Pre-Season Awards | The Best 2017 Baseball Bat

Best 2017 Baseball Bats

Written by: Just Bat Reviews


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After over a hundred hours of both cage and game testing, combined with several hundred more writing, researching and measuring bat performance, we recommend the 2017 Easton MAKO Beast as the Best 2017 Baseball Bat. As we mention on every best bat article we write (and will in more detail below), the best bat for most isn’t the best bat for all. Good research combined with a solid understanding of your hitting style will get the right stick in your hands.

Last updated: Thursday, February 16, 20172017 Easton MAKO Beast Review

Amazon Price Check the MAKO Beast. At the time of this writing, it ranged from $279 (Youth) to $449 (BBCOR). Big Barrels were around $349. See our best bat deals for any potential savings.

Best 2017 Baseball Bat Table
RankModelCategory WinnerRating
1Easton MAKO BeastOverall, Youth5
2DeMarini CF ZenBig Barrel5
3Louisville Slugger 917 Prime4.75
4Louisville Slugger 617 SoloBBCOR4.5
5Marucci CAT 74.5
6Rawlings QuatroTech4.5
7Axe Hyperwhip FusionTech4.5
8Mizuno Covert4.5
9Warstic GunnerEnd Loaded3.5

Why the 2017 Easton MAKO Beast as the best 2017 bat?

2017 Easton MAKO Beast

Of course, there are several great options in the 2017 baseball bat space. Our purpose in writing a best 2017 baseball bat article is not to shun them. Instead, in terms of an entire array of bat options that would fit most hitters, we looked for a baseball bat that would excel in the hands of most players. A few important features stood out our testers on the 2017 Easton Mako Beast. In particular, the bat’s peak performance along the length of the oversized barrel, multiple sizing options, and a balanced feel contributed to the Beast ending up on top.

Price Check On Amazon.

Barrel-Long Peak Performance at Different Pitch Speeds

Shoulder Beast

Four to five years ago, few bats in the newly formed BBCOR and accelerated break in BPF 1.15 test were capable of meeting those standards. This left room for a few bats to dominate the space. The early Easton MAKO’s are good examples of bats that figured out the standards early. Their uptake 4 or 5 years ago is proof of this reality.

More recently, we argue, most bats in the performance space are relatively close to the standard on at least some part of the barrel. The playing field has been leveled in terms of bat testing speed and the sweet spot of the barrel.

But what has yet to be leveled, and what drove us to choose the 2017 Easton MAKO Beast as the best 2017 baseball bat, is the performance of top-shelf bats off the center of the barrel and at slower pitch speeds. The Easton Beast, in all the feedback and testing we have performed, solves the riddle of off-speed performance and a max off-center production.

Multiple Sizing Options

Mako Beast vs CF Zen

Most flagship bats from major vendors come in a variety of sizes. DeMarini’s CF series, Slugger’s 917 and Rawlings’ VELO or 5150, for example, have options for just about every hitter. Easton’s MAKO Beast is, therefore, not exclusive to this principle, but Easton offers extensive sizing in the bat.

The Easton Beast comes in a BBCOR, Youth Barrel, Senior Barrel 2 5/8 and a Big Barrel 2 3/4. The Youth, Senior and Big Barrel come in a number of drops and length options. The Easton Beast offers the largest array off iterations of any bat on the market today.

Balanced Design


A balanced bat is not necessarily better than an end-loaded bat. Preference for weight distribution of a bat is up to the hitter. In terms of ‘best bat’, therefore, a balanced design feature isn’t an objective measurement. With that said, a balanced design is preferred by well over half the hitters in the game. As such, the best 2017 baseball bat (i.e. The bat that will be ‘best’ for the most hitters) should be balanced. The Easton MAKO Beast, as well as many others, is such a bat.

Why Trust Us?

Straight Beast Shot is an independent bat review site with 20 years of experience in baseball, softball and fastpitch bats. The site maintains the largest and most read repository of bat reviews in the industry and has done so since 2014.

Since 2013, we have spent numerous hours on the phone with every major bat vendor dissecting their bat construction and take on the industry. We have exchanged hundreds of emails with bat engineers, professional players, physicists and professional testers on bat performance. We have also spent countless hours at top level baseball and softball tournaments, games, and practices where some of the best in the world use the bats we review.

