It’s no secret; more barrel equals more contact. More contact equals more confidence. More confidence is what all hitters need to perform consistently at their highest level. Our Player Advisory Board knows the value of confidence in hitting, so they were excited to team with our engineers to design the Hex line of alloy and composite bats.

One way we sought to increase this confidence was to create a bat that offers the maximum barrel length. If the barrel is longer, the odds of contact increase. We couldn’t stop there, though. Not only would the barrel need to be extended, the sweet spot would have to be just as large, so that contact would result in hits that build confidence. To accomplish this task, Marucci engineers designed a ring-free barrel interior to eliminate any disruptions in the sweet spot’s area. Next, the engineers decided to tune each bat by its length, weight drop, and barrel diameter so that larger barrel length could be extended no matter the size of the bat.

So which material is right for a young hitter? If you have experience already with either alloy or composite, you may know which you prefer. If you’re not sure, or if you’re looking to branch out a little bit, we want to make your decision as informed as possible.

Hex Alloy

Constructed with Marucci’s highest strength AZ4X aluminum alloy, the Hex Alloy delivers superior performance while also withstanding heavy season-long use. By its one-piece construction, the Hex Alloy offers a smooth, classic swing while a sting-free knob helps to eliminate vibrations. The result is a bat with insane pop, smooth feel, and faster swing speeds that’s built to last and consistently perform. Unlike composite bats, alloy requires no break-in and is game-ready straight out of the wrapper.

Hex Composite

The Hex Composite delivers the same explosive pop, but under different conditions. Composite materials require compression to exert greater force. Over time and with regular use, composite bats achieve that necessary compression level and become primed to maximize performance with a greater trampoline effect. Because of this break-in period, we recommend the Hex Composite to hitters who are able to devote the time and repetition this bat needs to perform at its highest level. The payoff you’ll see is well worth the time.

Barrel Diameter

Once you have an idea of which material is best, you should determine which barrel diameter you need. The league in which your young hitter plays usually makes this determination. If the league allows “Big Barrel” bats, or honors the USSSA 1.15 BPF certification, you can get a 2 3/4 inch or a 2 5/8 inch barrel. However, if the league doesn’t allow “Big Barrels” or follows the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken, Dixie Youth, or Little League certifications, you can only swing a 2 1/4 inch barrel. Both Hex lines offer bats for each barrel diameter. Not sure? Your coach will be able to tell you which bats are allowed in that league.

While both Hex Alloy and Hex Composite Big Barrels share the same weight and length options, there are a few distinctions between the alloy and composite small barrel (2 1/4 inch) you should consider.

First, the drop weight of the Hex Alloy is -12, while the Hex Composite is -10. This means a Hex Alloy that’s 30 inches long will weigh 18 ounces, whereas the 30” Hex Composite will be 20 ounces. Ability level and strength varies among hitters of the same age, so there’s no real determinable length or weight we can recommend based on age. Generally, though, you’ll want a bat that swings comfortably. If the bat head can’t stay level with the hands and frequently drops, the length is probably too long. On the other hand, if the bat swings with no resistance or can’t cover the diameter of the plate when standing comfortably in the box, it’s probably too short.

Another distinction between the Hex Alloy and Hex Composite youth models (2 1/4”) is the construction. The Hex Alloy is one-piece and features a sting-free knob that helps eliminate vibrations. The Hex Composite is a two-piece construction fused together by an SDX connection piece, which actually dismisses vibrations in the barrel before they reach your hands.

Whether you prefer the smooth, explosive pop of the Hex Alloy or the brute power of the Hex Composite, our Player Advisory Board inspired a bat designed to give you the barrel size and confidence you need to excel at this stage of the game. Barrel up!