For 2016, Easton Bats moved their BBCOR line from the Speed (S) series of bats into the Z-Core Hybrid brand of names. Generally, the differences between the Z-Core and the S2 is the use of a different alloy (Easton calls HMX) which allows for a bigger barrel. However, in a few offerings, they kept the Speed (S) including, as pertains to this review, the 2016 Easton S2. (Price Check).
We hit with the Easton S2 (and have hit with previous versions of the S2) for at least 4 hours in cage and in game. We’ve also spent at least 2 hours reading and researching reviews online for this 2016 Easton S2 Review.
From a recommendations standpoint, the 2016 Easton S2, like previous year’s iterations, fits the mold of a light swinging bat made for players who need more help in simply finding the ball at the plate than anything else. The bat’s saving grace, and what makes it at least recommendable for some hitters, is the two piece design which makes for a smoother feeling hit by reducing hand sting. That handle, which Easton refers to as the SIC Black Composite Composite, has been used in the Speed series since it’s release in 2014.
We think hitters who need as much bat control as possible and need, or prefer, a hybrid bat for it’s hot out of the wrapper performance and hand sting control aren’t entirely off base in thinking the 2016 Easton S2 is for them. Those who go this route will lose barrel size when compared to composite bats in the performance class and, we have found, younger hitters looking for the most confidence in finding the ball need as much barrel as possible. Hence, as we see it, the 2016 Easton S2 fits a pretty small group of players. Throw in the reality that the 2015 version of the S2 is a less expensive version of the 2016 version and it’s a hard sale for sure.
There are virtually no performance differences between the 2015 Easton S2 and the 2016 Easton S2. (Nor, for that matter, were there any differences in the 2014 S2 and the 2015 S2). The bat continues to be a hybrid bat (composite handle, aluminum barrel) with a low swing weight. Built for players looking for bat speed over bat power. The 2016 version of the S2 does have new grip that Easton added to most of their 2016 performance bats. Of course the paint job is different too.
There are only 2 size offerings in the 2016 Easton S3:
- Drop 13 Youth Barrel (2 1/4)
- Drop 10 Senior Barrel (2 5/8)
Here is Easton’s Promo Video of the Drop 10 Senior League (2 5/8) and the Drop 13 2 1/4 Youth Bat. These videos are not particularly informative, but fun to see the up close glamour shots of the bat nonetheless.
2 5/8 Drop 10
2 1/4 Drop 13
As we stated above, the 2016 Easton S2 is a two piece hybrid bat consisting of a carbon handle and aluminum alloy barrel. This is the same make up of the Easton S2 since it’s origination in 2014. The connective piece, like all of Easton’s two piece bats, consists of a stiff transition welding Easton refers to as CXN.
For 2016, a light swinging two piece hybrid bat can be found in the Anderson Centerfire. Also, one of Rawlings’ VELO in the Senior League version is also a two piece hybrid bat for 2016. Most other hybrid bats in the 2 5/8 Senior League and 2 1/4 Youth (aka Little League) space are designed as an end loaded bat. (See the DeMarini Overlord Raw, for example)
We expect this to be the last year the S2 is made by Easton in any form—at least for a while. The MAKO Z-Core Hybrid and its larger barrel appear to be taking over the hyrbid game on the Easton front.
We don’t hate the 2016 Easton S2—its been a mainstay and was a rather successful bat in 2014—but it’s hard to say its one of our favorites. Players who want an aluminum barrel tend to be advanced hitters who can deal with a generally smaller barrel and an end load feel. But the S2 is a balanced swinging bat built for younger players looking for as much opportunity to hit the ball as possible. As such, players in that category tend to appreciate the larger barrels, and generally lower swing weight, found on composite bats these days making the appropriate market for the 2016 Easton S2 rather small. As well, the fact the 2015 version is identical in all things but the grip and color when compared to the S2 make it’s nearly impossible to recommend the 2016 when the 2015 can be found less expensive as suppliers unload inventory.