The 2016 Easton Z-Core TORQ (Amazon Price Check) has a rotating bottom hand built into the bat. We have discussed the purpose behind this technology at length in other threads. Here, suffice it to say, the argument for a rotating bottom handle can allow for faster bat speed and better inside plate coverage. This disruptive technology has made serious waves in the bat space since its release in early 2015.
Easton has taken that new tech, and added it to a good ole single piece aluminum bat. Similar to the 2015 Easton S3z (without the TORQ) the 2016 Easton Z-Core TORQ incorporates an internal composite reinforcement along the length of the barrel to give the bat a considerably large barrel for a single piece alloy. As well, the reinforcement allows for a thinner alloy and, ergo, a lighter swing.
Compared to the 2015 Z-Core, the bat also boasts a new “Torq Taq” grip. We didn’t find that piece particularly compelling, but it is ‘new’ nonetheless.
The 2016 Easton Z-Core TORQ is a new bat in Easton’s line up. This is the first bat to be a single piece alloy bat with Easton’s famed rotating handle which was made famous on the 2015 Easton Torq. The barrel and transition of the bat is built after the 2015 Easton S3z.
The 2016 Easton Z-Core Torq will only be available in BBCOR sizes 31 through 34 inches. Of course each of these bats are drop 3.
Those looking for a spinning handle bat in youth or senior league sizes that are also a single piece aluminum bat will be out of luck. Easton’s single piece aluminum youth and senior league bats for 2016 will be the S3 or the XL3. Neither of those, however, have a rotating handle which can only be found on the MAKO in the younger versions.
There are no other bats (this year or any other) which are single piece aluminum with a rotating handle. Of course there are several dozen single piece high performance bats put into the market over the last few years but none of them have a spinning handle. If we were to try and give this bat a twin, we’d lightly suggest the 2016 Axe Element Hyperwhip. That bat is also a single piece design with very unique features in the handle. But it’s clearly not an identical twin bat.
The Z-Core TORQ is a hot out of the wrapper BBCOR bat with a relatively light swing weight and a spinning handle. As such, we’d recommend the bat for Collegiate or High School players who prefer hot out of the wrapper bats with balanced swings and are comfortable/prefer a bat with a rotating bottom hand handle.
The fact the bat is only released in BBCOR suggests Easton also understands that a single piece bat alloy bat isn’t of particular interest to younger players, who tend to prefer the smooth feel of hybrid and composite barreled bats.
On the whole, if you are a stronger player who prefers the direct feedback (i.e. sting on mishits and butter on good hits) of a one piece bat, need something hot out of the wrapper and want a bottom rotating handle then the 2016 Easton Z-Core Hybrid (Amazon Price Check) is your only option. For that group of people, which may be a decent chunk of players, we’d recommend the bat.
Others who are willing to give a rotating handle a try and are okay with a single piece bat may really appreciate the lighter swing of this single piece alloy and it’s over-sized barrel (for a single piece alloy).
If you are looking for the lightest swing, an end-loaded bat, a two piece bat, a composite barrel or anything outside of the BBCOR realm then keep on looking.