2019 Marucci Cat 8 Review: {Marucci Cat 7 vs Cat 8}

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The saga of the CAT series began in the year 2009, and the latest addition to the CAT series is Marucci CAT 8. Over eight years, the Marucci CAT 8 has been carefully created for its players.

With added features and upgraded designs, the CAT 8 has evolved into one of the most desirable baseball bats.

Additionally, they have managed to achieve the ideal combination of strength, stability, and performance with these enhancements.

But don’t just take my word for it! Join in and let me know whether this Marucci CAT8 review helps you to make your mind.

Marucci CAT 8 Baseball Bat

Marucci incorporates into CAT 8 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 a crucial upgraded feature of the CAT 8 Connect, which connects the aluminum alloy barrel with the composite handle resulting in reduced negative vibrational feedback.

The AV2 knob technology is another added eye-catching feature of the CAT 8. The micro-perforated grip of the handle ensures extra comfort and incredible grip along with better performance.

The CAT 8 has an extended sweet spot that is the result of a multi-variable wall design. The CAT 8 line-up is everything good its predecessors were and more. The use of the latest technology and most durable materials makes the CAT 8 one of the hardest hitting bats available in the market.

3 Different Options in CAT 8

There are three different CAT 8 models to choose from, namely The CAT 8, The CAT 8 connect, The CAT 8 composite.

FeaturesCAT8CAT8 ConnectCAT8 Composite
Multi-Variable Walls YES YES
AV2 Knob YES
Ring-Free Barrel YES YES YES
SDX EXT Connection YES YES
AZ105 Alloy YES YES
Composite Barrel YES

The CAT 8

It has two available versions, BBCOR, and USSSA Youth Big Barrel version. This model gives off a stiffer 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 CAT 8 bats is the AZ105 alloy, a solid aluminum that is responsible for the strength and durability of the barrel. A précised balanced swing weight is taken care of while making the CAT 8 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 a micro-perforated bat grip that is perfectly cushioned and which also ensures that the hands remain fast and reactive. To minimize the vibration, the AV2-knob has anti-vibration technology, which has received great reviews from the players.

The CAT 8 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 noticeable difference between a CAT 8 and a CAT 8 connection is that a composite design for a more hybrid model has been added to the latter. The CAT 8 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. In this way, Marucci has converted the disadvantage of the vibration into an added advantage.

The CAT 8 connect also has the end-loaded meaning the end of the barrel has more weight for powerful hits

CAT 8 Composite

To achieve maximum performance and great flex, Marucci made the first 100% composite bat. Like the CAT 8 connect, the all-composite bat is also produced as a 2-piece bat, and the aluminum alloy barrel is attached to the composite handle with the help of the same SDX EXT piece.

Marucci CAT8 Composite

This bat allows you to pack a big punch as Marucci makes the barrel an all-composite one, which makes it even more durable. This model also has the most significant barrel length with a big sweet spot.

Unlike the CAT 8 connect, this model has a mid-loaded swing weight, that is, not too densely packed towards the handle or the end cap, meanwhile keeping the weight towards the middle of the bat. This allows you to enjoy enough swing speed, not too much or not too little but a bit more potent than a balanced bat. The comfort grip remains the same as the other two models.

2019 Marucci CAT 8 Review

Design & Construction

Marucci incorporates into CAT 8 a multi-variable wall design that creates an expanded sweet spot and a thinner inner wall that also creates a firmer hitting surface.

In the construction of CAT 8 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 CAT 8 comes in the BBCOR and USSSA sizes.

The CAT 8 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 ideal for players who are heavy hitters. The sizes range from 30-34” including a 33.5”.

USSSA CAT 8 drop 5, drop 8, and drop 10 has the barrel diameter of 2 ¾ inch and huge barrel length with the extended sweet spot.

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Grip

As far as the grip of the CAT 8 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.

Performance

All the features of Marucci CAT 8 add up for the excellent 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 delay 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 the use of the highest quality aluminum, the micro-perforated grip, ring-free barrels, AV2 knob, all these features add up to an excellent performance of the . Marucci continually reviews and upgrades its bats to provide the best of what they can offer.

Break-In Period

To attain the highest potential of a bat, not all bats, mostly composite, it is essential 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 CAT 8 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 time of at least 300 approximate swings for them to reach the ultimate potential. The break-in period of a composite bat is a significant aspect that needs to be correctly understood and reviewed before making the final decision.

Price

The Marucci 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 CAT 8 bats. Therefore it’s essential to review the bat thoroughly before you make your purchase.

Who Should Buy Marucci CAT 8?

CAT 8 BBCOR Bat

Adults should mostly buy these bats as they are considered adult baseball bats. These bats are mainly required by players in high school or Collegiate leagues. And, the Marucci CAT 8 is one of the most favorite BBCOR Bats of high school players.

CAT 8 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 need 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 available 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 is the length to weight number; heavier is 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.

CAT 8 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 CAT 7 vs. CAT 8

The CAT 8 carries the torch from CAT 7 with a few upgrades in the material and changes in the built and design.

FeaturesMarucci CAT7Marucci CAT8
AlloyAZ4X AlloyAZ105 Alloy
Barrel2 5/8” Barrel Diameter2 ¾” Barrel Diameter
SDX ConnectionSDX ConnectionExtended SDX Connection
Ring Free BarrelYesYes
Balance PointYesYes
AV2 KnobYesYes

Stronger Alloy in CAT 8

Alloy AZ105, one of the most reliable aluminum, is used in the construction of the barrel of CAT 8 and CAT 8 Connect. This alloy is an upgrade to the alloy AZ4X, which is used in CAT 7. Because of the stronger alloy, better performance is achieved with CAT 8 at the sweet spot.

Thinner Walls

The walls towards the taper of the end cap of the CAT 8 are also thinner. These thinner walls as a result of the stronger alloy used since they create higher performance.

Larger Barrel in CAT 8

The CAT 8 -5 and -8 USSA senior league bats have a barrel whose diameter is 2 ¾ which is larger than the CAT 7 -5 and -8 USSA bats whose diameter is 2 5/8.

Extended SDX Connection

The CAT 7 connect has SDX, which has been upgraded in the CAT 8 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 power means more coverage of the 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 CAT 7 has only one level.

Ring Free Barrels

Both CAT 7 and CAT8 feature ring free barrels, which means there are no dead spots on the barrel. Better response rate, more barrel flex, and overall higher performance is achieved because of this.

Balance Point

Both CAT7 and CAT 8 series of bats have the same balance point. Both are constructed with a one-piece alloy that creates a precision balance barrel. It also creates a lower MOI, which results in a balanced feel for the hitter.

AV2 Knob

Both CAT 7 and CAT 8 bats feature the AV2 knob technology, which is the upgraded version of AV knob that is an 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.

Additionally, to know more about Marucci CAT 7 in detail, you can read my review of Marucci Cat 7.

Final Words

Marucci CAT 8 has been constructed meticulously with utmost attention paid to the requirements of different hitters; this is what makes it such a splendid bat.

Years of research by engineers and countless feedbacks from professional league players have assisted in finally creating the CAT 8 bat.

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Vijay Singh
I started playing Baseball when I was 13 years old. I never made to MLB or any big league, but played enough to share some knowledge.

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