Our recommendations, however, are far from bullet proof. Each hitter often has a more subjective connection with his bat than a scientific one. We freely admit that. Our intent, as it has been from day one, is to provide objective, third-party recommendations on bats. These insights come from outside the umbrella of marketing hype and vendor bias which plague the industry.

Legitimate Options

Two piece or one piece bat

Choosing the Easton MAKO Beast as the ‘best 2017 baseball bat’ should not give the impression the market lacks any other worthy choices. Those looking for a BBCOR, Youth, Drop 5 or end loaded bat have a number of legitimate options. Even those in the balanced space, who aren’t keen on the Beast for any number of reasons, have legit substitutes.

Another Option: BBCOR

2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Review

Although untraditional, with its extended composite end cap on a single piece aluminum, we recommend the 2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo in the BBCOR space. The ultra-light swing and hot out of the wrapper barrel make this a sweet swinging stick from Slugger. The BBCOR space is replete with impressive bats so we hesitate to overstate our recommendation here. But, we suspect any 617 Solo hitter will be very happy with their purchase. With a more reasonable price point and a 29 inch BBCOR? Winner, winner, chicken dinner. See our full 2017 Slugger 617 Solo Review here.

Amazon Price Check the 617 Solo.

Another Option: Drop 5


Although big fans of the drop 5 Easton MAKO Beast XL, we found the 2017 Marucci CAT 7 a favorite in the drop 5 category. The stiff feel of the one piece aluminum, and the sting dampening afforded by the unique knob design, gives this high marks across the board. In the drop 5 (and drop 8, incidentally) it comes highly recommendable. Here is our 2017 Marucci CAT 7 Review.

Amazon Price Check the Marucci CAT 7.

Another Option: Youth Barrel

Best 2017 Baseball Bat

Easton’s commitment to the youth barrel space, through the Little League World Series, leaves the Easton Beast as our best youth barrel option. If for whatever reason, that doesn’t suit your fancy, we recommend DeMarini’s Youth CF Zen in the 2 1/4, as well. DeMarini’s barrels perform great at all pitch speeds. The brand is committed to making the best baseball bats in the world, and in large measure, they accomplish that feat with their 2017 CF Zen line. See our CF Zen Review here.

Amazon Price Check the CF Zen Youth.

Another Optoin: Big Barrel

zen-3-5-8We recommend the 2017 DeMarini CF Zen in Big Barrel to anyone in the market for a top shelf big barrel bat. The Zen is the progeny of the well respected DeMarini CF8. The bat’s balance is the industry standard, the barrel’s performance is proven on the top levels of the aluminum and composite bat realm. In either the 2 5/8 or the 2 3/4 it is very difficult to go wrong with DeMarini’s CF Zen. Our 2017 DeMarini CF Zen Review is found here.

Amazon Price Check the Zen here

Another Option: End Loaded

Warstic BBCOR Bat Review

If pure end loaded power is preferred, then we would Recommend the Warstic single piece aluminum from Warstic. This choice, no doubt, is our most off-the-beaten-path selection of the entire list. As well, we should note there are several great options in the space like the CF Insane from DeMarini and the Z-Core XL from Easton. But, alas, we go rogue with the Warstic. These bats are beautifully made and built for the big hitters among us. If bat speed is not your problem, and you are okay with hand sting on mishits, then the Warstic may be right up your alley. See our Warstic Review here.

Warstic Bat Pricing on their site only.

Another Option: Most Tech
2017 Rawlings Bat Reviews


In terms of the newest tech in a bat, the 2017 Rawlings Quatro and the 2017 Axe Hyperwhip take the prize. The Quatro is the first four piece bat on the market. It adds to a traditional two-piece composite design with a composite collar for sting dampening and an extended inner composite sleeve starting from the end cap to increase durability and barrel size. The Hyperwhip extends a composite end cap on a single piece aluminum, but that end cap is asymmetric due to Axe’s unique one-sided hitting. Both should win industry awards for innovation.

See the Quatro review here and the Axe Hyperwhip Review here. Amazon Price Check the Quatro and Hyperwhip.

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