The saga of CAT series began in the year 2009 and the latest addition to the CAT series is Marucci CAT8. Over a period of eight years, the Marucci CAT8 has been created.
With added features and upgraded designs, the CAT8 has evolved into one of the most desirable baseball bats.
Short Review of Marucci CAT8
Marucci incorporates into CAT8 one of the highest quality aluminum, this new aluminum is better than that of the aluminum used in the construction of its predecessor.
The SDX EXT connection is an important upgraded feature of the CAT8 Connect which connects the aluminum alloy barrel with the composite handle resulting in reduced negative vibrational feedback.
The AV2 knob technology is another eye-catching feature of the CAT8. The micro-perforated grip of the handle ensures extra comfort and feel making it an amazing grip and aiding to better performance.
The CAT8 has an extended sweet spot that is the result of a multi-variable wall design. The CAT8 line-up is everything good its predecessors were and more. The latest technology and strongest materials available make the CAT8 one of the hardest hitting bats.
3 Different CAT8 Bats
The different CAT8 bats that are there to choose from are 3 different models, namely The CAT8, The CAT8 connect, The CAT8 composite.
|Features||CAT8||CAT8 Connect||CAT8 Composite|
|SDX EXT Connection||YES||YES|
It has two available versions, BBCOR, and USSSA Youth Big Barrel version. This model gives off a stiff feel and is undoubtedly the best one-piece bat. The sound that is produced when the ball hits the bat is the actual essence of it.
What goes into the making of CAT8 bats is the AZ105 alloy, a very strong aluminum that is responsible for the strength and durability of the barrel. A précised balance swing weight is taken care of while making the CAT8 lineup for better bat control and swing speed.
Another remarkable feature is the extended sweet spot for an even better hitting surface which is achieved by reducing the wall thickness inside the barrel where possible.
The bat also features micro-perforated bat grip that is just perfectly cushioned and which also ensures that the hands remain fast and reactive. To minimize the vibration, the AV2-knob has anti-vibration technology.
The CAT8 Connect
It is a two-piece design in which the AZ105 aluminum alloy barrel is connected to the all-composite handle. It is built with an even better vibration control technology. The only obvious difference between a CAT8 and a CAT8 connect is that a composite design for a more hybrid design has been added to the latter. The CAT8 connect also qualifies the BBCOR standard.
The unwanted vibration in the bat is redirected into the barrel to create a trampoline effect with the help of the SDX EXT piece which connects the aluminum alloy barrel to the all-composite handle. The SDX EXT piece dissipates the shock in the bat.
On impact, because of the trampoline effect, the ball is launched off the walls of the barrel at an increased velocity and covers a better distance. Therefore, Marucci ‘makes use of the lemon thrown by life to make lemonade’ as the disadvantage of the vibration is turned into an advantage.
The CAT8 connect also has the end loaded that means the end of the barrel has more weight for powerful hits
To achieve maximum performance and great flex, Marucci made the first 100% composite bat. Like the CAT8 connect, the all-composite bat is also made as a 2 piece bat and the aluminum alloy barrel is connected to the composite handle with the help of the same SDX EXT piece.
This bat allows you to pack a big punch as Marucci makes the barrel an all composite one which makes it more durable. This model also has the biggest barrel length with a big sweet spot.
Unlike the CAT8 connect, this model has a mid-loaded swing weight, that is, not too heavily packed towards the handle or towards the end cap but keeping the weight towards the middle of the bat. This allows you to enjoy enough swing speed, not too much, not too less but a bit more power than a balanced bat. The comfort grip remains the same as the other two models.
Marucci CAT8 Review
Design & Construction
Marucci incorporates into CAT8 a multi-variable wall design that creates an expanded sweet spot and a thinner inner wall that also creates a more potent hitting surface.
In the construction of CAT8 goes the highest quality aluminum, the AZ105 Alloy that is known for its strength and makes the barrel durable. It helps to swing the bat with cleanliness and consistency. It also helps to achieve a better response rate. The barrel is constructed ring free that allows more barrel flex.
The anti-vibration knob technology is upgraded to the AV2 knob which is the second generation of knob technology. It combats the negative vibrations of the barrel and minimizes the unwanted sting in the hitter’s hand.
Available Size Options
The CAT8 comes in the BBCOR and USSSA sizes.
The CAT8 drop 3 BBCOR is made with a précised balance to help control the weight and strength of the one-piece alloy. It is a balanced bat and not really ideal for players who are heavy hitters. The sizes range from 30-34” including a 33.5”.
USSSA CAT8 drop 5, drop 8 and drop 10 has the barrel diameter of 2 ¾ inch and huge barrel length with the extended sweet spot.
As far as the grip of the CAT8 is concerned, Marucci makes sure the grip is soft in the hand and provides the utmost comfort to the hitter’s hand. The handle is cushioned with micro-perforated soft-touch grip with extra tack for better ergonomics and for a better response rate.
All the features of Marucci CAT8 add up for the great performance the bat exhibits. However, a stiffer connection is created by the SDX EXT which leads to more transfer of energy from the player to the ball that results in higher performance.
