(The 2015 Easton top shelf bat line has 9 individual lines that are reviewed individually here: MAKO TORQ, MAKO XL, MAKO, S1, S2, S3, XL1, XL3, S2z and S3z. The best place to purchase the MAKO by price is right here.)
(Latest update added below original 1/25/2015)
(See Updated MAKO TORQ Review Here)
I was pursuing little league baseball bat videos on youtube on a Friday night, because when you have 7 children this is what you do, and I came across a video for a bat called the Easton MAKO Torq. It took me a few seconds to realize what was going on and then it hit me: My goodness, the freaking handle is rotating around the bat on purpose. See for yourself:
This bat, known well now as the Easton Mako Torq (not Torque) is real and is for sale. It comes in a handful of different sizes: BBCOR (BB15MKT) 31 to 34 inches; 2 1/4 Youth Barrel drop 10 (YB15MKT); Senior League 2 5/8 drop 5 and drop 8 (SL15MKT5T, SL15MKT8T).
But before you drop a couple years worth of lawn mowing money on a baseball bat, you should probably ask a more obvious question: Why would a bat ever need to have a spinning handle?
In theory a rotating handle on the bottom hand would allow two things to happen:
- A massive problem in little league and highschool is young batters over-gripping the bat. When the bat is gripped more in our palms than our fingers it makes a proper swinging motion, by getting our hands inside the ball, very difficult. A rotating handle on the bottom hand should allow a hitter’s wrists to have more say in the trajectory of the bat despite any over-gripping.
- If the bottom part of the handle can be rotated during the swing it may allow for a hitter to both get the barrel of the bat in the zone faster and keep it there for longer. At impressive levels of baseball, keeping your barrel in the zone for the longest possible time is very much a function of solid mechanics. At little league and highschool levels, however, it may work as an encouragement when player transitions into the big time.
Of course Easton now has their promotional video up on the bat:
But no matter how amazing my eyes have a hard time focusing when I see a baseball bat cost $550. Oddly enough, the $550 bat sure makes the $399 Easton XL1 bat seem like a steal of a deal—which may have been Easton’s strategy all along. It also makes the other 2015 innovative bats (RIP-IT Helium and Mizuno MaxCor) look affordable too.
Early reports show very mixed reviews on the MAKO TORQ. And mixed is probably a nice way to put it. Most seem to not appreciate the feel of a spinning handle and are finding such gadgetry less than unhelpful—pushing your hands over at the wrong times.
Maybe, such a handle would help an individual with remarkably stiff wrists but, even then, we’ve yet to see anyone in the baseball space really feel like their swing has improved with a spinning bottom hand. We even spoke to one player who put lizard skin grip on his to cover up the spin…ending up with a neon green Easton Mako. In other words, it looks like the top 5 Best Youth Little League Bats of all time list (as well as the preseason best bats of 2015) are safe for now.
We recommend the MAKO TORQ for hitters who: are not on a budget; prefer a two piece composite; like the idea of being a bit different; are willing to pay for any advantage (perceived or real).
We do NOT recommend the MAKO TORQ for hitters who: Are on any type of budget; Want a top shelf bat; Want aluminum or one piece bats; Can’t see themselves using a spinning handle to hit anything.