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2018 Marucci CAT 8 Review

2018 Marucci CAT 7 Review

Marucci has made a CAT baseball bat for the last several years. The CAT 5 was the first iteration followed by the CAT 5-squared (after the CAT 5 was made illegal in a few leagues). Then followed the CAT 6 in 2014 and then, now, the CAT 7 in 2017 and 2018. Below discusses our 2018 Marucci CAT 7 Review.

Where to buy the Marucci CAT 7?

The best place to buy the CAT 7 is on eBay

2018 CAT 7 Sizing

The CAT 7 is Marucci's most elite bat. It comes in many different sizes and, really, there is a size for everyone. I really like the drop 5 and drop 8 in the big barrel. Here are a list of the sizes you can find.

  • BBCOR 
  • Big Barrel Drop 5
  • Big Barrel Drop 8

2018 vs 2017 CAT 7 Sizing

2018 Marucci CAT 7 Review
2018 Marucci CAT 7 Review

Marucci releases their premier CAT line on a two year cycle. Meaning, the 2018 and the 2017 CAT 7 are exactly the same. If things go to form, expect a 2019 CAT 8 (or something like that.

They did make some upgraded bat designs in 2018 with the CAT 7 chassis. The first is a black camo looking bat and the second is a CAt 7 that looks like a Buster Posey wood bat.

CAT 7 Recommendations

The CAT 7 is a single piece bat built for maximum power transfer to the ball. That is, the stiff structure of a single piece bat has no give at contact like two piece bats.

The disadvantage of a single piece bat is that they tend to ring your hands on mishits. Marucci solves this problem by adding an anti-vibration knob in the knob to help dampen sting.

You will like the CAT 7 if you:

  • Like a Balanced, but not necessarily light, swing.
  • Prefer a stiff feeling bat.
  • Want Max performance and a big barrel for a more reasonable price.

Marucci CAT 7 Ratings

Durability

As a single piece aluminum bat the durability of the Marucci CAT 7 is tough to beat. The only issue you might run into is the knob which has its own insert, but that was more a problem on older models of the CAT.

As well, the CAT 7 does use a very thin aluminum in the barrel. But I have never seen a dented one. It appears to hold its shape well and it is a very durable bat.

Performance

In terms of user reviews, very few have ever complained about the bats production. I like the bat, like how it feels, and like what it costs for the pop. The barrel is a good size and produces a great sound on contact. I believe it produces distance like any bat money can buy.

Sizing Options

If the Marucci CAT 7 struggles anywhere it is the lack of sizing. I would love to see a 2 5/8 drop 10 as well as some options in the USAbat bat arena.

We do like the upgraded looks of the buster posey model and the black camo design, but the lack of sizing in those models leaves more than a few hitters dissapoitned---relegated to the 2107 CAT 7 look.

User Ratings

As we mention above, the Marucci CAT 7 User ratings are fantastic. If you are in the market for a light swinging BBCOR or big barrel bat that has tremendous pop and some decent feedback then look no further. Real hitters, including me, love the bat.

Overall Score

The 2018 CAT 7 is one of our favorite bats in the class. The fact the price point is a little more reasonable compared to other brands top shelf bat is a major plus. I am very high on this bat and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great value purchase.


Marucci CAT 7 Sources

If you'd like more information on the CAT 7 you may find our 2015 CAT 6 review worth your while too. There was an upgrade of a thinner aluminum for a larger barrel. Also, Marucci's site is usually worth a look too. There I could find a number of different sizing options as well as what colors were in stock.

Slugger 918 Prime Review

Slugger 918 Prime Review

Louisville Slugger will release a 2018 two piece composite bat called the 918 Prime. The bat uses the same connective TRU3 technology as it did in previous years, but now ends a new end cap and a new composite for a bigger barrel and a lighter swing. It will be priced out at $399. But, I always like to look at ebay pricing before anywhere else. 

Where to buy the 918 Prime?

The only place to find deals on the 918 prime is eBay...