When the stiffness is increased between the barrel and the handle it eliminates the maximum possible lag in speed that otherwise remains in the two-piece bats. With the elimination of the lag in speed, the hands and the barrel move at the same speed resulting in the exertion of the maximum amount of force onto the ball.
Apart from these other factors like use of the highest quality aluminum, the micro-perforated grip, ring free barrels, AV2 knob, all these features add up to a great performance of the CAT8.
To attain the highest potential of a bat, not all bats, mostly composite, it is important for the bat to break-in, meaning, to be through at least a few hundred hits before it is game ready. Only when a bat is broken in, it peaks in performance.
You can break-in a bat by hitting it off a tee a few hundred times or you can take a few swings off soft toss or front toss or face live pitching from a pitcher who is throwing at least 40 miles per hour.
Break-in of a CAT8 composite bat is achieved when the proprietary resin inside of the barrel is loosened up and the material is more responsive upon contact with the ball. These bats require a break-in period of at least 300 approximate swings for them to reach the ultimate potential.
The Marucci CAT8 bats are not ordinary bats. These are bats designed for players who are serious about their games thus making them slightly on the higher end. The price can range anything between 200-500 dollars. All good things come with a price and there is no exception with the Marucci CAT8 bats.
Who Should Buy Marucci CAT8?
CAT8 BBCOR Bat
Adults mostly should buy these bats as these bats are considered adult baseball bats. These bats are mostly required by players in high school or Collegiate leagues.
CAT8 USSSA Bat
USSSA bat or Youth big barrel bats are ideal for players who play in Youth Leagues. These bats should be bought by players who play in leagues where bats with barrels larger than 2 ¼ inches in diameter are allowed. Senior league bats or youth big barrel bats can be bought by players who have graduated from little leagues. Usually, players from between the age of 10 to 14 years old should buy this bat.
Senior leagues bats are built in a few different lengths – weight variation, according to size and comfort, one can choose the bat according to one’s size and strength. Lower the length to weight number, heavier the bat.
Senior bats range from 27”-32” and according to your weight and height, you should choose a bat that is ideal for you.
CAT8 Junior League Barrel Bat
This bat is ideal for players 8 years old and younger. The bat is short and lighter in weight, also has a diameter of 2 ¾ inches and length to weight ratio of -10. This bat is generally used in leagues where coaches pitch.
Marucci CAT7 vs. CAT8
The CAT8 carries the torch from CAT7 with a few upgrades in the material, changes in the built and design.
|Features||Marucci CAT7||Marucci CAT8|
|Alloy||AZ4X Alloy||AZ105 Alloy|
|Barrel||2 5/8” Barrel Diameter||2 ¾” Barrel Diameter|
|SDX Connection||SDX Connection||Extended SDX Connection|
|Ring Free Barrel||Yes||Yes|
Stronger Alloy in CAT8
Alloy AZ105, one of the strongest aluminum is used in the construction of the barrel of CAT8 and CAT8 Connect. This alloy is an upgrade to the alloy AZ4X which is used in CAT7. Because of the stronger alloy used, the better performance is achieved with CAT8 at the sweet spot.
The walls towards the taper of the end cap of the CAT8 are also thinner. The walls are thinner as a result of the stronger alloy used. Thinner walls create higher performance.
Larger Barrel in CAT8
The CAT8 -5 and -8 USSA senior league bats have a barrel whose diameter is 2 ¾ which is larger than the CAT7 -5 and -8 USSA bats whose diameter is 2 5/8.
Extended SDX Connection
The CAT7 connect has SDX which has been upgraded in the CAT8 connect which features SDX EXT connection that creates stiffer connection allowing more energy to transfer from the player to the ball that results in better performance and more powerful hits. More energy means more coverage of distance of the hit.
The SDX EXT is designed with a triple shock dissipating system that functions as three levels of shock absorption whereas the CAT7 has only one level.
Apart from that, there are similar features.
Ring Free Barrels
Both CAT7 and CAT8 features ring free barrels which means there are no dead spots on the barrel. Better response rate, more barrel flex, and overall greater performance is achieved because of this.
Both CAT7 and CAT8 series of bats have the same balance point. Both CAT7 and CAT8 are constructed with one piece alloy that creates a precision balance barrel, it also creates a lower MOI which results in a balanced feel for the hitter.
Both CAT7 and CAT8 bats feature the AV2 knob technology which is the upgraded version of AV knob that is Anti-Vibration knob which helps in reducing negative vibrational feedback.
AV2 knob is the second generation anti-vibration knob which apart from its shock absorbing qualities makes the bat swing lighter. The weight of the AV2 knob is 2 ounces approx and it is placed beneath the hands and it drops the swing weight of the bat by two ounces as well. Lower swing weight results in faster bat speed and better performance.
Most meticulously has the construction of Marucci CAT8 been done and that is what makes it such a splendid bat. In goes years of research by engineers and feedbacks from professional league players to finally create the CAT8 bat.