When it comes to purchasing a bat, whether softball or baseball, it is a pretty substantial financial commitment. The prices of bats have risen over the years because of the innovations that each new season brings around. Marucci, Easton, DeMarini, and Louisville Slugger’s models all are innovative bats that have discovered ways to bring more pop and distance to the game.
Marucci has made a name for itself in wood bats, but the company has expanded its bat talents into softball and created one of the best fastpitch bats you can buy.the CATFX Connect is a -10 length to weight ratio with a white barrel with icy blue Marucci lettering. This bat is engineered for power with a maximum barrel length, giving the bat a longer surface area and a larger sweet spot. The composite construction of the bat gives the bat durability through the entire year while adding power. The composite bat gives the bat a trampoline effect, sending balls into the field of play with exit velocity. Marucci adds SDX technology, also known as shock dissipation connection technology, which dismisses vibration, giving a smooth feeling at contact. This bat comes in -9 and -11 options as well. One of the most important assets of a bat is its comfort, you do not want to feel immense amounts of vibration at the point of contact. This bat through and through has technology to prevent that from top to the knob of the bat. The ring free barrel technology prevents dead spots and the bat grip is micro-perforated and is designed for a better grip and improved feel.
Marucci’s bat is ISA approved and comes with a one year warranty. The CATFX Connect is offered at $350, which is normal for an elite level bat. When purchasing the bat, justbats.com provides great reviews as well, making your buying experience easier.
If you are not willing to spend $350 on a softball bat, Marucci offers another top softball bat for $100 less. Similarly, this bat is called the CATFX. What is the difference between the CATFX and the CATFX Connect? The CATFX is a one-piece bat. The CATFX also has an extended barrel length, giving the player a larger surface area with a wider sweet spot. Like the CATFX Connect, Marucci implements its ring free barrel technology, giving the bat greater performance with no dead spots. The knob has second-generation anti-vibration technology, which hinders the vibration of a one-piece bat and creates better feel through the point of contact. The one-piece composite make up will make the last bat all year and provide maximum pop. Marucci’s CATFX fastpitch bat is one of the most powerful and one of the best softball bats on the market. Similar to the CATFX Connect, the CATFX is sleek and has innovative technology to help both the hitter and the bat perform at maximum levels.
Easton’s offering at the $350 price point is the Ghost Double Barrel. Like the Marucci CATFX Connect, the Ghost Double Barrel is designed for power. The double barrel technology has been engineered by Easton to give the best feel, pop, and sound to every player who uses it. Their double barrel technology establishes the ghost as an elite bat. The bat is constructed of two barrels inside of each other, the outer layer and inner layer collide when contact is made creating incredible exit velocity. General concerns regarding bats is usability after purchase, usually bats have to be used for some time in order to achieve maximum pop. The outer barrel has the lowest compression allowed by regulation, giving it ultimate performance right out of the wrapper. Both barrels are made of XTX technology, or ‘xtra tough resin matrix’. A two-piece bat, the Ghost is linked by ‘Connextion’ technology, to enhance feel and reduce vibration. However, the bat is not approved for play in any USSSA, NSA, or NSA tournaments. Easton has marketed this bat as ‘Supernatural’, asking what aspects make it that way. Feel x Pop x Sound, are the three components that make this bat worth the price.
Similar to Marucci, Easton offers another line of bats at a lower price in a franchise seen in both baseball and softball for years, the Stealth Flex. The Stealth packs a new flex barrel design, an asset that gives the bat a higher performance, more power, and improved feel. Weight is evenly distributed in both the -10 and -11 models. Like the Ghost Double Barrel, the Stealth Flex has a massive sweet spot and utilizes Thermo Composite Technology and CXN Zero Technology to reduce vibration and sting in the hands. Unlike the Ghost, the Stealth is approved for play in ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA and ISF tournaments and leagues. At $300, this bat is an excellent buy, not only because is it approved for play in all leagues, but it revives a legendary franchise in a meaningful way, introducing revolutionary technology into Stealth Bats.
Louisville Slugger’s 2018 model is another two-piece composite bat on the market. Like the other companies before it, the Xeno Fastpitch comes out of the package hot. The S1ID technology has a balanced swing weight, perfect for all softball players. Innovations are riddled throughout the bat, even in the bat cap. The Xeno Fastpitch has an X-Cap bat cap that gives improved swing speed and better durability. A trend through the bats thus far has been weight distribution, pop, control and durability. The composite barrel provides extra pop, and the bat is certified and usable in USSSA, ISA, NSA, ASA, and ISF competitions. For the price of $240, normally $300, but Louisville Slugger has a 20% discount promotion running, this bat is an excellent buy; it is balanced, full of pop, and is ready to use right away.
The CF line offered by DeMarini has been around for nearly a decade. Like the Stealth, it is a legendary franchise. The CFX balanced softball bat is no different, offering a 3Fusion System, from the bottom of the bat all the way to the end cap. Vibration reduction technology begins in the handle with DeMarini’s famous 3Fusion Handle, the handle is designed for ultimate feel and the redirection of energy back into the barrel for more pop. The CFX is yet another composite bat hitting the market, this time with DeMarini’s Paraflex technology, made with 22% stronger composite material, more even weight distribution, and flex through the zone. The flex allows for more bat lag, creating more pop at the point of contact. DeMarini’s RCK knob is constructed in order to ergonomically fit the hand of the player, allowing for more comfort and grip strength.
The Hitting Vault advocates building power and exit velocity through swing mechanics and if there is a bat that can help with that, it is a smart buy. The Marucci CATFX Connect is a bat loaded with power, the intricacies that come along with it are second to none. It has innovative technology, immediate usability, and implements means to reduce vibration through the hands and the bat.
If you want to learn more about how to maximize your power with sound mechanics, consider joining the Hitting Vault where Coach Matt Lisle provides over 75 hitting drills and videos to unlock your power.