918 Prime Sizing

The 918 Prime will be Slugger's most robust baseball bat. Meaning, the bat will come in the most sizes of any of the 4 major performance bats Slugger will produce for 2018. You can expect a BBCOR, USABat as well as several big barrel bats in the drop 5, drop 8, drop 10 and drop 12 range. What the drops will be in the USABat bat range have yet to be seen.

  • BBCOR
  • USABat
  • Big Barrel Drop 5
  • Big Barrel Drop 8
  • Big Barrel Drop 10
  • Big Barrel Drop 12

918 Prime Recommendations

Although there are some structural changes to the 918 Prime, when compared to the 917 Prime from 2017, the bat will still be intended for the same audience. More specifically, the following characteristics are the type of person that will like the 918 Prime.

  • Like a Lighter Swing
  • Prefer a bat that feels softer on even poor contact
  • Have a bat that feels like every hit is a homerun
  • Balanced swing weight
  • Need a unique size like a drop 8 or drop 5
  • Are willing to afford the expensive bat
  • Play a lot of baseball---as this expensive bat is not made for the typical rec ball player

918 Prime Ratings

Durability

If the 917 struggled in any particilar category it was the durability. There were more than a couple of reports that the connective piece between the handle and barrel would become loose. And, upon hitting the bat, you could feel the barrel spin away from the barrel.

If that problem is fixed in the 918 has yet to be seen.​

Performance

No one denies the 918 Prime is a beautifully performing baseball bat. In particular, many BBCOR hitters love the use of a 918 at high levels of highschool and collegiate play. Although the barrel could have been bigger in the 917 Prime, the 918 solves at least a few of those issues with the new end cap, new composite and ultimately bigger barrel.

Sizing Options

The 918 Prime gets almost perfect marks on the 918. The bat is Slugger's marquee bat. It comes in a BBCOR, USAbat and then several Big Barrel sizes. We would love to see a drop 10 in a 2 3/4 too. And the fact it only has one size in a USAbat keep it from getting the perfect score.

User Ratings

Although still very early in the season, early reports show the 918 prime as a very user friendly bat. It is a smooth swing even on the most violent smashes. Every hit will feel like a home run as the two piece composite makes them all feel great. And, a hit right in the sweet spot with some good bat speed should make that ball sail.

Overall Score

There is no doubt that the 2018 Louisville Slugger 918 Prime will be a marquee bat in the baseball space this year. The BBCOR bat should be the most popular with the big barrel and senior bats not far behind. The jury is still out on the USAbat PRIME 918. 


918 Prime Sources

Since this blog covers bats before just about anyone else, there is not a lot of information on the 918 prime available to date. We always suggest you check on Slugger's site directly. Otherwise, check back here often for updates. Our overall BBCOR bat reviews page is super helpful in your search for a great baseball bat.

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Easton Ghost Bat | Reviews of the Easton Replacement

Easton Ghost Bat

Although I do not know too much about the Easton GHOST bat, since it is only released in fastpitch as of the time we publish this article, we do know that Easton will be releasing a Ghost in baseball too. The bat will replace the Easton MAKO as the flagship bat in Easton's line. And, we can only imagine, the bat will use the upgraded connective piece and some degree of a double barrel like the fastpitch versions.

​2018 Easton Ghost Fastpitch Bat Review

The ghost fastpitch bat is going to be a rockstar. Although we do not think it will be as dominate as the XENO or CFX from slugger and DeMarini respectively, I do think it is laying the ground work to compete in that long barreled and light swinging 2 piece fastpitch bat space.

​2018 Easton Ghost BBCOR Bat Review

At this moment, I am not sure exactly what the BBCOR Ghost looks like. Although, I should note, we have seen some close up pictures of the material. It does look like it will have that same interesting composite structure within the barrel.

In terms of what it will feel like, we could guess they will do their best to make it swing at least a little bit like the MAKO. The MAKO had a great swing weight and many players were really attracted to that.

If the 2018 Easton Ghost bat makes our Best BBCOR bats page is yet to be seen.

