After a month of use with the BBCOR and USSSA versions of the CAT 8 we put together this 2019 CAT 8 Review.
The bat upgrades a few pieces to the CAT 7 (which we review here). Noticeably, the difference in the barrel length as the CAT 8 uses 8 different thicknesses of barrel wall. This was made possible by a change in the alloy. The CAT 8 still uses the patented AV2 knob which helps dampen sting. Our hitters, without surprise, loved the sound, power and feel of the 2019 Marucci CAT 8. More details follow.
Also find this bat in:
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Industry Reference Guide
Other reference pages on the CAT 8 can be found no these industry pages below. We refer to them, as well as our own data and experience, to write this 2019 Marucci CAT 8 review.
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Marucci CAT 8 Video Review
BBCOR CAT 8
Marucci CAT 8
In terms of a single piece aluminum bat you just won’t find a bat with more prowess. The BBCOR Cat 8 feels perfect when you center it up and very manageable when you miss. The sting dampening ability found in the knob. Many consider the CAT 8 the best bbcor bat on the market. The right hitter, those who want a stiff bat, a loud ping, and a slightly heavier than average swing in a BBCOR bat will never look back.
USSSA CAT 8
Marucci CAT 8
We generally recommend heavier swinging single piece aluminum bats. That sentiment stays true with Marucci’s CAT 8 where our hitters liked the drop 5 and drop 8 much more than the drop 10. If are in need of a single piece feel and can swing a drop 8 or drop 5 the CAT 8 USSSA should be on your short list.
2019 vs 2017 CAT 8
The differences between the CAT 8 and CAT 7 are not monumental, but they are enough to warrant a conversation.
The biggest difference between the CAT 8 and the CAT 7 is the use of a different material in the CAT 8 that allows for another thickness in the barrel wall. The CAT 7, if you remember, has 7 different levels of thickness in the bats walls. This allows for a longer sweet spot and good weight distribution outside the center of the barrel. The CAT 8 upgrades its aluminum to provide for an 8th thickness. This expands the sweet spot even further.
It is impossible for us, or just about anyone, to measure the true differences between the CAT 8 and the CAT 7. Both bats, we are sure, are great. And our exit speed tests showed them perform quite similarly.
2017 CAT 7
2015 CAT 6
No other single piece aluminum bat has sting dampening abilities in the knob. But, if you wanted someting with a fancy knob, we’d check out the Axe Avenge. Although the Axe is constructed much differently it does have a similarly unique knob.
In the single piece aluminum space there are not any bats that run as expensive as the CAT 8. It is a man among boys in that department—and for some deservedly so. The Cat 8 is legit. But, if you are looking in the stiff single piece aluminum world check out a bat like Slugger’s 518 Omaha. As well, you might like the stiff feel of DeMarini’s Voodoo Insane for 2019–although that is officially a two piece bat (but ultra stiff).
Research: 2019 Marucci CAT 8
Marucci, based in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, has been very tight lipped about the much anticipated bat. We have only heard, and second hand, that the “CAT 8” is to be released sometime in 2018. Our expectation would be the middle of the year (June to July).
Our general expectation is a new version of the Marucci CAT 7 with enough improvements to justify a new version.
Market economies would suggest a better version around the corner means its a great time to get a deal on a CAT 7. As vendors make room for inventory, and the major BBCOR push is over, price pressure is in our favor on the CAT 7.
Why a 2 Year Cycle?
Unlike most companies in the bat space, Marucci does NOT release a new make up of their marquee bats each year. Marucci’s privately held company allows it some liberty in this regard. We also think a 2 year release cycle makes plenty of sense.
Here are some reasons:
- Making a bat, and getting it passed standards, is a year long process. Taking real feedback from players after a season of use and developing it into a new bat is not a 12 month process but, rather, a 24 month process. The two year cycle allows for legit improvements to the bat and rarely results in a simple color-up.
- Inventory levels for vendors remain more predictable and, as a result, pricing is more predictable. Rarely are prices of any previous CAT bats off the charts. In some measure this is due to the 2 year cycle.
Is it a 2018 or 2019 CAT 8?
In terms of finding the CAT line of bats, the 2 year cycle removes a real need for adding a year to the bat’s name. But, virtually all other major bat brands use a year to distinguish their bat line.
In other words, is it going to be a 2018 or 2019 CAT 8 (if, indeed, it is called a CAT 8 at all)? The answer is neither.
However, do note, most groups will force it into a new category of 2019 bats. In fact, our review will likely be called the 2019 Marucci CAT 8 Review—not because it Marucci’ thinks of it as a 2019 bat (remember, it will likely be around in 2020 too). But, instead, because this is how people will search for it.
2019 CAT 8 Construction
This is a single piece aluminum bat built with variable wall thickness. The CAT 7 was built similarly. And, turns out, that bat was fantastic. The CAT 8 comes in a BBCOR and big barrel option.
Bat Sizing Options