Which Drop-Size Bat For 13/14u?

Funny how only baseball parents, coaches, and bat company salespersons will know what the title of this article means. Just like if I had said “Blue Combat,” “Red Stealth,” or “Red Omen.” These bats were all the rage on the little field for their huge sweet spots, extended barrels, and moon-shot trampoline effects. However when transitioning to the big field, the choice of bat becomes more important for developmental reasons rather than for trophy-chasing reasons!

What Does Drop Mean?

The definition of “Drop” in baseball-bat terms is the difference between the length and weight of a bat. So if a 30-inch bat weighs 20 ounces, then that bat is said to be a Drop-10. A 32-inch bat that weighs 29 ounces is said to be a Drop-3.

Big Field Transition

Transitioning to the “big field” was an awesome experience for my son thanks to a phenomenal coach who was a former MLB pitcher with no son on the team or crazy agenda, other than a laser-focused passion for player development. But he had some rules that, for the non-baseball parent like myself, appeared to disadvantage the team. It wasn’t until the wood bat tournaments in 14u and 15u that I realized why his rules actually made sense from a player development standpoint.

Rule #1: 13u Players Will Use a Drop-5 Bat

To help my son prepare for the tryout to make this particular 13u travel team, I bought him a 31 inch, 26 ounce, 2 5/8″ barrel size, Easton XL3 aluminum one piece about three months prior to the tryout. I still have it and it will become his younger brother’s bat in about six months when he starts working on the big field. Interestingly, other 13u teams transitioned to a Drop-7, and some even continued to use their Drop-10’s. We certainly got burned by some of these team. It was actually better to play up into 14u because they were using the Drop-5 or 3 and it evened things out a bit.

Rule #2: 14u Players Will Use a Drop-3 Bat

I believe we went with an Easton Mako 30-inch, 27-ounce BBCOR bat to start out his 14u season.

Why the Rules?

  1. With the mound now being 60’6″ away from home plate, the pitching in 13u and even 14u seem really slow to the batters. Take advantage of this perception to make a larger initial jump to Drop-5.
  2. Moving to a Drop-3 at the beginning of 14u will give your player almost a full year to build a comfort level with the BBCOR before heading into the high school tryouts. This will give your son an advantage over those who just made the transition a couple months before high school tryouts.
  3. Wood bat tournaments start in 14u but really gear up for the important 15u showcase/tournaments. The longer your player has been swinging a Drop-3 BBCOR bat, the easier it is to transition to a Drop-3 wood bat. And believe it or not, most of the serious fall and summer tournaments at 15u are wood bat, not BBCOR.

Author: Baseball Pops

No doubt it was a dream come true for my oldest son when he received his first D1 Baseball scholarship offer. But it also reminded me of the incredible journey up to that point where we had no instruction manual, DIY book, or expert to lean on for guidance. This blog is written from a parent's perspective for the benefit of parents. If it can help just one parent see things clearer so they can make more meaningful decisions in helping their player achieve their baseball dreams, then this blog will have accomplished its mission in my eyes.

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