Best Prices for the Easton Ghost will be on eBay!

​2018 Easton Ghost USAbat bat Review

We can also only assume that Easton will be releasing a Ghost bat in a new USAbat bat too. Total performance for these bats should be lackluster at best. But, if there is anything I am more excited about, it is getting the new USAbat bats in house and checking them out.

​2018 Easton Ghost Big Barrel Review

Where I feel like Easton could really make up some ground is in the Big Barrel baseballb at space. Although the MAKO Beast was a really good bat, it was not quite as good as the CF8. Granted, the CF8 was made illegal. So any bat looked like a dud compared to that.

But, most travel ball players are convinced the CF line has mastered the big barrel world. If the Easton Ghost in a big barrel can do that we will wait and see.

Easton Lock & Load Review | New Wizardry From Easton

Eaton Lock and Load Review

Easton Lock & Load Recommendations

I had a chance to hit with and heft the Easton Lock and Load bat. I thought the bat felt good and, frankly, just like the Z-Core Easton bats. Which, it turns out, it is supposed to feel like. I thought the locking mechanism for the end cap was a bit cumbersome although unique and ultimately useful.  It did change the swing weight, obviously. But any review saying they could change the end cap weight in the dugout does not know what they are talking about. It is way too cumbersome and involved to be changing that thing around mid game. You may use the weight changing mechanism on the bat, but if your intent is to change your bat's weight on the fly then I think you'll be disappointed.

Where to Buy the Easton Lock & Load?

I always check out eBay pricing before I go anywhere else. There are also a few facebook groups that sell new and used equipment. Many of these are under the table deals so be careful in terms of a warranty and a real receipt. But, I always look there first to see how much I could save. 

Easton Lock & Load Ratings

I would give the Lock & Load a 4.33 out of 5 stars. I love the innovation of the new bat. And the performance is proven from bat's Z-Core history. But, it loses marks as the bat weight system is more cumbersome than I would hope. And, although I understand the price increase, think the price of this single piece aluminum might give people pause.

If you need a single piece aluminum bat then the Z-Core lock and load might be a very good fit. However, do note that it is more expensive than other single piece aluminum bats. But, in theory at least, the bat can serve the purpose of three bats with it's three different weight options.

The other option, if you know the exact swing weight you like, would be to buy an Easton Z-Core bat. We review those bats here.

However, while the bat can be used in NCAA play, it cannot be used in NCAA with the weights. It has to stay at the "speed" option (no weight) to be used there. In Highschool you can use the different weights.

Easton Z-Core Lock and Load Images

Easton Z-Core Lock and Load Conclusions

As the bat is new, there are not very many places that have actually seen and used the Z-Core Lock and Load. Most are generally positive. But, the idea of a premium for a feature you may never use is questionable. Yet, the idea is cool enough that hopefully man will take it for a swing.

You may also find some value checking out my best BBCOR bat sections.​

Marucci Cat 6 -5

marucci cat 6

The Marucci CAT 6 is one of the most popular senior league bats in the game. The brand is a huge favorite of young phenom Bryce Harper and many other big time ballers as well.

We’ve covered the Marucci Hex as well but here we’re going to be discussing mainly the differences between the two. Albeit, the biggest differentiation between the two is that the CAT 6 doesn’t come in the weight / length variations that the Hex does.

Either way, this bat is a one piece alloy construction, is USSSA 1.15 BPF Certified, and features a 2 5/8″ barrel.

But without any further ado – let’s get right into the bat specs.

