Review 2013 Eason XL3 & 2014 DeMarini Vexxum -10
Here we review 2013 Eason XL3 & 2014 DeMarini Vexxum -10. The most obvious difference between the two bats is that the DeMarini Vexxum is a two piece bat with a composite handle and a aluminum barrel. The Easton XL3 is a full aluminum bat that Easton claims is end loaded (which it is). Both bats are available in BBCOR 2 5/8 (Highschool and NCAA), a 2 1/4 (Youth Bat), 2 5/8 (Senior League) and 2 3/4 barrel sizes.
Below is an in depth comparison between the Vexxum and XL3 in the 2 3/4 arena. (Most of this information is accurate for the other barrel sizes as well).
LENGTH and BAT MATERIAL
Aluminum Barrel Length Options:
(Important Note: The XL3 has a total bat length that is 1/16 inch longer than the Vexxum.)
The 2 3/4 DeMarini Vexxum (DXVXY) is available stated lengths of 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31.
The 2 3/4 Easton XL3 (JBB14X3) is only available stated lengths of 25, 26, 27 and 28.
If you need a short bat, then shortest 2 3/4 available is the Easton XL3’s 25 inch is as small as it gets and should be your choice over the Vexxum. Your only other option, if you need an aluminum barrel no more than 25 inches, is Louisville Slugger’s 25 length Assault.
If you can handle a 29inch+ length in a 2 3/4 barrel then the Vexxum bests the XL3 (because the XL3 isn’t any bigger than the 28). You do have three other options in the 29inch+ range with a 2 3/4 aluminum barrel. Two are one-piece aluminum alloy: Louisville Slugger’s Assault SLAS14-RX and Easton’s S3 SL13S310B2. The third is a two piece, like the Vexxum’s composite handle and aluminum barrel, named the Louisville Slugger Vertex.
Composite Length Options:
The Vexxum and XL3 both have aluminum barrels. However, if you can go the composite barrel route in this size category then you have a couple more options. (Why go composite?) If you need a short 25 inch 2 3/4 composite bat then you can look at Combats Portent B4 B4SL210 or Easton’s MAKO JBB14MK.
If you can use a composite in the 29inch+ length in the 2 3/4 barrel then there are four more options: Easton’s MAKO SL14MKB, Louisville Slugger’s Attack SLAT14-RX, Combat’s Portent B4 B4SL210 or Louisville Slugger Catalyst XL SLCT14-RXL.
Easton XL3: THT100™ SCANDIUM ALLOY
DeMarini Vexxum: X10 Alloy
Easton XL3: THT100™ SCANDIUM ALLOY
DeMarini Vexxum: C6 Composite
The fact is neither of these bats can have a spring or trampoline effect greater than 1.15 and since this is aluminum (not composite) there is no aging or conditioning effect on the barrel that will make any difference.
The only arguable difference in POP created by the bat material is that of a two piece design of the Vexxum vs the one-piece of the XL3. The argument goes, for two piece lovers, that a player can have more confidence in their swing if they are less afraid of getting their hands stung on a mishit. Therefore they will swing with more confidence and, hence, more success. The one piece lovers will point out that a two piece design might lessen the vibration in someone’s hands on a hit but it does so at the expense of a full transfer of torque or power from the hands to the ball. To some extent, both arguments are probably true.
The solution will come down to the mentality of your player. I have two players that are the complete opposite in personality. The one who seems to become more discouraged at stung hands has a two piece bat. The one who is filled with determination has a single piece bat. And, for what its worth, the one who shy’s away from pain and has a two piece bat is a better hitter than the other.
In short, no one can claim with a straight face that the bat material (X10 Alloy or THT) creates better success than the other. And until DeMarini and Easton step up to the plate with head to head data it will all just be marketing spin. But, if you think your player will have difficulty after getting the brunt of a recoil in their palms then the Vexxum is a solid bet and I’d suggest that route. If you don’t think that will be a problem then its hard to go wrong with the XL3.
The center of balance for the XL3 is at 62.11% the length of the barrel from the handle. The Vexxum sits at an even 60%. The XL3 is clearly end-loaded with one of the highest center of mass lengths in the little league bat space. The Vexxum finds itself right in the middle of the center of mass calculation. Just as much as the Vexxum couldn’t be considered an end-loaded bat it couldn’t be considered a speed series bat either.
The real difference in the Vexxum and the XL3 is their swing weight. They have the same drop stated weights on their bats but, as we’ve already covered, those mean nothing. It’s all about their swing weight which you have to calculate yourself.
I’ve measured the MOI of most of these bats and extrapolated the rest. Here is what we’ve found:
Given any particular length of bat, the Vexxum requires 10% less mass to swing then its XL3 same-length-counterpart. At 29 inches, for example, the Vexxum requires 5981 oz/in^2 of force to swing around the knob whereas the Easton requires 6566 oz/in^2.
Each inch length you increase the Vexxum swing weight increases by about 10% also. So, if you want a similar XL3 swing weight than a Vexxum make sure you XL3 -10 has one less inch on the barrel. In other words, a 29 inch Vexxum drop 10 swings like a 28 inch XL3 drop 10.