Tag Archives: Dear Bat Guy

Dear Bat Buy, | Easton Hyperlite vs Slugger Catalyst and More

Bat Swing Weight Database


Each month we get considerable mail via social media to answer specific questions. If some have those questions, we are sure others do to. A few of those conversations we put in this monthly Dear Bat Guy, article for your reading pleasure.

Bat Weight Reviews

Bat Size Chart

Dear Bat Guy,

Do you have reviews of bat weights? Specifically for fast pitch softball.

Facebook Follower,

Do you mean like bat donuts? We did one review on the VARO bat weight. They make a softball one. It is our favorite of the bunch we saw. Try this one: https://www.justbatreviews.com/varo-baseball-bat-weight…/

Dear Bat Guy,

Awesome….thanks! Where would I see it on the main page or should I search for it on the site search box?

Facebook Follower,

Good question. You can just search for it. Our search function should work great. Just type in VARO. Thanks!

Michigan Bat Choices

Dear Bat Guy,

I was wondering if you had an opinion on which bat would be the better overall bat (pop, distance, sweet spot) between the marrucci hex alloy and the demarini nvs vexxum 2 5/8″ models?  Thanks for any help you can give me!


Thanks for the email Michigan,

I think two bats you chose are remarkably simlar in each of the categories you list. I would probably lean towards the Vexxum 2 5/8. The Hex Alloy struggled a bit with durability (the green skittle bat as we called it). Rumor has it the bat dented more often then they were hoping for.

The Vexxum, on the other hand, has been around for a while and really reached the peak of its production. In fact, they did not even make a Vexxum this year and we likely won’t see a new one for a few years from now. My boys have swung both of those bats extensively and I’d say preferred the Vexxum more. But the ping on that Hex alloy is memorable too.

Anyways, I hope that helps.

Dear Bat Guy,

Thanks for the reply, Bat Guy. Is there another 2 5/8″ barrel bat in the $200 or less range that you would recommend over the two I mentioned?


The CAT 7 is your next closest bet–and I think that does outperform the Vexxum and Hex Alloy. But, I can only find it sub $200 in the drop 5.The new limited edition one is awesome. But I suspect you’re in the drop 10 range? If so, the Vexxum is a great choice. You might also take a look at the Slugger Catalyst, but I don’t think that feels as good as the two piece Vexxum.

Assuming, of course, you are talking about brand new bats. Ebay always has a lot of bats for sub $200 but the risk of used sometimes drive people away.

Here are a couple I found quickly, I’d buy them before the Vexxum or Hex Alloy. But, I am also very comfortable buying used bats because I have a ton of them:

Easton XL1 2015

Voodoo 31/22

MAKO Beast 2016


Hope that helps. Let me know what you end up going with.

When To Transition from a 2 5/8 from a 2 3/4?

2017 DeMarini Voodoo One Review

Dear Bat Guy,

My 11u son uses a 29 inch 2 3/4 Mako what are your thoughts on big barrel size. I know he will eventually have to go down in size. Should I have him do in next year? If not when? I don’t want him to have to go drop 3 and size down all in the same year when he’s older. Any help you could add would be great!

2 5/8 Guy,

Hmmm. That’s a good question and one I have not thought about too much. But, I think it is a natural progression out of 2 3/4 when they go into a drop 8. I am not aware of an 2 3/4 bats, off the top of my head, that are a drop 8. I am sure there is some.

So, I guess my answer is I’d have him swing 2 3/4 until he can handle a drop 8. For my oldest son that happens at 13. For my 2nd son it was at 11. My third son, who is 9, still uses a 2 3/4. I suspect his drop 9 day swill come at 12.

And I think you are right about making a progression to a drop 3 instead of one big leap.

Hyperlite Easton vs Catalyst

2017 Easton Hyperlite Review

Dear Bat Guy,

Would you think Easton hyperlite or LS catalyst better drop 12 big barrel? My son swings league 29 – 12 combat great, and drop 10 seems too heavy for this year. Thanks

Hyperlite vs Catalyst Guy,

The Hyperlite is cooler looking, but we like the catalyst more. Bigger barrel. And been around long enough to be improved upon.

