Marucci has released their new version of the CAT 5-Squared for 2015. It is called, not surprisingly, the CAT 6. It has a few notable changes when compared to the BBCOR CAT 5-Squared. (A review of Marucci’s high end youth bat, the Hex Composite, can be found here).
But first we’ll start with what is the same. Like the CAT 5-Squared, the CAT 6 is still a one piece aluminum stick with a patterned ring free design. Inside the knob of the bat you can see a small, interestingly designed, type of rubber piece that absorbs the shock of mishits.
Marucci has some third party data that shows it absorbs the shock 5.6 times greater than any other bat on the market. We are not able to verify the 5.6, but our experience has proved that this bat, when compared to other one piece aluminum bats, has a noticeably calmer swing on mishits. In other words, we can verify the claim to some extent.
Also like the CAT 5-Squared, the CAT 6 is a balanced swing (not light swing like the DeMarini CF7 or Easton S1, but balanced). The balance point of the bat was actually brought a little closer to the handle compared to the CAT5 but the overall weight distribution makes the CAT 6 and CAT 5-Squared swing weight nearly identical.
The CAT 6 does have some upgrades compared to the CAT 5-squared that are worth mentioning. For starters the barrel profile is larger. Meaning the bat has more plate coverage and a larger sweet spot when compared to the CAT 5-Squared. We found this improvement to be noticeable and appreciated.
As well, the durability of the knob is claimed to be improved. We haven’t swung the CAT 6 long enough, but we do know from personal experience that the CAT 5-Squared knob unscrewed itself (which you could screw back on) after considerable use. Marucci took this feedback and redesigned the inserted knob to last as long as the bat. If that is the case we will see, but we are willing to take their word on it for now.
On the BBCOR version of the bat Marucci also shaped the handle to transition into the knob. This larger widening handle increases the bottom hands contact to the bat which many hitters like. Those who like a skinny bottom hand handle can unwrap the tape and remove the plastic shaped cone on the bottom of the handle.
Another notable change to the bat is its design. The CAT 5-Squared was designed in gray backing with black and red highlights and a black grip. On the CAT 6, the bat is a very glossy pearl white with sort of hologram hurricane circles in the design. (Get it? CAT 6, Hurricane, as in a Category 6 Hurricane?). The grip is gray to match the highlights on the bat.
The CAT 6 will come in a drop 3 BBCOR, Senior League (2 5/8 Barrel) of drop 5 and drop 8 and well as Junior Barrel Version (2 3/4) in a drop 10. From what I can tell, the CAT 6 will not be available in the youth 2 1/4 barrel like the Squared was. This hints at a future release of a youth bat from Marucci.
Overall the CAT 6 is, in justbatreviews opinion, the most beautiful BBCOR bat on the planet. The bat is sleek with a kissable and sheen finish. The angelic white with gray and red accents make it look like a bat designed in the halls of Prada.
As per performance, we think the CAT 6 is a top shelf BBCOR bat that will perform, out of the wrapper, at the highest allowable .50 BBCOR standard. It’s big barrel (especially for a full piece aluminum bat) is remarkable. We are sure that those who fell in love with the CAT 5-Squared will fall in love all over again with the CAT 6.
We Recommend the 2015 Marucci CAT 6 for hitters who: Like the honest feel and power that come from a one piece bat but also want to avoid its associated sting; Want a one piece bat; Prefer a balanced bat; Want a top shelf bat but don’t want to spend top shelf money; Prefer a two-piece bat but want to find a one-piece bat that swings with the same smoothness that two pieces do; would rather have an aluminum barrel.
We do NOT recommend the 2015 Marucci CAT 6 for hitters who: Want an end loaded swing; are in little league and need a real light swing (as the CAT 6 is only in a max drop 8); are in little league and prefer a composite barrel.
At a $249 new in wrapper price we feel like the CAT 6 is an intelligent decision and one a lot of baseball players will be making this year.