We’ve spent over 10 hours in the cage collectively with the MAKO TORQ brand of bats—including the BBCOR, Little League (youth) and Big Barrel versions of the XL version. We’ve also seen the rotating handled bat at the plate at least one hundred times and have spoken to nearly anyone we’ve seen who uses the bat, about their experience. Additionally, we’ve spent time on the phone with Easton employees discussing the intricacies of the MAKO TORQ.
The 2016 Easton MAKO TORQ XL is a new iteration to Easton’s 2016 MAKO line and takes the end loaded feel of a traditional two piece composite bat (like the 2015 Easton XL1). It also increases the barrel size by including the MAKO specs (like the 2016 Easton MAKO) and adds the rotating handle made famous on the 2015 Easton MAKO Torq.
As such, we’d recommend the 2016 MAKO XL TORQ to those who are sure they love the traditional Easton XL1 (or the 2015 Easton MAKO XL) as an end loaded two piece composite and also believe they’d benefit from the larger MAKO barrel and the rotating handle’s potential for better inside plate coverage. If that isn’t you then we believe there are plenty of performance bats in this price range which will suit your fancy.
Here is a MAKO TORQ review from 2015.
Here is Easton’s promotional video on the 2016 Easton MAKO XL TORQ:
We only review bats we’ve actually hit with. With the 2016 Easton MAKO XL TORQ specifically, we spent several hours in the cage with the BBCOR versions of the bat. In the past, we’ve spent considerable time with the Fast Pitch Easton MAKO TORQ as well as the 2015 senior barrel MAKO TORQ so we knew what to expect.
At a high level, it isn’t difficult to tell the 2016 Easton MAKO XL TORQ is a high performance bat. It performs at peak powers on all parts of the barrel and after some work in time feels like an absolute beast. The new TORQ TAQ Grip is also well received by us. The bat feels, mostly because it is, like a MAKO XL with a TORQ handle. We’ve been big fans of the MAKO XL from day one and the TORQ handle technology, if not necessarily practical, is at least appreciated around here. Putting that technology on the same bat would seem like an easy decision for Easton.
We still claim that if you are comfortable with the rotating handle and an endloaded (read: tough to swing well) bat then the bat is a verifiable beast and recommendable. It is, in reality, an Easton MAKO XL with its remarkably sized barrel with the added rotating handle. The bat is clearly a high performance composite with a butter like feel on impact. The rotating handle, at least in theory, can help with inside pitches and some bat speed.
The 2016 Easton MAKO XL TORQ will come in only a BBCOR and Senior League (2 5/8) drop 5 sizes. BBCOR ranges from 32 to 34 inches and the drop 5 from 30 to 32 inches. These bats sizes are made for big hitters with home run dreams.
The 2016 Easton MAKO XL TORQ is a two piece composite bat built on the chassis of the very famous Easton MAKO—whch has been around since 2014. The XL version of the MAKO is an end loaded version akin to the Easton XL1 of days gone by (and the Easton MAKO XL of 2015).
The TORQ’s defining feature is the bottom four inches of the handle which spins freely around the handle. This rotating feature lends to its name: TORQ.
Easton uses the same connective technology (CXN) in their MAKO XL TORQ as they do in their other performance two piece bats. CXN is a marketing term for the welding technology that connects the barrel of the bat with the handle of the bat. In the baseball space, it is a rather stiff transition and what most hitters prefer. Easton has been using this design since the XL1 and S1 from 2012.
The barrel of the 2016 Easton XL TORQ, made from Easton’s THT Thermo Composite, is built to be gigantic and is akin to the barrel size on any of the MAKO barrels. The handle of the bat is also constructed from Easton’s composite THT composite.
The MAKO XL TORQ is meant to be a heavy swinging bat in the performance space with a two-piece composite design built for big hitters.
Easton did not produce a 2015 MAKO XL TORQ. They did, however, produce both a 2015 Easton MAKO TORQ and a 2015 Easton MAKO XL. They took both of those technologies and added them together into the 2016 Easton MAKO XL TORQ. There are no particular upgrades to the individual technologies found in the bat—instead simply a combining of the two ideas.
The 2016 MAKO TORQs do have a new grip (TORQ TAQ). We found it to be a bit sticker than last years.
Outside the Easton brand there are, obviously, no bats which have a rotating handle. In terms of messing with the shape or function of the handle only the Axe Bat line, from Baden Sports, can claim a similar intent with their asymmetric handle.
In terms of high end two piece composite bats the 916 Prime from Slugger, the CF8 from DeMarini and the RBZ X3 from Adidas are just a few of the light swinging two-piece composite bats on the market. However, none of those have are built with an end loaded feel. In fact, there are no other two piece composite bats on the market with an end loaded swing except for Easton’s very own 2016 Easton MAKO XL.
Otherwise, if you want a 2016 bat with a rotating handle that is both end loaded and a two piece composite then your only option is the 2016 Easton MAKO XL TORQ.
In terms of pure performance, the 2016 Easton MAKO XL TORQ is a top shelf premium bat—no doubt about it. The barrel size is gigantic by any standards and the bat is a true end load. If a player is wiling to become accustomed to the spinning handle—or is so already—and needs (or really wants) an end-loaded performance bat then the Easton MAKO TORQ should be on top of the list. If they can forgo the rotating handle we think there are better options.