We would recommend the 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid TORQ (Price Check*) to players who prefer a big barreled bat with a moderate swing weight in an aluminum barrel and composite handle combo. Also, maybe most importantly, the hitter must be comfortable with a bat that has a rotating bottom handle. If that is you, then you are looking in the right place.
Overall the bat is definitely a high performance hybrid bat with a great big barrel and collegiate level pop.
*(At the time of this writing the price was $299–and that link had the wrong picture).
We’ve previously discussed, at length, the reasons behind a spinning handled bat. While the idea has yet to really grab hold in the market we are confident it makes sense at least theoretically. A bottom hand that rotates with ease will get you to the ball sooner especially for pitches on the inner half of the plate. Faster hands means faster bats and faster bats means better ball exit speed.
In practice we’ve yet to see the TORQ handle take off in terms of market acceptance but, to their credit, Easton is sticking with the idea. Now that the price on the TORQ is more similar to pricing on other bats in their baseball line up we expect more market acceptance of a rotating handle. Time will tell.
There are no comparable bats on the market to the 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid due to the fact it has a spinning handle. The bat itself is produced like the 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid but without the spinning bottom hand or “TORQ”. The non-TORQ version of the bat is a lighter swinging hybrid bat similar to the Rawlings TRIO and DeMarini’s NVS Vexxum.
If you want a bat with a spinning handle and an aluminum barrel your other option is the 2016 Easton Z-Core TORQ (no hybrid). That bat is a single piece aluminum with a spinning bottom hand.
Other than those two distant cousins, the 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid TORQ is a make and model all it’s own.
It should be noted, for a hybrid bat the Hybrid TORQ has a very light swing. But when compared to hand loaded and two piece composite bats in the BBCOR space its a little bit on the heavy side. If you’re looking for the lightest swing then something like the DeMarini CF8 or Easton MAKO would be more in your wheel house.
The 2016 Easton Hybrid Z-Core TORQ will be available in BBCOR only. Standard 31, 32, 33 and 34 inch lengths with a drop 3 and a .50 BBCOR stamp are all available.
The bat will not be available in a Big Barrel, Youth Barrel or T-ball sizes. Those looking for a hybrid bat from Easton in those barrel sizes will need to look at the 2016 Easton S2.
Like the 2015 Easton S2z and S3z, the Easton Z-Core Hybrid TORQ will use a spiraled carbon fiber handle design to decrease sting on mishits and add to a buttery soft swing and ping. We are not sure if this actually works any better than other two piece designs, but we do find the two piece design on most bats does indeed remove hand sting.
The swing weight of the bat measures as a middle of the road swing weight. This makes the bat about 5% heavier than the famous MAKO and about 5% lighter than the Hybrid XL.
As should be obvious by now, the Hybrid TORQ has a bottom handle that rotates with your hand when you swing.