End Loaded Youth Barrel?

Baseball Bat Reviews

Dear Bat Guy,

Great site! I have relied on the site’s reviews for multiple (6-7) bat purchases. My son just turned 7 and he had been using the Mako Beast XL Youth 2 1/4 bat. The beast broker while it was sent for warranty replacement my son started using his Demarini Voodoo Raw youth 2 1/4 and prefers that bat’s balance over the beast. I wanted to pick him up a composite bat since they are definitely much hotter in our league. Could you recommend a bat that fits those parameters: Swings like the voodoo raw youth but is composite. Does the Demarini CF Zen swing like the voodoo raw or how about the LS Prime916-7 youth? Any other suggestions appreciated. Thanks and once again Great site  and an invaluable resource.

Dear Endloaded Youth Barrel Guy,


Man. That’s a tough one. Youth barreled bats are so hard to come by this year and a lot of manufactures didn’t even make one because of the rule change.

But the only one you didn’t mention that comes to mind is the Axe Avenge.


That has a more balanced/endloaded feel like the Raw. It is a drop 11 too. And has a composite barrel. The more I think about your description the more I think that might be your ticket.

Of course you have to get used to the handle but we swear by it.

Not sure where best pricing might be at this point. But I suspect a place like closeoutbats or ebay would be some places to check.

Thanks for the kind words about the site. We will keep making real reviews as long as people like you keep reading them!

Let me know what you end up going with and if you liked it. Always love to hear from real players.

Dear Bat Guy | March Mail Bag, Bat Swing Weight Database

Bat Swing Weight Database


Dear BatGuy,

It’s difficult to find information on which BBCOR bats are the most balanced and have the lightest swing weights. Ultra-light swing weights are needed for young, smaller, first time BBCOR players. It would be great if you did a comparison of lightest swinging BBCOR’s for smaller players. Why don’t you ever measure the balance points of the bats that you review? This is valuable information for consumers that is impossible to find. You have access to all the bats, so why not take a few minutes to measure this and include it in every bat review. It is as helpful as the size of the barrel information that you include when you use those 2 5/8″ disks.

Dear Great Question,

Great question. It shows you’ve been thinking of it. We had the same questions when we started doing this 4 years ago.

We do measure the balance point of every bat. However, you will quickly find this creates more questions than it actually answers. Hence the reason we do not provide it. To name a few:

1) We would argue that balance points are not as valuable as you might first think.

Balance points are not the definition of swing weight. They are one piece of the equation, but the real determining factor in swing weight is the pendulum period of the bat and its length. You can see how to calculate this on our site by searching for swing weight calculator. Information on the balance point without the other data points would, ultimately, be useless and potentially misleading information. Here is a mostly terrible video of how to calculate swing weight in your basement:

(You can find our baseball bat swing weight calculator here).

2) We do have every bat, but not every size of every bat.

This creates even a bigger problem when you realize that balance points change as each length changes. And those changes are not uniform to the brand or model.

As a ficticious example, imagine bat A in a 32 inch has a balance point at 18 inches. And bat B’s 32 inch bat has a balance point at 18.5 inches. Does that mean that Bat A’s 33 inch bat has a balance point at 19 inches and bat B’s 33 inch bathas a balance point at 19.5 inches? The answer is no. We’ve measured examples where the 33 inch bat B might have the same 18 inch balance point while Bat A’s balance point changed with length. Its terribly inconsistent across lengths and models. And different manufacturers have entirely different standards. It really is comparing apples to oranges.

3) Further if a 31 inch bat has a balance point at 17 inches and the 32 inch bat has a balance point at 17.5 does this mean the 33 inch has a balance point at 18 inches?

The answer, sadly, is no. Even with the same brand, balance points do not adjust proportional to the length of the bat. Its terribly weird and a dissapointment we found early on in our bat reviewing.

Anyways, thanks for reading and asking a great question. Its probably the best we’ve yet to have in this little Dear Bat Guy thing we are doing.

And by way of being helpful instead of disagreeable, the lightest swinging bats are the ones with the shortest lengths in total.

