You can count on Axe Bats, a division of Baden sports—yes, the same Baden that makes basketballs—to always do something interesting with their bats. The asymmetric knob, which we’ve discussed a number of times on here, is slowly and surely gaining traction at every level of the sport. As well, in this year’s 2017 line, they will expand their use of the asymmetric end cap they market tested last year. Over the next several weeks we will cover each bat individually. Below gives an overview as to what is to come in the 2017 Axe Bat Lineup.
2017 Predictive Impact and Asymmetric End Caps
In Axe nomenclature, the term one-sided-hitting refers to the fact that the Axe bat handle forces the bat to be swung in a certain direction every time, ensuring contact with the ball on just one side of the barrel. The uninformed claim this is not a good thing. One sided hitting affects durability, they say. After thinking about it, a different conclusion can be made.
Much of the confusion might be cleared up if we referred to this Axe phenomena as “predictive impact” instead of one-sided. One-sided might imply we don’t know which side, just that it will only be one side or the other. But the axe shaped handle gives designers a predictive measure in terms of where contact will be made every time. Said differently, an assymetric knob takes away any guessing. As a result, knowing exactly where impact will occur makes it easier to build a durable, well performing bat. If this were a castle, in other words, you’d know exactly where to put the pots of boiling oil.
Further, predictive impact allows you to shape the non impact side of the barrel to optimize swing weight. For the 2017 class of bats, this is exactly what Axe has done. They shaved off a considerable section of the bat’s end cap on the non-hitting side. This lowers swing weight noticeably without affecting barrel performance or barrel size. As well, it gives the bat a very unique shape. Axe calls this feature the Hyperwhip and it is only possible because the asymmetric knob creates predictive impact.
2017 Axe Bat Models
As we get each of these bats in hand, in the cage and on the field, we will write specific reviews. For now, since they are still in the pre-release and early release modes, we give a rough overview of what we have learned.
2017 Axe Avenge: The two piece composite bat is the top shelf of Axe spec and techs. Expect at least a BBCOR and maybe some Senior Barrel sticks. The new asymmetric end-cap is on this bat, too.
2017 Axe Elite: The Axe Elite is the hybrid offering. The 2017 version will also come with the asymmetric end cap. Expect a smooth feeling composite handle and good sized aluminum barrel for use right out of the wrapper.
2017 Axe Hyperwhip Fusion: This is the new version of the 2016 Axe Hyperwhip. It should be considered what we call a one piece hybrid bat. That asymmetric end cap is a composite material—the rest of the bat is a high class aluminum. Expect a light swinging bat with one piece aluminum power.
2017 Axe Element: Don’t confuse this with the 2016 Axe Hyperwhip with its nearly identical color scheme. This does not have a composite end cap—although it is asymmetric. Instead, this is a single piece aluminum bat built for a super stiff feel and heavier swing weight.
2017 Axe Origin: The 2017 Origin will serve as the entry level version of the Axe bat. Expect a stiff feel and heavier swing. The hyperwhip end cap will be found here too.
2017 Axe Bat Sizing
The 2017 Axe sizing lineup is arguably the most notable upgrade to this year’s class. Expect a BBCOR in every size, but also expect several big barrel versions of the bats too.
- Avenge: BBCOR & Drop 8 Big Barrel
- Elite: BBCOR, Drop 5 and Drop 9 Big Barrel
- Hyperwhip: BBCOR and Drop 10 Big Barrel
- Element: BBCOR
- Origin: BBCOR and Drop 10
2017 Axe Bat Sources
We found a few places helpful in putting together this review. Of course, Axe’s press release on the 2017 bat lineup was helpful, as well as their product page. Our 2015 Axe bat review on the intelligence of the knob design was a watershed moment for this blog. As well, the 2016 Hyperwhip Fusion review was referred to heavily.