We’ve now hit with the Z-Core Hybrid from Easton no less than 300 times. A handful of players, small to big, took it in the cage for hacks. We also exchanged a few emails with folks at Easton about the bat’s data. That information, combined with our 2016 review of the Z-Core Hybrid and our extensive knowledge of bats, went into developing this 2017 Easton Z-Core Hybrid Review.
First of all, we would buy the 2017 Z-Core hybrid for the combination of the hot out of the wrapper performance barrel made of Easton’s HMX alloy, and the smooth smash the two piece feature of the bat provides. We would also buy if we prefer a middle of the road swing weight, and, since the Z-Core hybrid is only in BBCOR, the bat was for high school or collegiate play.
These bats are popular enough, and Easton’s distribution far enough reaching, that many groups are selling this exact bat. Hence, we would price shop. Starting here (Amazon). We would also look for new, in wrapper, warrantied bats from trustworthy vendors in a 2016 model, as there isn’t a significant difference.
We would buy this bat because of the impressive barrel size and tapered knob. And with our very first hot out of the wrapper ping in BP, we would be glad we did.
We would not buy the bat if we were looking for an endloaded option, single piece power, or the needed a very light swing. Another idea that would move us elsewhere: budget. Although this performance price point is better than others, and right in the wheel house of a hybrid performance BBCOR, it still isn’t free.
Some hefty competition might keep us from pulling the trigger, too. While there are not many lighter swinging hybrid bats in the BBCOR space, Slugger’s 716 Select (our review) is a worthy option that we might choose over the Easton Z-Core Hybrid. However, the Z-Core’s bigger barrel and focus on the light swing weight might swing us back in Easton’s pocket. The focus on a stiff transition in the 716 Select and its stellar user reviews, on the other hand, might leave us to a coin toss.
Like last year’s 2016 Z-Core Hybrid, the 2017 version is a two piece hybrid bat. This means, the bat consists of a composite handle and an aluminum barrel. The composite handle is the exact composite handle found in the 2017 Easton MAKO (our review). The barrel is the exact aluminum barrel found in the Z-Core speed lines. This fusion of composite and aluminum is what makes it a hybrid bat and what drives the name.
As well, the swing weight is right in the middle of Easton’s performance bat line. This bat is not nearly as light as the MAKO, for example, and not nearly as heavy swinging as the Hybrid XL. This feature is also not a change from the 2016 version.
If you’ve been following along, this means, in essence, the 2017 and 2016 BBCOR Z-Core hybrid bats are remarkably similar.
As we mention above, Easton’s 2017 Z-Core Hybrid will come in BBCOR only. This means, and hopefully you know this already, the bat is a drop 3. In other words, the numerical difference between the bat’s length in inches and the bat’s weight in ounces is three.
Lengths will come in 31, 32, 33 and 34 inches.
We struggle mightily with other so called review sites. Most, it would appear, don’t have experience with the actual bat. Instead, they simply read off the adslick and reword it into a ‘review’. Vendor sites lack controls on who reviews so it’s hard to believe their genuineness. But we did at least look at a few of them.
Here we link places we found at least mildly helpful, if not just amusing.