Each year we run a user generated ranking poll that pits the near 40 performance based BBCOR bats against each other. Last year we gathered almost 4,000 votes to determine the 915 Prime from Slugger, DeMarini’s CF7, Easton’s MAKO, and Marucci’s CAT 6 as players’, coaches’ and voters’ favorite BBCOR bats. This year we let the voting run longer—to nearly 10,000 user votes. It may be the largest user choice award ever assembled to determine the ‘best 2016 BBCOR bat’. (You may also like to see Just Bat Reviews Pre-Season Bat Awards).
Of course, as we always point out in “best” articles we put together, just because a certain bat is voted the user’s “best” doesn’t mean it is the best for you. Indeed, even the bat ranked dead last of the 30 in the voting (DeMarini’s 2016 Insane) still won almost 40% of its head to head votes. On the top end, even the ‘best’ bats won not much more than 6 out of 10 in their head to heads. As such, the best bat for you simply depends on who you are and what you are looking for in a bat—-but that doesn’t keep us from pimping the results of our Reader’s Choice Awards which stand, we believe, as the largest accumulation of data on head to head match-ups for BBCOR bats on the planet.
Best 2016 BBCOR Bat: Says You
The #5 bat in the 2016 BBCOR Reader’s Choice Awards goes to a deserving two-piece hybrid in Louisville Slugger’s 716 Select. This end loaded ball driller comes standard with a flared knob and blue-chip Lizard Skin black camo grip. The connective process in Slugger’s bat makes for a stiff feel through the zone to deliver marvelous leverage on the well sized sweet spot. It is, we’d suggest, Slugger’s best performance BBCOR bat for its class and we are happy to report reader’s think so too—beating the 916 Prime by a 3 spots. The 716 Select is worthy of any highschool or collegiate dugout in the country—and when the game is on the line, many a big hitting homeboy will find this bat their weapon of choice.
#4: 2016 Rawlings VELO
One of two lighter swinging BBCOR bats to make the top 5 for our readers, the BBCOR 2016 Rawlings VELO is a one piece alloy bat with an ultra light swing made for hitters who need or prefer as much bat speed as possible. The addition of an extended composite end cap and thinner barrel walls in strategic places make this glamour stick a feather-like bat with a crazy large barrel. The bat also reps a crazy loud ping and can drive balls on ropes to the gap or two hoppers to the fence with an occasional dinger to boot. The average hitter on the average team would most likely find more success with this stick than any other in the 2016 class. It is well deserving of the #4 spot and we couldn’t be happier to find it on the best BBCOR 2016 list.
#3: 2016 Easton MAKO
Some may find the 2016 Easton BBCOR MAKO at the #3 of best 2016 BBCOR bats a wee bit disappointing finish for the flagship bat from the flagship company of baseball sticks, but we think it both fitting and respectable. The MAKO soundly dominates the youth barrel ranks and to finish in the top echelon of BBCOR bats shows how remarkable this bat operates across its entire lineup. The Easton MAKO is the originator of large barrels that perform along their entire length. The swing weight is honed so terrifically, other bats use it as the standard of balance and swing speed. Its recognition is unrivaled. The MAKO not only lands the #3 spot but is also the highest ranking balanced swing weight bat in this year’s poll. Few, dare we say zero, players will feel like they are lacking much of anything when at the plate with the 2016 BBCOR Easton MAKO.
#2: DeMarini’s Voodoo Raw
We’ve yet to find a player who swings the 2016 DeMarini BBCOR Raw who has anything but drooling praise for this end loaded two piece hybrid ball killing machine. Like the MAKO which set the standard for balanced oversized BBCOR bats, the DeMarini Voodoo set the standard for endloaded two piece hybrids. The bat has the perfect end load for the stronger hitter who lives for breaking extra base hit records and pitcher confidence. Its barrel and D-Fusion 2.0 handle makes an earth shattering, fortune telling, game changing, ice cold confident, full metal jacket, two piece rod with a clip chock-full of line drives to the cheap seats and jog-it-out stand up doubles. The Voodoo Raw is easily a top 5 bat in the 2016 BBCOR market and its presence here was the most predictable of the bunch.
#1: Easton MAKO XL
We can’t say we are surprised to find the 2016 Easton MAKO XL BBCOR as the reader’s choice for the best BBCOR bat in 2016. Throughout the contest this bat found itself as low as 8th and moved up and down and back again until the voting finished. In fact, the top 10 bats often rotated through what appeared to be a game of musical chairs until we achieved the 10,000 vote mark and called it quits. When the music stopped, the Easton MAKO XL found its place at the top of a very significant list of performance bats.
The MAKO XL is the gold standard stick of heavy hitting BBCOR bat users. It’s a lightning rod of a two piece composite design meant to move Vegas over/under lines all by itself. No other bats on the market are two piece composite BBCORs built for the heavy hitter and no other bat finds itself at the top of this 10,000+ vote user generated poll. Coincidence? We don’ think so.
The oversized MAKO barrel, the two piece design meant to dampen sting without losing power and the end load built for the BBCOR hitter who understands the value of dingers add up to the 2016 Easton MAKO XL. And while there are a significant number of bats which could have found themselves at the top of this list, we find the BBCOR MAKO XL and its unique design a brilliant fit.
We are not one to question our reader’s opinions—we all have them after all. But we can question our methodology in deciding the best bat. You’ll see, if you look at the results closely, the ranking via head to head matchups comes at a bit of a cost to bats who generally win. The 2016 DeMarini BBCOR CF8, as one glaring example, won a significant amount of head to head battles. Why, then, is the bat not in the top 5? No doubt DeMarini’s CF8 deserves a spot among the best of the best (it finished 6th, after all).
In part, the answer is due to the head to head nature of the voting process. Each bat is assigned a ranking of 1400 when the voting begins. Each time a bat loses their ranking goes down in proportion to the rank of the bat they lost against. Each time a bat wins the ranking goes up in relationship to the ranking of the bat they beat. It’s much like how chess rankings are determined—in fact, exactly how they are determined as it uses the exact same algorithm to determine rank.
As such, the CF8 from DeMarini can consistently win against bats—as it did in over 60% of its head to head matchups but, if it consistently loses to a bat with a remarkably low rating, the overall ranking will be proportionately lower in relation to some bats which may not have won as often as the CF8.
Also, another real possibility is vote stuffing. We do not, you may have noticed, verify votes or keep users from voting too much. It is possible, maybe even likely due to the popularity of this site, that vendor reps and sales departments systematically influence the vote. One quick and easy way to do that is to make sure your favorite bat’s competition consistently loses to very low ranked bats. A real possibility when considering the rather surprising finish of DeMarini’s CF8 at #6 when it led most the competition at #1 or #2.