Best BBCOR Bats 2017 | It Is Early, But Not Too Early

RAwlings Velo vs Sluger 617

Written by: Just Bat Reviews


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Although too early to bet our reputation on it, our current best BBCOR bat for 2017 is Louisville Slugger’s 617 Solo. We love the bat’s ultra light swing due to its extended composite end cap. The hot out of the wrapper single piece aluminum on this single piece hybrid is a nice touch, too. We like the price point. Throw in the fact it comes in a 29 inch version, and you have us singing the Solo’s praises. Slugger’s Solo tops the following Best BBCOR Bats 2017 List.

2017 Louisville Slugger 617 Solo Review

Amazon Price Check.

Best BBCOR Bat 2017 List

1Louisville Slugger 617 SoloHot Value5/5$$
2Easton MAKO BeastTop Shelf4.5/5$$$$
2DeMarini CF ZenBeautiful4.5/5$$$$
3Marucci CAT 7HOT4/5$$
4Rawlings VELOLight4/4$$
3Axe Hyperwhip FusionThoughtful4/5$$

Best BBCOR Bats 2017: Why the 617 SOLO

Best BBCOR Bats 2017

There are several reasons the 617 SOLO graces the top of our Best BBCOR Bat 2017 List. For starters, we like how the 617 SOLO is different. Unlike most top shelf choices that run with an expensive two piece composite bat with an over-sized barrel, the SOLO is a moderately priced bat in the single piece hybrid space. This design keeps the lighter swing found on more expensive bats, but now delivers hot out of the wrapper performance. The barrel size, usually sacrificed in aluminum barrels, still feels large and in charge.

Throw in the fact the bat’s MSRP is under $300, and the choice of a non-composite barreled bat gaining the top prize is actually pretty simple. What is that you say? The bat also comes in a 29/26 inch length making it the LIGHTEST swinging bat in the BBCOR space? Phenomenal.

We will be patient enough to hear reviews throughout the year, but for now, the 617 is the best 2017 BBCOR bat. (Price Check)

Best BBCOR Bats 2017: Why NOT the 617 SOLO

Best BBCOR Bats 2017

As we state in every best bat article we write, the best bat for most is not the best bat for all. For the 617 Solo that is also true. In fact, we would go as far as saying the 617 might not even be the best bat for most. Meaning, less than 50% of the BBCOR bat buyers in 2017 should go this route. But, in terms of which bat should get the largest percentage of the buys, we are comfortable in claiming the 617 Solo as that top mark.

But those who will not appreciate the 617 SOLO are the same who will like the cushy smash of a composite barrel and the accompanying smooth feel even on mishits. We work under the general assumption that most BBCOR players appreciate that feel. If that is for you, then the 617 SOLO might not be your best BBCOR bat for 2017.

Others, as well, might prefer the stronger hits from end loaded and power packed bats. The SOLO should not be confused with an endloaded single piece bat, as it is not that. If you’re looking for something with more endload, then the 617 BBCOR is not for you.

Best BBCOR Bats 2017: Runner Up


Best BBCOR Bats 2017

Although predictable, we like the 2017 Easton MAKO Beast in BBCOR a lot. This type of bat, a two piece composite with a balanced swing weight, has come to define the performance space. The MAKO Beast, much like the CF Zen below, sits at the top of the shelf in players’ minds and parents’ wallets for a reason. It is a smooth swinging, buttery smash ball driller and few there be that walk away unimpressed.

Why not the top spot? For many, we would argue, it is. But 2017 finds us looking for something different than the same old two piece composite with a huge barrel and balanced swing weight. (Price Check)

DeMarini CF Zen

Best BBCOR Bats 2017

In 2016, the BBCOR CF8 was our favorite bat of the BBCOR bunch. Even today, well into the 2017 bat market season, the CF8 is in high demand—-it is a tough find at any discounts. The CF Zen is the next generation of that CF8 without much, if any, real changes.

Like the bat’s predecessor, we have yet to find a player that does not love the BBCOR CF Zen. This, like the Easton MAKO, is a remarkably legitimate stick in the hands of so many players. Even bad ones.

So, why not the top spot? If we were to pin it on one aspect, it is the lack of a 29-inch version. BBCOR is forced on younger and younger players, insomuch that finding a bat they can even make contact with is getting difficult. We might also add that there are so many two-piece composite bats with a big barrel and light swing weight that it makes it hard for one to rise to the top. (Price Check)

Marucci CAT 7

Best BBCOR Bats 2017

If you are looking for a bat that is like the 2017 Louisville Slugger 617 SOLO, then Marucci’s CAT 7 in BBCOR is an unrelated cousin. The idea is the same: balanced swinging single piece aluminum. The bat is hot out of both the wrapper and photo-shoots. It uses a proprietary sting dampening mechanism in the knob to help remove some vibration on the thumb during mishits. However, the CAT 7 does not have the extended composite end cap like the 617 SOLO, so expect a slightly heavier swing per given inch. It does not come in a 29 inch, but it is $50 cheaper. (Price Check)

Rawlings VELO

Best BBCOR Bats 2017

If you are looking for a near mimic of the 617 SOLO, then the 2017 Rawlings VELO is the ticket. This is also a single piece aluminum with an extended composite end cap. The bat is built with a very light swing and fits in the same niche as the 617 SOLO across the board. (Price Check)

However, the 2017 Rawlings VELO’s shortest length is a 31 inch.

Best BBCOR Bat 2017: Off the Beaten Path

Axe Hyperwhip Fusion

Best BBCOR Bats 2017

The 2017 Hyperwhip Fusion is the exact bat that won this category last year. Turns out, the bat hasn’t changed a bit. But that doesn’t mean we are wrong. For this bat, Axe’s asymmetric knob is combined with an asymmetric endcap. This endcap shape removes weight and lightens swing weight dramatically. Like the 617 SOLO and Rawlings VELO, it uses an extended composite end cap to even further reduce swing weight.

If you are looking for something a little bit different, but still want that light swinging single piece aluminum feel and sound, then the 2017 Hyperwhip Fusion Element could be the beginning of your magic moment. (Price Check)

Why This Best BBCOR Bats 2017 Article?

This best BBCOR bats list is specific to 2017. It is not to be confused with our Best BBCOR bats 2016 list, or our running Best BBCOR Bat page. Our intent is to update this 2017 best BBCOR bat page through 2017 when we will finalize the article, and rarely edit after that. In the event we have a change of heart on the best 2017 BBCOR bat, then this is where you are most likely to find those changes.

The Best BBCOR Bat 2017 References

We relied on a number of internet sources to put this article together. On this site, the Best BBCOR Bat 2016 edition was helpful. As well, the overall Best BBCOR Bat article we used too. We also spent some time on our 617 SOLO review too.

Off of this site, we referenced many manufacturer’s product pages to make sure we knew what we were talking about. In particular, Louisville Slugger’s 617 SOLO Product page was helpful to get pricing and correct sizing options. We used Marucci’s CAT 7 product page to confirm their smallest size (which is now 30 inches), as well as grabbed a screen image. As well, the Rawlings 2017 VELO and 2016 product pages were used heavily for some insight on the composite end cap.

We also spent some time reading questionable user reviews on Amazon about the VELO.

Price check the 617 Solo Here.

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