If you were to ask a random selection of justbatreviews readers what bat they were most excited about seeing and swinging for 2016 they would (at least at the time of this writing on this page) declare it to be the 2016 DeMarini Voodoo Raw. Such expectancy is well founded. For several years DeMarini has created a beast of a bat in the Voodoo line and many expect DeMarini to do it again this year. Hence the excitement for a wildly popular model that, year in and year out, has lived up to high expectations (if not outpaced them).
The 2016 Voodoo Raw will come in 4 categories: BBCOR, Youth (2 1/4), Senior Barrel and, new to the 2016 class, a Junior Big Barrel (2 3/4). We took each version into the cage and have broken down their reviews below.
The BBCOR version will likely be the most popular of the Voodoo Raw bats. Like the 2015 Overlord FT last year, the 2016 Voodoo Raw showed head spinning power and top notch performance in the cage. With this bat, it takes just a matter of minutes to realize why players at all levels love the Voodoo. The 2016 BBCOR Raw pings perfectly on impact, feels flawless on contact and hits homers you can’t bring back.
Like previous years’ Voodoos, the BBCOR Raw is an endloaded bat. But don’t assume this means it’s only for those who are heavy hitters. As we discussed in an earlier thread, end-loaded bats can have a lower swing weight by simply buying a shorter size. Swing weight, remember, is more a function of total length than where the balance point is found. As a result, the BBCOR Voodoo Raw could, should and will be found at many different spots in the lineup on legit teams.
There are some differences from 2015 Overlord FT worth mentioning:
For us, the Senior Barrel bats in the 2016 Voodoo Raw line are the most exciting. Our boys drool over these bats and their custom look. These bats are hot out of the wrapper and give a smooth contact on mishits which increase confidence to attack the ball. As well, the end loaded nature of the bats gets smaller players closer to swinging BBCOR weights—a requirement just around the corner for them.
The Senior league section comes with three general sizes: a drop 10, 2 3/4; a drop 9, 2 5/8; a drop 5, 2 5/8. Our favorite, at least in the cage, was the drop 5.
The 2 1/4 youth line of bats from DeMarini’s hybrid line will include, again, a drop 13 Voodoo. Of particular note, the 2016 youth barreled Voodoo Raw, unlike all the other Raws this year, has a light swing weight (MOI). That fact, coupled with its massive size range of 28 inches up to 32 inches makes it the most versatile Voodoo Raw in the entire 2016 line up.
One fear we always take into the cage with a drop 13 is how easily hand sting can affect batter confidence—skinny and light bats tend to ring your hands like the dickens on mishits and the last thing a young player needs is the fear of getting electrocuted every-time he attacks a baseball. But DeMarini’s two piece technology in the Voodoo has come as close as anything to solving that issue in the light swinging bats.
One quickly growing category in the bat space is the addition of Junior Big Barrel bats (JBB). These oversized barrel bats are for t-ball and coach pitch players looking for a little more game in their game. DeMarini added this JBB Voodoo Raw brand new in 2016. It’s a one piece aluminum alloy stick in a drop 10 for a 25, 26 or 27 inch bat.
When reviewing baseball bats it’s hard to think of negative things to say when there just isn’t anything negative to say. The Voodoo is to the high performance hybrid bat arena what the Rolls Royce is to the luxury car market in that it defines the space. It was the first (that stuck), it dominates the hybrid bat market and it is the standard to which all other hybrid bats are compared. From T-Ball to Travel Ball to the NCAA World Series in Omaha, the 2016 Raw will serve as yet another loved iteration in a long genealogy of Voodoo bats that flat out rake.
When the bat is released on August 1st, 2015 the best pricing for the new Voodoo Raw is usually found at Amazon (with a search like this) or a place like baseball express (with a search like this). After August 1st, Ebay searches like this are always an interesting place to look. Similar bats will be the 716 Select from Slugger and the 2016 MAKO Hybrid XL.