Her back up bat, a Worth Legit (highlighter yellow one), was purchased on CL for $20.

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