The Easton MAKO Beast and the Slugger 917 have a lot more in common than they do in contrast. Some differences pertain to performance while others apply more to aesthetics. After much hitting with both bats in a number of size offerings, as well as discussing these bats at length with the manufacturer and real players, we put together this 2017 Easton MAKO Beast vs Slugger 917 Prime write up.
Beast vs 917 Prime Article Contents
Beast vs 917 Prime Article Sources
In comparing the 917 Prime from Slugger and the Beast from Easton, we read a number of articles. You may find them helpful in your search, too. On this site, we relied heavily on our Louisville Slugger 917 Prime Review as well as our Easton MAKO Beast Review.
Off site we could not find any head to head comparisons. As such, we had to sort through Amazon reviews to see if anyone had a comparison story. No luck.
Beast vs 917 Prime Amazon Chart Comparisons [content-egg module=Amazon template=compare]
Beast vs 917 Prime Commonalities
Composite Two Piece
Both the Easton MAKO Beast and the Louisville Slugger 917 Prime are a two piece composite bats. That is, they have a composite handle and a composite barrel. The general idea is that a composite structure throughout the bat gives manufacturers the best opportunity to lower the swing weight while still keeping the barrel large.
Composite barrels also require at least a little bit of break-in. In other words, they do not come out of the wrapper performing at peak standards. Both the Beast and 917 require a number of hits to get up and running. Our experience is that both require at least 200 hits around the barrel.
Both the 917 and the Beast are considered balanced bats. They are not the lightest swinging bats on the market, but they are far from an end loaded bat. Our swing weight calculations for the BBCOR showed them remarkably similar in terms of MOI (Mass Moment of Inertia).
In other categories, the swing weights also stay quite similar with the Beast feeling at least the slightest amount lighter. But, in effect, we don’t believe there is any practical difference.
Generally speaking, the 917 and Beast come in a broad range of sizes. In addition to BBCOR, they both offer 2 5/8 bats in a drop 5, drop 8 and drop 10, as well as a drop 10 2 3/4 barrel. In the youth barrel space, they both offer a drop 10 and drop 12.
Beast vs 917 Prime Differences
In terms of a functional difference, the most noticeable difference between the bats is Easton’s longer max physical barrel. Easton even added some weight in the bat this year to expand the sweet spot and length of the barrel. Both bats perform quite well along the length of the barrel.
The 917 from Slugger uses a connective slug within the handle to barrel transition. That slug, in theory at least, deliver a smoother feel on contact and helps keep vibration from the hands when compared to bats that don’t use a slug (like the Easton Beast). Louisville Slugger refers to this as a TRU3 connective piece. Easton, on the other hand, boasts nothing remarkable about their connective CXN process.
Functionally, it is difficult to measure the amount of sting or reverberation players experience on the hands between the two bats. We can safely say the 917 has at least as smooth a smash—if not a little bit better—than the Easton Beast.
Youth Barrels & Junior Big Barrels
Easton offers a drop 11 youth barrel in addition to the drop 10 and drop 12. Slugger only has the drop 10 and drop 12 in the youth barrel space. In terms of player feedback and overall performance, no bat comes close to matching the performance of the MAKO from Easton. That includes the youth 917 Prime.
Also, Easton makes a Junior Big Barrel version of the Easton MAKO that comes in a drop 12 2 3/4. It comes in sizes as small as 25 inches. Although named the Easton Beast JBB, it is actually a single piece composite with different construction than the other Easton Beasts. Slugger does not technically make a 917 in a Junior Big Barrel, although their 2 3/4 drop does come in a 27 inch length. Slugger does, however, make a JBB in their Catalyst bat which is also a single piece composite bat. It is just like the JBB Easton Beast.