Marucci CAT 6 Bat Technology

  • One-Piece Alloy Construction
    • The One Piece Alloy Construction is designed for a quicker bat speed with low M.O.I that allows players to exert greater control over the barrel of the bat.
    • As such, players can make solid contact more often with relative ease as opposed to using a bat with a higher M.O.I. (i.e bats with an end-load) that would otherwise hinder their ability to make contact.
  • Professionally-Inspired Extended Barrel Profile
    • The Barrel of this bat closely resembles that of the bats used by big leaguers in order to give players a better chance at transitioning from Youth / BBCOR Bats to wood bats later on in their careers.
    • Marucci is the only bat manufacturer that does this and is a big reason behind their success and that of their customers.
  • Ring-free Barrel Technology
    • Through thickened barrel-end walls, Marucci is able to forgo the use of rings within their barrels and instead optimize the strength of the bat for balance and power.
    • This type of technology is unique to Marucci.
  • Patented anti-vibration knob
    • The anti-vibration knob virtually eliminates all feedback from the back and gives players greater comfort and feel.
    • This adds to their confidence at the plate so they can attack the ball aggressively without having to think about their hands getting shaken up by a mishit ball.
    • Immense mental edge over the pitch.

Overall, the CAT 6 is a great bat for younger players who are also working with a smaller budget as bats like the Easton MAKO or the Voodoo Raw tend to be a bit pricier.

I’d highly recommend it for lighter hitters at the top of the lineup looking to maximize their hitting potential as opposed to over-powering the ball over the fence.

Enjoy!

2017 Easton Z-Core Speed Review

Easton is known for the company’s huge collection of high quality BBCOR bats. Easton Z-Core Speed is one of the newest additions to the family. Apart from being an exceptional BBCOR-certified bat, this is also a limited edition item.

Z-Core Speed Overview

Z-Core Speed is a reasonably priced one-piece, alloy construction bat. The item features Easton’s Z-Core HMX alloy. HMX stands for hiperlite matrix, reducing the weight of the bat and increasing its longevity at the same time.

Best Price for the Z-Core White Out?

As we often find, the best price for a bat that no longer requires minimum manufacuterer pricing is on eBay. We used a search like this to find some very good deals. 

The bat is characterized by both a low swing weight and a very high speed. The barrel also ranks among the biggest in the world of BBCOR-certified bats. Because of these characteristics, Easton Z-Core Speed is seen as an item for Players who want optimal balancing without a loss in power.

On top of these primary features, Z-Core Speed features Easton’s Hyperskin grip. This innovative feature enhances the grip of the player and it reduces vibrations at the same time.

A few other technical specs worth mentioning include:

  • -3 length to weight ratio
  • 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter
  • A tapered handle
  • Z-Core internal core technology that is needed to optimize the bat’s sweet spot
  • A lighter swing weight index for an explosive contact with the ball
  • 12-month manufacturer warranty

Biggest Advantages

While the 2017 Easton Z-Core Speed is still a relatively new product, it’s gotten a big number of positive customer reviews already. Several of the biggest advantages that buyers have gotten to enjoy already include:

  • Very durable: people that want a bat characterized by an extensive lifespan will be happy with what Easton Z-Core Speed has to offer. The specialized Easton alloy used in the construction and the one-piece design both contribute to the stamina and the durability of this sports item.
  • An excellent price to quality ratio: if you want to get your child a high quality BBCOR bat without breaking the bank, you’ll be happy with this Easton item. The bat is reasonably priced and the durable construction maximizes the return on investment you’re going to get out of the item. According to some reviewers, the performance of this piece is comparable to the one of 400-dollar bats.
  • Excellent sweet spot: all of the technological innovations that Easton has introduced to maximize the sweet spot seem to get the job done.
  • Balanced: the bat simply feels great. Players report that it is highly balanced and lightweight. Because of the excellent weight distribution and the design, the bat feels much more like a -5 rather than like a -3.
  • A lot of pop: according to several reviewers, the bat has much more pop than any comparable item on the market.

A Few Shortcomings

It’s very difficult to come across negative experiences with the Easton Z-Core Speed. Most of the buyers and the high school players relying on this piece of equipment have had overwhelmingly positive experiences with it.

A few of the negative remarks posted about the BBCOR bat include the following:

  • Denting: only a couple of people reported experiencing dents after using the bat a few times. The denting led to a loss in the coveted pop of the bat.
  • Some vibration: every once in a while, Easton Z-Core Speed will catch a vibrate. Still, players reported that the issue is far from a major one and it doesn’t interfere with the balanced and positive feel of the bat. The vibration is usually felt when a ball is caught lower down the barrel and towards the handle.
  • Heaviness: a few players reported that the bat was a bit too heavy for their preferences.

