Last year we were the first independent group to review the 2015 Mizuno MaxCor BBCOR bat. The MaxCor was, and still is, the only bat on the market to attempt an increased sweet spot size by expanding the sweet spot along the y-axis.
That bat, you may recall, created a sweet spot that expanded toward the top and bottom of the barrel on impact because the barrel is malleable. As the ball collides with the bat, the compressible barrel flattens toward the aluminum center of the barrel and, as a result, increases the amount of barrel making contact with the ball.
More bat connecting with the ball implies more, if not complete, power transfer from the barrel swing to the ball. This is what we are referring to when we talk about a hit on the sweet spot.
Mizuno also suggests a malleable outer barrel sleeve increases batted ball backspin, giving the ball more distance. In theory, we think the idea makes some sense, but in practice last year we surmised that backspin adds little to the equation. Regardless, Mizuno makes no claim to the amount of backspin created, and until we have HitTrax at highschool fields, will we ever be able to tell empirically.
On the whole, we were (and still are) quite pleased with the idea and innovation Mizuno brought to the forefront of the bat space with a bat and a compressible barrel.
The only eye test the 2015 version didn’t quite pass was the barrel size along its length or x-axis. It was, far and away, the shortest BBCOR barrel on the market for 2015. So, while Mizuno may have increased the barrel’s sweet spot along its y-axis width, the x-axis length sweet spot left this bat out of most conversations for best bats. (The 2016 version addresses this issue).
Like the 2015 Mizuno MaxCor, the 2016 MaxCor (Amazon Price Check) uses a compressible sleeve outside an aluminum barrel. This compressible sleeve is still claimed to increase sweet spot size along the width of the barrel as well as increase backspin. Both claims we like in theory but find nearly impossible to verify in reality – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t legitimate.
Unlike the 2015 version, the 2016 MaxCor addresses the short length barrel by adding the same variable wall thickness found in the 2016 NightHawk and 2016 Generations. This variable width technology gives a tapered design to the thickness of the barrel wall. The change in thickness allows the engineers to expand the length of the sweet spot. This expanded sweet spot along the x-axis of the MaxCor may be the most important improvement we’ve seen in the baseball bat space this year.
Additionally, variable wall thickness on the MaxCor drives the balance point of the bat more toward the hands which make it an easier swing.
The 2016 Mizuno MaxCor, like the 2015 version, will only come in a BBCOR drop 3 version.
We’ve hit with the 2015 MaxCor several hundred times and can attest to the feel a bat with an expanded width sweet spot maintains on hits off-center. The bat is smooth and vibrationless and downright powerful. The expanded length of the sweet spot in the 2016 version and the use of the variable wall thickness technology Mizuno pioneered in the Generations is a likely match made in baseball bat heaven.
When anyone comes to JBR HQ and wants to take a crack at the BBCOR line they find it impossible to pass up the uniquely soft-barreled Mizuno MaxCor.
The Mizuno MaxCor is different enough of a bat to hesitate its full fledged recommendation. The 2016 version does have a light enough swing to fit most players at the highschool BBCOR level. Its larger sweet spot size should put it on the radar of any player looking for cutting edge of technology and innovation.
Yet the fact it really has a soft barrel and its claims are hard to truly verify should put at least a little bit of hesitation in anyone about to drop $400 on a baseball bat. However, we can attest the bat does indeed hit the ball well and we’d guess anyone looking for a unique approach to hitting the cover off of baseballs may very well find a great fit in the 2016 Mizuno MaxCor. Comparable Bats
In every review, recently at least, we take a section to write of comparable bats. While it likely goes without saying, the 2016 Mizuno MaxCor has no comparable bats in the market with the obvious exception of its father in the 2015 MaxCor. There is just nothing like it in the BBCOR space.
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