A Drop 10 Marucci CAT 7 has been on most serious players’ short lists for quite a while. Marucci today, officially announced a 2018 version of the slick stick to the delight of many. This runs a 2 3/4 barrel built a lot like the Posey 28 they released a few months previous, but is built with the smooth CAT 7 style and the AV2 knob.
See our BBCOR Marucci CAT 7 Review
The 2018 Marucci CAT 7 is, at its heart, a single piece bat with amped up alumimnum material that delivers a large barrel and lower swing weight.
What is likely the most unique thing about the bat is the anti-vibration mechanism found within the knob. This AV2, as they call it, does a remarkable job of removing the sting that ails most single piece aluminum bats.
Upgrades from the CAT 6, a 2016 bat, focus on a the revamped aluminum alloy used to form the barrel. This new allow delivers a noticeable upgrade in barrel size.
Expect the grip construction to be larger than the average drop 10 bat. We think this grip fits the general preference of most younger players. But, if you do like a thinner grip, then a simple re-wrap might be in order.
Marucci often bullet points their use of a ring free barrel. This has nothing to do with the sound of the barrel, as the CAT 7’s ring quite loud at impact. Instead, a ring free barrel refers to the fact that they do not use a support or stabilizer within the barrel of the bat. Other companies have been known to use these, and Marucci is simply emphasizing that they are committed to making a bat without any additional modifiers within the barrel.
The 2018 Marucci CAT 7 drop 10 is slated to release in lengths from 27 to 31. This is a massive size offering, but right in the heart of what most younger players are looking for.
The bat’s barrel, especially for a single piece aluminum, is large. Although not as large as other two piece composite barrels, the max size is respectable.
There are literally dozens of single piece aluminum bats in the drop 10 USSSA bat space. It is likely the most popular bat design in the drop 10 across all skill classes.
But performance Drop 10 USSSA 2 3/4 bats, like the CAT 7, deliver a higher grade alloy that allows for larger sweet spot, better handling, and especially in the case of the CAT 7, some sting dampening ability.
There are, however, a few other bats that fit the performance drop 10 single piece aluminum space. Granted, none of them also use the AV2 knob, and therefore, have little ability to control sting in the hands. On the top of the competitor’s list for the drop 10 Marucci CAT 7 might be Easton’s Beast X USSSA in a 2 3/4 drop 10.
You may save a few dollars on the Easton, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more, we feel confident the AV2 knob is worth the extra few dollars for the CAT 7.
Both bats’ swing weights are similar.
The JBB CAT 7 is also produced in a 25, 26 and 27-inch bat. The USSSA drop 10 is produced in a drop 10 27 through 31 inch. Inevitably, one must wonder if the 27-inch JBB is the same as the 27-inch CAT 7 Drop 10.
On paper, we can see no difference between the two. They both carry the AV2 Knob, the upgraded CAT 7 alloy and a balanced swing with a big barrel. The JBB 27 inch is, at the time of this writing, found at a usual considerable discount when compared to the CAT 7.
In theory, JBB bats are rated differently than their USSSA 1.15 counterparts. Meaning, they are not built for the type of pitch speed and durability a bigger swing and kid would require. Our general feel is, if you are in need of a 27 inch CAT 7, it is probable you are not seeing wild pitch speeds nor swinging the bat with any considerable amount of force. As such, stick with the JBB and save a few bucks.
During the middle of 2017, Marucci released a 2017 special edition bat that included a Buster Posey replica made in an single piece aluminum body, painted to look as if it were Buster Posey’s Marucci Wood Bat. The bat is a 2 3/4 and a drop 10.
This begs the question as to whether this Posey28 is any different from the 2018 Drop 10 Marucci CAT 7 in a drop 10. The only difference, and it is significant, is the lack of an AV2 knob in the Posey 28.
The Marucci F5 is a single piece aluminum bat made by Marucci to satisfy the demands of the entry level player looking for a good name, but not quite willing to shell out the cash necessary for the CAT 7. Although it has the same barrel as the CAT 7 in a 2 3/4 USSSA drop 10 version, it lacks the AV2 knob that dampens sting.
As we’ve said above, we think the AV2 knob a considerable factor that legitimately works, and if you are willing to afford it, is worth the extra cash.
See our Marucci F5 Review
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