What Does the Number on a Bat Mean? [Answered Clearly]


Selecting the right baseball bat size for your child or team members can be difficult if you are new to bat selection. Making an enlightened decision will be essential in determining the correct bat match for you or your baseball hitter. 

Factors like the weight and length of the bat are vital in selecting the best bat size for your hitter. The number on the bat can also help you determine its weight. Let’s find out how in this article. 

The number on the bat signifies a negative length-to-weight ratio of the bat. It can be tricky to understand what the negative number on the softball bat means if you are new to the game. It is also known as drop weight which denotes the number of ounces of the bat less than its length in inches. 

What Do the Minus Numbers Mean on a Bat?

The minus numbers on the bat indicate the difference in the bat’s weight, in ounces, and its length, in inches. The negative (-) number on the bat is also known as the drop weight. It represents the length-weight ratio of the bat. 

For instance, a minus-three on your bat most likely means that your bat is 29 ounces and 32 inches, 31 ounces, and 34 inches, or 30 inches and 33 ounces. Therefore, the weight drop on a bat is mostly a minus number. However, the lower the weight drop, the heavier your bat will be. For instance, a bat with a -3 weight drop will be heavier than a baseball bat with a -9 weight drop. 


The height and weight of the player also play the main role in selecting the right bat size. For instance, if your hitter is about 5’1″ to 5’8″ in height and weighs about 101 to 140 pounds, a 32-inch baseball bat will suffice. However, a player with a height of 5’9″ to 6′ and weighs about 141 to 180 pounds will need a 33-inch bat. 

See also  How to Restore a Wooden Baseball Bat? [7 Easy Tips]

What Does 13 Mean on a Bat?

The number 13 on a bat means that the bat length in inches is 13 more than the weight of the baseball bat in ounces. A minus (-) sign always precedes the number on the bat. The minus number is called a drop weight. The bat’s drop weight signifies the baseball bat’s length-weight ratio. 

However, your player’s measurement will determine the specific size of the bat he needs. Drop 13 bats are mostly for young players between 11 to under 7 years. You can calculate the bat drop by subtracting the length, in inches, from the bat weight, in ounces. 

To purchase the correct bat, you have to tally the right bat weight and length to the hitter’s height, age, and weight. It would help if you also knew what the negative number on a bat means. 

What Drop Size Bat Do I Need?

The drop size bat you need depends on your understanding of what a drop number means on a baseball bat. Your weight, age, and height also play a role in determining the drop size of the bat you need.

If you are a parent, weigh your child’s bat to ensure it is similar to the weight printed on the bat. If the bat has a shrink-wrap around it, subtract 0.3 ounces, which is the weight of the shrink-wrap, from the actual bat weight. However, if the weight on the weighing scale is different from the weight printed on the baseball bat by two to five ounces, return the bat for a lighter one.

See also  How To Defend Yourself With A Baseball Bat [5 Easy Tips]

However, if you are a baseball coach, it is advisable to weigh the bats of your team members before the first practice. This assessment will increase the pace of the training and reduce delays. You can also run a soft toss test to ensure each player can swing their bats comfortably and hit the line drives.

Although you can determine the best size for your baseball bat in several ways, selecting a bat that you can comfortably swing is better. If you are a new player or you want to take a new bat measurement, you can follow the following steps to measure yourself properly:

  • Measure your arm length starting from your index finger to your chest. Keep your hands steady during measurement.
  • Place the bat standing at your side, and try to place your hand at the center of the bat knob. If your palm touches the handle, the correct size for you.
  • Place the tip of the baseball bat from your chest outwards to confirm the bat size. Ensure to keep it in a straight direction.
  • It is the correct bat size if you can stretch your hand and hold the bat barrel.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Read a Bat Weight?

You can read a bat weight by calculating the baseball bat length and its drop weight difference. The drop weight, in turn, signifies the difference in the baseball bat length and its corresponding weight. For instance, if your bat is about 30-inch in length, with 20 ounces in weight, its drop weight will be -10.

What Does the Weight of a Bat Mean?

The weight of a bat is the heaviness of the bat, mostly the barrel. Generally, the weight drop often depends on the player’s league using the bat. The lower the league level (from pros to youth league), the higher the weight drop. A higher weight means that the bat will be lighter.

See also  Best Aluminum Baseball Bats for Home Defense: 7 Top Choices

What Does minus 3 Bat Mean?

A minus three bat means that the baseball bat has a drop weight or length to weight ratio of minus three. This number equally signifies that the difference in the bat’s weight and its length is three. For example, if your bat length is 30 inches and its weight is 27 ounces, its difference will be a -3 drop weight.

How Do You Know if a Bat Is Too Heavy?

The best way to determine if the bat is overweight is to ask the ball hitter. If the hitter feels balanced, confident, and comfortable while swinging the bat, then the bat is the right size. Another test you can perform is to evaluate the hitter’s soft toss game. However, it is preferable for older players.

How Much Does a 32-inch Wood Bat Weight?

A 32-inch wood bat weighs about 30 ounces. The 32-inch wood bat is ideal for 5 feet 10 inches tall baseball players and for players that weigh about 121 to 180 pounds. Though wood bats are not as reliable and durable as aluminum bats, it is easier for young players to swing.


Getting the right drop-size bat for you, your child, or your team members is necessary. The minus number on a baseball bat tells you the drop weight and the hitter’s age, strength, and speed. Therefore, the number on the bat should correspond with the weight and height of the player. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *