Marucci CAT8 review

2019 Marucci CAT8 Review: The Great Trio

As we continue to look at some of the best equipment in the game, we wanted dive into the 2019 models.

Today, we’re going to do a Marucci CAT8 review.

We’ll look at the CAT8, the CAT8 Connect, and the CAT Composite bats.

Each one has its own distinct advantages.

One key piece of information we want to be sure every reader knows before getting into the article is that there is no USA Bat model of the CAT8.

Marucci skipped the USA standard version and, to the best of our knowledge, doesn’t have any intention of adding a USA approved model.

CAT8

One-piece aluminum design

More balanced for better swing speed

CAT8 Connect

Two-piece hybrid (composite handle)

End loaded weight to maximize power

Composite

Two-piece composite (both barrel and handle are composite)

Ring-free barrel – increased flexibility

What Makes The CAT8 Series?

As you look through the research and read through Marucci’s 2019 bat line up reviews, you’ll find that they have had made some significant strides.

They’ve improved the wall of their barrels and they continue to improve the alloy used to strengthen the barrel.

They’ve also done a great job of continuing to develop an anti-vibration knob.

Marucci CAT8 review

The CAT8 (base model and Connect model) series has the strongest aluminum to date.

They use what is called AZ105 alloy. The strength of this material allows for the walls to be thinner than previous bats. It also increases the durability.

Using such strong aluminum also allows for a multi-variable wall design. That is to say, the thickness of the wall changes throughout the bats.

This allows for a decreased swing weight without losing any durability. You can find this in the base model and the Connect model.

This multi-variable wall allows for a smaller end cap which lengthens the performance area.

That doesn’t sound like much, but that means that when a ball is hit off the end of the barrel, this bat is going to be able to provide some power rather than providing a simple ground ball on the infield.

The next key focus that Marucci had was minimizing the vibration that a batter has to deal with on a mishit ball.

The CAT8 features a typical anti-vibration knob. However, they’ve further customized the barrel for the Connect and the Composite with what they call SDX EXT. This is a vibration isolating silicone overlay that covers the handle.

The Silicone overlay is able to minimize how much vibration actually reaches the hands.

Marucci returns with the ring-free barrel design in each model.

This simply means that they’ve been able to smooth out the inside of the bat and decrease disruptions to the sweet spot.

The ring-free barrel creates a smoother more consistent bat from the handle out to the barrel.

Something else that has always impressed me with Marucci is that they only produce a new bat every two years.

They’re known for saying:

We believe a new bat should be a new bat, not last year’s model with this year’s paint job.

It’s something that they seem to truly believe.

They make a bat every 2 years, because they take the time to get feedback from players before trying to improve the bat.

Companies who produce a bat every year have to start next year’s bat before this year’s model gets sufficient feedback.

Instead, Marucci builds a bat, waits a year to get sufficient feedback from players, then makes a bat with that feedback in mind. This creates a two year process.

Is The CAT8 Different From The CAT7?

For in-depth analysis you should check the CAT8 vs. CAT7 comparison on Marucci’s website.

But, in short, the CAT8 is a stronger bat.

Every model gets an upgrade and the AZ105 is this year’s best option.

All of the 2017 bats Marucci made came with an alloy known as AX4X.

Innovation continues to make stronger, more durable aluminum, and this year isn’t any different.

CAT8 vs CAT7 difference

The new models also have larger barrels than the older models.

The -5 and -8 versions of the CAT7 had a 2 5/8” barrel. The CAT8 equivalents have a 2 3/4” barrel.

It seems like a small improvement, but it could be the difference between a pop up and a double to the gap.

The SDX connection is the biggest improvement that you’ll find.

The SDX EXT is a bit stiffer which allows for a higher energy transfer. This happens because there is less of a lag.

The EXT also has a three-part system as compared to a one-part system on the CAT7.

For a more detailed comparison check our Marucci CAT7 review.

The Models: A Full Marucci CAT8 Review

CAT8

The CAT8 is the basic model in this line. Marucci has done a great job of trying to create a variety of options for the players using these bats.

The CAT8 comes in -3, -5, -8 and -10 which makes it ideal for almost any player.

CAT8 -3
Marucci CAT8 BBCOR
CAT8 -5
Marucci CAT8 -5 USSSA Bat
CAT8 -8
Marucci CAT8 -8 USSSA Bat
CAT8 -10
Marucci CAT8 -10 USSSA Bat
CAT8 Junior Big Barrel
Marucci CAT8 Junior Big Barrel Bat

While Marucci passed on the USA Bat standards, these models are approved for BBCOR leagues and USSSA senior leagues meaning a lot of high school and college leagues will allow this bat in play.

And it’s truly going to be one of the best BBCOR certified baseball bats this year.

Whichever model fits you or your player, you can be sure that the bat will offer a one-piece alloy design which seems to improve the weight distribution.

This offers a more balanced swing.

That means that this bat may not be ideal for a true power hitter as it doesn’t offer the same trampoline effect that the other models do.

The CAT8 is the Marucci’s only model that uses an AV2 knob. This knob is designed with the batter in mind.

The focus is that the handle is able to minimize vibration by using a harmonic dampening system (the metallic piece), then further reduces by using a rubberized handle.

All of this decreases the issue of negative feedback for hitters.

CAT8 Connect

The Connect is the mid-level option for the CAT8 series in 2019.

It offers a two-piece hybrid design the combines a composite handle with an alloy barrel.

You’ll find this model in -3 (BBCOR) and -5 weights.

CAT8 Connect -3
Marucci CAT8 Connect BBCOR Bat
CAT8 Connect -5
Marucci CAT8 Connect -5 USSSA Bat

The bats weigh in anywhere from 25 to 31 ounces which offers some variety based on the size of the hitter.

The fact that it’s two pieces increases the flexibility of the bat as a whole.

This significantly increases the trampoline effect of the bat.

This means that the Connect is the better option for power hitters.

The bat is also power-loaded or end-loaded.

This makes it ideal for a power hitter because the Moment of Inertia (how much energy is needed to push the bat through the strike zone) is higher.

That means that it takes a little more power to get through the zone, but the resulting power in a hitter’s swing will significantly increase.

This means that the hitter needs to have a little more upper body strength than what they would need for the base CAT8 model.

The reality is that the Connect is the perfect mix of the composite and the base model.

It offers the same aluminum technology that the base model has, but also offers the trampoline effect that the composite model has.

The Connect comes with the SDX EXT that minimizes the vibration throughout the barrel.

CAT Composite

The Composite model is my favorite of the series.

All three models are well-built, but I’m a big fan of a composite bat.

If I’m going to look at a company that doesn’t follow the USA standard, I might as well get the most out of it.

You’ll find the composite in -10, -8, -5, and Junior Big Barrel (also -10) models.

CAT Composite -5
Marucci CAT Composite -5 Bat
CAT Composite -8
Marucci CAT Composite -8 Bat
CAT Composite -10
Marucci CAT Composite -10 Bat
CAT8 Composite Junior Big Barrel
Marucci CAT8 Composite Junior Big Barrel Baseball Bat

The key difference between the composite and the other models is that it is a full two-piece composite bat.

Where the Connect is a two-piece bat that is part composite and part aluminum.

The advantage to that is that the composite should increase the trampoline effect of a swing even more.

This will improve the performance of the bat and offer more “pop” than its aluminum counterpart.

The Composite model doesn’t have multi-variable walls like the other bats because of its composite build.

It does, however, carry the ring-free barrel and it has the same SDX EXT vibration reduction that you can find in the Connect.

What’s The Verdict?

A quick search will show you that Marucci bats are consistently some of the best baseball bats on the market.

The CAT8 continues that tradition. With three different models, they offer a bat for every type of player.

I would absolutely recommend purchasing any of these bats.

When trying to decide which model you want to buy, I would consider two things:

  • the price point
  • and the player you’re buying the bat for

I know, those seem like common sense.

But, the only reason I would even consider buying the base model is if I buying the bat for someone that can’t handle an end-loaded bat.

Other than that, I would probably go with the Composite option.

The base model in BBCOR is around $300.

If I’m willing to spend that much, I might as well upgrade.

The Connect BBCOR is around $350 which is the same price as all of the composite models (aside from the junior big barrel).

If I’m paying the same price either way, I want the best trampoline effect I can find.

That means I’m going to buy the Composite model.


As always, we appreciate you reading through our 2019 CAT8 reviews.

If you have any experience with them, please let us know what you think.

As the season continues, don’t forget to drop in with any reviews you may have.

There’s never an off-season for learning about the best equipment in the game.