Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

36 Models Considered
30 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
171 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best baseball training bats

If you or your child has ever played a sport, you’ve heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” That’s certainly true for baseball, where practice time helps players sharpen their skills both offensively and defensively.

On the offensive side, batting practice is understandably important. However, it can be difficult to find a big enough open space for BP outside of a scheduled practice time at the baseball field. Given that, baseball training bats have become valuable pieces of equipment for aspiring sluggers. With training bats, you can work on your swing in a far smaller space, and on your own time.

Training bats vary in almost every way imaginable, and some even may be much heavier or lighter than a game bat. All of these differences generally serve a unique purpose.

Keeping that in mind, we put together a list of the types of baseball training bats, explaining some of the advantages and disadvantages of different bats, all to help buyers find just what they’re looking for.

Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.
baseball training bats
Practice and training bats should not be used in games, and they rarely work for regular batting practice. They have a specific training function.

Key considerations

Type

Start your search for a baseball training bat by considering the different types that are available. Try to match the benefits of the trainer bat with the specific skill that needs improvement. Some players and coaches will want to use multiple styles of training bats to help with different skills and to work different muscle groups.

One-handed bats: These are extremely short bats, usually between 18 and 25 inches, and can be wood or aluminum. They’re intended for a one-handed practice swing against soft toss or off a tee. The idea is to improve muscle memory in one arm at a time, so the player can focus on each arm separately, or to improve hand-eye coordination. Some players can find one-handed drills confusing, and struggle to receive the benefit.

Weighted bats: Some training bats carry extra weight to help players improve their strength. Then, when they return to a normally weighted game bat, they have greater swing speed and power. But training with a bat that’s too heavy, or training with it for too long, could lead to injury.

Hitting sticks: A hitting stick has a handle that approximates the feel and size of a game bat handle, but with a longer barrel and a different weight distribution. This allows for work on specific aspects of the swing, such as speed, power, or swing plane. The hitting stick can help with hand-eye coordination too, as it uses a smaller-diameter barrel than a game bat.

Fungo bats: These are made specifically for defensive training. Coaches use fungo bats to hit grounders and fly balls to players to work on defensive skills during practice. Fungo bats are a few inches longer than a typical game bat, while being roughly two-thirds the weight. These specifications let a coach more accurately hit balls to a defender, but bats can easily break if used with live pitching. Fungo bats have a foam core to reduce weight, but can be either metal or wood.

Material

Most training bats are made of one of three main materials.

Aluminum: Used in almost every level of baseball besides the Major Leagues, metal bats have a high level of durability and are suited for a player who wants to train frequently. Almost any type of bat can be found in a metal model, and usually at a reasonable price point.

Plastic: These training bats have a low price and are lightweight, so they’re generally best for younger kids who are just beginning their baseball training. However, it doesn’t have the same level of durability as wood or metal. Hitting sticks made of plastic are common.

Wood: Wood training bats are not as common as those made from other materials. One-handed bats, weighted bats, and fungo bats may be wood, but they’ll be more expensive than metal training bats.

When selecting a training bat for a specific youth, be certain that the equipment will be the right size and weight for the player.

STAFF
BestReviews

Features

Color

Some wood fungo bats feature a notable color in the barrel. This helps differentiate them from game bats so a player doesn’t grab the fungo bat by mistake when working against live pitching.

Handle

Many training bats will have rubber or foam coating the handle, although many wood bats will show off their true natural character. Bat handle tape can reduce the roughness of the material.

Accessories

Batting gloves: Under Armour Clean-Up VI
Regardless of what type of training bat you’re using, wearing batting gloves is a good idea. These gloves will help prevent players from getting blisters after repeated practice swings.

Tee: JUGS 5-Point Hitting Tee
This high-quality model offers multiple options and contact zones for players working on their hitting, and it pops apart for easy transport between home and the ballfield.

Pitching machines: Louisville Slugger Blue Flame
This Louisville Slugger machine has plenty of versatility for either baseball and softball uses. It is easy to anchor in place, giving it the ability to deliver accurate pitches, and doesn’t require electricity.

baseball training bats 2
DID YOU KNOW?
Some hitting training aids require a specialized bat, while others allow use of a regular bat. Be sure you understand the equipment needed before you buy any training aid.
STAFF
BestReviews

Baseball training bat prices

Inexpensive: The least expensive swing training bats consisting of plastic or aluminum will cost $20 to $35. To add a weighted sleeve to a regulation bat for training, expect to pay another $10 to $20.

Mid-range: For $35 to $60, players and coaches can find metal fungo bats and some wood swing training bats, including some specially weighted models.

Expensive: Wood fungo bats can cost anywhere from $60 to $100, although are at the lower end of that range. The highest-quality training bats, especially wood ones, will start above $60 and can reach a three-digit price tag.

Using a baseball training bat at home is a smart way to work on the swing outside of a team’s normal practice time.

STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Listen to pain. When a player suffers an injury or is feeling pain after a long hitting session, it’s best to slow down and reduce the practice time going forward. Pain is a warning sign, and players should heed it rather than trying to push through.
  • Watch the fundamentals. Even when using a training bat, which may have an odd shape or weight balance, players should use the proper grip and swing technique, just as they would with a traditional bat. A training bat shouldn’t be an excuse for poor fundamentals.
  • Don’t rush. When practicing hitting, some players may be inclined to hurry and finish a series of swings or a bucket of practice balls. But hitters are better served taking their time, repeating the proper swing setup in terms of the stance, hand placement, and swing path.
  • Follow a bat’s instructions. Though kids might think it’s fun to use a fungo bat against live pitching, this probably will lead to breaking in. The majority of specialized training bats work only for hitting off a tee or from a soft toss from a coach.
baseball training bats 3
If you’re a coach using a fungo bat for practice, store it separately from game bats to help prevent a player using it against live pitching.

FAQ

Q. Is there any benefit to using a weight sleeve on the bat during practice?

A. Many players add a weight to the bat while warming up in the on-deck circle, but it’s better to use a heavier training bat during batting practice if the goal is to strengthen the specific muscles used in the swing.

Q. Should I place a time limit on how much hitting practice and training my youngster does?

A. If the player works out too long in batting practice, the hitter may become tired and begin using poor technique. In that case, they might not benefit from continuing. Coaches recommend taking 8 to 12 swings consecutively before taking a break. If there are three to five players in a batting practice group, the others can rest while each player hits.

Q. Do I have to use a fungo bat when coaching players?

A. No, but the fungo bat makes it easier to repeatedly send the right balls at defenders. Those who hit a lot of balls for defensive practice rarely will go back to a regular bat once they try a fungo bat.

Q. Will I need other equipment to use a training bat?

A. It really depends on the type of bat in use. Certain training bats require foam or plastic baseballs. You may need a tee or a net to catch the balls. Also, players will want to wear batting gloves when using a training bat, so as to not risk sore hands and blisters.

Q. Can baseball training bats be used with softballs?

A. Both fast-pitch softball and baseball players can use training bats to improve their swings and become better hitters. It’s not recommended to hit softballs with a baseball fungo bat, but the majority of training bats can work for either sport.

 

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks