Easton is releasing ten different BBCOR bats for the 2016 season. Many of these are color ups from previous years, but a handful are brand new and worth a closer look. As we get these new ones in our hands we’ll write specific reviews but, in the mean time, we’ll just give you some pictures and blurbs as to what we have learned in our sneak peak with Easton.
(You may also like: 2016 Doubling Down on the Easton MAKO TORQ).
If your goal is to categorize and ultimately make sense of these ten bats, the first step is to break them into three BBCOR categories. 2016 Easton MAKO, 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid and 2016 Easton Z-Core.
BBCOR Category 1: 2016 Easton MAKO
The 2016 Easton MAKO will come in four versions this year. Each of these four MAKO bats are, like previous years, two piece high end composite bats.
1- The traditional MAKO—which we’ve come to know—will be available. By way of swing weight (or MOI) this bat continues to be the lightest swinging bat in the entire Easton line. It is still a two piece composite bat. The only upgrades from the 2015 MAKO is a ‘superskin’ grip and, obviously, the color.
2- The MAKO XL—which is an endloaded MAKO—will also be available. The XL is similar to the Easton XL1 of days gone by in the sense of a two piece composite with an end load. Its swing weight measures out about 10 to 12% heavier than the traditional MAKO. The 2016 version also comes in an updated grip and color up compared to the 2015 MAKO XL.
3- The MAKO TORQ will also be back in a 2016 version. We already covered the reprint of the revolutionary spinning handle. According to Easton’s numbers, the swing weight on the MAKO TORQ is a smidge heavier than the MAKO. The 2016 version will have a color up and, as well, an upgraded grip Easton calls TORQ TAQ. Otherwise it is the same THT composite and CXN connective piece we saw in 2015.
4- The MAKO TORQ XL will be a new iteration of the MAKO line in 2016. This is, as you could guess from the name, a MAKO XL with the TORQ handle. Its swing weight is identical to the MAKO XL (endloaded) and it also has the TORQ TAQ grip added new for 2016. It will only come in a 32, 33 and 34 inch length.
BBCOR Category 2: Easton Z-Core HYBRID
The 2016 Easton Hybrid is a two piece bat with composite handle and alloy barrel. The bat design takes after the 2015 Easton S2z. Like the S2z, the 2016 bats will come with a composite handle and a composite reinforced alloy barrel. The Z-Core name is, of course, in reference to some of the best bats ever made by anyone. There are three versions of the Eaton Z-Core Hybrid.
1- The Easton Z-Core Hybrid for 2016 will be the base version of the bat. This is, in effect, the new Easton S2 with an upgraded barrel size. It will have a 31, 32, 33 and 34 inch length with an upgraded grip from the S2.
2- The Easton Z-Core Hybrid XL will be a new addition to the 2016 Easton line. It will, as you could guess by the name, be a Z-Core Hybrid with a greater end load. Based on Easton’s metrics, this bat will be the heaviest swinging bat in the line up (tied with the Easton Z-Core XL).
3- The Easton Z-Core Hybrid TORQ will be another addition to the 2016 Easton line. This bat will have the same swing weight as the Hybrid but will add the rotating handle to a hybrid bat. It will continue to have the Hyperlite Matrix Alloy they released on a their performance alloy barrels in 2015.
BBCOR Category 3: Easton Z-Core
1- The Easton Z-Core will be similar to the Easton S3z released in 2015. Its swing weight should be about 5% heavier than the MAKO. The Z-Core is a one piece alloy bat much like the S3 of the past. It does have the updated Matrix Hyperlite Alloy like the S3z from 2015.
2- The BBCOR Z-Core bats will also come in a 2016 Easton Z-Core XL. Think of this bat as an upgrade to the 2015 Easton XL3. Like the Z-Core, the Z-Core XL is a one piece alloy but with a heavier swing weight. This bat is the heaviest swinging performance BBCOR bat Easton makes (tied with the Z-Core Hybrid XL for swing weight).3- The Z-Core Torq is another addition to the 2016 Easton BBCOR line up. Think of this bat as an XL3 with a spinning handle. The bat is a one piece alloy design with an updated grip and, of course, the now famous spinning handle on all TORQ bats.
The amount of bats Easton produces each year is staggering. Consider the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sized company in the space (DeMarini, Rawlings, Louisville Slugger) produce 9 performance BBCOR bats and you start to get a feel for how gigantic Easton is in the market. The 2016 line looks to be as robust as ever—as reports and tests begin to come in on performance and what players like we will keep you updated.