Final Verdict

Easton’s 2017 limited edition Z-Core Speed BBCOR bat is a piece of equipment worth examining (click here to see Best BBCOR Bats of 2017). If you are looking for a reasonably priced and balanced bat, you’ll be happy with what this one has to offer. The barrel size and design also rank among the biggest advantages stemming from the use of this particular Easton piece.

The shortcomings aren’t that many and they don’t really interfere with the performance of the bat. Choosing this piece will really depend on your preferences and whether you’re looking for a one-piece alloy item. If so, this one may be the perfect BBCOR bat for you.

2017 Easton Z-Core Hybrid Review

Hybrid construction two-piece bats are gaining more and more prominence because of the performance enhancements that these bring to the table. Unfortunately, such pieces of equipment can be quite costly.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced and well-made hybrid BBCOR bat, you should consider Easton Z-Core Hybrid. The 2017 edition of the bat brags a couple of great innovations that boost the appeal of the product even further (click here to see Best BBCOR Bats of 2017).

Easton Z-Core Hybrid an Overview

The 2017 Easton Z-Core Hybrid features a barrel made of Easton’s exclusive hyperlite matrix (HMX). The alloy is both lightweight and very durable. The internal Z-Core technology increases the sweet spot and reduces the weight of the bat even further. According to the official presentation by the manufacturer, this is the bat featuring the longest aluminum BBCOR barrel in the world of college baseball.

The combination of HMX and Z-Core produces a huge hitting surface that will obviously enhance the performance of the player and increase ping.

Since this is a hybrid item, the handle is made of SIC black carbon composite. Lightweight and easy to grip, the material will give every single player more confidence and power. In addition, the material is recognized for its ability to reduce vibrations significantly.

Several other Easton Z-Core Hybrid characteristics worth mentioning include:

  • -3 length to weight ratio
  • 2 5/8 inch diameter of the barrel
  • Hyperskin grip that enhances the grip of the player
  • ConneXion technology by Easton that leads to major vibration reduction
  • End-loaded swing weight
  • The second highest swing weight index in 2017 BBCOR Power Brigade by Easton
  • 12-month manufacturer warranty

Biggest Advantages

This bat has a big number of positive characteristics that enhance the skills of the player and lead to a much better performance. The most important advantages mentioned in buyer testimonials include:

  • The construction: the combination of Easton’s HMX barrel and the black carbon handle produces a high quality, durable and lightweight BBCOR bat. Both of the materials used have been chosen cleverly to maximize performance.
  • Impressive barrel size: obviously, the barrel size is an important characteristic for serious high school players. Easton Z-Core Hybrid delivers a massive barrel in comparison to other BBCOR bats.
  • Reasonable price: hybrid and two-piece bats are usually some of the costliest pieces of equipment on the market. The Z-Core Hybrid comes with an excellent price to quality ratio.
  • End-loaded feel: for some players, the end-loaded feel of the bat is a massive advantage. Z-Core Hybrid is also characterized by an excellent pop.

A Few Shortcomings

Let’s also take a look at the Z-Core Hybrid shortcomings. The disadvantages aren’t that many but you should definitely explore the ways in which the product misses the mark prior to making a purchase:

  • Weight of swing: the market does feature a couple of light swing hybrid bats that offer a better performance than the Easton Z-Core Hybrid (these items, however, may come with a higher price tag).
  • Very similar to the 2016 edition: Easton hasn’t made that many changes from the 2016 edition of its hybrid bat. If you are looking for a more affordable option, you can go for the 2016 model and you will not regret the decision.

There aren’t that many reviews about the product yet and it’s difficult to find additional information based on actual experiences. The good news is that the shortcomings don’t really interfere with the performance of the bat. The bad news is that the 2017 hybrid by Easton doesn’t offer that many improvements on top of what the 2016 bat featured.

