Every year, leading softball bat manufacturers launch many slowpitch softball bats. These come constructed from various materials, including wood, composite, alloy and half-and-half. For many softball players, it is a hard job trying to find the slowpitch bat that perfectly suits them. To make this task easier, we have shortlisted the 6 best slowpitch softball bats 2017. By weighing their pros and cons, you can identify the one bat that is precisely suited to your style and needs.
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Best Slowpitch Softball Bats 2017
DeMarini ASA Flipper OG 17 Slow Pitch Bat
The DeMarini ASA Flipper OF 17 is one of the best slowpitch softball bats to have come out this year. This bat carries a 13-inch barrel featuring cutting-edge Divergence design.
The barrel is constructed from two layers of composite material with an air gap in between, offering a lot of flex and pop in the barrel. This also results in a larger and more responsive sweet spot, letting you hit hard and far with the bat. The handle of this bat comes constructed from alloy material.
DeMarini has used ZnX alloy in making the handle. This combination of composite barrel with an alloy handle ensures a solid degree of stiffness in the overall design of the bat, letting the players channel the most of their swing momentum into the barrel.
The bat also features a Dish End cap which further enhances the stiffness of the bat, making it very ideal for power hitters who rely on their swing force during the game. It is available in weight options of 26 ounces, 27 ounces and 28 ounces.
DeMarini ASA Mercy 17 Slow Pitch Bat
The DeMarini ASA Mercy 17 is another top slowpitch softball bat for 2017. This high-performing bat has a stiff composite design, offering a lot of hitting prowess. DeMarini has used the 4.One Composite design in the construction of this bat’s barrel.
This design makes use of multiple layers of hard composite material, offering an exceptional degree of stiffness in the barrel. The bat also features a Big D End Cap which adds more swing momentum to the bat by increasing the end load.
As a result, you are able to target the incoming softball more accurately on the sweet spot, hitting it effectively into longer distances. The handle of the ASA Mercy 17 bat comes with .6mm grip which lets players grasp this bat with a solid grip when swinging it on the plate.
The RCK Knob at the bottom of the bat also adds to the stability of the player’s hold and ensures smooth swinging. It is available in weight options of 25 ounces and 26 ounces.
Miken Psycho Balanced USSSA Slowpitch Bat
The Miken Psycho Balanced bat is a part of our top-six list because it is a solid bat. Constructed entirely from composite material in a one-piece design, this bat offers the classic performance and durability of a composite slowpitch softball bat.
The one-piece design of the bat makes it a great choice for players who rely on their hitting power but also want a top-performing bat in their hands. The Miken Psycho Balanced has a very smooth and well-balanced feel. To add to it, the bat has a perfectly balanced swing weight, letting players swing this bat with great accuracy and aim the sweet spot at the incoming softball with great precision.
The bat has a 14-inch barrel length, offering a sizable sweet spot which makes it possible for players to hit hard and hit right with this bat. This bat carries USSSA, NSA and ISA certifications. It is available in 34” length with corresponding weight options ranging from 25 ounces to 28 ounces.
Worth EST Comp XL USSSA Slowpitch Bat
The Worth EST Comp XL is a top-performing, end-loaded slowpitch bat which has been released this year. Worth has constructed the barrel of this bat using its proprietary CF100 Tech.
The barrel is made using 100% Carbon Fiber material which brings to it an exceptional degree of rigidity and durability while keeping the bat quite light. As a result, players can wield this bat with great speeds without comprising on the force of the hit.
The two-piece construction of this bat further allows players to channel the maximum amount of their swing force into the barrel and hit the incoming softballs harder. Worth has manufactured this bat to meet the 220 Advantage+ standard, ensuring that the bat is able to deliver maximum performance while staying durable over a long period of time.
Another standout feature of the bat is that it is made in USA and the bat is available in 34” length with corresponding weight options ranging from 25 ounces to 30 ounces.
Easton Bryson Baker Balanced ASA 2017 Slowpitch Softball Bat SP17BBA
The Easton Bryson Baker ASA 2017 bat is a top-performing slowpitch softball bat for this year. This bat is recognizable by its signature blue-and-white look. Easton has constructed this bat using the TCT Thermo Composite Technology.
This technology enables the bat to pack a sizable sweet spot, allowing players to hit incoming softballs more accurately. The FLEX barrel of the bat also offers a lot of barrel compression and allows players to wield the bat to a powerful effect when on the plate. The bat has an extra-large 13.5-inch barrel, making it easier to wield effectively.
The overall construction of the bat features a two-piece design. Easton has also used the CXN Zero technology in this two-piece design to ensure minimum vibration and feedback on the handle. As a result, players are able to hit hard and far with this bat without feeling any sting on their hands.
The SIC black carbon handle of the bat has a slim 29/32” profile which offers a very firm and stable grip. The handle is topped with a 1.2mm HYPERSKIN grip to further enhance grip stability during swinging. The bat carries ASA and ISF certifications. It is available in 34” length with corresponding weight options of 26 ounces, 27 ounces and 28 ounces.