We have a 14 year old son who is very small. I’ve looked far and wide for the lowest swinging BBCOR bat. And the answer is it is always the shorter ones. Three bats are made in a 29 inch BBCOR bat: the 617 SOLO (the one we chose), Eastons Z-Core Speed, and Louisville Slugger’s 517 Omaha. Those, in the 29 inch, are the three lightest swinging BBCOR bats on the market.

Here is an article discussing it at least a little bit…


Thanks again for your Great Question

Great Question

Thanks for the quick reply. I do understand all the issues with different length bats of the same brand and model. You would have to state this every time you list a balance point… I agree, not ideal. But if you are comparing 2 bats of the same length and drop weight, it is still a valuable spec to consider. I have compiled a small list for myself of balance weights that I have carefully obtained.

If you have a smaller kid, as you have, you know that it is crucial to know swing weights and balance. I found a drop 8 Senior bat that works well for my 80 lb. son based on balance point specs Mizuno customer service measured for me (and other brands for comparison). The best way to feel the swing weight is to swing a bat and hit balls, in my opinion, but all bats are not available to even pick up in a store. I was a tennis professional, and I can make a decent assessment of balance when having bats to compare as it is similar to comparing rackets.

I am looking at the Solo and the Demarini Voodoo One balanced. I think they have similar balance points in their 30/27 bats but not certain. Were you able to compare these 2 bats? The Solo has many reviews on line about a defective knob that disconnects. Have you heard of this flaw? How does your son like the solo, if you don’t mind me asking?

Thanks so much for your help. I have enjoyed your website a lot in the past two years.

Bat Guy

We love the SOLO. Have had no problems with it. We actually have it in a few different sizes. I would highly recommend it. Our educated guess would be the 30 Solo swing lighter than the Balanced One because of its use of the composite end cap.

Thanks for reading and good luck! Tennis rackets care a serious amount about swing weight so I understand where you are coming from.

Thanks for the insight. We will try and be more deliberate in that explanation about balance points in our reviews. When we went away from that a few years ago we were good at talking about it. Now, we have likely failed to point out our reasoning often enough. Thanks for the reminder and insight.

Great Question

Wanted to add that I saw this website blog….   https://www.99bats.com/blog/bbcor-balance/

You can click on various bats to compare the balance points. It looks like they use the same lengths, but I hope they did this accurately.

Bat Guy

I had run across that site before. It is fun to see a vendor finally step up to the plate, so to speak, and give us some good metrics. They are in a position to do so as they actually have every bat and every size. I suspect there is at least something we can gather from those pictures, but I fear it is not as much as their blog post implies it is.

As we mentioned earlier, and not to belabor the point as I am sure we understand each other, the pendulum period is independent of balance point. And, the pendulum period has an exponential effect on swing weight while the balance point is only geometric.

As well, it turns out that all 32-inch BBCOR bats are not similarly weighted. I know manufacture’s print 29 ounces on the bat, but rarely do 29 ounce bats weigh exactly 29 ounces. As such, comparing balance points of similarly sized bats is not the same as comparing swing weight.

As such, knowing the science of mass moments of inertia, we are not sure how the information on that page is helpful. And we think it a bit of a disservice for them to imply it is telling people something that it is not. We don’t think their intentions are bad. But their conclusions are not accurate.

For your future reference, in case you have yet to find it, the equation is this:

Swing weight = ((Pendulum period)^2 * Total Mass * Gravity Constant * Balance Point) / 4 * 3.14^2.

Gravity’s Constant is a known. But, even if we have all balance point data on the planet we are still two guesses away from the actual swing weight. (Pendulum Period and Actual Weight).

Other Similar Reads

We think our Diamond Kinetics Review and our Best Pitching Machine write up might be similar to this.


February’s Dear Bat Guy | Psychic Bat Fittings and 2018 Bats

Bat Swing Weight Database


Our Dear Bat Guy series we started last month went well enough to give it another run. If you have any questions then try us at [email protected] Or, you can hit us up on one of our many social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.

This months Dear Bat Guy delivers some serious answers for two piece piece bats for younger kids as well as the reason, from an insightful reader, as to why they prefer non-composite barrels. Other questions just make us laugh. But, now, you atleast get to revel in the stuff we sort through! But we love it! See last months Dear Bat Guy about Impedance Matching.