Final Verdict

The combination of an aluminum barrel and a composite handle brings together the best of both worlds. This is the main reason why hybrid bats have been gaining prominence over the past few years. The 2017 Easton Z-Core Hybrid is an excellent example of why such equipment is continuously gaining fans among baseball players.

While it is a bit more expensive than other high quality Easton bats, this hybrid item does bring a lot to the table. There aren’t too many shortcomings and if you feel comfortable with the product’s price range and dimensions, you should definitely give it a try.

2017 Easton Z-Core XL

This new bat by Easton has a pretty self-explanatory name. Let’s take a look at the 2017 Easton Z-Core XL BBCOR bat and figure out which characteristics make it unique. We’ll also examine a few of the product’s shortcomings to draw an accurate conclusion about its quality (click here to see Best BBCOR Bats of 2017).

Easton Z-Core XL Overview

The 2017 XL edition of the Easton Z-Core bat is a one-piece alloy construction item. As such, it ranks among the most reasonably priced bats by Easton. The bat features serious end-loaded swing, which makes it best for the needs of power hitters.

Of all the Easton BBCOR bats, this one features the most massive aluminum barrel. A larger barrel contributes to more sweet spot – a prerequisite for a stellar performance every single time.

The barrel features Easton’s unique hyperlite matrix (HMX). The material makes the bat exceptionally lightweight for its respective size and it also increases the longevity of the barrel.

A few other important technical characteristics include the following:

  • -3 length to weight ratio as per BBCOR certification requirements
  • A 5/8 inch barrel diameter
  • End loaded swing weight, making the bat good for power hitters
  • A high MOE, which leads to a higher mass upon impact with the ball
  • Hyperskin grip for a better hold of the bat and enhanced control
  • A 31/32 inch tapered thin handle
  • The highest swing weight index among the Easton Power Brigade bats
  • A 12-month manufacturer warranty
  • The bat is available in several lengths from 31 to 34 inches

Biggest Advantages

Easton Z-Core XL has a big number of positive characteristics worth exploring:

  • An excellent price to quality ratio: one-piece aluminum bats usually rank among the most affordable on the market and this one isn’t an exception. The price tag is more than reasonable and the bat can be expected to remain in a good condition for many years to come.
  • Excellent for power hitters: if you are a power hitter pursuing an end-loaded swing, you’ll get excellent results from the 2017 Easton Z-Core XL.
  • Large barrel: the size of the barrel is another important characteristic to examine because of the relationship it has with the bat’s sweet spot. As the name indicates, this Easton bat is characterized by a large barrel, which will obviously improve accuracy.
  • It feels good: the bat feels solid and well-made in the hands of the player. At the same time, the weight isn’t troublingly high. Still, the bat is most suitable for power hitters that have a well-developed technique.
  • The only end-loaded aluminum bat on the market: in a sense, this BBCOR piece of equipment by Easton is unique. You will not find any other end-loaded aluminum bat, even if you search high and low.

A Few Shortcomings

This bat is more of a niche product rather than a universal piece of BBCOR equipment. Some view this characteristic as a massive benefit and for others, it’s a disadvantage.

Several of the most prominent shortcomings of the product include:

  • Not that different from the 2016 edition: the 2017 XL Z-Core bat isn’t that much different from the 2016 edition. If you want to save some money without compromising quality, you will be happy with what the 2016 Easton Z-Core XL has to offer.
  • Not a balanced bat: if you are looking for a balanced swing bat, this one is definitely not the right piece of equipment for you. The bat is also not suitable for the needs of younger players who are still growing and hitters that haven’t perfected their technique yet.
  • Heavy swing weight: this is another disadvantage stemming from the specific design of the bad. Some researchers have found out that the swing is approximately 20 percent heavier than the one produced by Easton’s Mako range of bats.

Final Verdict

Easton’s 2017 edition of the Z-Core XL BBCOR bat isn’t a crowd pleaser and it doesn’t claim to be one. This is a niche product and the only one out there with an end-loaded swing. If you are a power hitter with a well-developed technique, you will be happy with what the bat has to offer.

