Published: July 26, 2017 | Last modified: December 21, 2017
We have spent more time with the 2018 Marucci CAT 7 than any other 2018 bat on the market. This is because the CAT 7 from 2018 is the same bat as the 2017 CAT 7. And we don't mean that in some new-paint-job-but-same-old-bat sort of way. Marucci is perfectly aware they did not recreate a new CAT model for 2018 and they aren't claiming to have done that either. But, as our site likes to categorize bats by year, and people like to see what is out there in the given year, we think it helpful to put together this 2018 Marucci CAT 7 review. A good reference point will be our 2017 Marucci CAT 7 review.
Why Marucci Uses a 2 Year Cycle?
If you have paid even a little bit of attention to the performance bat space, you will have noticed that every major brand delivers a new iteration of their bat each year. That is, every major brand except Marucci. Marucci uses a two year cycle for their marquee bats. There is some real brilliance to this strategy, and a few major golf club manufacturers use the same approach. Here are a few of the benefits:
- 2 year cycles allow for a company to get feedback from the players who use the bat to really develop an improvement in year 3. Since bats take more than 12 months of development, bat companies using a 1 year cycle must create a new bat without much feedback from year 1.
- The old adage 'same old bat new paint job' is, in some measure, quite true. In the industry, changes between this year's bat and last year's bat often amount to very little. We document much of those changes on this site. And more often than not, the changes are a stretch in marketing language. A 2 year cycle allows for more substantial changes based on a year of good use.
- Inventory from vendors is easier to manage over a 24 month period than over a 12 month period. As such, you'll find major sporting goods outlets are more willing to carry something that is not going to be outdated in less than a year.
2018 Marucci CAT 7 Updates
On the off year of the 2 year cycle, Marucci often releases some updated graphics to their flagship bats. This is, some might note, the same thing other companies do. Just another paint job on the same old bat. Marucci is flat honest about that. For 2018 they released both a black/camo CAT 7 and a Buster Posey Pro Metal bat. Each uses the chassis of the 2017 CAT 7.
2018 Marucci CAT 7 Recommendations
Our recommendations for the 2018 CAT 7 review are similar to last year's. Our expectation of the bat were almost dead on. We do think lots of players considered it a bit of a lighter swing than we originally claimed. We have no good explanation as to why that is other than simple perception. Still, the bat should be considered a balanced to light swinging single piece aluminum.
As a general recommendation, we think the CAT 7, in BBCOR specifically, is made for the gap hitter that likes the stiff feel of a single piece bat more than the soft crush of a two piece stick. The AVB knob does indeed dampen sting noticeably compared to other single piece bats. However, it is still a measurable step more aggressive on mishits than a top shelf two piece, but some prefer real feedback.
Why You Might Like
- You want the best metal bat Marucci makes
- You prefer a good value purchase on a performance bat
- A durable bat that can last a good season or two is on your short list of features
- Your stat sheet is filled with singles and doubles and a high AVG
Why You Might Not Like
- You want an end loaded bat
- You prefer the more buttery smash of a two piece bat
- A composite barrel is your preference
2018 Marucci Bat Lineup
To get a better feel for CAT 7, it is helpful to see how the bat fits in the structure of the Marucci metal bat offerings. Below are the marquee bats in the Marucci space.
Single Piece Aluminum
- Stiff Feel
- Amazing Customer Reviews
- Stiff Feel
- No End Load Option
CAT 7 Connect
- Buttery Feel
- CAT 7 Barrel
- Only BBCOR
- More Expensive than CAT 7
Two Piece Composite
- End Load
- Hot Out the Wrapper
- Heaviest Swing
- Barrel Size?
Entry Level Single Piece Aluminum
- Ultra Smooth
- Big Barrel
- Durability Concerns
Where to Buy the 2018 CAT 7?
The CAT 7 has as good a distribution channel as just about any on the market. The price point is reasonable for major big box stores as well as a justified price for online vendors. Amazon is always a favorite as it does a good job of aggregating sellers. But don't forget places like Justbats and Closeoutbats either.