The time of year has come to announce our PRE-SEASON Best Baseball Bats 2015 Edition Awards. We believe we have swung and tested EVERY 2015 bat in the BBCOR, Senior League and Youth League levels and it is time to announce our winners.
For those wondering, we are not affiliated with any bat company or bat seller. We are an independent group of dads and players who attempt to wade through the marketing minutia and get real facts about our bats. We measure swing weights and balance points as well as have conversations with the manufacturer to get real data points. We do extensive cage and game testing on the bats.
It should also be noted that we always approach these awards with a bit of hesitation. This is for a couple of reasons. First, we are firm believers that, to put it one way, it is the Indian not the arrow, the cow poke, not the gun, the dart thrower, not the dart, the dude, not the stick…you get the idea…that determines how good of a hitter a player is. Bats clearly help, but the manner in which they improve someone’s game is often marginal when compared to things which the bat does not control–namely: mechanics, confidence, plate awareness, etc. Second, these are just the preseason awards and, unlike our 2014 End of Year Baseball Bat Awards, we haven’t spent a season with these bats. In other words, we could be wrong and won’t quite know how right we were for another 10 to 12 months.
With that out of the way, let’s get to what you came here for. The bats of the Pre-Season Best Baseball Bats 2015 Edition Awards.
Pre-Season Best 2015 BBCOR Bats
Talk about tough decisions. The BBCOR market is absolutely flooded with quality bat options and while the nod could have gone several different directions, we found the CAT 6 from Marucci to edge out ever so slightly the competition in the OVERALL prize. The CAT 6 is as smooth a swing as you’ll find this year. The pop is remarkable, the sting dampening appears miraculous, the balance is outstanding, the grip is plum, the look is graceful and the bat veritably rakes. And at a near fraction of the price ($249) as some other bats in its class, the CAT6 takes the field.
Others who deserve mentioning in the Pre-Season 2015 Best Baseball Bats Top BBCOR list are the bomb dropping 915 prime–handsomely designed for Aaron-like jacks. As well as what could be the best iteration of the CF series yet from Demarini in the new CF7. And a 2015 BBCOR RIP -IT Air Elite made for unpretentious hitters who value value.
As well, the 2015 Pre-Season Innovation Award in the BBCOR ranks goes to some unheralded candidates: the 2015 Baden Axe Avenge and Mizuno MaxCor.
(Links to each individual bat review)
Best Overall 2015 Bat BBCOR: 2015 Marucci Cat 6
Best Endloaded BBCOR Bat: 2015 Louisville Slugger 915 Prime
Best Balanced 2015 Bat BBCOR: 2015 DeMarini CF7
Best Value 2015 Bat BBCOR: 2015 Rip-It Air Elite
Most Innovative 2015 Bat BBCOR: 2015 Baden Axe Avenge & 2015 Mizuno MaxCor
Pre Season Best 2015 Senior League (2 5/8 or 2 3/4) Bats
Another SLAMMED category of great bats is the 2 5/8 or 2 3/4 bat grouping. These ‘Senior League’ bats boast a boat oar shape and anywhere from a drop 5 to drop 14 in length to weight ratio.
We love several bats in this category including the perfectly endloaded bomb dropper in the 2015 DeMarini Overlord FT and its new to the street rival 915 Prime from Slugger. The 2015 Easton MAKO is as good as it was last year (which is awesome) and the 2015 Combat Portent G3 might be the best bat on the market you’ve probably never heard of. As well, the best bang for your buck in 2015 may very well be DeMarini’s NVS Vexxum.
But none of them made us feel quite like the hero that Marucci’s 2015 Senior League Hex bat did. The bat really redefines barrel size and swing weights. The grip is remarkable and the feel at contact is butter smooth.
And, of course, the spinning handled Mako Torq takes the prize for Pre-Season Most Innovative 2015 Senior League Bat.
Best Overall 2015 Bat Senior League: 2015 Marucci Hex
Best Endloaded 2015 Bat Senior League: 2015 DeMarini Voodoo Overlord FT & Louisville Slugger 915
Best Balanced 2015 Bat Senior League: 2015 Combat & 2015 Easton MAKO
Best Value 2015 Bat Senior League: 2015 DeMarini NVS Vexxum
Most Innovative 2015 Bat Senior League: 2015 Mako Torq
Pre Season Best 2015 Youth League (2 1/4) Bats
The 2015 2 1/4 Easton XL1 gets the Pre-Season 2015 Best Overall Youth Bat Award. The bat is a proven pedigree from the 500 pound gorilla in the space. It is an endloaded bat (and the only endloaded bat to win best overall in its category) that boasts a new paint job in 2015. Its 2 1/4 barrel is long and tapers early from the wrap making its hitting surface the largest in the 2 1/4 niche. The bat is durable, has noteworthy pop and is just endloaded enough to be swingable yet keep a disgusting pop.
Other notable, if not predictable choices, in the pre-season youth barreled award bats include the sick endloaded 915 Prime from Slugger and the two-piece flagship composite 2 1/4 DeMarini CF7. As a somewhat surprising choice, we found the 2015 Youth Axe Phenom to win the value category as it performs remarkably and at sub $80 it’s hard to go wrong.
Of course the spinning handled MAKO Torq wins the Pre-Season Innovative 2015 Bat Award in the youth category. We are not quite convinced that a spinning handle has staying power, but the buzz alone with that bat could have won it the honor.
Best Overall 2015 Bat Youth: 2015 Easton XL1
Best Endloaded 2015 Bat Youth: Louisville Slugger 915 Prime
Best Balanced 2015 Bat Youth: 2015 DeMarini CF7
Best Value 2015 Bat Youth: 2015 Axe Phenom Youth
Most Innovative 2015 Bat Youth: 2015 Easton Mako Torq
And there you have it. The Pre-Season Best Baseball Bats 2015 Edition. We will see which ones can hold their place throughout this year. In the meantime, choose your arrows wisely.