This BBCOR bat is reasonably priced and as long as you’re the right demographic for it, you’ll be happy with the way in which it enhances your performance. If you are a younger player who is still developing, chances are that a balanced BBCOR bat will be a much better pick (check out top BBCOR Bats here).

2017 Louisville Slugger 917 Prime Review

Louisville Slugger is one of the most recognizable names in the world of high quality baseball bats. Of all the brand’s developments, the 917 Prime range is its top performer. The 2017 Louisville Slugger 917 Prime BBCOR bat is not an exception.

Several characteristics determine the stellar performance of this bat and justify its relatively high price tag. Let’s take a look at these features together (click here to see Best BBCOR Bats of 2017).

Where to buy the Slugger 917 Prime?

Best place to find good pricing on the 917 Prime, now that it is off of MAP, is on eBay. When I looked while writing this post, there were a few fantastic deals for new in wrapper bats. Always be mindful if the bats come with real receipts.

2017 Louisville Slugger 917 Prime Overview

Louisville Slugger’s new Prime BBCOR bat is very different from everything else you’ll find on the market. Rather than being a one or two-piece bat, this one is a three-piece BBCOR-certified baseball item.

There are several improvements and changes that make the bat different from the 916 Prime. The bat has a bigger, extended barrel that doesn’t interfere with the lightness of the swing. According to the manufacturer, this characteristic makes the bat equally suitable for the needs of power and contact hitters.

The composite bat features Louisville Slugger’s MicroForm material that is patented due to the fused carbon structure that it features. The aim of the structure is to increase the pop and to maximize the sweet spot of the bad.

Several other great features worth mentioning include:

  • -3 length to weight ratio
  • 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter
  • Balanced swing weight
  • Lizard skin grip that increases comfort and gives the person holding the bat more control
  • TRU3 with dynamic socket connections that reduce vibrations throughout the three-piece construction of the bat
  • 12-month warranty

Biggest Advantages

People who have already bought and used the BBCOR bat by Louisville Slugger mention the following among its biggest advantages:

  • Lightweight and balanced: regardless of the fact that it has an entirely composite construction, the bat is lightweight and balanced for optimal performance.
  • Lots of pop: it seems that Louisville Slugger’s fused carbon structure is serving the purpose that it’s been chosen for. Most customer reviews point out the excellent pop that the bat is capable of producing.
  • Speed enhancement: light and balanced, the bat enhances significantly the speed of the swing and contributes to technique improvements.
  • Improved sweet spot: in comparison to the 2016 edition of the Louisville Slugger Prime BBCOR bat, this one delivers noticeable improvements in terms of sweet spot size. The new composite material used is the one that contributes to the increase in sweet spot length. In addition, the bat features a better connective piece than the 916 Prime and is more capable of reducing vibrations.

A Few Shortcomings

There are numerous great things about the 2017 Louisville Slugger 917 Prime BBCOR bat. The shortcomings aren’t that many but they’re still worth mentioning:

  • A bit expensive: just like other composite bats, this one is on the expensive side. Thus, the piece of equipment is mostly suitable for use by older players who are already showing some promise in terms of a baseball career.
  • Grip tightening required: several reviewers report that after several uses, the grip is starting to come off. The issue can be fixed through manual tightening but this can be an annoying issue for serious hitters.
  • Some issues with handle durability: only a few players report experiencing handle breakage problems (both with the 916 and the 917 editions of the bat). The experience isn’t a widespread one and it could potentially refer to a faulty item or a misuse of the bat.
  • Similar to the 2016 916 Prime: apart from the sweet spot enhancement, the new bat has lots of similarities with the previous edition. People who are looking for ways to get quality and enjoy a reduced price may want to opt for the 2016 Prime BBCOR bat.

Final Verdict

There are many reasons why Louisville Slugger bats are so popular. The company sticks to traditions but isn’t afraid to experiment with functional innovations either. This balance is the one that has drawn so many people to the Prime range of BBCOR bats.

