We have spent considerable time with the 2017 and 2018 Axe Avenge. Turns out, the 2018 Axe Avenge looks and feels a lot like the 2017 Axe Avenge---with the obvious exception of the new drop 10 in the 2018 line which is one of our favorite big barrel bats for 2018. Those in love with the principles of predictive impact and a handle that scientifically improves bat control should provide a good home for this bat. Below is our 2018 Axe Avenge Review.
2018 Axe Avenge Video Review
2018 Axe Avenge Recommendations
In our eyes, the 2018 Axe Avenge is a recommendable bat for the right type of hitter. Its price might keep more than a few from trying it. It is, after all, the most expensive bat Axe makes, yet it falls right in line with other high end two piece composite bats on the market today. Here are some general characteristics of players who may, or may not, appreciate the 2018 Axe Avenge.
You Might Like If You...
- Want Top Shelf Performance
- Prefer an asymmetric knob
- Like the idea of advanced hitting
- Need a drop 10 or BBCOR
- Possibly, need a USAbat
- Prefer a mildly balanced bat in BBCOR
- Want a very light swinging bat in the drop 10 2 3/4 USSSA
You Should Pass If You...
- Want a 'value' type bat
- Prefer an end load
- Prefer a very light swing
- Need a drop 8 or 5 in the big barrel
- Like aluminum barrels
- Want a one piece bat
BBCOR Avenge vs Drop 10 Avenge
For 2018, the Avenge will come in both a BBCOR (like 2017) and a Big Barrel. This big barrel version is a great addition. The two bats are identical in terms of make up. But, do note, the Drop 10 swings very light for its class of bat (a two piece composite bat in the drop 10 space). The Avenge BBCOR swings much like it did last year---that is, a two piece composite bat in the mildly balanced space, not nearly heavy enough to be referred to as an end loaded bat, but with enough gumption to be outside the realm of the ultra-light swinging bats like the Rawlings VELO, et al.
Why the Axe Handle?
We are confident that no one, save maybe Axe, has more viewed commentary about the odd shape of the Axe bat handle than us. We would refer you to many of those articles if you want a more in depth understanding.
But, in short, an oval shaped handle gives you more control over the bat than a round one. And a round handle is simply the standard because the baseball bat was invented before lathes had the ability to form oval handles.
Five years ago this sounded like crazy talk. But enough Major League folks have adopted the idea to give some credence to the mad scientists at Axe Bats.
Make no mistake about it: The Axe Knob works. And those who poo poo it simply haven't tried it for long enough--or have ulterior motives. Sure, you are welcome to prefer a different bat's barrel, length, swing weight or performance. You may also be ho-hum on the advantages of the handle because of your successes to date at the plate. But calling an ergonomic handle a gimmick is simply failing to put in enough time to understand what a good swing requires. Other companies don't do it because they don't have the patent to do so.
Axe Avenge Comparable Bats
Considering the asymmetric knob and end cap, there is no other bat outside the Axe Brand that is close to comparable.
In terms of a two piece composite, the world is your oyster in both your Big Barrel and BBCOR space (which is what the Axe Avenge comes in). You could check out the 2018 CF Zen from DeMarini, 2018 Ghost from Easton or the 2018 Rawlings Quatro. To say nothing of Slugger's two piece composite.
The right answer might be the 2017 Avenge. In the BBCOR version at least, there are not considerable changes between the 2018 and 2017 version. But, do note, the 2017 version never produced a Big Barrel 2 3/4 drop 10 in the Axe Avenge. That can only be found in this new 2018.
Why the Asymmetric End Cap?
Two years ago Axe extended the length of the barrel, and took weight out of the end of the bat by decreasing mass in the end cap. They did this by shortening the length of the barrel on the non-hitting side of the bat. This feature is called the "hyperwhip" and is now a feature on every performance bat Axe makes, including the Avenge.
This is only possible because of the bat's asymmetric knob which predicts the offensive side of the bat. The barrel of the bat is reinforced for durability on the offensive side.
Axe Avenge Construction
Like previous years' Avenge bats, the 2018 version is a two piece composite bat built with a mid to light swing. The two piece construction delivers a more gentle bang on the hands at contact, but still helps deliver power to the ball.
The principle's behind a two piece composite bat have been well documented on this site. We have no reason to think any company, including Axe, has figured out any trick the others have not. This feels and acts like a two piece composite.
Of course the major constructive commentary is reserved for the knob and end cap, which include above.