The following methods provide general suggestions for an appropriate bat length for your player. (Note: These methods are not an exact science, but rather meant to provide a ballpark estimation.)
Extend the knob of your bat from the middle of your chest to the end of your hand. If only your fingertips can wrap around the bat, you are on the right track!
Place the barrel of the bat flat on the ground next to you. Relax your arm by your side. The goal here is for the knob of the bat to gently touch your palm. If so, the size is close!
Place the bat’s knob on your sternum and let the bat extend out anteriorly. If you can grab the barrel of the bat, then the length should be excellent for use!
If you are looking to increase in weight, a general recommendation for selecting a bat weight would be getting a bat that weighs 1-2 ounces heavier than the previous bat your player used. As well, understanding “the drop” or “length to weight ratio” will be helpful in determining the correct weight. Look below to view the formula for determining “the drop” of a bat -and- also to check out the most popular drop sizes by age!
BAT LENGTH (IN.) – BAT WEIGHT (OZ.) = WEIGHT DROP
Example: a 33 inch bat that weighs 30 ounces is a -3 or “drop 3”.
MOST POPULAR DROPS BY AGE
4 – 6
7 – 11
12 – 14
15 & above
-11, -12, -13
-8, -10, -11, -12
-5, -8, -10
Bigger, stronger players usually prefer a heavier bat for the highest power potential. Smaller, contact hitters usually prefer a lightweight bat that allows for excellent swing speed and precise bat control.
The combination of bat length and weight will be the main determinant of a player’s overall hitting experience. Consider trying teammates bats to determine the correct size for your player.
Make sure the feel of the baseball bat will be what is desired by the player. Generally speaking, most baseball players (and nearly all players below 12 years old) will be attracted to balanced bats. However, as players get older, they may develop into power hitters and look for an end-loaded bat to assist with their power.