The 2016 Easton Z-Core XL (Amazon Price Check) is a new iteration within Easton’s performance line-up for 2016. This log of a bat is similar to the 2015 Easton S3z with the noticeable exception: the 2016 Z-Core XL has a massive end load. In fact, the Z-Core XL is the heaviest swinging bat Easton makes.The 2016 Easton Z-Core XL incorporates an internal composite reinforcement along the length of the barrel to give the bat a considerably large barrel for a single piece alloy. Easton’s marketing literature often refers to this as ‘Mako-izing’ the barrel.
Additionally, the Z-Core XL has a new, tackier grip and, obviously, a color up from the 2015 S3z.
The 2016 Easton Z-Core XL is a new bat in Easton’s line up but has some very familiar features. One characteristic Easton fans will be familiar with is the elongated barrel structure found in the single piece aluminum 2015 Easton S3z. That bat incorporated an internal composite sleeve to give the bat a very large barrel for a single piece aluminum shell. The 2016 Z-Core XL has the same.
Additionally, like the memorable Easton XL3 in BBCOR from days gone by, the Z-Core XL has a massive end load. It is the heaviest swinging bat per barrel size Easton makes in 2016 and a real pipe of a bat designed for hot out of the wrapper performance for players with strength.
In the grand scheme of 2016 things, the Easton Z-Core XL is akin to the Easton Z-Core (no XL) which is the same bat but with a balance point much more towards the hands. As well, the 2016 Easton Z-Core TORQ is the same bat but with a more balanced swing and the famed rotating handle.
The 2016 Easton Z-Core XL will only be available in BBCOR sizes 31 through 34 inches. Of course each of these bats are drop 3 per regulation.
Those looking for a very end-loaded single piece aluminum alloy in youth or senior league versions are out of luck but can find some solace in an Easton option like the 2016 Easton XL3.
There are lots of single piece aluminum performance bats on the market today and many of them worth a look. However, if you’re looking for a true end load in a single piece then the options are thinner. One off-the-beaten-path option may be the Adidas EQT X1. It is also an end-loaded single piece aluminum. Another, more widley accepted and highly reviewed one, would be Demarini’s Insane. Neither of those bats, however, have the same barrel size as the 2016 Z-Core XL.
In the Easton line up, the 2016 Easton Z-Core TORQ or 2015 Easton S3z may be worth a look if you don’t want an end load but want to stay with the Easton Brand. Otherwise, try an older BBCOR XL3 with an ebay search like this for an end loaded single piece alloy bat—although you’ll sacrifice some barrel size when compared to the Z-Core XL.
The 2016 Easton Z-Core XL is a hot out of the wrapper BBCOR bat with the heaviest swing weight Easton produces. As such, we’d recommend the bat for Collegiate or High School players with strength and who prefer hot out of the wrapper bats that swing like a log and, if hit right, can hit the ball a country mile.
The fact the bat is only released in BBCOR suggests Easton also understands that a single piece alloy bat isn’t of particular interest to younger players, who tend to prefer the lighter swing and smoother feel of hybrid and composite barreled bats.
On the whole, if you are a stronger player who prefers the direct feedback (i.e. sting on mishits and butter on good hits) of a one piece bat, need something hot out of the wrapper, and have the strength to wield a Yeti of a bat then the 2016 Easton Z-Core XL (Amazon Price Check) is a worth your serious consideration. As well, those looking for a training bat might find this pick useful in their BP time.
If you are looking for the lightest swing, a balanced swing, a two piece bat, a hybrid bat, the biggest barrel, a composite barrel, a more forgiving bat or anything outside of the BBCOR realm then keep on looking.