A Serious & Insightful Conversation

Dear Bat Guy,

Thanks so much for your site and the time you put into it. I dare say I spend an inordinate amount of time on it. I particularly enjoyed your mail bag post today and hope you do make it a regular thing. While it is true that answers to many of the questions folks ask are available on your site, your responses can still be illuminating.

For example, in your response to andrew35, you noted that the 2016 voodoo raw and the voodoo one are best swung by a very strong batter. This was a useful insight as I had been considering the raw -9 for my almost 13 yr old son as his first senior league bat. He is a good hitter, but he is still waiting on that growth spurt. Based on your response to Andrew35, I think either the cat7 -8 or the covert -9 may be a better fit, although a bit pricey. I had been tempted by a rip-it element one -10 I saw for approx $60, but passed on it as I was thinking it would be good for him to start getting used to a heavier bat (he currently swings a 30/20 in his youth league). Any thoughts on that?

Sorry to ramble on a bit and thanks again for all the fantastic info.

Bat Guy:

Thanks for the comment and thanks or reading. We hope to make the mailbag a regular thing.

Of the bats you mentioned the COVERT drop 9 would be his best, lightest, swing. We have swung the drop 10 extensively and love it. We can’t imagine the drop 9 is much different. But, to your point, it is not cheap at the moment. We always struggle to pay original retail price on a bat knowing full well that in 9 months it is probably half that price.

In terms of pure value, We would look at the drop 8 Senior Barrel 2016 MAKO TORQ. I get the spinning handle is hated by most. But, really, you can tape it down with some simple athletic tape or buy a Lizard Skin and tape it down entirely. That bat for $110 is a STEAL and parents just can’t get over the spinning handle. But in terms of barrel size and pure performance it really can’t be beat. And for $110 on a top shelf performance bat? Really, hard to go wrong. Here is the 30/22 for $109: http://amzn.to/2kE8aA5

Thanks Bat Guy,

The TORQ is a great value but I am inclined to go with an alloy barrel. We don’t need to purchase for a little while so hopefully the Covert’s price drops.

Bat Guy:

Out of curiosity, and this is a very sincere question, why an alloy barrel? I’d love to hear your take as to why someone might prefer an alloy barrel over a composite one. I think there are plenty of good reasons. Just wondering if there is anything specific for you.

I like not having to worry about break in, both the time and also whether or not it was done right. Plus, the fact that the barrel has only a limited number of hits is something I worry about messing with my head, although I suspect I overdo that concern. I do have a weakness for the sound of alloy!

Dear Bat Guy,

My son also typically prefers a slight end load or at least not a super light feel. That said, of all the bats he has used, he has probably hit the best with his CF7.

Se Hablo Espanol

Instagram: De. Hello. You spich spanish ?
Instagram: You spek spanish?
Bat Guy:

No hablamos español. Sin embargo, tenemos acceso a Google Translate.

2018 Bat Model Release Dates

Email: When will the 2018 model bats come out?

Bat Guy: Wow. We’ve yet to even think about those. But, if manufacturers hold true to what they have done in years past for baseball expect some teaser bats to come out in June 2017 and then a full on marketing press come August. Most 2018 performance bats will go on sale in September of 2017.

What We think of MAKO?

Instagram: What you think for the bat Easton Mako 2015?

Bat Guy: We think it good. See this: https://www.justbatreviews.com/2015-Easton-MAKO-Review

Psychic Bat Hotline

Instagram: What BBCOR bat do you suggest I get?

Bat Guy: Knowing nothing other than your Instagram name, we highly suggest the 617 SOLO.

Hook Ups

Instagram: I got 1 quick question do you think you can get me a 30/27 black MAKO bat that would be awesome if you could

Bat Guy: I can get you one for $459.

Instagram: I will think about it

13 Year Old Boy Problems

Instagram: Hey, I am [Name] a 13 year old second baseman for the 14u [team name]. I would enjoy if you could send me gear that I could send me gear that I can review for your page and product!

Bat Guy: Ditto

Garage Sale Deals

Facebook: So I bought 2 bats at a garage sale this week. 2013 Demarini vexxum 2 5/8 barrels size 31 and size 32…what do you think about those bats are they great?

