Published: August 7, 2016 | Last modified: December 21, 2017
The Z-Core Speed from Easton has been in our possession, and cage, for nearly one month. We’ve observed a number of hitters hitting with the bat. We also reviewed our 2016 Z-Core Speed write up last year, as that bat is basically identical to the 2017 version. As well, we spent well over an hour, searching the internet for information on the new Z-Core, exchanging emails with folks at Easton and reading user experience with the previous year’s bat. Armed with that background, we write this 2017 Easton Z-Core Speed Review.
Why & How We Would Buy
We would buy the 2017 Z-Core Speed if we were
- a power hitter who wants a light swing
- a legit high school or collegiate player with sound mechanics
- happy with honest feedback on every hit and the occasional hand sting
- looking for a large barrel for a single piece aluminum alloy
- willing to spend the money
We would price shop. Starting here (Amazon). We would look for new, in wrapper, warrantied bats from trustworthy vendors in a 2016 model, as there isn’t a significant difference with the 2017 version. We might also consider the Whiteout Z-Core speed in event we wanted a bat with more flash.
Why We Might Not Buy
We would not buy the Z-Core Speed if we were
- looking for an endloaded bat
- in need of buttery smashes of two piece composites or hybrids
- not in a BBCOR league
- still in the growing phase and our mechanics weren’t perfect (we’d prefer a balanced bat in the two piece composite space)
- on a serious budget or looking for used (aluminum is hottest out of the wrapper)
A monster sized barrel with a light swing in the single piece alloy space, like the Z-Core Speed, is hard to come by. But, we’d definitely look closely at the 516 from Slugger (our 516 review) before pulling the trigger on the Z-Core Speed. The lighter swing weight and the bigger barrel in the Z-Core, if that’s what we wanted, would be plenty enough reason to pull the trigger Easton’s direction.
2017 Z-Core Speed Sizing
As we mention above, Easton’s 2017 Z-Core Speed will come in BBCOR only. This means, and you should really know this already, the bat is a drop 3. That is, 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.
2017 Z-Core Speed Construction vs 2016 Z-Core Speed
Like last year’s 2016 Z-Core, the 2017 version is a single piece aluminum alloy bat with a light swing weight. The barrel is the exact aluminum barrel found in the Z-Core speed lines. For at least a couple years now, Easton has used an inner sleeve in the bat’s design to increase the size of the barrel and sweet spot. It is the largest barreled single piece alloy on the market.
Our measurements showed this bat swings about 10% heavier than the MAKO. It is about 10% lighter swinging than the XL series of bats from Easton. It should be categorized as a lighter swinging balanced bat.
There is only a design feature change from the 2016 version. Which, it turns out, was just a color up from the 2015 version (called the S3Z). They did add the word “Speed” to the barrel and name.
Where Else To Look?
Here we link some places we found some helpful information in writing our review.
- The Amazon review section on the 2016 Z-Core Hybrid (mostly unhelpful, but sounded good).
- The Z-core Section on the Easton site lacked objectivity, as they should. But it was worth a look.
- Our 2016 Z-Core Review was helpful.
- Our 2015 S3z Review, which is the grandfather of this 2017 Hybrid, was helpful too.
- We referred to a closeoutbats write up to confirm some sizing.
- Justbats page was also mildly helpful in terms of some user reviews and data.