With a massive sweet spot enhancement, the 917 Prime bat is definitely worth a try. Keep in mind, however, that this bat is more expensive than other high quality items that the market features. The 917 Prime is mostly suitable for use by older players who have a well-developed technique and a potential for growth in the world of baseball.

2017 Marucci CAT 7 Review

Anyone interested in a high quality, mid-price range aluminum alloy bat will be impressed with the 2017 Marucci CAT and everything that it has to offer. The piece is a truly balanced one and it’s characterized by a light swing weight (click here to see Best BBCOR Bats of 2017).

In a world where oversized bats with huge barrels are becoming the norm, CAT & by Marucci offers a nice alternative. The following comprehensive review will help you figure out whether the bat is the right one for your needs (check out top BBCOR Bats here).

2017 Marucci CAT 7 Overview

This is a one-piece aluminum bat that’s a bit more expensive than other alloy models but that still is characterized by an excellent price to quality ratio. In many ways, the bat is similar to its predecessors –CAT 5 and CAT 6. Still, a couple of innovations enhance the experience and make CAT 7 a better pick.

Other reviews of this bat are high on it too. ​

One of the most important differences is the improved alloy used. This unique Marucci material is called AZ4X and it increases durability without adding to the weight of the bat. In addition, the barrel design has been modernized to increase the size of the sweet spot two times.

A few other technical specifications determine the superiority of Marucci CAT 7 over other less-expensive one-piece aluminum bats :

  • AV2 knob that reduces vibrations upon ball impact
  • A balanced design for enhanced control
  • Ring-free barrel technology that eliminates dead spots
  • -3 length to weight ratio
  • 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter
  • A 12-month manufacturer warranty

Biggest Advantages

The 2017 Marucci CAT 7 BBCOR has a number of characteristics that hitters seem to enjoy the most. Several of the BBCOR bat’s most important advantages include:

  • Ideal for hitters who like a light swing: the alloy and the design of the bat ensure a light and balanced swing. This is interesting because few stiff power one-piece alloy bats are capable of providing this benefit.
  • Large sweet spot: the new design does optimize the sweet spot massively in comparison to the Marucci CAT 5 and 6.
  • Loud pop: the material that the barrel is made of guarantees a pop that doesn’t compare to any other. This is one of the characteristics that most of the buyers were particularly impressed with.
  • Excellent vibration reduction: the technologies used to deal with negative vibrations are effective enough to help players overcome the issue and forget about it. Even when players did get jammed, they didn’t experience the typical vibration issues for such a situation.
  • Well-made: the bat is beautiful and it feels solid because of the quality of materials used. If you’re interested in a piece that will remain in an excellent condition for a long period of time, you’ll be happy with this one.

A Few Shortcomings

The negative aspects of this item aren’t that many but they still need to be mentioned for a completely unbiased review:

  • A bit heavier than CAT 6: if you’ve previously used Marucci’s CAT 6 BBCOR bat, you may feel that CAT 7 is a bit heavier. The bat is still well-balanced and most players get used to the difference relatively fast.
  • Slippery grip: during the first few uses of the bat, the brand new grip may feel a little bit slippery. After a few sessions, the issue gets resolved on its own. Players that have sweaty hands may consider using batting gloves.
  • Some people don’t like the loud pop: while some players live for the loud pop that their bats make, others feel distracted by the sound. As already mentioned, Marucci CAT 7 has unsurpassed pop. For some players, this characteristic can be seen as a disadvantage.

Final Verdict

The 2017 Marucci CAT 7 BBCOR bat is a wonderful piece of equipment because of the excellent price to quality ratio. The company has also managed to build upon the positive aspects of its CAT 6 and introduce several great innovations.

If you like one-piece aluminum bats that are perfectly balanced, characterized by a light swing and a loud pop, you will be happy with what the CAT 7 has to offer. This isn’t a specialized bat but rather a crowd pleaser. As a result, you may end up having teammates wanting to use yours all of the time. This is as far as shortcomings go with the piece.