Bat Guy: Great? That’s not the word to use for the 2013 Vexxum. But they are good bats. Yet a garage sell deal on DeMarini is always a fun thing to swing. At $10 a pop, or less, we would have bought them too.

Two Piece Bat for a 7 Year Old?

Facebook: Just hard to believe that a 2 peace bat is best for a 7 year old, I can’t see a 7 year old generating enough bat speed to make that bat bend. I would have guest a one peace alloy for a 7 year old. Please let me know your input…..

Just Bat Reviews: Two piece bats aren’t good because they can bend. You don’t want them to bend.

Two piece bats are good because they take the sting out of the hands because the vibration can’t travel through the transition piece. It also allows the manufacturer to better control swing weight when the bat is made in pieces—especially composite pieces.

Bats DO NOT flex on the swing. That is a salesman/manufacturer’s myth.

See this for more details: https://www.justbatreviews.com/two-piece-or-one-piece-bat/

January’s Mailbag | Impedance Matching | You Serious Clark?

Bat Swing Weight Database


We receive a number of questions concerning bats through our various social media channels or more directly on email. Over the course of a few weeks it adds up. If someone has a particular question, it is likely others do to.

With that in mind, we thought it appropriate to start a mailbag series for 2017, including some serious questions that may just answer the riddle you are puzzling over. This may also give some insight as to  what we deal with on a nearly daily basis. These are unedited and straight from the transcripts.


Dear Bat Guy, January Contents

Got A Question?

It is likely, dare we say assuredly, the question you have about bats is answered somewhere on this very site. We have written nearly 400,000 words alone! But, if you can not find it with that nifty search feature on the top of this page, then feel free to ask us. In fact, we encourage it. If you have the question and can’t find it then others might to. And, to think, you might find your transcripts in a future bat guy mailbag post.

Send your questions to [email protected] We often respond within an hour or so. Other times, we don’t.

Dear Bat Guy, January Questions

Do You Know Axe?

Impedance Matching

M_***or2 Instagram DM: Do u know the axe avenge

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: We know. You could too:

2017 Axe Avenge Review
2016 Axe Avenge Review
Axe Avenge Price Check

Mako Beast vs The Z-Core

Impedance Matching

Carter******99 Instagram DM: What do u like more mako beast or zcore???

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: Beast. See our review: Mako Beast Review

Carter******99 Instagram DM: I have mako beast but my friend has a z core

Carter******99 Instagram DM: Yo thanks man ppl that have that many followers never do this thxs

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: Ha. that’s because We are real…not a bot. 🙂

Carter******99 Instagram DM: K thx now I can brang to my friend that beast is better

Narrowed Down to Everything

Impedance Matching

andrew****35 Instagram DM: Hey justbatreviews I am I 14 year old baseball player and I bat 3rd on my team and I am having a hard time deciding on a bat to get, but I think I have narrowed it down to the easton white out, the 2016 voodoo raw, marucci one piece cat 7, or the 2017 voodoo one pice. So do you have any advice on what bat you would recommend for me !???! [sic, sic, sic, etc]

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: The White Out or the Cat7. Unless you are a strong hitter, like collegiate, the one and the Raw aren’t for you. Our $0.02.

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: See our site for a ton more information: www.justbatreviews.com

andrew****35 Instagram DM: Yes i am a strong hitter

andrew****35 Instagram DM: So cat 7 or Easton whiteout

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: That’s what I’d do. Both good bats. Aluminum barrels are the preference to most this year.

Sell My Soul for Swing Advice

Impedance Matching

g***in Intagram DM: Is there any way you could post a video of me hitting and ask people to analyze it?

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: We will do it for $5.

g***in Intagram DM: Okay, let me put together some money.

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: Dude, I’m joking. If you need to scrounge up $5 it is safe to assume it will be well spent elsewhere. Check out linedrivenation.com. They do it seriously for like $20.

Anecdotal Trinity Bat Review

Impedance Matching

Jere*****99 Intagram DM: Those trinity bats are dope. They have so much pop it’s ridiculous my travel team is sponsored by trinity so we got to demo the bat for free

Only bad part is they only come in that ugly paint job

They swing nice though pretty balanced and have a light feel

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: Nice. You don’t like the paint job? We sort of thought it was cool. But it is weird.