2017 Anderson Flex Slowpitch Softball Bat
The 2017 Anderson Flex is one of the most affordable high-performing slowpitch bats this year. This bat is a great balance between affordability and performance. Constructed entirely from aerospace alloy material, the bat features a solid one-piece design.
This makes the 2017 Anderson Flex a perfect fit for power hitters. While offering a solid amount of hitting prowess in its single-wall barrel, the bat is incredibly light-weight at the same time. So you are able to achieve great hitting force and exceptional swing speeds when wielding this bat.
The bat also carries a 0.5 ounce end-load offering greater swing momentum and a significantly larger sweet spot. For players who rely on the force of their swing to hit softballs, this bat is a great choice because it channels most of their swing force directly into the sweet spot of the barrel.
The bat has a standard 2.25-inch barrel. It carries the USSSA, NSA, ISA and ASA certifications, and meets the BPF 1.20 standards. It is available in weight options of 26 ounces, 27 ounces, 28 ounces and 30 ounces.
Slowpitch softball bats balanced vs end loaded
Slowpitch softball bats can be broadly categorized into two types: balanced and end loaded. In balanced slowpitch softball bats, the weight of the bat is evenly distributed. As a result, the bat has a very balanced feel and a player can swing it very smoothly.
A balance slowpitch bat carries a low Moment of Inertia (M.O.I.) due to its balanced weight distribution. Low M.O.I. means that such a bat is easier to swing with less effort involved resulting in higher swing speeds.
Balanced bats are ideally suited for such players who are looking for more speed in their swing. And while balanced bats offer greater swing speeds, they are also generally easier to control through the hitting zone. So control and speed are the most stand-out features of balanced bats.
End loaded bats, on the other hand, come with a design in which the weight is slightly oriented towards the barrel. This means that the bat is slightly heavier towards the barrel. Such a bat is more suited for power hitters who can already gain enough swing speed but now want to add more swing force to their hits.
The extra load in the barrel helps them achieve this added swing force. This extra load may vary from 0.5 ounces to 3 ounces, and players choose the right load depending on their ability to wield an end-loaded bat without losing on their swing speed.
At the end of the day, an end-loaded bat is right for you if you can already achieve great swing speeds but now want a slightly heavier barrel to hit with.
Composite and Aluminum slowpitch softball bats what is the best
Different manufacturers offer slowpitch softball bats constructed from different materials. Typically, slowpitch softball bats are constructed from composite materials or aluminum.
Both types of materials have their pros and cons. By weighing these pros and cons, you can identify the kind of material that suits your needs and style best.
Aluminum slowpitch softball bats
Aluminum softball bats are constructed using aluminum. These bats are also called alloy bats, so aluminum and alloy bats essentially fall into the same category. Aluminum bats have many advantages and quite a few disadvantages.
One of the best things about aluminum bats is that they require absolutely no break-in period. So you can start using them in actual matches right out of the wraps.
This is not true for composite bats. Another great thing about aluminum bats is that they are incredibly durable. You can use them in a rough and tough manner, and through different kinds of weather conditions. And yet, these bats will incur little to no damage.
Even if an aluminum bat is damaged, it doesn’t crack but dents. The good thing about a dented bat is that it can still be used for hitting depending on the degree of denting. So even after being damaged, an aluminum bat may be fit for playing. Thanks to such solid durability, aluminum bats tend to last longer than composite bats. Another redeeming feature of aluminum bats is that they usually cost a little less than composite bats.
The downside of aluminum bats is that they generally don’t offer as much as pop as composite bats. So their performance is not as great as composite bats. The sweet spot on aluminum bats is also relatively smaller compared to composite bats.
Composite slowpitch softball bats
Composite slowpitch softball bats are generally considered the top-performing bats. Composite bats are made from a combination of different elements which are blended together and designed to ensure maximum performance in the barrel.
This is why it is possible for manufactures to tweak the design of composite bats every year and use many different kinds of technologies in their construction.
When compared to aluminum bats, composite bats are usually lighter and offer more trampoline effect in the barrel. As a result, you will experience more pop in a composite bat and will most probably hit farther with it.
Compared to aluminum bats, composite bats also offer less sting and have minimum vibrations upon contact with softball. It is also easier to control the swing weight of composite bats.
The downside of composite bats is that they are typically more expensive than aluminum bats. Most composite bats also require a break-in period and until a composite bat is broken in, you can’t make the most out of it.
At the end of the day, choosing the best slowpitch softball bats involves many factors. These include your hitting style, your budget and things like how long you want your bat to last. If you have a sufficient budget and you want a top-performing bat, a composite bat like the DeMarini ASA Flipper OG 17 is the way to go.
If you are a power hitter, you can go with an aluminum bat that will channel the most of your swing momentum into the barrel. An alloy bat with end-loaded design such as 2017 Anderson Flex will certainly perform really well in the hands of a power hitter. But an end-loaded bat is ideally suited for you if you are satisfied with your swing speed and now want to add some additional force to the swing momentum.