2016 baseball bat trends: Demarini Voodoo Raw, Easton Mako and resurgent Louisville Slugger

The hot topic around the batting cages in Columbia and potentially a hot 2016 baseball bat trends: The University of South Carolina’s abandonment of Rawlings bats in favor of Demarini models.

The Gamecocks won’t be the only high-profile college team to swing Demarinis. The company’s list of Division 1 customers literally stretches from coast to coast, from Delaware to California. It includes perennial powerhouses such as Arizona State and LSU.

The change came after the team experimented with several brands of baseball bats, USC coach Chad Holbrook said in an interview with The State. He said the Demarini decision was “almost unanimous.” Maybe the Gamecocks had heard the statistics: Four of the top five homerun-hitting college teams last year stepped up to the plate with Demarinis.

Because younger players love to emulate their athletic big brothers, Demarini youth models such as the CF8 and the Voodoo Raw could begin to cast a spell locally. The Gamecocks also have switched gloves, from Rawlings to Wilson, but that doesn’t seem to be drawing the attention the bat change has.

Hard to beat the Easton Mako line

Across the country as well as locally, Easton Mako baseball bats continue to draw a ton of attention. Those models destroy their competitors when it comes to 2-¼ barrel bats. The company boasts that the Mako is the fastest bat through the zone, and that could well be right.

The bats’ distinctive designs add another dimension to their appeal. It’s impossible for an opposing pitcher to not notice a hitter striding to the plate carrying a neon green Torq, Easton’s top of the Mako line.

For the past four or five years, it was easy to overlook Louisville Slugger baseball bats, but the company has stepped up its game in 2014. The 916 Prime, which the company says is lighter but with a bigger sweet spot and reduced vibration, looks particularly good.

Whether it’s a Demarini, Easton or Louisville Slugger, a composite baseball or softball bat is going to cost $200 and up, though sometimes you’ll find deals on the previous year’s models. For youth player in the minors and above, though, composite baseball bats are becoming increasingly common, particularly for travel ball players.

There’s no need to purchase an expensive bat for T-ball or coach’s pitch, though. The important thing for younger players is making sure the bat is the right size – the experts at Todd & Moore can help with that – and that they learn proper hitting mechanics from the start.