Jere*****99 Intagram DM: I think in the pictures it looks better then in real life it’s not terrible I just think it could be better. But it definitely performs well.

Slugger 516 vs Slugger 517

Impedance Matching

his***6 Instagram DM: Would you recommend buying the Louisville slugger Omaha 517 or the 516 considering the prices

Justbatreviews Instagram DM:  516! Same bat!

You Serious Clark?

Impedance Matching

Ibleed****od Instagram DM: Hey there. Just curious if you ever do any reviews on bats? you post some great pictures but never any feedback on bats that we see.

Justbatreviews Instagram DM: Uh, yes. Yes. www.justbatreviews.com. It is in our bio and, of course, on google. 🙂 Happy reading!

13 Year Old Problems

Impedance Matching

Brendan **** via email: I am looking to get my son a new bat for his 13th birthday.  Can you recommend anything?

He’ll be playing in the Babe Ruth league this year.

Justbatreviews via email: Have you searched our site yet? Maybe try this one:

Best Bat for 13 Year Old

Mr. Unimpressed with Free Content

Impedance Matching

bm****[email protected] via email

Hi: I play a lot of slopitch softball only and you reviews are not beneficial to me. I have 37 bats and I play in USSSA   ASA  and SSUSA so I would like to see reviews
      For=     Mikens   Combats    Demarini    Worth    Louisville   Slopitch bats

Justbatreviews via email: With 37 Bats why do you need reviews?

Impedance Matching and Bat Compression

Facebook Comments on our 2018 USA bat standards Article

Reader 1: Those cf8 and zen should be illegal.. what did your compression test show ?

Reader 2: 250-275lbs. Almost any other bat, Mako, Combat Maxum, Marucci Hex came in around 475-500. That’s the reason they [cf zen] crack so easy.

Reader 3: Do the cf8 or zen really have that much more pop than the mako?

Reader 2: Way more. It’s not even a fair comparison.

Just Bat Reviews: Compression tests and exit velocities are not measuring the same thing. It is NOT true to state that a bat with an easier compression has greater pop. Compression tests for bats can indicate they have been altered, but they can’t indicate it creates greater exit velocity than another bat given all other things are equal.

Impedance Matching

What you need to measure is a bat’s Coefficient of Restitution (COR). This is how a bat responds to compression, not how easily it can be compressed. And that response to compression Is what determines how much energy is transferred to the ball. Or, its coefficient of restitution. A static compression clamp will not tell you that. [See Impedance Matching].

BPF and BBCOR Tests

It is why the actual test for getting bats passed does not include any compression clamp, but instead includes working bats in and then shooting a ball cannon along the length of the barrel over and over until it breaks. If any exit speed exceeds a certain limit before the bat breaks, then it fails. Those data points measure the bat’s response to compression. Or, its COR. It is what the COR in BBCOR stands for. The BB means batted ball.

Big companies, including EASTON and DEMARINI, know how to reach the standard. They’ve been doing it for at least 4 years now in the BPF 1.15 space. Ball Cannon Test results are very similar between the two bats with the MAKO being slightly longer.

Ball COR

Another way to think through it is to consider that the bat is not the only thing compressing. The other, of course, being the baseball.

So, does a baseball go further if it hits a hard thing or a soft thing? The ball would compress less if it hit a thing that was compressed more easily and vice versa. A bat with less compression would compress the baseball more. Is that good or bad for batted ball distance?

Compression is not the Story

The answer, of course, is that knowing the compression doesn’t tell us much. Instead, we need to know how the ball responds to being compressed. How quickly does it reconstitute its shape? How quickly is its restitution? We would call that the ball’s coefficient of restitution. That combination of forces working together is often referred to as impedance matching. Two objects working together to create the greatest amplification.

Once figured, combine that COR with the nature of the bat’s COR and you’ll get closer to predicting “pop”, or as they say, exit speed. Difficult to answer, no doubt. And simply NOT found by measuring and comparing the compression weight of one barrel to another.